Best pizza in Washington, DC
Though you’re likely to eat your face off at 2 Amys, consider grabbing a snack beforehand: The secret is out on this Cleveland Park restaurant, and wait times can stretch over an hour. But the Neapolitan pies, which meet Italy’s precise Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) standards, are worth it. 2 Amys tends to draw a family crowd, so anticipate a seat next to a marinara-flinging toddler. Otherwise, enjoy pies like the puttanesca (tomato sauce, rapini, mozzarella, sliced garlic, anchovy and hot pepper) and stellar calzones distraction free.
This wood-fired pizzeria first got its start as a farmers’ market stand, where guests had the option to top their pies with the produce purchased at other stands. Though the team has since upgraded to a brick and mortar shop in Petworth, they haven’t lost that farm stand mentality. Many of the toppings are grown just across the street on co-owner Andrew Dana’s rooftop garden, and pie styles rotate depending on what’s in season. Make sure to order the Green Monster: A year-round favorite made with pesto, fresh mozzarella, feta zucchini and kale.
Before you’re handed a menu and led to your table, you’ll be greeted by a fiery host at this hidden treasure in Brookland: a gigantic, 900-degree wood-burning oven. Ettore Rusciano, an Italian pizzaiolo who owns the restaurant with his wife, Mariya, mans the behemoth, churning out Neapolitan-style pies with blistery crusts. Opt for the Chef’s Special, a harmonious blend of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, arugula, prosciutto di parma, grana padano and olive oil.
The owners of 2 Amys and Garden District joined forces to open this sun-filled, high-ceilinged eatery. The 42-seat space radiates warmth (from the oak-fueled fire in the corner) and aromas of freshly milled flour (from the large hand-crank grain mill at the back of the restaurant). A charcuterie plate of house-cured meats pairs well with specialty cocktails crafted with house-made vermouth. With fluffy-yet-flat crust, a slight char and fresh toppings, the pizzas here are easily the best in the neighborhood.
Located on the edge of the C and O Canal in Georgetown, this gourmet Italian restaurant serves thin-crust Neapolitan pizza with a view. The fermented dough is as close to anything you’d find in Naples and, when topped with ingredients imported from Italy, makes guests feel as though they've been transported to the country. Choose from ten different pies, including the classic Napoli made with tomato sauce, Buffalo mozzarella, anchovies, kalamata olives, oregano and basil.
Good quality, wood-oven pizza that keeps locals coming back for more. Expect to wait for a table, even at the larger Georgetown location. The salad of white beans and tuna, plus the antipasti plate of salami and Italian cheeses, are worth considering if pizza is not your thing. But do try the effervescent lemonade.
Though this pizza shop was born in Philly, it’s gained a loyal D.C. following eager for its perfectly blistered pies and rotolo, a heavenly upgrade on traditional garlic knots, made with pizza dough, mortadella, ricotta and pistachio pesto. Pies are made with whole grain flour and cooked in a wood-burning oven. Notable offerings include the salsiccia, made with fennel sausage, roasted fennel, tomato sauce and mozzarella.
From the same team behind Red Hen comes this casual, always-packed Italian joint in Shaw. The kitchen is helmed by Mike Friedman, a Jersey boy who strives to serve the kind of pizza that he ate as a kid. The dough is slightly sweet and cooked in a deck oven, resulting in a bite so crisp it makes a noise when you chomp into it. In addition to classic dishes like eggplant parm and garlic knots, All Purpose serves almost ten different types of pies, including the Buona—made with tomatoes, pepperoni, mozzarella, chili hone, basil and grana.
You heard the cashier right: He just asked what kind of a-BEETS you’d like. The word describes the type of Neapolitan-style pizza you’ll find around New Haven, Connecticut. It’s characterized by a thin, crispy crust and mozzarella-less toppings (though Pete’s will throw some on if you ask for it). The star of the show is New England favorite New Haven, topped with clams, garlic, oregano, olive oil and pecorino romano.
If you close your eyes while eating a Wiseguy slice and imagine blaring taxi horns, you’d swear you were in the Big Apple. Wiseguy draws a mixed crowd in the wee hours for its garlic knots, white pizza and the grandpa pie—a square-shaped piece of ’za made with a slightly thicker crust that takes up to an hour to bake. It’s topped with homemade marinara, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic olive oil and fresh basil.