Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Aug 28, 2006 10:23 PM

Chicago style pizza in D.C.?

Been craving it lately - none down here in Louisiana. Looking for good, gino's-style stuff. Yes, I've considered mailorder, but will be in D.C. around beginning of December - what a great time that would be for some freshly made deep-dish!

Anywhere in D.C. do that sort of thing? Thanks for any ideas.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Not sure about DC, but in Northern Virginia I've been told about Armand's (various locations including one at Route 50 and Pershing) and a pizza restaurant on King Street in Old Town (the upstairs of which is a sports bar--the name escapes me).

    9 Replies
    1. re: ooroger

      Yes, there are a few Armand's in DC too. They really aren't bad if you have a craving for the deep dish, but they aren't on the level with what you'll get in Chicago (but of course nothing outside of Chicago will). There's also an Uno's in Georgetown. I've had Unos in other cities and they're good enough to cure a craving too. I've always liked their spinoccoli pizza. I haven't tried the ones here so I can't vouch for the DC locations.

      1. re: jrsmoltz

        I would recommend staying away from the Unos in DC. I've tried Georgetown (crowded, poor service) and Cleveland Park (crowded, poor service, and poor pizzas). The latter goes overboard on the butter spray. It's like eating bread soaked in butter with pizza toppings.

        In DC there's an Armand's on Capitol Hill off Massachusetts Avenue near Union Station. They usually do an all-you-can-eat. Not the greatest Chicago pies, but they're not obscene butter mops either. There's a place in Old Town Alexandria called Bugsys that makes a decent Chicago pie.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          The Uno's in Cleveland Park closed some time ago.

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            I'd give my vote to Bugsy's too in Old Town. I've always enjoyed their pizzas

          2. re: jrsmoltz

            The original Armand's is still on Wisconsin Ave. in the Tenley Circle area. I used to go there all the time when I was growing up.

          3. re: ooroger

            I don't recall noticing that Armand's across from Fort Myer for a while. Are they still there? I used to go to one o Leesburg Pike near Skyline Plaza, but that became Tequila Sunrise.

            Funny about Armand's. Whenever I saw an ad for them, it never mentioned the Virginia locations. While the logo and style of pizza was the same as the DC locations, I always wondered if there were two independent management companies.

            1. re: MikeR

              yes; they're still there. I will try it some time soon, but as I just got back from Chicago and stuffed myself silly on Giordano's pizza, I probably need a break.

            2. re: ooroger

              Alexandria: Bugsy's, 111 King St. The pizza end of the business was operated as an Armand's franchise originally. They broke away from Armand's years ago, but the pizza is still PDG.


            3. What about Alberto's in Dupont Circle? It's close to Chicago style, I think. although not as deep dish as some of the others listed here, but I'd say a better choice. Check it out.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DC Gal

                I do not recommend the deep dish at Alberto's, although their thin pizza by the slice is very good for Washington.

              2. My mother grew up in Chicago and lived there until she was 27 years old. She's told me on more than one occasion that she never saw deep dish pizza when she lived there. Now, she left Chicago in 1956 when she and my dad got married and moved to Washington. Is deep dish pizza a Chicago tradition that started sometime after 1956? My mom lived right in the city, not the suburbs, so surely she would have been aware of deep dish pizza if it were really popular in Chicago at that time.

                1. Depending on whether you believe the "Ike Sewell/Ric Riccardo as deep dish inventors" story, the first "Chicago Deep Dish pizza" dates back to 1943. It's entirely possible that others were also evolving something similar from the roots of thick crust "Sicilian" pizza. It's not a given, however, that everybody in Chicago instantly knew about it, or even knew about it within the 13 years between 1943 and 1956. I would imagine that the idea took time to gain popularity.

                  Another factor is *where* in Chicago your mom lived. It's a big city, and it was probably far less common in that timeframe for people to eat out as often as we do now, or to travel as far to go to a pizza place. Your mother's ethnicity/national ancestry also plays into it. Chicago is even now a city of strong ethnic neighborhoods, and it's entirely possible for a person to know everything about the shops and restaurants that catered to, say, the Polish population, and know nothing about the places that a Serb (or German, or Italian, or Mexican, or...) would know about.

                  I've lived in the Baltimore area for over 20 years, and I'd bet there are plenty of "Baltimore" things (food and otherwise) I still don't know about. As an example, I've *heard* about "coddies", but I've never actually seen one, let alone tasted one, and yet I'm told that they are quite popular in old-time Baltimore circles.

                  To the OP, I'd say that one *may* find a passable deep dish pizza, but one will likely not find a classic Chicago style deep dish pizza. Even those that claim it (Armand's, Uno's, etc.) tend to serve a slimmed-down, "lighter" version than what one might remember from a Chicagoland upbringing. That said, the same trend seems to be happening (though much more slowly) in the old Chicago mainstays. Even in Chicago, many of the "name" places are serving a product that is not quite as hefty or artery-clogging as they used to be.

                  While there are exceptions here and there across the country, where somebody who "gets it" puts out a decent deep dish pizza, for the most part, it's one of those dishes that is best experienced by going back to the original source.

                  1. Per Tugboat's post on the Baltimore milkshake thread, good coddies can be had at Ye Olde Malt shop.



                    "And if you do get to the Malt Shop on Fort Ave. make room in your tummy for their coddies.

                    They are REALLY good. Made by some local Nuns I think."

                    Ye Olde Malt Shop
                    635 E. Fort at Jackson Street.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KOK

                      As further illustration of Warthog's post, I was born and raised in Baltimore and had never heard of coddies. Google turned up this interesting article on the subject:

                      Looks like I have to make a trip to the Malt Shop, Faidley's, Miller's Cafe or Suburban House!