All Purpose Shaw has always been one of my go-to spots. The proximity to my work combined with the relaxed vibe and reliably good food make it an easy choice when I can’t decide what to eat. When All Purpose Capitol Riverfront opened I immediately went to check it out to see if it would be an exact replica of the original, just in a different location. As it turns out, while they both serve New Jersey style pizza and Italian comfort food, not everything is the same at these two sister spots. Keep reading to find out when each one wins.

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Which one has better pizza?

This one goes to All Purpose Shaw, mostly because variety (more pizzas and more veggie options). I love the Cossimo, with mushrooms, truffle sauce, and creamy tallegio cheese and I am obsessed with the Murray which has two kinds of cheese, two kinds of onions and pesto, for when you don’t feel like tomato sauce.

Which one is better for day drinking?

Definitely All Purpose Capitol Riverfront. This venue has plenty of outdoor seating and a garden menu with day drinking appropriate snacks like fried arancini, buttery garlic knots and pizza. The waterfront vista is great for people watching (while you pretend to be admiring the view).

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Which one has better antipasti?

I think I have to give this one to All Purpose Shaw. There is just so much fried deliciousness on AP Shaw’s menu. While both venues have doughy garlic knots (who cares if it’s almost summer I’m gonna eat carbs anyway) and one of the best eggplant parmesans in the city, Shaw also has cacio e pepe suppli, an Italian street snack of fried rice, fried artichokes with saffron aioli, and… burrata! We all know burrata wins. AP Capitol Riverfront does have plenty of comfort food though, the arancini verde is one of the best dishes I’ve had this year. Those crispy rice balls with their savory herb cheesy rice filling are AP Navy Yard’s most drool-worthy menu item.

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Which one is better for a date?

All Purpose Capitol Riverfront. Shaw is energetic and crowded and fun, but at Navy Yard it will be easier to find a cozy spot because it’s bigger and more spread out. Garlic knots and wine for two sounds like a pretty awesome date night to me.

Which has better dessert?

Tie. The rainbow cake at AP Shaw should win a pastry prize, but the funfetti skillet cookie at AP Capitol Riverfront is the dessert of my dreams. At either spot, dessert is essential, not optional.

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Which one should you take your parents to?  

Either one! The food and mood is casual and parent-friendly at either location. The Shaw location can get loud, so if your parents are sensitive to that go to Capitol Riverfront. However, the Capitol Riverfront venue can get over-crowded with drunk baseball fans, so you should consider time and day of the week if you are taking mom and dad.

Which one should you get drunk at?

Well, it depends on what kind of drunk you are. If you are a talkative drunk, choose AP Shaw where it’s loud enough that no one will notice when you are yelling and slurring. If you are a friendly drunk, choose AP Capitol Riverfront where you can mingle at the bar and on the patio. Post-work happy hour drinking is best done at AP Shaw, where AP Navy Yard is ideal for post-baseball game drinking (or rather, continued drinking).

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