Three places where you should eat pizza on Okinawa
By David Higgins
If you are a big fan of pizza like me, then you have a variety of options to choose from on Okinawa.
Although there are many pizza places in the Chatan area, they are not all created equally. Some places seriously lack in quality while others located in the American Village, are extremely overpriced. Often people think that pizza is really easy to make and they are right, it’s easy to make pizza, but to make really delicious pizza, is entirely a different story.
As a lifelong pizza connoisseur and a 10-year resident of Okinawa, I am offering you my top three places to eat pizza on Okinawa. The first place I would recommend is located right on the seawall and has been around for a long time. It’s called Bella Pizza. It is by no means over the top super delicious pizza, but it beats all the lower quality franchised ‘brand’ pizza parlors in the area. My favorite pizza on their menu is the Chorizo sausage pizza. In their ovens, the pizza is cooked evenly throughout and the crust has the perfect amount of ‘crunch.’ I have never had a bad experience. Eat here.
My second favorite place to eat pizza is not an official ‘pizza parlor’ but rather a bar that serves some of the best pizza on the island. Inside the market of Gate 2 Street there is a boxing gym/bar called Mahoney’s Gym. Mahoney’s Gym not only has a great bar attached to it, but the owner ‘Handsome Johnny’ serves up a delicious pizza pie. The actual kitchen is quite confining so I am amazed at the quality pizza that he is able to create in it. I am always enthralled at Johnny’s ability to cook so efficiently in his cramped kitchen. Often, I will pick up the pizza to bring home to eat. If you want something interesting to do on a Friday night, head to Mahoney’s Boxing Gym, work out, and then reward yourself with some well-earned pizza and beer.
Last but definitely not least is by far the best idea on this earth. A mobile wood-fired pizza caterer that bring the brick oven right to you! This creative enterprise is run by kite boarder extraordinaire, Mike Davison and is called Kokopelli Pizza. It is easy to find with an internet search www.kokopellipizza.com.
If you are not interested in inviting the entire oven to your party or event, you can still enjoy the delicious pizza that Mike creates from Wednesday to Friday, 5 to 8 p.m. This is when they have the oven set-up in their driveway in Yomitan Village for pizza pick up. There is something distinctive about cooking the pizza in a wood-fired oven that makes the crust taste 10 times better than when cooked in a gas-fired oven. Mike’s prices are definitely affordable and the menu options are wide ranging enough to please even the pickiest palate. My wife especially loves the style called ‘White.’ It is made with Mike’s homemade onion sauce, Italian sausage, pesto, olives and cheese. It is incredible.
If you are hungry, and in the mood for pizza, I suggest checking out any of these three places for a fantastic pizza. Although pizza is not the healthiest food to eat on a daily basis, there are a few times a month when everyone should enjoy hot, fresh and delicious pizza. If you don’t, I sincerely believe that you are really missing out on one of the great indulgences in life. Not only do these pizza places make superb pizza, but the atmosphere of the restaurants very much compliment the food and of course, the personable hospitality is distinctly drawn from the culture of living here on Okinawa.