Craving Pizza? 5 New Spots to Check Out in the DC Area.

New York-style slices, Sicilian squares, and more.

Photograph of Alfreda Pizza by John Rorapaugh/Leading DC.

As far as pizza trends go around here, fat Detroit-style squares and cracker-thin tavern pies are out. What’s in: New York pizza, sometimes served by the slice (yes!) as well as the whole pie, plus Italian strains like Neapolitan and Sicilian. Here are five of the area’s best newcomers.



location_on 2016 P St., NW

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The tasty white pie at Alfreda. Photograph by John Rorapaugh/Leading DC.

Chef Russell Smith spent more than a decade working for Wolfgang Puck, eventually taking over the kitchen at the Source. That Penn Quarter dining room closed during the pandemic, and Smith started messing around with pizza. Lucky us. His four-month-old Dupont restaurant slings marvelous pies with thin, crispy, flavorful crusts. (He uses a sourdough starter.) They’re New York–inspired, but more delicate than greasy, akin to what you’d find in a Greenwich Village pizzeria, not a stand in Penn Station. Toppings are thoughtful—Castelvetrano olives, roasted sweet onions—and the place proves that white pizza actually can be good. Just as impressive: artful starters, such as whipped feta with salsa verde and freshly baked focaccia, or mushroom conserva with lemony mascarpone.


Bar del Monte

location_on 3054 Mount Pleasant St., NW

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Tyson Barrett works the pizza oven at Bar del Monte. Photograph by Evy Mages .

This airy no-reservations, no-tipping restaurant, which opened in a former Mount Pleasant auto shop in March, has serious pedigree. It’s headed up by Oliver Pastan, who has cooked at several high-profile Italian restaurants in and outside DC, with help from his dad, 2 Amys proprietor/Neapolitan-pizza master Peter Pastan. Still, this is not a place to go for your Friday pie-day carryout. The pizzas, which you can top with prosciutto, olives, anchovy, or arugula—that’s it—arrive on ethereally light and bubbly crusts and are best eaten on the spot. They’re worth standing in line for, and you may have to. The other stars of the menu are a trio of lamb skewers with lemon and chili oil (the younger Pastan originally wanted to devote the whole restaurant to such skewers) and desserts such as a deep-bronze crème caramel or a swirl of almond and lemon sorbets.


Bennie’s Pizza

location_on 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia

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Photograph courtesy of Bennie’s Pizza.

This New York–style pizza shop near the Mall at Columbia is nothing fancy. It’s not reinventing anything. You’ve seen the formula—pizza, wings, mozzarella sticks, big TVs—many times before. Yet Bennie’s stands way above the competition. Turns out there’s a big-name chef behind the whole operation: Gerald Addison, the ex-Maydan toque who now runs the kitchen (and also makes very good pizza) at Grazie Nonna in downtown DC. At this more casual suburban place, the wide, floppy New York slices and pies are reason enough to visit. But don’t sleep on the sandwich menu, which features Italian and chicken-parm subs that are destination-worthy in their own right. And sure, you could hang out over a bucket of Peroni. But the place takes its cocktails seriously, and boasts a formidable whiskey selection.


J&J Pizza

location_on 550 Morse St., NE

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J&J’s New York dishes up pies in a Union Market brewery. Photograph by Dylan Bilbao.

As proven by the weekend throngs at Jumbo Slice in Adams Morgan, a giant piece of pizza is exactly what’s called for after a night of drinking. And the mega-slices (and 16-inch pies) at this new arrival inside the Union Market brewery Crooked Run fit the bill. The flavors are straightforward—especially compared with the taproom’s original pizza operation, the cheffier Pizza Serata, which vacated in January. A garlicky white slice with kale and a Hawaiian take with pineapple, jalapeños, and spicy bacon are about as wild as the preset combinations get. But the winning pizzas tend to skew classic, such as sausage and green pepper, or plain pepperoni. J&J takes its wings as seriously as its pies, and the tasty, crispy chicken comes in flavors like lemon pepper, mumbo sauce, and Buffalo.


Parachute Pizza

location_on 1309 Fifth St., NE

language Website

Photograph of Parachute Pizza by John Rorapaugh/LeadingDC.

Sicilian-style squares—puffy on top, crunchy and olive-oily on the bottom, and sold by the slice or pie—are the thing at this Union Market wine-and-pizza stall from the creators of Primrose in Brookland. And it does them exceptionally well. There’s a mushroom version accented with lemon thyme, a Buffalo-chicken riff loaded with blue cheese, and a spicy-sweet slice with pepperoni, pickled chilies, and a drizzle of hot honey (get a side of the housemade ranch for dipping). The rendition not to miss, though, is the cacio e pepe pizza, with provolone, grana padano cheese, and caramelized onions tempered by several grinds of black pepper—it’s one of the best pieces of pizza I’ve had all year. To go with it all, wine savant/owner Sebastian Zutant has put together a short list of easy-drinking wine, beer, and cider.

This article appears in the June 2024 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.