For many years, Washington’s pizza landscape was dominated by one type of pie: Neapolitan. Chefs devoted themselves to studying the strictly controlled, wood-fired style—using specific flour, tomatoes, and mozzarella for their thin, bubbling Margaritas. The scene has come a long way in the last five years, but it’s really come a long way in the last nine months, during which 16 pizzerias of many varieties have opened. Here, our five favorite newcomers, ranked.
3120 Georgia Ave., NW
Neighborhood: Park View.
Style: Sicilian—the slices and pies have an olive-oily, pan-baked crust that tastes like a thinner focaccia.
Go if you like: Red-sauce Italian-American places with 2019 touches such as rosé cider.
Who’s behind it: Colony Club proprietors Max Zuckerman and Ben Heller, who also run No Kisses, an adjoining bar.
Most creative offering: The Pesky Mario pie, loaded with mushrooms, chilies, and rapini.
Best pie: The Pizza Don, with salami and arugula.
Don’t leave without trying: The Italian cold-cut sandwich with provolone, arugula, and plenty of vinaigrette.
399 Morse St., NE
Neighborhood: Union Market.
Style: Fast-casual meets Neapolitan—the ultra-thin pies have a puffy crust and a careful array of toppings, and you slice them yourself.
Go if you like: The mix of thoughtful small plates and Neapolitan pies at 2 Amys.
Who’s behind it: Lupo Verde alums Antonio Matarazzo and Matteo Venini.
Most creative offering:A fried-octopus sandwich made with an entire bulb of burrata.
Best pie: The cacio e pepe, a white pizza with pecorino, buffalo mozzarella, and loads of black pepper.
Don’t leave without trying: The fried artichokes and house-made paccheri pasta with meat ragu.
901 Fourth St., NW
Neighborhood: Mount Vernon Square.
Style: Think cheffy Domino’s—the sturdy crust is made from three-day-fermented dough, then heavily spiraled with red sauce and fistfuls of mozz.
Go if you like: Pizza the American way.
Who’s behind it: Michael White, the New York chef/restaurateur who also runs Osteria Morini—and a Nicoletta pizza kiosk—in Navy Yard.
Most creative offering: A porchetta-and-pickled-chili-topped white pizza inspired by a Philly pork sandwich.
Best pie: The Calabrese, with pepperoni, fennel sausage, and red onion.
Don’t leave without trying: The clams with pancetta, roasted tomato, and a slab of pesto-slathered bread.
807 Pendleton St., Alexandria
Neighborhood: Old Town.
Style: Roman—the square slices have a crunchy crust and a generous layer of robust tomato sauce and are sold by the ounce.
Go if you like: The memory of grab-and-go slices on your study-abroad trip to Rome.
Who’s behind it: Chef Ed McIntosh, who also operates Chop Shop Taco nearby.
Most creative offering: The white pizza that’s liberally ladled with chimichurri.
Best pie: Pepperoni.
Don’t leave without trying: McIntosh’s smash burger. (The carryout also has dumpling and cake menus.)
4514 Lee Hwy., Arlington
Neighborhood: North Arlington.
Style: A mix of big, floppy New York slices and thicker, doughier grandma-style squares, each cooked in a deck oven.
Go if you like: Manhattan’s takeout-slice joints.
Who’s behind it: John Rodas, who spent 25 years working for Domino’s and also runs the Clarendon bar Spirits of ’76.
Most creative offering: A white pizza with Brussels sprouts, roasted mushrooms, and caramelized onions.
Best pie: The Patriot, with pepperoni, hot honey, and oregano.
Don’t leave without trying: A grandma-style slice.
This article appears in the June 2019 issue of Washingtonian.