Food & Drink

The best pizza in 11 different DC 'hoods

Published On 10/29/2014 Published On 10/29/2014
Brian Oh

DC may not have a style of pizza to call its own, per se, but that just means it gets the best of everywhere else. From classic NY slices, to myriad Neapolitan pies, to the ignominious Jumbo slice, these are the best pizza joints in 11 DC neighborhoods, ensuring your next great slice is never far away:

Brian Oh

Cleveland Park

2AMYS (address and info)
2AMYS hardly needs an introduction, given that it's one of DC’s longest standing favorites, and one of the founding members of the Neapolitan renaissance in the district. One of four VPN-certified pizzeria’s in town (three of which are on this list; requisite apologies to Pupatella devotees, since it lies outside city limits), 2AMYS churns out near-perfect, delicate pies with bubbly crusts, fresh mozzarella, and basil. The Margherita is the baseline against which all Neapolitan pies in DC are judged, but a wide range of other concoctions, arancini, and an impressive Italian wine list have helped 2AMYS endure as a mainstay in Capitol’s culinary conversation.

Brian Oh

Capitol Hill

7th Hill (address and info)
A charming little nook of a restaurant just steps from Eastern Market, 7th Hill isn’t shy about its love for its city. Each pie is named for a DC neighborhood, like the Navy Yard with smoky Toulouse sausage, oregano and pecorino or the Barracks Row with red onions and spinach. How exactly each of these combinations embody their respective neighborhoods is not immediately apparent, but they’re tasty and there are plenty to choose from, so focus more on the eating and not the logic.

Brian Oh

U Street

&Pizza (address and info)
&Pizza has taken off in the past year, with expansion after expansion. It's because their model works; especially in a neighborhood like the U Street corridor. Fast, quality, customizable pies like the meat-packed "Maverick", the vegetarian "Moonstruck" (covered in mushroom truffle sauce and goat cheese), or one you designed yourself from the dough up, are a godsend after one too many beers out on U. And since &Pizza is open well into the AM on weekends, it’s designed for just that.

Brian Oh

Adams Morgan

Duccini’s (address and info)
Look, we all know the phrase "jumbo slice" is not necessarily synonymous with quality pizza. It’s an exercise in overindulgence and hangover prevention, but that doesn’t mean all Jumbo slices are equally flavorless, cardboard grease-shovels. At Duccini’s, at the bottom of the AdMo strip, the jumbo slice is one that you could actually eat sober and not hate yourself afterward for. Less of a floppy, unrecognizable mess of cheese, Duccini’s slice is actually nicely crisped on the bottom, with real flavor in the sauce (on the sweet side) and in the bubbly cheese. If you absolutely must eat a slice of pizza that’s bigger than your face, Duccini’s is the place to do that.

Brian Oh

14th Street

Etto (address and info)
It’s important to note that Etto is the brainchild of the minds behind both 2AMYS and the Garden District (which will always be remembered as The Standard). That in mind, it’s easy to see it as a marriage of the two -- thoughtful artisan quality pies, with an intimate-neighborhood-feel. Etto’s pies are made with un-aged, house milled flour, which lends a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavor to the dough. Throw on some of their signature touches like roast cauliflower and capers, and you’ve got pies that have an identity beyond the classic Neapolitan milieu. Bonus tip: go on a night when they have the Piedmontese-style rabbit, and order 10 of them. Seriously.

Brian Oh

Georgetown

Il Canale (address and info)
Giant, Italian-made wood burning oven; rotating, fork dough mixer; fresh buffalo mozzarella. All of the hallmarks of a true Neapolitan pie, which earn Il Canale the distinction of being another of DC’s VPN pizzerias (and one of less than 400 in the world). Il Canale boasts a full Italian menu as well, but if you’re after the pie, the Margherita is a little taste of Naples.

Brian Oh

Brookland

Menomale (address and info)
The little-traveled neighborhood of Brookland houses one of the city’s hidden gems. Menomale (the third of the VPN-certified pizzerias -- though technically it is chef Ettore Rusciano who is certified, not the establishment) serves one of the best pies in town. Every bite of every pie tastes fresh and flavorful to the highest order. The dough is fired to the perfect state of a thin crisp shell with a mouth watering-ly moist and chewy interior. The Margherita is impeccable, and the Chef’s Special is not only an unequaled balance of flavors and textures with its layered arugula, prosciutto, and Grana Padano... it’s also one of the prettiest pies you’re likely to ever eat.

Brian Oh

Columbia Heights

Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza (address and info)
Those homesick for New England-style pizza can find themselves at home at Pete’s. New Haven-style pies have been slowly gaining ground in DC, and Pete’s is the frontrunner: producing the large, thin, crisp crusts with a healthy char of its regional namesake. Of course, Pete’s couldn’t claim its New Haven pedigree without the requisite white clam pie. Fresh clams, garlic, olive oil, and Romano recall memories of that time you waited in line at Sally’s (or Frank’s, depending on which side of that feud you come down on).

Brian Oh

H Street

Pizza Parts and Service (address and info)
An offshoot of the ever-expanding Taylor Gourmet empire, Pizza Parts and Service seems, at first glance, like just another quick slice. What sets PPS apart is the quality of ingredients: fresh and house-made. Set inside an industrial chic, biker garage-inspired den, each NYish-style pie is expertly crafted. The crowd favorite is #1 on the menu, and tosses together richly flavored meatballs, generously distributed globs of ricotta, and pepper flakes for heat. And don’t sleep on the garlic knots. Or the Sriracha wings.

Brian Oh

Dupont Circle

Pizzeria Paradiso (address and info)
Another of DC’s oldest pizzerias, Paradiso has been around for over two decades and has expanded to three locations. Its success is due to a couple of factors. The first being slinging quality Neapolitan-style pies, like the ever popular Atomica -- spicy salami, pepper flakes, and sweet pickled olives crafting a potent mix of sweet and heat. The second reason is that Paradiso is also a killer beer bar, with dozens of crafts from around the world to choose from. Delicious pizza. Delicious beer. Done.

Brian Oh

Downtown

Wiseguy NY Pizza (address and info)
Wiseguy's claim to fame is being one of the few places to get a real NY slice in DC. The shop is emblazoned with NY kitsch, like exit wound splatter from a shotgun blast to a piñata filled by the NY tourism board -- but that’s secondary to the pizza. Crisp-but-foldable crusts with the telltale saltiness characteristic of all the corner slice shops from our neighbor to the north, rounded out with a mildly sweet sauce & creamy mozzarella, a Wiseguys slice kind of makes you wish they were as ubiquitous as Starbucks in our city. Wiseguy also gets bonus points for being one of the few spots in town to get a Sicilian square slice. Thick, chewy, and deliciously charred around the edges -- DC pizzerias, take note and start making more Grandma slices!

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1. 2 Amys 3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

Proving that they're all about authenticity, the two Amys behind 2 Amys in DC have committed to serving only D.O.C. (Italian-origin certified) ingredients in their awesome pizza pies.

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2. SeventhHill 327 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (Capitol Hill)

A charming little nook of a restaurant just steps from Eastern Market, 7th Hill isn’t shy about its love for its city. Each pie is named for a DC neighborhood, like the "Navy Yard", with smoky Toulouse sausage, oregano, and pecorino or the "Barracks Row", with red onions and spinach.

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3. &pizza 1250 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

&pizza is a hip mini chain, with locations scattered all across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Get artisanal slices any way you like 'em, made with fresh ingredients (and unlimited toppings for a set price!). Spicy, vegan, plain old cheese: you name it, &pizza will toss it.

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4. Duccini's 1778 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

Duccini's is a small neighborhood pizza joint in Adams Morgan, rumored to have the best jumbo slice in DC. The pizza here is no-frills and reasonably priced. If you're in the mood for a late night bite, stop by after 11pm top get a 14'' pie for $9.99.

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5. Etto 1541 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

From the folks behind 2 Amys and Standard, this pizza place is old-fashioned in more than just its name -- Etto is using old-school tools, including a giant, wooden flour mill, to churn out delicious pizzas, breads, and pies. Freshly ground flour really has the effect of making an insanely good crust, slightly sweet and slightly charred. There are usually around 10 pizzas on the menu, but don’t even bother looking at it. They're great, but the pro move here is to go straight for the Daily Special pizza, whatever it is. Designed to highlight local, seasonal produce, the pies feature the freshest ingredients in amazing flavor combinations.

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6. Il Canale 1063 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (Georgetown)

Georgetown’s il Canale specializes in Southern Italian cuisine, relying on imported Italian ingredients, including mozzarella di bufala, San Marzano tomatoes, and 00 flour. Its gourmet pizzas get blasted in a wood-fired oven imported straight from Naples, and the result is a crispy, chewy, yeasty crust with perfect bubbly char. Keep in mind this is true Napoletana style, so if you’re not a folder, these are definitely knife and fork affairs. This modern, two-story 150-seater has a neon-lit bar downstairs and seating on both levels.

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7. Menomale 2711 12th St NE, Washington, DC 20018 (Noma)

Menomale is a low-key pizzeria in a low-key neighborhood. The owners of the Brookland spot are certified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, which means their Neapolitan-style pizzas are recognized by the pizza-making authorities in Naples as legitimate. Everything about Menomale's pies is Italian -- the ingredients are sourced from the Campania region and the toppings include the likes of prosciutto, porcini mushrooms, and Italian sausage. The menu also includes sandwiches made with pizza dough, calzones, and gluten-free crust options.

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8. Pete's New Haven Style Apizza 1400 Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Columbia Heights)

Pete's, a casual pizza joint in Columbia Heights, has fast service and good prices. Pro tip: the full pies, rather than pre-cut slices, are best here. So you might need to bring some friends to share with. Or not.

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9. Pizza Parts & Service 1320 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (H Street Ne)

Brought to you by the Taylor Gourmet gang, Pizza Parts & Service is assembling homemade pizza with the same quality ingredients you've come to expect from those guys -- go ahead and pick up a slice (or a whole pie) topped with Genoa salami, soppressata, bacon, red onions, mushrooms, cherry peppers, and fresh mozzarella.

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10. Pizzeria Paradiso 2003 P St, Washington, DC 20036 (Washington Dc)

Paradiso has been around for over two decades and has expanded to three locations. Its success is due to a couple of factors, the first being slinging quality Neapolitan-style pies, such as the ever-popular Atomica, with spicy salami, pepper flakes, and sweet pickled olives. The second reason is that Paradiso is also a killer beer bar, with dozens of crafts from around the world to choose from.

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11. Wiseguy NY Pizza 300 Massachusetts Ave NW , Washington DC, DC 20001 (Chinatown)

New York-style pizza is its own animal, and here in DC, only Wiseguy NY Pizza in the Mount Vernon Triangle manages to replicate it. It imports its Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil from Italy; makes its own marinara sauce from canned tomatoes imported from Italy; and, best of all, uses a specialized filtration process (seriously) to replicate New York water, which serious pizza aficionados consider essential to the New York slice. The tin-cieling'd parlor features plenty of knickknacks like a prominently displayed tommy gun, part of a collection of Big Apple nods including black and white city photos, an old-timey radio, and a 7ft replica of the Statue of Liberty.

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