DC Pizza

By Matthew Yglesias

Washingtonian magazine is currently running a DC pizza bracket of some kind that foolishly lets the audience vote on which pizzas are best. Pizza, however, is best understood as a draconian autocracy in which the masses should be told which pizzas are best. That said, contemplating the question simply brings home the fact that in my almost six years of living here, Washington has been transformed from a deplorable pizza town into actually quite a good pizza town.

So . . . what’s best? Some people will say 2 Amys, but the correct answer is Red Rocks in Columbia Heights started by a rogue former 2 Amys chef who correctly observed that 2 Amys’ ovens aren’t really hot enough. That said, 2 Amys is also very good and I think there’s a strong case that it’s a better restaurant all things considered. But the Red Rocks pie is best. Number three I think is Matchbox in Chinatown, where they also have good sliders. Beyond those, Comet Ping Pong, Ella’s, Radius, Vacce, Coppi’s, and Pete’s Apizza all do a respectable job. Pete’s deserves special mention as the best slice in town. If there were any justice, Pete’s would be located near a bunch of bars on U Street or Adams Morgan and would drive the gross “jumbo slice” places out of business while making millions for its owner.

5 responses to “DC Pizza

  1. If other factors beyond the quality of the pie alone are to be considered, Comet Ping Pong is very nearly the best restaurant of this bunch. Good (often great) pie, excellent design, ping-pong. Definitely a better music venue than Pizza Paradiso etc.

  2. Comet is incredibly cool, but its location is terrible and my one experience with its pies — three different ones, though on a single night — was a negative one. I’m willing to accept that this was just an off night, but any place that can have an off night that bad can’t really expect to compete with Two Amy’s or Paradiso, the latter of which is probably not the greatest pie in town (though in the top three), but is exceptionally consistent.

  3. I don’t think Paradiso belongs in the same category. Are we judging by the pie alone? The time I’ve had to wait for a table at Paradiso (much less the meal) guarantees I won’t go back.

    Sure, Comet’s far, but it’s worth considering it as a destination. It makes for a great Friday night plan: pizza, drinks, good atmosphere, ping pong, great bands (most any weekend night). It’s just as much of a pain in the ass to get to 2 Amys’ as to get to Comet, but I find myself going to the latter more often because it offers more than the pretty decent pie.

    Pie alone: 2 Amys, Red Rocks, Pete’s, and maybe Comet as a more distant fourth.

  4. Recently I’ve only been to Paradiso for lunch on weekends; that might have something to do with my more pleasant service experiences there. Though one time (years ago) I did get a waiter with an ENORMOUS herpes sore on his lip. That wasn’t great.

    Fair points about Comet. Two Amy’s is definitely a haul.

  5. I love Red Rocks for proximity, but I think it’s crazy to suggest it’s better, on any measure, than Two Amy’s, the one exception possibly being their roasted olives.

    Also, Comet is wildly uneven. I’ve had some extraordinary pies. And some very mediocre ones. The night we ate there was mediocrity up and down.

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