Detroit Pizza Pop-Ups Are Taking Over DC. Here’s Where to Grab a Pie.

The hearty, brick-cheese-topped continues to dominate the pizza scene.

Get Social's "Sausage Party" pizza. Photo courtesy of HalfSmoke.

Is there any pizza left in Detroit? Motor City’s signature pies—thick, rectangular, and gilded with brick cheese—are continuing to show up across DC in a surge of pop-ups. It has its pandemic virtues: The pies are easier to assemble than say, Neapolitan rounds. They’re baked in a steel pan, and the result is a sturdy pizza that can withstand some car-travel.

DC has already had plenty of options for Detroit fans, such as Della Barba in Ivy City, Red Light in Logan Circle, and Emmy Squared in Shaw. The newest addition to the scene is Get Social, a ghost kitchen slinging crispy-edged pizzas out of Shaw restaurant HalfSmoke (651 Florida Ave., NW) starting on December 14. The daily carryout and delivery operation will aim to stand out with $15 pies topped with things like gochujang short ribs, sweet fig jam, and, of course, half-smoke sausages.

Over in Navy Yard, American restaurant Scarlet Oak recently launched Side Door Pizza (909 New Jersey Ave., SE), which hawks cheese ($24) and pepperoni pies ($26) crowned with thick stripes of tomato sauce.

The Emmy features banana peppers and red onions. Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared.
The Emmy features banana peppers and red onions. Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared.

At Motown Square Pizza, operating in culinary incubator Mess Hall (703 Edgewood St., NE), Detroit-native Paulos Belay starts pies ($26-$30) with traditional Wisconsin brick cheese and crushed tomatoes. But he also pays homage to his Ethiopian roots with a beef tib-topped pizza.

Meanwhile, New York transplant Emmy Squared is branching out to Old Town (124 King St., Alexandria) in spring or summer 2021, reports Washington Business Journal. The Detroit-style shop will replace the Neapolitan Pizzeria Paradiso—full circle, much like the pizza pie of life.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.