The brainchild of two Tail Up Goat alums, Martha Dear quickly became one of DC’s favorite pie shops after it opened at the end of 2020. Together, the couple dish out a limited daily amount of Neapolitan-style sourdough pies from their basement-level location. Unique flavors are the name of the game at Martha Dear thanks to a sourdough crust and Mediterranean influences. The shop is named after the chef’s Greek mother, so it’s only appropriate that ingredients like braised squid and pork ‘nduja make regular appearances on the menu. If you plan on taking your pizza home, don’t dilly dally when it comes to placing that order. Martha Dear’s small operation means limited pies, and a pick-up time is required so order ahead online.
Inside culinary incubator Mess Hall, you’ll find a transportation device called Motown Square that will bring you straight to Detroit. Founded by Detroit native Paulos Belay, Motown Square came to life after Belay became frustrated that he wasn’t able to satisfy his cravings for the perfect slice in the District. Months spent attempting to recreate the flavors of his favorite pizza shop back home have culminated into what Motown Square is today: a reliable spot for Detroit-style pizzas with a flavorful Ethiopian twist. Belay adds the Ethiopian spice Berbere to his signature sauce, which provides a nod to the chef’s cultural heritage.
Italian-American eatery All-Purpose opened to amazing reviews and instantly bustling business in the spring of 2016. With pizza inspired by both Rome and New Jersey, it’s known for doughy crusts and delicious garlic knots. Other offerings include house-made charcuterie, a wide selection of hot and cold antipasti, and dessert from neighboring bakeshop, Buttercream.
Though it hardly needs an introduction, 2Amys is one of DC’s longest-standing favorites, and one of the founding members of the Neapolitan renaissance in the District. Come here for near-perfect, delicate pies with bubbly crusts, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant 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 the capital’s culinary conversation.
There are a few reasons to make a trip to Northwest DC’s Wakefield neighborhood—namely Politics & Prose, Little Red Fox, and Comet Ping Pong, all of which you can find on the same stretch of Connecticut Avenue. Comet once faced some drama thanks to the infamous Pizzagate scandal, but that doesn’t negate the fact that its pizza is delicious. So are the wings. Comet is a unique spot because you can actually play ping-pong, and there’s a regular cadence of bands performing in its warehouse-chic back room.
Il Canale serves up authenticity with its giant, Italian-made wood-burning oven, rotating fork dough mixer, and fresh Buffalo mozzarella—all of the hallmarks of a true Neapolitan pie. This is what has earned the Georgetown spot the distinction of being named one 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.
How to book: Make a reservation via website or order pickup and delivery via website