Top D.C. Pizzas to Alleviate a Turkey Coma
After cramming yourself full of leftover turkey, dressing, and sweet potato casserole for the third straight meal in a row, it’s clear that something’s got to give. After all, you can only devour turkey in so many creative forms before your stomach wants to self-combust (turkey salad, turkey sandwich, turkey soup, turkey pot pie…you get the picture). Before your holiday guests become so fed up with their post-Thanksgiving menu options that they decide to hit the road and head back home early, bundle them up and head out for a slice of pie. Don’t worry, I’m not a talking about another piece of Aunt Suzy’s famous pumpkin tartlet. We’re talking about pizza, people. And healthy ones at that! Here’s a list of the best pizza spots in D.C sure to cure the worst turkey comas. Even Aunt Suzy will thank you.
Mellow Mushroom – Adams Morgan
At first, walking into Mellow Mushroom feels more like an outing to the circus than a trip to the pizzeria for dinner. A lifelike replica of an eclectically dressed trapeze artist dangles dreamily above the guests seated beneath her. Bold murals depicting images of early circus performers adorn the brick exposed walls. However, no greasy, carnival food can compare to the mouthwatering grub whipped up at this Adam’s Morgan staple since 2011.
All 15-specialty pizzas are prepared with the freshest ingredients, including 100% all-natural chicken, steak, and shrimp. The thick, hand-tossed crust, made from Appalachian spring water, contains no refined white sugar, the nemesis of every health-conscious foodie in the District. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan pizza options are also available to the mix of families and young professionals that rave about this local hot spot.
First time? Try the Mellowterranean, a perfect concoction smothered in an olive oil and garlic base, sprinkled liberally with all-natural grilled chicken, onions, roasted red peppers, black olives, chives, feta and mozzarella cheese, and served with a side of tzatziki sauce. A night at the big top never tasted this good.
2436 18th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20009
Matchbox – Chinatown
Previously occupied by a Chinese grocery store, the 15-foot wide and three story tall Matchbox, hence the name, treats large and small parties alike to views of exposed pipes and beams stretching throughout its vaulted ceiling, a stunning architectural spot to enjoy a night away from the kitchen. However, the ambiance is far from the only reason that locals and tourists alike keep coming back to this pizza haven. Although their menu boasts a wide variety of entrees, from melt in your mouth angus burgers to freshly seared sea scallops, the deserved focal point of Matchbox’s succulent selection is their pizza.
To ensure quality-baked pies, Matchbox uses an 800-degree, wood-fired, masonry oven to bake all pizzas to slightly charred perfection. In addition, the crust, a delicate mixture between slightly thin to medium thickness, as well as the heartily seasoned pizza toppings, is prepared fresh daily by chefs.
First Time? Check out the Veggie, a luscious combination of roasted garlic, pesto, oven-dried tomato, artichokes, pecorino romano, and mozzarella cheese.
713 H Street, Northwest, Washington, DC 20001
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza – Columbia Heights
When you ride the escalator to the top of the Columbia Heights metro station, you might not notice Pete’s Apizza right away. Snuggled unassumingly between two giants, Potbelly’s and Five Guys, this tiny eatery is easy to miss. But, trust me, it would be a mistake to overlook this hot spot.
The best part about this well-loved pizzeria is that pizza is sold by the pie or by the slice. But never fear D.C., this is not another late night, 1:00am Jumbo Slice pit stop. Unlike the grease laden slices of its nearby competition, Pete’s Apizza ensures that its ingredients are locally-sourced and all-natural, a lofty, yet highly appealing promise for an urban restaurant. Daily chef’s choice pizzas are prepared around locally available ingredients purchased from nearby farms, such as Fifer Orchards in Wyoming, Delaware (peaches) and Hares Valley Growers in Mapleton Junction, Pennsylvania (basil and pea shoots).
In addition, beef and pork is also ordered from local farms and grinded in-house to ensure that each piece of meat used is derived from hormone-free, locally raised animals. The signature thin and crispy crust of each pie is coated with mozzarella cheese, imported from a Wisconsin co-op and free of harmful anti-coagulant agents.
First Time? Order Down the Hill, a flavorful combination of sliced meatball, house-made sausage, caramelized onion, roasted peppers, wild mushrooms, and kalamata olives.
1400 Irving Street, Northwest, Washington, DC 20010
Local 16 – U-Street
Come in out of the cold, nestle into one of Local 16’s high-backed, mahogany booths, and prepare to indulge (healthily, that is). This U-Street favorite, with its dimly lit chandeliers and cozy, earth tones, has served as a well-known D.C. platform intertwining local community, food, and art since 2004. A venue for the Local 16 Artist Collective, highlighting the work of D.C. creatives throughout the space, diners can enjoy pizza prepared with the freshest local produce. By making financial pledges to local farmers to source their juicy, garden-fresh products, patrons of this hot spot are sure to walk away from their slice of pizza stuffed in the best possible way.
To further live out their commitment to local food and farmers, Local 16 invests in the 160-acre, Virginia-based Whipple Farm. In return, the farm is a restaurant partner, providing locally grown ingredients for daily use. In accordance with their all-natural philosophy, Local 16 also uses wood from Whipple Farm to fuel their oven, returns the remaining ashes to fertilize the soil, and provides Whipple Farm a location to hold a farmer’s market.
First Time? Purchase the Harvest, smothered with house-smoked mozzarella, caramelized red onions, butternut squash sauce, and prosciutto.
1602 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Hungry for more? Give these additional DC pizza eateries a shot:
Comet Ping Pong – 5037 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, Washington, DC 20008
District of Pi Pizzeria – 910 F Street, Northwest, Washington, DC 20004
Red Rocks – 1036 Park Road, Northwest, Washington, DC 20010
2 Amys – 3715 Macomb Street, Northwest, Washington, DC 20016