Best Boutique Pizza
3715 Macomb St. NW, (202) 885-5700
2nd Best: Pete’s Apizza
1400 Irving St NW, (202) 332-7383
For a while there, you couldn’t throw a San Marzano tomato without hitting some restaurateur looking to tempt Washingtonians with another Neapolitan-style round blistered in a wood-burning oven. Things have settled down lately, which has allowed diners to judge the true players from the doughy pretenders. To this day, no one touches the finesse and consistency of 2Amys, Peter Pastan’s house of pies. But after repeated visits to Pete’s Apizza, which does New Haven–style rounds (without the coal ovens, regrettably), I’ve come to wholly embrace this sleek Columbia Heights operation. Its kitchen turns out raised, crispy crusts with a slightly airy, slightly chewy crumb, which are delicious to eat all on their own. In a way, Pete’s isn’t all that boutique-y; the place’s compass isn’t aimed west, toward California, where crusts are merely canvasses for a chef’s creativity. You won’t find duck confit, smoked salmon, or soft-shell crabs here. Pete’s pies are more rustic and more Italian, topped with ingredients that the average Bon Jovi fan would recognize: meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, white clams, anchovies. And yet, there’s still enough refinement here to keep the fussier pie-eaters happy, too, down to a small craft beer list to wash down those delicious rounds.