11 Pizza Joints To Try Now

Who doesn't love a great slice? Visit these local pie shops when that craving hits and nothing else will do.

Pizza aficionados can argue all day about what constitutes a “real” pie — thin crust or thick; plain cheese or loaded up; artisanal or no-frills. Whatever your preference, we’ve got options. Which favorite local spots did we leave out? Tell us in the comments.

Pizza Margherita DOC at Pizzeria Orso. Courtesy photo.

1. Pizzeria Orso 

Orso’s pie-making operation is serious business. It’s one of only two pizzerias in the area (Pupatella is the other) boasting Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certification, a designation granted by the Italian government to pizzerias that meet “the strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making.”  Chef Bertrand Chemel’s team oversees a volcanic brick oven that yields beautifully blistered crusts with a range of toppings. The Verdure is a springtime treat loaded with cremini mushrooms, ramps, artichokes, zucchini and peppers. And you can never go wrong with a classic Margherita. On Tuesdays, kids 10 and under get a free dish from the children’s menu for each pizza ordered. Half-priced wines on Wednesdays make for excellent pie pairings.

400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church, pizzeriaorso.com

2. The Italian Store

You can order (enormous) foldable slices and 16- and 20-inch thin-crust pies at this local go-to, including the popular Tradizionale with fresh mozzarella, or the Nino’s Pizza made with spinach, ricotta and white garlic sauce. Another option? Buy fresh dough, sauce and house-pulled mozzarella (available on weekends), and make your own at home. The family-owned Italian grocery, sandwich and pie shop has two Arlington locations — the 37-year-old original in Lyon Village and the newer one that opened two years ago in Westover, which is twice as big as its sibling and includes a gelato counter.

3123 Lee Highway, 703-528-6266; and 5837 Washington Blvd., 571-341-1080, Arlington, italianstore.com

 

Fire Works pizza. Courtesy photo.

3. Fire Works Pizza

The wood-fired oven at this Courthouse hot spot is getting more of a workout than ever with the arrival of new chef Thomas Harvey. When it’s roaring, the oven turns out crispy, thin crusts with locally sourced toppings such as sausage from Lothar’s in Purcellville and ham from Baker’s Farm in Mt. Jackson.  Creative pies include the Smokey Blue (gorgonzola, bacon, onions, rosemary, balsamic glaze) and the Black Sheep (lamb sausage, feta, tomatoes, spinach, onions). Plus, the hefty craft beer selection — which includes 31 drafts, two casks and 150 bottled brews — promises something tasty to wash it all down. A forthcoming renovation of the restaurant’s patio promises a lively new spot for dining al fresco.

2350 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, 703-527-8700, fireworkspizza.com

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