Best pizza in Washington, DC
Every pizza pie arrives with a side of scissors at this 14th Street hot spot. No, you’re not here to do arts and crafts: The kitchen does this to ensure the crust is crispy and crunchy by the time it arrives at your table, and not surrounded by sauce. (If you can get a seat, that is—though luckily this joint takes reservations.) Pizza toppings are plucked straight from the Italian countryside, including grana padano, nostralina olives and pecorino romano. If you’re looking for the real deal, you’ve found it.
Since 1976, Vace has served as the District’s go-to Italian deli. Need hand-stuffed ravioli? Fresh pasta? Oil-packed tuna? Done, done and done. But perhaps their most popular offerings are the pizzas, which may look a little funny for the uninitiated. Rather than sprinkling cheese on top of the marinara sauce, it’s presented as a thick, melty layer below. The reason for this? They just felt like it, says owner Diana Calcagno. Who are we to judge?
Graffiato still packs a punch and draws huge crowds. Order a local brew or a draft Prosecco, and then try the Jersey Shore pizza—wood-fired dough teeming with crispy calamari, tomato, provolone and a chili-flake sauce—and you’ll understand why. The salty-crispy-sweet notes in the maple-charred Brussels sprouts will play with your taste buds, too, as will the tender gnocchi arranged with braised pork and drizzled with a creamy burrata sauce.
What started as a small pizza joint on H Street in 2012 has since grown into a beloved nation-wide chain. The only thing faster than &pizza’s expansion is the speed at which it cooks its pies. The oblong gems, which are prepared assembly line-style before your eyes, take just over two minutes to crisp up in a scorching conveyor belt oven. With three different crust options, eight sauces, three cheeses and too many toppings to count—not to mention the eight signature pies—&pizza adds up to happy customers.
A little off the beaten path for downtown visitors, Comet’s blistery thin-crust pizzas and warehouse chic vibe are worth the trip to upper Connecticut Avenue. A rousing game of table tennis is also a draw—the restaurant’s back room is home to several tables for ping pong. A kid-heavy crowd (watch out for flying ping pong balls) early in the evenings gives way to hipsters, artists and musicians (your server is probably at least one of those) as the night progresses. They all come for the wood-fired pizzas, with toppings like soft shell crab, smoked mozzarella and tangy sauce made from locally farmed tomatoes.