The best pizza around campus
We tried five different restaurants so you don’t have to
Pizza is a staple in almost every college student’s diet, and American University students are no exception. But what makes pizza so special? In order to find the best pizza close to campus, we decided to test the slices on a certain set of criteria: the sauce-to-cheese ratio, whether the pizza was worth the price, the crust, overall flavors of the pie and several other factors. Overall atmosphere of the restaurant was not included in our consideration of the pizzas because we solely wanted to rate these places off of the quality of the pizza.
For this review, we tasted and tested five locally owned restaurants and rated them on a scale of one to 10, so apologies if Domino’s or Pizza Boli’s is your favorite pizza joint close to campus — you will not find them on this list. While the District is not the stronghold for the best slice, our findings may surprise you and encourage you to venture out to some more local spots around campus.
Angelico La Pizzeria (7/10)
Plain cheese slice: $3.50
The pizza from Angelico La Pizzeria was simple and classic. Sometimes you want the novelty of specialty pizzas, but other times you’re just craving a good and simple plain slice. Angelico’s slices are just that, and they’re cheap, so you don’t need to feel guilty about eating out.
Aesthetically, a plain slice from Angelico La Pizzeria was exactly what you expect when you’re craving a slice of pizza in the middle of the day. It was not too greasy, the crust wasn’t too doughy or burnt and the cheese to sauce ratio was just right. The size of the slice was also a good medium; it was neither disappointingly small nor awkwardly big to eat in public. The only major flaw was that the sauce tasted off for me. I can’t quite place why I didn’t like it, but I just didn’t. I can’t give this pizza full marks because at its core it was just what is expected of a pizza slice; it is nothing special. I would still recommend this slice to someone looking for pizza in the Tenleytown area because it fulfilled a craving, but I don’t think I’ll be craving Angelico’s specifically in the future.
-- Grace George
Best Overall: 2 Amy’s (9/10)
One size, personal,“2 Amy’s” pie: $12.50
Savory light sauce and a delightfully chewy smoky crust would have been completely marvelous if it were not for the cheese that fell off. Not to destroy the integrity of the rest of the pizza, it was perfect. The wood-fired crust comes out with this soft crunch and a light smoky flavor. It is topped with marinara sauce that is full of umami taste. While the cheese was chewy and had a hint of bitterness, it did not stick to the pizza at all. There was no pull, or the expected stick. Yet, the cheese still tasted great as it mixed with the marinara. All things considered, 2 Amy’s received a 9/10.
-- Eileen Murray
Comet Ping Pong (8/10)
One size, personal, “Red Pie”: $9.95
You may know Comet Ping Pong from its fun bar-with-ping-pong-tables aesthetic or as the site of the infamous pizzagate conspiracy theory. Either way, it’s a well-known Northwest, D.C. with some pretty good pizza.
Right out of the box, Comet’s pizza looked delicious. This spot’s plain pizza was very cheesy, and the crust was quite fluffy. It wasn't overly greasy, it’s a good size for a full meal and it actually tasted quite flavorful for a plain cheese pizza. Also, if you feel that it’s too much for one sitting, the pizza was still good either cold or reheated the next day. It’s the perfect option for someone looking to have a nice little artisan pie for a meal. My one major criticism for Comet is that it only sells its pizzas in mini pies, which are a fun novelty, unless you just want a plain slice and not pay $10 to satisfy a craving.
I gave this pizza high marks but not the full 10/10 because it was one of the best pizzas I've had in D.C., but not the best I've had of all time.
-- Grace George
“Pete's Original Pie” slice: $3
At first glance, this slice was a beautifully golden brown all around, the cheese was bubbly and the crust was flavorful. It was a little small compared to a classic New York slice, but it left me feeling good rather than in need to lie down. This is a New Haven style pizza, which means the crust is on the thinner side. Although it is pretty, this slice needed more sauce. I prefer a higher sauce-to-cheese ratio, but I think everyone could agree that this slice was nearing dry. Overall I gave Pete’s a 7/10. The crust is chewy and cheese is stretchy and was served by the slice which is ideal for a quick and cheap meal at any time of day.
-- Gabriella Veseli
Worst Slice: Pizzeria Paradiso (6/10)
9-inch “Paradiso” pie: $12
The best part of Pizzeria Paradiso’s classic pie was the smokey, wood-fired crust paired with the creamy buffalo mozzarella. Overall, this pizza was tasty, but it left more to be desired. The sauce was overpowered by the flavors left behind from the brick oven and lacked other complex flavors besides the basic tomato you can find on any slice in the District. While their Georgetown location boasts a full 90s-style game room, I’m not so sure if this local chain is worth the trip just for the “Paradiso” pie alone.
However, the mozzarella on this pizza was fresh and fantastic and bumped up the overall rating from a five to a six. If you find yourself in Spring Valley, or Georgetown for that matter, try Pizzeria Paradiso; but maybe stray away from the basics on their menu and do not be afraid to try a few appetizers while you are at it.
-- Emily Walsh
All of the restaurants in this article were independently selected for review. The Eagle has no affiliation with these restaurants and all of the pizzas were paid for by the writers themselves.