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Best Pizza in DC?

What do you guys think is the best pizza place in DC? It's between 2 Amys and Pizzeria Paradiso for me. I'm doing some work with Lexus Magazine, and they recently published a story that says 2 Amys is teh best neopolitan style pizza - what's your opinion?

http://secure.drivers.lexus.com/lexus...

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Two Amys
3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

Pizzeria Paradiso
3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

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    1. 2 amys, pizza paradiso and matchbox are all excellent for pizza

        1. Are you talking about real pizza, or the nuevo style featured at the 3 places you mentioned? Are you talking about DC style (Ledo's for example) or New York corner pizzaria style (which doesn't really happen here)? Personally, I like Jerry's while my wife likes Ledo's and neither of us were particularly impressed with the gourmet pizzas at Amy's, etc. Fact is, I make better pizza, when I'm not being lazy, than they do. BTW, if you want gourmet pizza, try Riccuiti's in Olney.

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          Ledo Restaurant
          4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

          1. 2 Amys. No offense to "skipper" but Ledo's is disgusting.

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            Ledo Restaurant
            4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

            32 Replies
              1. re: klackey

                Regarding klackey's comment, as someone brought up on Brooklyn, NY, corner pizza, my feeling is that 2 Amys is pretentious and that calling what it sells "pizza" is a very misleading. No one who was brought up in NY might tolerate it, but would never find it acceptable. As far as Ledo's is concerned, its a DC taste and not one I share, just tolerate for my wife's sake, but calling it 'disgusting" is a great overstatement.

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                Ledo Restaurant
                4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                1. re: skipper

                  skipper, spot on.
                  2 Amys is a pretentious joke - the food critics probably get free pizza for their positive reviews.
                  Ledos is just plain bad (and the sauce actually tastes sweet)

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                  Ledo Restaurant
                  4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                  1. re: a1234

                    Ledo's is pretty bizarre stuff. It's best with a salty topping like green olives or anchovies, because the sauce really is sweet.

                    The target Ledo customer is probably around 10.

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                    Ledo Restaurant
                    4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                    1. re: Bob W

                      I just turned 40 and I still love Ledo's. Been eating it since I was a kid and I generally only go to the original one in Hyattsville (which is moving to College Park this summer.)

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                      Ledo Restaurant
                      4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                      1. re: 4X4

                        I'm 42 and in the same boat. Go to the original Ledo's or don't go at all. The chain Ledo's have no association with the original besides licensing the name and the three I've been to have been just awful.

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                        Ledo Restaurant
                        4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                  2. re: skipper

                    There have been two reports on 2 Amys on slice.com, probably the most prominent pizza website in the country. It is NYC based and covers NY thoroughly.

                    The first is a all-out rave in 2007 by Ed Levine, the author of "A Slice of Heaven" and true NY pizza authority:

                    http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                    The second by Adam Kuban, the other major player on slice.com from this past January:

                    "The 2 Amy's pizza was technically the best pizza I ate this day. Beautiful to look at, puffy end-crust (or cornicione). Great color, char, leopard-spotting, all that jazz. And if you're into Neapolitan, you'd probably be in heaven."

                    Adam does go on to say he doesn't care so much for Neapolitan pizza.....

                    http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                    I was brought up in NY and adore 2 Amys. I am always amused when people make pronouncements and say they represent the taste of most NYers.

                    1. re: a1234

                      It means that everyone has different opinions. skipper posted that nobody from NY "would ever find it acceptable." I am quoting Ed Levine and others to show that is clearly not true. You don't have to agree, but there are people form NY who know a lot about pizza and like 2 Amys.

                      Your opinion is as valid as anyone else's, unless you say something that is blatantly untrue.

                    2. re: skipper

                      Really? You're calling pizza "pretentious"? I wasn't aware hot dough and sauce could be emotive. But you're from NY (so nice you mention it twice), so I'll just take your word as the gospel truth.

                      1. re: biscuit

                        Pizza can't be emotive? What about water and flour alone? Lots of strong opinions over the centuries about bread... not to mention wine, which is squashed grapes in a bottle...

                      2. re: skipper

                        Just seeing the photos and comments about "Two Amys" is enough to keep me away. It's the kind of pizza that requires a topping of arugula and sun dried tomatoes and "artisinal mozzarella." It's not a NY pizza, or New Jersey, or even Boston for that matter. It's a con.

                        I got a Suprema at The Italian Store last weekend, where I've been getting almost-New Jersey pizza for about 5 years. Something has changed there, and not for the better. The little mini-mall has been undergoing a spiffy face-lift, and the cooler right inside the front door will filled with some kind of unappealing American salami and an underwhelming selection of cheeses. There was no crowd (at 4PM on a Saturday). The pizza was kind of synthetic looking and not really up to par.

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                        Italian Store
                        3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                        1. re: Geeyore

                          2 Amy's sells pizza like you would get in Naples, not NYC.

                          That doesn't make it a con, because they don't advertise NYC pizza.

                          Though I suppose we could say all pizza served in NYC is a con, since pizza is originally from Italy, and what they serve in NYC doesn't look anything like Italian pizza.

                          1. re: DanielK

                            I had no idea that Italians liked burnt soupy cheese. And in Naples no less. Those guys in Italy really need to get their act together.

                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                              I'm not commenting on whether people like that style, or like 2 Amy's pizza. That's subjective.

                              The statement from Geeyore's post is because it's not like NYC pizza, it's a fraud, which is simply a ridiculous statement that must be challenged.

                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                Perhaps you should try visiting to find out.

                                1. re: ClevelandDave

                                  I seriously doubt the pizza in Naples measures up to the gold standard of pizzas: a slice from Guido's on Bleeker Street. In fact, everything in NYC is better than in DC. This is a fact established by millions of New Yorkers, tourists, and people who don't know any better.

                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                    monkey - You nearly broke my irony detector!

                                    I am purely amazed that this debate (not this thread, mind you) keeps the energy it does. Different pizzas + different palates + different experiences (even at the same place over time) = no possibility for objectivity. This whole forum is based on subjectivity. Live and let live.

                                    1. re: Dennis S

                                      The subject of pizzas, clam chowders, and barbecue seem to elicit a similar amount of regional pride/revulsion. I guess one’s perspective depends on how inclusive/exclusive your tastes tend to be. One can certainly appreciate different seasonings/techniques and still prefer one style of pizza/chowder/bbq to another. It’s not like there’s One Pizza to Rule Them All/One Pizza to Find Them/One Pizza to Bring Them All/And In the Darkness Bind Them. Because that’s one evil pie that must be destroyed.

                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                            and hey just TRY to find STL style pizza anywhere else. even a lot of us natives don't like or can explain it!

                                            the OP really does beg the question: "what kind of pizza are we discussing?"

                                            1. re: hill food

                                              Great point. We make it at our house the "home grown way", though sometimes we have provel shipped to us in one manner or another.

                                              I used to work at an Imo's during college. There really is little middle ground. You either love it or hate it.

                                              But to see a blind taste test of New Yorkers sampling pies and then have an Imo's at the end? Would be priceless!

                                              1. re: hill food

                                                I'm assuming the OP talking about Neapolitan pies, of which DC has quite a few.

                                                http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bl...

                                                But they're a totally different animal from NY slices or New Haven pies or Ledos or deep dish or STL.

                                              2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                And Chili. Watch this: ALL GOOD CHILI CONTAINS BEANS!

                                                bar the door...

                                                1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                  Gotta agree. I don't know who was responsible for the "rule" that "real" chili doesn't have beans. Some Texan, probably.

                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                    Ooh be careful. The chili heads will come pouring in here with their cowboy boots a clompin and waving their chili dictionaries at us shouting about the difference between chili, stew and ragu...

                                                    1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                      They eat chili in Texas? Huh. Learn something new every day. They use hamburger and cinnamon and serve it over noodles, right?

                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                        That's Cincinnati, a state smaller than Texas.

                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                          Monkey: heh </smirk> and there's a glaring syntactical error in Mike's response (unless it was purposeful) in which case I'd respond that Laredo is a smaller state than Ohio.

                                                          personally my state of mind is shrinking by the day.

                            2. Yay! Pizza war! Here’s an E-Z-2 READ condensation so you don’t have to sift through the thousands of other DC pizza threads:

                              -There’s NO good pizza in DC. The only truly great pizza is at Guido’s on Bleeker Street with a side of gabbagool. Even that nasty stuff in Naples Italy is just a cheap ripoff of the REAL DEAL at Guido’s.

                              -2 Amy’s doesn’t serve pizza. It serves pizza soup with a burnt crust bowl.

                              -Ledo’s is the greatest thing in the world and it’s also the worst thing in the world. Depends on who you ask. Think of it as the President of Pizzas.

                              The question itself makes about as much sense as asking “what’s the best color of all time?” Red rules! Blue sucks!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                The question makes sense to me, especially if you have more than one answer!

                                My top three:

                                Margherita at 2 Amys (ultra thin crust)
                                Atomica at Pizzeria Paradiso (a bit thicker)
                                Vace, with onions, olives, and red peppers (totally American, with the sauce on top.)

                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                  Pete's Apizza in Columbia Heights IS good pizza.

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                                  Pete's Apizza
                                  , Washington, DC 20001

                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                    "Gabbagool" -- hahahahaa.... Excellent monkeyrotica.... lmao here. You need to do a similar condensation of the Chinese food in DC discussion, the Mexican food in DC discussion, the Bagel discussion

                                  2. Let me start by saying that I just love pizza. Unlike, say, the bahn mi sandwich, pad thai, spaghetti carbonara or bruschetta to name some foods about which I have very strong feelings on what is and isn't a good version -- and anything less than a good version I don't want to eat -- I don't have strong feelings like that about pizza. I can really enjoy pizzas of many different styles, and I think there are several good places to get pizza in DC. I'll organize the places I've tried into four tiers.

                                    Tier One - I thoroughly enjoy all these pizzas and have had each of them at least 3 times (some many more than 3!)

                                    Mia's (Jorge's Inferno, Puttanesca et. al.)

                                    Red Rocks (Margherita, Napoli, Neopolitan)

                                    Pizzaria Paradiso (Atomica) I was disappointed in the Georgetown PP a few years back and avoided it. I have now been to the Dupont Circle branch a few times and have had very good pizza there each time.

                                    Pete's Apizza (New Haven) - if I'm going to get a slice from here, I sit there until I see a pizza coming out and getting sliced, then I order that one, no matter what kind it is. No telling how long those sliced pizzas have been sitting there.

                                    Vace (plain)

                                    Comet Ping Pong (The Smoky)

                                    Tier Two (I like these pizzas just fine, but prefer the above)

                                    2 Amys

                                    7th Hill

                                    Tier Three (just OK -- not awful, but I won't make any effort to return)

                                    Ella's

                                    Il Canale

                                    Tier Four (horrific - even I was sickened by these!)

                                    Pizza Autentica (the grease rivals the Gulf oil spill!)

                                    Jumbo Slice (I thought I was drunk enough for this, but no.)

                                    Manny and Olga's / Dominoes (I have colleagues who order these and think they are great.)

                                    I still want to try Flippin' Pizza and the white pizza at The Pines of Rome. I have never had Ledo and don't think I want to!

                                    Some pizzas in other cities I've loved that come to mind are potato/rosemary pizza and "summer pizza" sold by the "etto" in Rome, A16 in San Francisco, Adriatico's in Columbus, Ohio and -- perhaps the best pizza of my life -- that from the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in the 80's.

                                    I'm going to New York in June and will definitely be going to Di Fara in Brooklyn - can't WAIT. If my travel companions are game, I hope to try Motorino and Keste as well.

                                    I think we've got some good choices in DC - we're way ahead of the game when compared with a lot of other places.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                      WPH - shows how much you know, you're supposed to be stoned not drunk for Jumbo Slice, yeesh.

                                      1. re: hill food

                                        Good point, hill food. I'll take that under advisement. :-)

                                      2. re: woodleyparkhound

                                        WPH -- I have heard good things about Moroni & Brothers on Georgia Ave in Petworth -- have you tried it?

                                        Motorino is really good. My brothers live on the LES so that's their go-to pizza spot now. The brussel sprouts pizza -- don't laugh -- is fantastic.

                                        1. re: Bob W

                                          I've heard good things about Moroni Bros. as well. Petworth is off my beaten path, but I need to make a point to get up there.

                                          I saw the brussels sprout pizza on the Motorino menu. I have to say, I'm intrigued, but skeptical. I love brussels sprouts, and I'd love to try a bite of it, but I just don't think I could commit to a whole pie. Also, if I go, I'll be with opinionated picky eaters, who might pitch a fit if I suggested it!

                                          1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                            The pies at Motorino are modest sized. You should squeeze in one of the brussels sprout pies!

                                          2. re: Bob W

                                            Moroni Bros. is good, if a bit low on flavor. Red Rocks is super.

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                                            Red Rock Cafe
                                            385 Muddy Branch Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

                                        2. Two Amy's hands down. I love the place! Also, their almond cake/vanilla ice cream is to die for no matter how "full" you are...

                                          Also, I like Rustico in Alexandria, Quattro Formaggi (http://www.4maggi.com/), Pizzeria Paradiso, and The Italian Store.

                                          -----
                                          Two Amys
                                          3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

                                          Italian Store
                                          3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                                          Rustico
                                          827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

                                          Pizzeria Paradiso
                                          3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Smiles2008

                                            Recently went to Petes New Haven pizza in columbia heights. Really good flavor & texture. Regardless of name, reminded me of Arthur Ave in the Bronx.... I think they use hard water to replicate the texture of the crust.

                                          2. I've pretty much given up on finding a really good pizza in DC. I mean, I'm not a picky eater at all and can stomach most pizzas and not find it disgusting (even Ledo and Dominos). I mean, unless it's that frozen Elio's stuff that comes in rectangles, I won't complain. But most pizzas I've had in DC and the DC area have been absolutely DRIPPING with cheese. I mean, the cheese just WEIGHS the pizza down and makes the slices droop and hard to eat. What's up with that?

                                            One of my siblings tells me that the Italian Store in Arlington (need a car to get there, though) has pretty decent NY-style pizza. She didn't say it was "good", though! LOL

                                            BTW, I grew up in Jersey and get yearnings for the great pizza i grew up with all the time. Heh. I guess you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...

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                                            Italian Store
                                            3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                                            Ledo Restaurant
                                            4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: yfunk3

                                              woodleyparkhound listed four tiers of a pizza hierarchy. Which of those places has pizza "dripping with cheese?"

                                              1. re: Steve

                                                I'm talking about pizzas you get by the slice, not quite NY-style but definitely not the neopolitan-2-Amys-kind.

                                                Don't worry, I'm not criticizing, undermining or judging anyone's choice of pizza, just stating my personal experience eating by-the-slice pizzas within the district. Feel free to continue liking and eating anything you want.

                                                1. re: yfunk3

                                                  I was just wondering where you were talking about.... Vace has pizza by the slice, but I usually get a whole pie. I guess I'm not really into pizza by the slice.

                                                  -----
                                                  Vace
                                                  3315 Connecticut Avenue NW, DC 20008

                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                    Me either, Steve. "By the slice" around here usually means a wizened shingle sweltering under a heat lamp. The half-life of a decent pizza is about 10 minutes after it leaves the oven. Delivery doesn't make it. The slice thing probably does better in places like NYC where it can be moved quickly due to high customer volume.

                                                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                      Italian Store PBTS holds up very well. It's great "driving" pizza, with non-flop crust.

                                                      When we go to Vace after a zoo visit, we get a few slices to eat in the car and also a pie. That's good pizza.

                                                      -----
                                                      Italian Store
                                                      3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                                                      Vace
                                                      3315 Connecticut Avenue NW, DC 20008

                                                  2. re: yfunk3

                                                    The "by the slice" clarification narrows it down quite a bit.

                                                2. re: yfunk3

                                                  yfunk3: I LOVE Ellio's square freezer pizza, reminds me of elementary school cafeteria crap/treat pizza day. so yeah, it's not for any reason other than nostalgia, but I still like it I turn it even greasier than it already is.

                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                    I feel the same way about the plain pizza at the original Ledo's. Sometimes you just want a PBJ on Wonder Bread to remind you of the simpler times before seared ahi tuna sliders and lime foam.

                                                    -----
                                                    Ledo Restaurant
                                                    4509 Knox Road, College Park, MD 20740

                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                      I'm with you on Ellio's = elementary school lunch. Good times.

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        Heh heh. Maybe it's because I had horrible school lunch-line experiences and it somehow taints Elio's for me. Then again, I love that salty, yellow liquid cheese product they used to pour on the fries at the school cafeterias... to this day I am fascinated by any yellow, liquid cheese product. So I am not one to judge, I suppose. :o)

                                                        As it is, I don't mind Naples-style pizza as they serve it all over Europe (for obvious reasons) and it reminds me of when I studied abroad. I just crave pizza slices more often than the 10"+ big personal Naples-style pizzas because that's what's more common here in the Mid-Atlantic and it's what I grew up with. Just a shame that for all of the DC area's food availabilities and advantages, there isn't a great slice to be found so far (for me, at least).

                                                    2. Pizzeria Paradiso all the way! It's been 5 years since I had a pie from there, and I still remember the pizza, the fresh bread and olive oil, and their lemonade. I got close to their lemonade by mixing Perrier and lemonade, but I can't duplicate their pizza. Warming up the leftovers left a great smoky smell in my home. It was heavenly!

                                                      -----
                                                      Pizzeria Paradiso
                                                      3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

                                                      1. I made a special trip to The Italian Store to see why they were rated #1 for their NY style pizza and it didn't even look like NY Style pizza so I just bought a bagel and left.

                                                        -----
                                                        Italian Store
                                                        3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Manassas64

                                                          Do they sell bagels at The Italian Store?

                                                          Maybe you missed a turn and were at Brooklyn Bagels in Clarendon?

                                                          -----
                                                          Italian Store
                                                          3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                                                          1. re: Geeyore

                                                            They have bagels in the back in front of the pizza, they started carrying those about a month or two ago. What you really missed out on was the subs... bought a bagel when you could have had a sub...now that is foolish.

                                                            1. re: ktmoomau

                                                              I'm a girl so subs do not interest me (ducking). Good bagels are rare in these parts. I was happy with my decision. I could only have been happier if it had been a salt bagel :D

                                                              1. re: Manassas64

                                                                I'm a girl, and they FASCINATE me!!!! :--)

                                                            2. re: Geeyore

                                                              Oh yes, I havent tried them but they are supposed to be a big deal... maybe i should give them a try someday =)

                                                              Cheers!

                                                          2. I think Pupatella needs to be recognized on this list. An excellent addition to the much needed pizza scene in the DC metro area now in Arlington.

                                                            www.pupatella.com

                                                            -----
                                                            Pupatella
                                                            5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

                                                            1. I know it's not D.C. but Pasta Blitz (two locations in Howard County) serves a pretty good NY-Style pizza.

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                                                              Pasta Blitz
                                                              11550 Philadelphia Rd Ste 100, White Marsh, MD 21162

                                                              1. I had very good NY pie at Valentino's in Alexandria yesterday.

                                                                http://www.valentinosnystylepizzeria....

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: sekelmaan

                                                                  I have been to Valentinos and it is good but I think Tony's in Fair Lakes is better.

                                                                  1. re: Manassas64

                                                                    But Valentino's and Tony's are quite a distance apart. I don't know about you, but I won't go 20 miles for a better" pizza when I can get several very good pizzas within 5 miles. There may be even better pizza in New York, and it's only 250 miles away. ;)

                                                                    1. re: MikeR

                                                                      I used to drive 20 miles to Starbucks on the weekends before they put a Starbucks in Manassas.

                                                                      So, it's all about what's important ;o)

                                                                      1. re: Manassas64

                                                                        There's a Starbucks in Manassas???

                                                                        8>P

                                                                        Returning to the subject at hand, Tony's is very good, but it's not 20-mile pizza.

                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                          I'm around 10 miles from Valentinos and go at least once a month.

                                                                          Is there a 20 mile pizza in or around DC?

                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                            I regard Matthew's Pizza in Baltimore as a thirty-five mile pizza. YMMV.

                                                                          2. re: Bob W

                                                                            We have 2 Starbucks in Manassas, now. One is a drive-thru.

                                                                            We also have them in the Targets, B&N and Harris Teeter.

                                                                            But Manassas is so 3 years ago, Gainesville is where it's at now :D