Feb 20, 2024 - Food and Drink

New pizzerias are popping up around D.C.

A hand holds a piece of pizza above a whole pie that's on a metal plate on a table

Alfreda pizza. Photo: courtesy of LeadingDC

Pizza is popping up in the D.C. area right now, with a bunch of new pie shops opening around town.

The big picture: We're not talking Jumbo Slice — these are pizzerias from chefs with fine dining backgrounds who love throwing dough.

Context: The fancy-to-pizza chef move is a thing in D.C. — take Boogy & Peel, whose owner came from Rose's Luxury, Martha Dear from Tail Up Goat alums, or Gemini x Happy Ice Cream, whose owners ran Michelin-starred restaurant Komi in the same Dupont Circle space.

  • If you're doing pizza well, it's an art — just like fine dining, but much more approachable.

What's new: J&J Pizza, a New York-style restaurant with pies, slices, and wings inside Crooked Run's Union Market brewery and taproom (it takes over from the opening concept Pizza Serata).

  • The two Js — chef Julian Addison and Crook Run's Jake Endres — teamed up for brew-friendly combinations like their Alora Italian-style pilsner with pepperoni or a Hazy IPA you can match with a white kale-and-caramelized onion pizza.

🍻 Be smart: J&J offers a great happy hour deal on weekdays before 6pm: Two slices and a beer for $12.

Two pizzas, a red sauce cheese on a yellow background, and a white kale pie on a blue background
New York-style at J&J. Photo: courtesy of J&J

Between the lines: Addison cut his crusts at pizza shops in New York and most recently cooked with his older chef/brother Gerald Addison at Grazie Nonna downtown.

🚗 Meanwhile, the elder Addison opened Bennie's Pizza in Columbia, Md., in December. It's also New York-style with a red saucy menu of Italian chopped salads, heroes, wings, and Negronis.

Also new: AP Pizza Shop, a spinoff of D.C.'s All-Purpose from Red Hen chef Mike Friedman that just rolled out in Bethesda. It's similar to its sibling pizzerias — New York and New Jersey-style deck oven pies, plenty of chef-y red sauce swagger — though it's more geared for takeout with just 20 seats.

  • Diners can grab slices, an Italian cold cut sandwich, and salads at lunch, as well as packaged Italian beer, wine, and Lambrusco anytime. Also: zeppole (Italian doughnuts).

What's next: Alfreda, a purist pizza parlor, is opening in Dupont Circle in the next week or so.

  • Chef Russell Blue Smith, who spent years working at Wolfgang Puck spots The Source and Cut, homes in on a sourdough crust and simple toppings like a red tomato pie or white cheese (plus, gluten-free pizzas). Salads and small plates round out the menu.

👀 What we're watching: Bar Del Monte, a cozy Italian trattoria opening soon-ish in Mount Pleasant from Oliver Pastan (pizza royalty, son of 2 Amys chef Peter Pastan).

  • The project has been hush-hush so we're not 100% sure pizza is on the table, though we did spy an oven in PoPville's peep-through-the-window shots so fingers crossed.
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