It wasn’t so long ago that it was impossible to find pizzas worthy of your time in D.C. But over the last few years, za aficionados have seen the outstanding options expand exponentially – from the New York-style slices at Wiseguy to the Neapolitan rounds at Menomale. In 2016 alone, a bevy of new contenders started putting out primo pies. Here are the five you need to try now.
Tiny discs of chewy pepperoni lay atop a bed of melted mozzarella, a slightly spicy tomato sauce, and a softer crust. Half a dozen small slices are only two bites each, making this za better suited as a shared appetizer than a main. However, there are plans to expand the pizza program in the coming months with some larger options, so stay tuned.
Imagine a half-moon shaped, deep fried calzone and you’ll have a good vision of the pizza frito. Rip off a piece to find a core of melted mozzarella, sweet marinara, and basil. If you’re in the mood to dunk, there’s sauce on the side. Saison beer is used as a starter for the dough, so each bite leaves a beery aftertaste.
Chef Mike Friedman contrasts sweet, savory, and spicy elements by adding a zigzagged drizzle of chili honey to the top of this pepperoni pie. It’s a winning combination. The hit of honey compensates for all the richness and seems to lighten the whole proposition, giving you the leeway you need to demolish this pizza without any help.
Sometimes minimalism makes the biggest impact. Uncooked tomato sauce accented with a little oregano is brushed onto the thin crust. Super slender slices of garlic are scattered atop it before it’s fired until the edges bubble and the dough glistens gold. The end result is light, but still full of flavor.
Fennel lovers, this pizza is for you. The blister-edged round comes topped with both a hearty fennel sausage and strips of sweet roasted fennel, not to mention puddles of melted mozzarella. It’s reminiscent the classic Italian trinity – sausage, peppers, and onions – but with a slightly sweeter and lightly licorice edge.