Deep dish pizza might conjure up images of Chicago more than the Niigata countryside, but never fear - if you're after a deep dish pizza fix you can still find it out here. Ale Beer and Pizza is situated in Tokamachi, and they have a range of pizza toppings to suit just about anyone's tastes.
If you're a purist, the Chicago Classic may be your best bet. It comes with cheese, tomato sauce, Italian sausage and parmesan, and despite the relatively simple ingredients list, there's no shortage of flavor. If you want to add some spice to your life, the Chicago Spicy adds jalapenos and olives to the standard recipe. Prefer something more unique? The store's namesake, the Ale's Original, consists of a homemade basil sauce, bacon, purple onions, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, feta cheese and parmesan cheese. All of their deep dish pizzas can be made in either small, medium or large sizes, depending on your appetite or the number of people in your party. Do keep in mind that if you order a deep dish pizza, the cooking time is approximately 30 minutes once you place your order.
Aside from the pizzas, the store has plenty of other small appetizers on the menu, including fries, nachos, and chili con carne if you need something to snack on while you're waiting for your pizza to cook.
The restaurant is quite family friendly, with the staff bringing out a high chair and plastic bowls and cutlery to accommodate our young child. There is a smoking area which is sectioned off by a curtain, however when we visited at lunchtime there were no patrons smoking. There is also a dedicated parking lot as well, so if you've visiting by car you shouldn't have trouble finding a spot.
If you don't have the time to dine in but you're staying in the area, their deep dish pizzas are available on their to-go menu.
Ale Beer and Pizza is located approximately 10 minutes on foot from Tokamachi Station.
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