When trying to get a group of people to agree on a dining destination, many will want their preferred type of food. In a city like Washington, D.C. where residents have strong, unwavering opinions, there is one food choice everyone can agree on – pizza! Many area restaurants have elevated the pies to a whole new level of perfection by using wood fire stoves to crisp the crust to golden perfection and putting together new flavor combinations that we would never have dreamed of in a millions years.
If you are looking for a side of entertainment to go with your pizza, look no further than Comet Ping Pong which features amazing pies and ping pong tables to play while you wait for your food. Searching for a great place to grab a slice after a hard day at work? Hit up Ella's Wood Fired Pizza for one of the best happy hour's in the district where 7' pizzas are gobbled up. Want an authentic Neapolitan pizza? 2 Amy's and il Canale have some of the best the district has to offer. Not only does Pizzeria Paradiso make an amazing selection of quality pizzas but they also have a mouthwatering selection of beers to wash down their pie perfection.
So if your group can't decide on which type of food to eat, suggest pizza. Your group will thank you later.
Pete's New Haven Style Apizza
With a commitment to health and sustainability, Pete's New Haven Style Apizza gets its ingredients from local and regional farms with a goal of giving customers the freshest meal possible. Besides standards like tomato and cheese where additions can be made, Pete's has 20 specialty pizzas on the menu coming in 9', 14', and 18' sizes. Several are vegetarian while others are spicy so if you don't like hot food, beware of the S beside any pizza on the menu. Try the Long Wharf with toppings like local Chesapeake clams and shrimp or the Metro-North featuring slow roasted pork. (202-237-7383)
Sure you can get yummy appetizers, salads and paninis from this eatery but what will keep you coming back are the 9' or 12' wood oven pizzas. If you enjoy traditional pies, the margherita, Neapolitan and classic pepperoni will not disappoint. Make sure you also try the roasted eggplant featuring goat cheese, pesto and parmesan and the Coletta showcasing roasted chicken, smoked mozzarella, red onion and Memphis-style BBQ sauce. Draft and bottled beer, craft cocktails, wine and other drinks are available to quench your thirst after downing the pies but save room for desserts like tiramisu and banana bread pudding. (202-506-1402)
Wiseguy NY Pizza
Originating in the Empire State, the New York-style pizza features hand tossed, crisp thin crust selections and this eatery makes them to perfection. Pizzas are offered mainly by the slice but also as a whole too. Slices are taken from a 20' inch pie cut to serve eight. Whole pizzas are 18' and are also sliced to serve eight. Sink your teeth into The Godfather featuring pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon, The Wiseguy showcasing homemade meatballs or the Buffalo Pizza offering chicken breast and spicy buffalo sauce. Go somewhere else to find a better New York-style pizza? Fuhgeddaboudit! (202-408-7800)
If you are craving a cozy, warm environment to dig into a delicious pizza, il Canale is the place for you. A legendary Italian restaurant located in Georgetown, it recently added 200 indoor seats after expanding into the former home of Cannon's Fish Market so getting a seat should be easier. Adhering to the strict rules of Neapolitan pizza, you will savor every bite of their creations. Try the pizza margherita or the pizza Bianca and chose your own toppings for 75 cents each. Take time to look over their drink menu which has a number of wines, house cocktails, and draft beers to chose from to top off an evening out. (202-337-4444)
Ella's Wood Fired Pizza
When the restaurant opened in 2003, the goal was to become a true neighborhood destination and they have succeeded. Wood-fired pizza is, of course, the main focus. Folks can chose from 19 different pizzas or may create their own. The old handcrafted favorites like cheese, peperoni and sausage remain but different options are available including Genovese, pucillo, and Norcia. Many flock to Ella's for the daily happy hour specials at the bar. Much on 7' pizza or other appetizers while you drink your favorite beers or wines by the glass. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown (202-638-3434)
Comet Ping Pong
Sitting and eating in a restaurant can be boring. Thankfully, the district ha Comet Ping Pong – an eatery dedicated to making sure adults have great food and an amazing time as well. This laid back restaurant may remind you of your college days. Play a game of ping pong while you wait for your pie to be done. Grab a drink at the bar or watch a live music show. You can make your own pizza or chose from one of their favorite pizzas including The Yalie featuring clams and Stanley showcasing house-made Italian fennel sausage. (202-364-0404)
2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria
To be considered a Neapolitan pizza, strict requirements must be followed. You must only use soft grain flour, fresh yeast, water and sea salt to make the dough. Forget extra toppings because only Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil or dried oregano are allowed. Once your pie is complete, it must be cooked in a wood-burning oven. Who knew? Thankfully 2 Amy's dedication to these rules is well worth it when you sample their marinara or margherita pies. If you crave other ingredients, the shop offers other pizza selections and toppings that are also not to be missed. METRO: Cleveland Park (202-885-5700)
We, The Pizza
Expect a different experience when you walk into celebrity and 'Top Chef' contestant Spike Mendelsohn's We, the Pizza. Instead of servers, patrons get pagers to alert them when their dishes are ready. It's also quiet loud with speakers pumping out music so just a word of warning. They offer standard pizzas like cheese, pepperoni and buffalo chicken but you will want to try the unique flavor combinations found on the 'Pizza on Tour' menu. China poblano spicy Mexican, honey ham and pineapple and cajun chicken and andouille are some of the choices. Wash down these unique pizzas with some of their creatively named sodas like I've Gotta Orange Crush On You, Lemons Love Lime and C.R.E.A.M. (202-544-4008)
With multiple locations throughout the D.C. Metro area, this business is a favorite among locals. With a goal of 'connecting a taste of the future with a feel for the familiar,' & Pizza offers a unique menu of signature pizza dishes including gnarlic, farmer's daughter, Grecian market, backyard garden and maverick. Chose from different doughs, sauces, spreads and cheeses for a fabulous meal. Be sure to check out their housemade soda selection including pear and fig elixir, ginger berry lemonade, and dark cherry cola. Save some room for their pizzelles – Italian waffle cookies in vanilla and chocolate. (202-733-1286)
Pizzeria Paradiso – Dupont Circle
Pizzeria Paradiso has been pleasing mouths and bellies since it's founding in 1991. The focus is on making quality crust with each pizza cooked in a wood fire stove. Check out their long list of toppings from herbs and veggies to proteins to cheese and sauces. Some of the choices include margherita, quattro formaggi, siciliana, or paradiso. Those who love to drink a cold one while devouring a pie will love their Bierreria Paradiso which features a selection of 200 bottled beers and a number of draft beers as well. There are two locations in the district – Georgetown and Dupont Circle and one in Old Town, Alexandria, Va. so there's no excuse to not to grab a slice. (202-223-1245)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
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