713 H Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
A friendly warning on the Web site of this long-running hit maker states that “due to the extreme heat of our oven, some charring or blistering of the crust is to be expected.” Not just expected, but enjoyed — the crispy joys of these pies are matched only by the long list of add-ons that come atop each offering. The Fire & Smoke, with chipotle sauce and smoked Gouda, is rightfully marked for the hardiest palates, but spice lovers will also enjoy the bacon-flecked meatball pie and the piquant Spanish ham. Lower-key standouts include a vegetable pie featuring crispy fingerling potatoes and a four-cheese option with smoky buffalo mozzarella. Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to close (closing hours vary, please call for details); Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to close (closing hours vary, please call for details).
327 7th Street S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Trained pizzaiolo (“pizza chef,” in the expert jargon) Anthony Pilla tosses the Goldilocks of pizza — not too thin to sag under the weight of his creamy mozzarella and not too thick to collapse in a burst of flavor on the first bite. Pilla’s hand-made crust is vaguely sweet amid the spice, blending perfectly with the fragrant vegetables of the Stanton Park pie and the piquant prosciutto of the Seventh Street. Other top-notch pizzas, available in 8- and 12-inch sizes, are the olive-scented Penn Ave and the Union Station, a symphony of strong pecorino and gorgonzola. A selection of rare and tasty beers makes the perfect accompaniment. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.
3715 Macomb Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
You might not know it from the stripped-down, family-friendly interior, but this longtime local favorite is one of only a few American restaurants to boast the Italian government’s D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label for accredited Neapolitan pizza. Only the most top-quality dairy and dough are used to turn out the margherita and marinara pies. For those who’d trade a little authenticity for tasty toppings, the anchovy-topped spicy puttanesca pie and meaty stuffed ricotta varieties are equally mind-blowing. Hours: Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.; Monday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.