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Pete’s Apizza
1400 Irving St, Washington, DC 20009

(202) 332-7383

In the District, pizza lovers suffer from two extremes: the artery-clogging cardboard of the cheap jumbo slice or the overpriced boutique pies sold as authentic New York or authentic New Haven (we don’t think those New Haven institutions ever thought of putting squash on their pies, but we digress). In the middle, there is always Vace in Cleveland Park and now Pete’s in Columbia Heights. Not so much an imitation of New Haven’s legendary coal-fired slices, Pete’s still has the feel of a neighborhood joint with its big wooden tables and terrific service. And unlike some pie joints, the salads and beer selection aren’t afterthoughts. Pete’s pizzas are good enough, some of them even better than that. Toppings aren’t pretentious, just solid (try the fried eggplant slices). The dough-sauce-cheese ratio is perfect. Further, the place has become part of the neighborhood’s Saturday-morning hangover routine. Of all the new joints that have opened in the last five years, Pete’s is the one that could become imitated in its own right.