The interior of tiny Pizzeria Appetito is a like a burst of sunshine - the pale yellow walls make the restaurant feel cozy no matter the hour. The tile tables are the same cerulean blue as the sea off Naples, a fitting reminder of the standard of pizza the chefs are hoping to produce here. Pop in and you'll feel like you stepped onto the terrace of an Italian cafe, complete with authentic-tasting pizza.
There are countless Italian-inspired restaurants in Japan that advertise pizza on their menus. Some stick to the traditional toppings (cheese, sauce, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes, anchovies) while others skew more to Japanese taste buds (tuna, corn). Pizzeria Appetito falls squarely into the former category, even featuring a few genuine white pizzas with ricotta and garlic at the base. Menus are bilingual, but in Japanese and Italian, another nod to authenticity. Perhaps the best sign of a genuine Neapolitan slice is the presence of the wood-burning pizza oven in the corner of the room, tiled in the same blue and aquamarine squares as the tables. The thin crust pizzas need only a few minutes in this high-temp cooking space before coming out perfectly crispy.
The vibe at Pizzeria Appetito is casual, so much so that you order your meal via ticket machine. There are pictures on all of the buttons to help you decode your choices and staff can assist with any translation issues. Unlike many restaurants, you can even customize your pizzas a bit - I was able to add spinach to my white pizza for just a small additional fee.
Pizzas at Appetito are available for both eat-in and take-out; there is also a delivery menu available. In case your sweet tooth gets the better of you, there are also a few small desserts on offer ... yes, tiramisu makes an appearance!
Pizzeria Appetito is the perfect place to stop in for a quick bite on your way from the main station to Okayama Castle. It's a three to five minute walk from the Nishigawaryokudokoen tram stop and won't take much time out of a busy sightseeing schedule. If you're looking for something a little bit classier, a sister restaurant - Trattoria Pizzeria Appetito - offers a cozy dining room and more menu options south of the castle tram stop.