Pizza is almost ubiquitous in Tokyo, but finding a place in the city that specializes in California-style pizza is rare. Couple that with an ample range of craft beers, and you’ve got a winning combination. That’s exactly what Two Dogs Taproom in Roppongi has to offer.
As Kenjiro Miyazaki, Two Dogs Taproom’s manager explained, the bar was launched in 2013 by Mike Verweyst, a native of Seattle. His inspiration was to make a place where customers could enjoy craft beer and California-style pizza, along with an American-inspired atmosphere. “Mike saw how popular craft beer was in the US, and thought that opening a bar where people could enjoy it—along with California-style pizza—was a great idea.”
It’s an idea that has worked well, and the bar is doing brisk business. Miyazaki explained that foreigners who are working in Japan—particularly those from the US—make up the majority of the bar’s customers, and some of them have been coming since the start. But he added that the number of younger Japanese customers, who are becoming more interested in craft beer, is on the rise.
The hallmark of Two Dogs Taproom’s food menu is its California-style pizzas. They are very good-sized, and feature a wide range of toppings, from the time-honored pepperoni to more exotic offerings like anchovy, kalamata olives and garlic or mushrooms, pancetta, Béchamel, and truffle oil. Vegetarian and vegan customers can also order pizzas with customized toppings. The bar also serves up mains such as fish and chips and spareribs, and appetizers like quesadillas, chicken wings and macaroni and cheese.
True to its name, Two Dogs Taproom features an impressive array of craft beers—up to 25 different types from the US and Japan on tap, which are switched out on a regular rotation. It’s a great place to broaden your palate and explore the rich variety of beers on offer, from lagers to stouts.
The two floors of the bar have a spacious feel, with particularly high ceilings on the first floor. Two Dogs Taproom regularly shows sports events, including American football, boxing, and UFC fights on the 120-inch TV on the first floor of the bar and 100-inch projector screen on the second floor. Keeping close to Verweyst’s roots, the bar is known to show Seattle Seahawks and Mariners games. They also show football and rugby tournaments.
Throughout the year, there are special events, which particularly draw in American expats. There’s Thanksgiving dinner, which includes turkey and all of the fixings, as well as Super Bowl parties—which happen on Monday morning in Japan!
Once the pandemic improves, Miyazaki says that he is looking forward to inviting even more overseas guests to Two Dogs Taproom. And as the serving staff all speak English, it’s an easy place for people from around the world to visit and feel at home.
Miyazaki says that Two Dogs is perfect for people who are looking to mingle with other foreigners in an international environment, which will be even more dynamic in Japan once the Covid-19 situation improves. And he adds that the appeal of the bar is simple, when you get down to it：“We’re a place where people can laugh, drink, have fun, and enjoy themselves.”