By Mackenzie Bailey, Andrew Bucket, Philippe Chetrit, Emily Cohen, Peter Heyneman, Farrah Skeiky, Brandon Weight, Brandon Wetherbee, Ashley Wright
It’s National Pizza Day! It’s a time to celebrate something we were already doing! It’s a party to remember to party!
Yes, it’s National Pizza Day and though we didn’t really need a reason to pontificate about our love of all things bread and sauce and cheese, we figured, why not? It’s cold outside, it’s a perfect time for pizza. It might get warmer later, another perfect time for pizza. It may be very hot outside very soon, another perfect time for pizza. It’s always a perfect time for pizza.
Goes without saying, right? Also, BONUS: Etto on 14th is run by the same pizza masters so now you don’t have to beg for a ride/hop on the bus to experience the magic. – Svetlana
Wood burning oven? Check. Deliciously petite pies that aren’t the size of a polar vortex? Check. Prosecco on tap? You know it. Opt for anything with their savory smoked pepperoni, or their American Prosciutto offering with tomato, mozarella and arugula. Grab a shot of their house-made limincello from bar manager and restaurant co-partner Bryce Gerlach to finish off the perfect meal. -Brandon Weight
The best secret pizza is Astor Mediterranean on Columbia. Its disguised as a Mediterranean/greek deli with the standard gyros/suvlakis/grape leaves BUT its has the best pizza. Seriously. Really great crust – both crispy and goey. Fresh ingredients. Its that perfect middle of the road no frills but kinda fancy pizza. But you gotta put in the work – no delivery, no slices. -Philippe
My apartment’s proximity to Astor is one of the reasons I’ve lived in the same building for over three years. The Egyptian Pizza is a must for any fan of pizza or vegetables or spices or life in general. Order the large, eat two slices the night you order (though you really only need one) and enjoy the leftovers the next morning. It doesn’t matter if you’re a drunk or straight edge, the Egyptian is the best pizza for breakfast food I’ve had in my pizza loving life. -Brandon Wetherbee
In Vienna, VA, right outside of DC, there is a hidden pizza gem. Church Street Pizza is the ultimate trifecta: affordable, efficient, and delicious. To eat in the restaurant might be a bit of a squeeze, since there is not an abundance of seating, but whether eating in or ordering to pick up, the pizza is finished in a timely manner and always warm and cheesy and wonderful. These pizzas have a perfect amount of grease, and the pizzas are all one size, so that decision has been made for you. New York natives claim it’s the closest to New York pizza as the DC area gets. -Mackenzie
Instead of showing off your ping pong skills in your friend’s basement, why not showcase your talents while enjoying a personal pizza? Pay for the pizza, and play ping pong for free at Comet Ping Pong. Earlier in the night, you might have to fight a family of four for a table, but later on, you and your friends can battle it out, no judgments passed. -Avalon
Why do I think District of Pi is the best pizzeria in town? Oh, let me count the ways. First of all, they serve deep dish pizzas, which are few and far between in DC. Deep dish pizzas are superior to all other pizzas with their thick, chewy crusts and mounds of gooey cheese. Secondly, the ones at District of Pi are especially good because of their topping combinations. Their Berkely Pi is smothered in mozzarella, meaty portabello mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, kalamata olives, and garlic, making it the perfect marriage of sweet. salty, and earthy. The Western Addition is another heavenly choice where a creamy blend of spinach, ricotta, and feta replaced traditional tomato sauce. Add in the mozzarella, mushrooms, onions and garlic they put on top and you basically have the perfect pizza. And then of course you can create your own pizza and choose from their fabulous selection of toppings like gorgonzola cheese, sundried tomatoes, and preserved lemons. Oh and one more plug for District of Pi: they have a deep dish apple “pi.” Nuff said. -Priya
Delicious pizzas made right in front of your salivary glands. Fresh ingredients. Open until 3:30AM on the weekends when you need sustenance but don’t trust yourself to navigate the open flame required by the stove. Free pizza to anyone who comes in and tells the staff about a local cause they champion. Goodness all around. -Ashley
Craving something to eat after a show at 9:30 or after a night out at the bars? Take a walk down U Street to Italian Kitchen on U. Just $3 for a jumbo slice, it’s exactly what you were craving and didn’t even know it. While it might not be the best jumbo slice you’ve ever had, it’s pretty damn tasty; perfect for your drunken munchies. The service is fast and you can add all of the spices your heart could desire (actually they just have paprika, oregano, and a few of the other usual suspects). And who knows, maybe a cute boy will kiss you randomly in the line (this actually happened to me on New Years), but maybe not… either way you’ll leave this pizza joint with a satisfied and very full tummy. -Emily
You can search every corner of every neighborhood of the district for the most creative, greenest, expertly crafted pizza you can imagine. You’ll probably find it. But does your $30 pie measure up to your hometown favorite when you need this strange brand of comfort food the most? Probably not. This is precisely why Ledo’s conquers all.
I moved to Silver Spring in July 2004 and managed to independently consume three regular-sized rectangular Ledo’s pizzas in one week as we settled into our new place, waiting on kitchen appliances and running water. Something about that sauce (probably a ton of sugar) was so much better than any chain pizza I’d ever had– and the fact that you can buy jars of it? Are you kidding me? All bets were off. Of course even after our kitchen was functional, I came nowhere close to achieving the simple grandeur that was Ledo’s. Here’s what I knew: the sauce was/is probably loaded with things that are bad for me, and the crust was/is probably mass produced, but I didn’t care then and I don’t care now.
The excessive amounts of Ledo’s probably played some role in my celiac diagnosis. I accept their apology in the form of their gluten-free personal pan pizza. The preservatives/processed/frozen speculations probably/certainly apply to this pie above all the others. But the best gluten free pizzas are the ones that taste like you should be allergic to them– they should taste like a normal pizza that would probably make you sick. In my five years with celiac, I still haven’t found a gluten free pizza emulates its wheat-filled counterpart so well. My loyalty remains. -Farrah
None in DC
My favorite Pizza is Pizza Palace on the Corner of Ditmars and 31st. They have the most delicious Margherita Pizza. They put sesame seeds on the crust and drizzle vinegar over the tomatoes. It is in New York City. There is no very good pizza in DC everyone else in this post is either lying or has never had very good pizza. Peace And Blessings in the New Year Y’all. -Peter
My favorite pizza spot in DC is Mount Pleasant’s Radius. It’s never too crowded, the staff is always friendly, and the pizza is delicious without calling too much attention to itself. They’ve got nightly specials, but not as good as their “pitcher and a pie” deal on Wednesday. My personal favorite is the Harvard, but you can’t go wrong with any of their specialty pies. -Alan
Much like most things, pizza can also be made better by adding an egg on top. The Red Rocks Sunrise Pizza (and I’ve only had the Columbia Heights one, so I cannot vouch for execution at other locations, but I WANT TO BELIEVE) is a perfect rough morning pick-me-up of potatoes (carbs on carbs!), tomatoes, parmesan and a cracked egg. You can and SHOULD add chorizo on top. It is spicy and helps. It all kind of blends one into the other with the noble exception of the thin, crackling Neapolitan crust. Pour some of that $14 carafe mimosa on top and we’re in business. The crust and the bubbles-that’s all the texture I can handle on a weekend AM anyway. Delicious. -Svetlana
I’m a huge fan of New York style pizza. The oozing cheese held over Italian tomato sauce on a thin vehicle of doughy deliciousness. Many places in the city claim to have such pizza, but they fall short. Wiseguys Pizzeria is the best slice you can get in DC, HANDS DOWN. Every occasion is a good one for Wiseguys; late night (open till 3 am on weekends), business lunch, quick bite to eat, or my personal favorite; the hangover over meal. The best slice is the signature Wiseguy, but the buffalo chicken is surprisingly amazing. What sets them apart from the others? It may be the dough, the strict New York style pizza, the mob portraits on the wall, the fresh Parmesan you sprinkle on your slice from the hand held cheese grater, or the Boylan soda machine. Their formula is on point. Actually, by the time this article is published, I’ll be at Wise Guys meeting a friend I haven’t seen years. -Franz
At ZZ Pizza and Kabob in Bloomingdale they have a pick up special: $7.50 for a large, delicious pizza. Since moving to my new place I’ve ordered it no less than 12 times. Bonus points for a milkshake; they offer 27 kinds of milkshakes. -Andrew