DC’s Pizza Problem

I agree with Tiffany’s recent post — I think it’s possible to find decent pizza in the area. For example, I like Tony’s New York Pizza in Virginia’s Fair Lakes Shopping Center. Tony’s often does great in reader’s polls and on top of great pizza they have superb calzones — real calzones, not the flipped-on-themselves pizzas some DC joints, like Pizza Movers, sell as calzones.

But I’d have to drive an hour to get there, so I pretty much never go. And that’s why DC is the worst place for pizza I’ve ever been in. Not because good pizza doesn’t exist, but because the appalling ratio of great to less-than-great pizza.

I live in Northwest DC and there are a ton of places that will deliver to me — Listrani’s, L’Appetito, Cafe Romeo, Philadelphia Pizza Company* and a few others. And some of these places aren’t bad at all … but none of them knock my socks off. I can do about as well cooking up a Wolfgang Puck’s frozen pizza.

I fear the day when I have friends in from NYC or Chicago or San Francisco and they suggest we get a pizza delivered. I’ll have to explain to them that, while we can get a pizza delivered, we can’t get a great one delivered. Will they, who will likely be used to living within walking distance of at least one phenomenal pizza place, even be able to wrap their heads around that?

*Don’t ask me ask me how Philadelphia Pizza Company got its name — as far as I can tell its only location is in DC and it bills itself as “New York Style Pizza.”

11 Comments so far

  1. anon (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 2:48 am

    Here’s a solution…move and quit your complaining you whiner.

  2. Mike (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 8:53 am

    Hey, we can’t all achieve the zen-like acceptance of the world you have.

  3. Max (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 9:28 am

    If only Matchbox wasn’t constantly mobbed with tourists and ghetto theater movie goers. That’s my favorite pizza in town. I completely agree with your post though – great pizza is hard to find around here.

    Have you tried Urbana’s pizza? Not too shabby, and they have a great wine list.

  4. Twitch (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 10:08 am

    2 Amy’s!!

  5. PSolus (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

    This is why I am so glad that I am not “from NYC”, or “from Chicago”, or “from San Francisco” — I can order and eat a pizza (or any food for that matter) and appreciate it on its own merits (or not), without any Stepford programming getting in the way.

  6. Mike (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    I’m from this area originally. It wasn’t until I had moved around a lot and came back that I realized other cities are spoiled pizza-wise.

  7. KCinDC (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

    No doubt my palate has deteriorated since my days in New Haven, but I think Vace’s pizza is pretty good.

  8. poo poo (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 6:06 pm

    other cities may be spoiled, but they’re not as fit as folks in dc.

    i’m sure there are much better fried chicken joints in other cities too. you don’t see my whining. but then, i actually care about what i eat. pizza is generally a loser food. that, and fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.

    once you actually live around the world, you’ll find that philly foods actually TRULY do suck just as much as so many of the dc establishments.

  9. Mary (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

    If you want to venture to Arlington- try the pizza at the Italian Store in the Lyon Village shopping center at the corner of Spout Run and Lee Highway. The family comes from NYC- so if you don’t like the pizza here- you can buy your own pizza dough here and make your own!

  10. Mike (unregistered) on July 28th, 2007 @ 1:40 am

    Mary — I agree. I like The Italian Store a lot.

    poo poo — High quality pizza is anything but a loser food.

  11. wayan (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 10:15 pm

    Gridskipper has a whole DC pizza spreasheet, with a whole series of suggestions I disagree with.

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