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Opinions on Famous Luigi's?

Can't figure this place out. Haven't eaten there yet. Don't want to waste my time if it's awful. Anyone been there? It's on 19th between L and M NW.

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  1. It's not awful, but it's not a destination spot. Adequate pizza. If you're in the 'hood and you want a traditional red sauce Italian fix, it's perfectly reasonable. The front "garden room" is nice in nice weather.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dcandohio

      It certainly seems to be popular... something in the back of my head says they don't take reservations, but don't quote me on that... and if you want to eat there you've got to battle the crowds. I managed to get in there once a while back and thought it wasn't worth the battle. "Adequate" is a good word. I think there are plenty of threads in here about good pizza in the area that might leave you more satisfied...

      1. re: chinkleDC

        If you understand what Luigi's has been for at least forty years, you will have a good time with good food. The pizza is fine and I have been told that they make their own sausage and I have enjoyed some of their pasta dishes, particularly their gnocchi. But it is a mistake to compare it to designer pizza places and upscale restaurants like Tosca. It is a better than the Pines restaurants which cater to a similar audience. Considering the neighborhood that it is in, it is a local non-chain venue that is very good to have available.

      2. re: dcandohio

        Yup. Not great, not awful. It's been there forever (I think it's older than AV; certainly outlasted them) and they serve all the old red-check-tablecloth Italian American standards. There used to be a dozen places like it downtown back in the 1950s, but they're pretty much the last of a dying breed.

        If you go in expecting 2 Amys pizza or Bebo pastas, you're making a big mistake. But spaghetti and meatballs, an italian sub, or plain pizza are just fine.

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          1. We weren't impressed with Luigi's, instead we were disappointed. It's very mediocre with spotty service. The DC Metro area is not known for having good Italian food but still you can do better than Luigi's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MizYellowRose

              i remember (back in the day) when luigi's was just fine for the "italian red tablecloth" kind of food. nothing foodie., but tasty and well prepared.. one thing that was especially good was their fresh spinach with olive oil, garlic and pine nuts. try it out and place it in your hierarchy of local food places that are not "the best" but are "just fine" in many other circumstances.

            2. My fondness for Luigi's goes back 30 years. It was the only place to get decent pizza in this town. Two Amys is my current fave, but I still enjoy a pizza at Luigi's every now and then. I always enjoyed the sausage and mushroom and the eggplant pizzas. Their antipasta appetizer is also quite decent and enough for two to share. And you're craving spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna there are worse places. And I think they still have Bass on tap. I'd skip anything else.