Naked Pizza is a rare breed: an international yet small chain that cooks like a local shop. Its menu is stripped of chemicals and harmful additives, the sauces contain no added sugar, and the mozzarella is made from skim milk. The crust is a fiber-rich prebiotic mixture of ten seeds and grains, and is fortified with additional probiotics to foster digestive health—plus it contains no sugar or butter and can be ordered gluten-free.
“The dough is healthier, the cheese is skim mozzarella so it helps lower fat naturally, and there’s lots of topping options for a nice variety,” says registered dietitian Amy Mentrikoski. “I’m interested to see how it tastes—a lot of pizza places don’t offer these things.”
Naked doesn’t have locations in the District (yet), but its four Maryland and Northern Virginia locations (soon to be five with one opening in Ballston this week) have become a popular place to grab a slice. Check out our expert’s picks to help you make the most of Naked’s menu.
• Farmvil: This carnivore-pleaser offers pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, ham, and not a single vegetable—and the smallest size has nearly 1,000 calories. “It’s very high sodium and high fat, especially saturated fat, because it includes a lot of cured meats,” Mentrikoski explains. “It’s definitely more sodium and fat than one should consume in one day.”
• Greenhouse: Our expert says, “This one has veggies and is lower in sodium, fat, and calories, so it’s definitely a healthier option.” You could probably improve the onion, tomato, bell peppers, olive, and mushroom pizza by swapping the olives for a less fatty (but similarly wholesome) topping.
• Superbiotic: Artichoke, spinach, bell pepper, mushroom, garlic, red onion, and cilantro give this option bold flavor without adding the usual troublemakers. All of the toppings except the onions and mushrooms have heart-healthy antioxidant properties.
• Sonoran: The simple selection of onion, chicken, fire-roasted red pepper, and mushrooms is “a fairly good [choice] for people who want meat on their pizza,” says Mentrikoski. “The toppings also have a lot of good benefits.”
BONUS—BUILD YOUR OWN PIZZA
Naked gives you the freedom to build your perfect pizza from the crust up, with three sizes, three crusts, three sauces, three cheeses, and 20 toppings. Our expert would start with a ten-inch thin crust, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese, then add red onions, fire-roasted red peppers, spinach, and garlic.
“In terms of calories, thinner crust is always a good option, and a red sauce also has fewer calories than white or barbecue,” she explains, adding that you should always pile on the veggies. “Also, choose leaner meats like chicken or ham, rather than processed meats like sausage or hamburger meat.”
All in all, it’s hard to go wrong at Naked, since the eatery strives to build nutrition into its meals. Mentrikoski says to limit your intake to one or two slices per meal, and to fill any gaps in your appetite with more vegetable toppings or the pizzeria’s spinach salad.
“They have a really neat concept, and I like their menu,” she says. “And it’s good that nutrition facts are posted on the website; it makes it easier to pick healthy items.”
For more nutritional breakdowns of local restaurants, visit the Well+Being Lunch Break page.