Vegan pizza from Ice N Slice in Washington, D.C.
Ice N Slice's special vegan pizza Credit: Crystal Fernanders

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Ice N Slice, a family-owned eatery that’s operated in Petworth since August 2022, takes its name from two of its featured menu items—ice cream and pizza. Owner Semret Asfaw opened the Ethiopian takeout spot on Georgia Avenue NW after successfully operating its sister concept, Heat Da Spot Cafe, a few minutes down the road for several years. 

The order and pickup windows are found on the Shepard Street NW side of the building. A red sign with the Ice N Slice logo, a drawing of an ice cream cone and slices of pizza, is posted above the store. The menu is displayed on yellow banners along the perimeter of the storefront. Another ordering window is a few steps down; a QR code posted on the business’ exterior allows customers to access the menu from a mobile device.

Ice N Slice’s pickup window Credit: Crystal Fernanders

Ice N Slice offers six 14-inch Ethiopian pizzas to choose from, each topped with traditional meats and vegetables you’d normally find served as entrees. Berbere, a spicy and flavorful spice blend, is frequently used to season their proteins. The Merkato is topped with beef tibs, meat sauteed with herbs, garlic, and spices. It tops the pizza, along with green peppers, white onions, tomato sauce, and cheese. Doro Wat, a chicken and hard-boiled egg stew, and one of the most popular dishes in Ethiopia, is also transformed into a pizza. Litigab includes kitfo ground beef, feta cheese, and spinach. Their vegan option is the Lemenor, made with fava beans, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. 

While each pie is ordered regularly, the vegetarian takes a slight lead. The Addis Ababa, named after the capital of Ethiopia, is loaded with several vegetables, but is not your ordinary veggie pizza. Cooks season and saute the veggies ahead of baking them on the pizza. You get a pile of sliced cabbage, diced potatoes, chunks of carrots, spinach, and stewed lentils and chickpeas. Yes, all these toppings are on one pizza, so just imagine how filling it will be. 

Ice N Slice’s Addis Ababa pizza Credit: Crystal Fernanders

I often avoid eating my pizza with veggies, usually because the veggies rely on the cheese and meat toppings to get any flavor. That is not the case with the Addis Ababa. The veggies taste good all on their own. Eating them in the form of pizza makes them taste even better. 

All pizzas are served with a side of the restaurant’s spicy green sauce, flavor-packed with jalapeno and garlic, and raw honey to use to your liking. The sweet and spicy elements complement each other, with the green sauce also brightening the flavor of each slice.  

The hand-tossed pizza crust also deserves some attention. I could honestly just eat it without any toppings. The dough bakes up nice and thick, holding up to the toppings very well. Even with its sturdiness, it was not chewy, and developed a nice crust on the bottom. It also reheats in a toaster oven or air fryer extremely well. (Trust me, you’ll definitely leave with leftovers.) They also offer a gluten-free crust. If you don’t want to be adventurous with the Ethiopian toppings, you can opt for a classic topping of pepperoni, cheese, or sardines. 

The Ethiopian pizzeria serves a handful of sandwich wraps too. Their kitfo, similar to their pizza option, is ground beef marinated with a mitmita spice made of bird’s-eye chili. Cooks saute the beef with fresh spinach, mix it with crumbled feta, then roll it up in a spinach wrap. Every last bite of this wrap melted in my mouth. There was a hint of heat from the mitmita, which added an orange-red color to the meat. It is a bit greasy, but that’s what napkins are for, amiright?

Ice N Slice’s kitfo wrap Credit: Crystal Fernanders

Ice N Slice serves breakfast throughout the day. Start with iced or hot coffees, lattes, or chai, each available with oat and almond milk as dairy alternatives. Sandwiches are served on toasted whole grain and sourdough bread, or on a plain, everything, or cinnamon raisin bagel. Fill your sandwich with your preferred combination of bacon, sausage, ham, veggies, eggs, and cheese.

On to the “Ice” in the restaurant’s name—the ice cream. They offer several ice cream flavors from the Philadelphia-based creamery Bassetts, served as double scoops. Mix and match between flavors like vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate, strawberry, coffee, cookies and cream, butterscotch, and salted caramel pretzel. Top the scoops with Oreo pieces, M&M’s, Reese’s chunks, gummy bears, or toasted nuts for an additional charge. You can also order your ice cream as a milkshake. 

Besides the appetizing food, the customer service made me feel like I was visiting a family member’s home. A group of ladies made a pit stop at Ice N Slice to use the restroom, and stuck around to grab dessert because of the welcoming service. Another customer, who recently moved to D.C. proper, was brought to tears with the generosity she received. I completely lost track of time, and was there for almost two hours. We not only felt the love in the food, it truly shined through the hospitality. 

Ice N Slice is located at 3933 Georgia Ave. NW. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m to 8 p.m. Prices range from $4 for sandwiches to $26 for pizzas. They offer a 10 percent discount for Howard University students that show their school IDs. Pickup orders can be placed online, over the phone, and in person.