Wiseguy NY Pizza, Coming to Mt. Vernon Square, is Looking for 100 Pizza Snobs

Back in June we learned that Wiseguy NY Pizza was coming to the corner of 4th and H St, NW (technically 200 Massachusetts Ave, NW.)

The pizza ovens are installed so hopefully they’ll be open soon:

From their Website:

“Unfailing goodness of real authentic NY-style pie handcrafted and baked in 2-inch thick old-school deck oven!”

300 Massachusetts Ave, NW (corner of 4th and H St, NW)

79 Comment

  • Oh boy…I hope this place is the real deal! My friends and I were just talking about how we need a legit pizza place in DC (along with bagels and subs). Sounds amazing…best of luck to the owners!!

  • Although I have yet to encounter a real NY slice in DC yet (I’m from Nyack, NY, so unfortunately I can’t qualify as a true snob in the contest…).

    However, Pumpernickle’s, on Connecticut ave just south of Chevy Chase Circle, comes pretty damn close. Plus, they are good, no-nonsense people there.

    • Yeah, I’d agree that anyone in the Tristate Area really has a right to consider themselves a NY pizza (or bagel) snob.

      • i agree with both the pizza and bagels. i have given up on bagels in dc. i now take them frozen back from jersey with me. i’m from central jersey originally and my town has easily 8 different pizza places and probably just as many bagel places. and everyone i grew up with had their own pizza place to go to because we just had so many amazing options. pete’s is the only thing close to that style pizza i have found in dc.

    • brookland_rez

      Grew up in NJ as a kid and ate plenty of NY style pizza at mom and pop shops all over. I haven’t found it anywhere else except up there. Tried that Pumpernickle place, they try but something about the flavor is just not the same. NY style pizza has a unique flavor in the dough, sauce, and cheese that I have not found anywhere else.

  • Why would anyone expect NY pizza in DC? That makes about as much sense as serving Ledo’s in NYC. Besides, the best pizza in the world comes from Japan. I don’t bother eating it anywhere else. It’s the mayonnaise.


  • as a native New Yorker, this excites me, but I don’t quite understand how one “wins” a pizza tasting event. what DC really needs is one of those 99 cent pizza places that have been popping up all over Manhattan…

  • burritosinstereo

    I’m from NJ, so I’m not a New Yorker, but I DID work in the “Best Pizza in South Jersey” pizza place all through high school, and I have a pizza tattoo……so I think I consider myself a pizza expert.

  • A reminder that winning “a free slice for a year” entitles you to ONE slice PER year.

  • This is rather ballsy, I hope they are prepared to get their comeuppance by the “[insert anything] is soooo much better in NY” crowd

  • The pizza snob contests are soooooo much better in New York!

  • Oh, here we go… “the only good pizza is in NY”.

    Look, Ive had NY Pizza… some of its good, some of it sucks. But its all a greasy mess and its not hard to find better pizza pretty much anywhere else.

  • I wonder if this is just a way to trap a bunch of NY blowhards in a room together and dispose of them.

  • Pizza has improved immeasurably in DC in recent years, but the best pizza around here is generally brick-oven, so there is most definitely a need for a good, traditional, NY by-the-slice place. I mean, there are barely any pizzerias that even SELL pizza by the slice in downtown DC. You know how much money they would make at lunch hour if anyplace even remotely decent opened up? Almost every pizza place in DC, you need to order a pie and sit and wait (I don’t count the Adams Morgan jumbo slice abominations, as that is no more “pizza” than McDonalds serves “steak.”)

    But at least pizza options have been upgraded. Stranger to me is why the Chinese food in DC (not the burbs, DC proper) is so insanely bad. Almost every other type of cuisine, you can find good examples of now, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Japanese, Indian, Czech, etc. etc., and yet, we can’t get a single better-than-merely-edible Chinese option in downtown D.C. It is absolutely mystifying. Why do we need 18 different gourmet burger places competing with each other when we can’t even have one decent Chinese joint? It’s bizarre.

  • DC does have good pizza. Pete’s is awesome for (what I’d consider) a traditional pie, and 2 Amy’s and Matchbox both have different styles of gourmet pies.

    Anybody who insists Pete’s is crap and NYC pizza is superior is just participating in the city food pride pissing match. Similar to DC area locals saying Ledo or Armand’s is the best. Gag.

    • The Original Ledo Pizza in College Park, MD (which moved locations, pizza ovens an all from University Blvd. to Route 1, to be closer to the U of Maryland campus) is the best pizza in the Metro area. Worth a trip to CP. Any other Ledos chain doesn’t come close. Also, Upper Crust Pizza on Penn Ave (a Boston chain) is quality and they deliver. Armands is garbage.

      • I was excited to try Upper Crust, and severely disappointed. Upper Crust is, for some reason, roughly akin to but not nearly as good as the Boston version, which is itself a slightly-worse knock-off of Hot Tomato’s, in Williamstown, MA, from whom that particular pizza recipe originated.

        I like Pete’s, but it is very different from a great New York slice like Joe’s, in fact, they bill themselves as something very different (New Haven style). There is a HUGE market opening for a basic, really well-done pizza-by-the-slice place in D.C., especially in the downtown D.C. area, where there is nothing remotely comparable. It’s not New York snobbery, it’s not crazy delusion, it is simple fact. I dare anyone to name one pizza place within a five minute walk of, say, Metro Center that offers a decent, New York style pizza by the slice. It just does not exist anywhere in the most busy part of the city. Pointing out that strange market failure shouldn’t be grounds for attacking someone as insufficiently D.C.-proud.

        • And by the way, I do think D.C. has good pizza — Two Amy’s, Moroni’s, Pete’s, Redrocks all qualify as very good. But is there truly AMAZING pizza like Lombardi’s, Joe’s, Di Fara, John’s? No. I think the people who mock NYC pizza have probably had a lot of the really, really crappy pizza, like the millions of “Original” Ray’s, all over NYC. The BEST of NYC pizza is better than anywhere, but that represents a very, very small segment of the NYC pizza scene, and you have to know where to go.

          • true, but you’ve never sampled New Haven’s pizza. I lived in NY for 6 years, but thought New Haven was superior.

        • There’s barely anything edible, except for food trucks, within 5 minutes of Metro Center.

          • My goodness, you are laying on the negative hyperbole today.

          • I’ll have to disagree: Ceiba, Tosca, Zaytinya, Sax, and District of Pi off the top of my head.

          • I have not been to Tosca. Ceiba is solid. Also, Central is near there, which is good. And of course, you cant forget about the culinary regional powerhouse of Ollie’s Trolley.

            Still, sadly, Metro Center is mostly crap. Go north, east, or west, and there’s quite a bit… but for some reason, right around metro center is probably the weakest area of all of DC on a per potential customer basis.

    • As a DC native, I can say Ledo’s is mediocre and Armands’ heyday was about 20 years ago. The last few times I’ve had it over the past 5 years or so, it was terrible.

      Good old school local pizza is Pizza Bolis. With Ledo’s a distant second.

      Pizza has dramatically improved in the DC area in the last few years.

      • I count you in as one of the very few people who will admit Ledo is mediocre. I’m not sure why people find a 50/50 mixture of tomato paste and sugar slathered on a saltine cracker crust and topped with low quality meats to be anything to rave about.

        • Its not an exaggeration about the sugar content of the sauce. I remember having Ledo Pizza after soccer games when I was little. Even when I was a kid, after an exhausting soccer game, I thought the pizza sauce was way too sweet! Little Caesars, while a national chain, was awesome back then and so was the all you can eat Shakey’s buffet. I’ll admit, though, perceptions of both could have been clouded by the naivete of a youngster. But no matter what, I knew even then, that most things were better than Ledo’s.

          Fun fact: I just looked up Shakeys on wikipedia. There are 500 locations in the world, 60 of them in the states, with the vast majority of those in California. There used to be shakey’s all over this area and now the Philippines has more locations than our entire country.

          • Plain Ledo’s pizza is a mistake. You either want to get it smothered with EVERYTHING or, at the very least, lots of salty pepperoni to counteract the sweetness of the sauce.

      • It has gone somewhat downhill since the original location moved. The last time I got it, the crust wasn’t quite as flakey as it used to be, and the sauce and cheese were kind of bland. But it’s still pretty good. When I want pizza, Ledo isn’t what I usually have in mind, but when I have a craving for that style of pizza, it’s the only place that will do.

      • The original Pizza Oven, in Hyattsville, is pretty old school too.

  • The best pizza is the one you grew up with – therefore NYers will continue to say “theirs is the best.” Honestly, if you’re not from NYC, and grew up in a decent-sized city, I’m sure you’ll agree that while NYC pizza is good, it’s not much better than the pizza you grew up with. And please don’t tell me “You didn’t try it at the right place.” I’ve tried so many pizza slices in NYC that if it’s that elusive to find the “good pizza” in NYC, than on a whole, NYC pizza can’t be that amazing with so many lackluster options filling the city. Now bagels are a different matter and on that point, NYers are right – theirs are the best.

    • So true! My girlfriend’s family grew up in Northern Virginia and love Pizza Hut. Hard for me to comprehend, but I guess if that’s your baseline that’s what you’ll like the best.

    • On Bagels: on the whole, NY bagels are better more consistently, but good bagels arent hard to find in other places if you know where to look.

      On Pizza: I’d even go so far as to say that Jersey pizza is consistently better than NY Pizza. I find the flavor of the meat toppings more consistently flavorful. But, by and large, pizza is pretty hard to mess up. I, too, have sampled many pizzas in NY and around the country, and good pizza anywhere is only a small bit different than good pizza somewhere else.

      • really? where are there good bagels in DC (the actual District)? I haven’t found any.

        • pumpernickles is good, but unless you live near there, its closer to go to Arlington to the place in Courthouse.

          Yeah yeah, Courthouse isnt in DC, but it might as well be.

          • The thing with a true NY bagel is that it is boiled prior to baking. No where in this area do I know of such a place. Sadly, in NY, it’s really hard to find a place that still boils. I was Shocked to see H&H’s Broadway location has closed.
            If anyone knows of a local spot that boils, please share.

            I like Pumpernickels very much, but it’s way off my regular path.

  • Finally visited We the Pizza on Capitol Hill and it’s pretty darn good by the slice pizza and lots of variety–pricey given the top chef celeb connection but it’s busy enough that you would think others would try the slice strategy. All i can figure is that storefront rentals downtown are just too high for profit margins a slice place provides.

    • We the Pizza is not bad. Not as good as the amazing smells inside would indicate– I got my hopes up when I walked in and it smelled exactly like the pizzerias of my childhood– but better than any other pizza I’ve had in DC.

      • Its reflections like these by self-proclaimed pizza experts that make me realize that the whole exclusivity of the NJ/NY pizza is so overhyped and rooted in emotion more than taste. We the Pizza is one of the worst places in DC to get pizza. Nearly everyone I’ve ever spoken to on the topic has agreed.

        • I work on the Hill and laugh at my co-workers and interns who are so eager to try We the Pizza. They always come back upset. I think it is less then mediocre at best.

        • Rooted in emotion? I don’t think so. I certainly have no emotional association with an obnoxious celebrity chef who opens places with cheesy names that cater to tourists. In fact, I was not expecting much from We The Pizza. But even I have to put my snobbery aside and admit that their pizza is pretty good. Admittedly, I’ve only been there once, but that’s because I usually make pizza at home.

          • uhhhh no. Your belief that your hometown pizza is so superior is rooted in emotions. Thats why when you go to the area’s absolute worst (fairly objective assessment) pizza place, you think its the closest thing to what you have at home.

          • Anon X, correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that YOU are the one getting all emotional and worked up about this. So what if someone doesn’t like the same pizza you do?

          • I think Anon X is secretly is in love with Spike Mendehlson and feels betrayed that his pizza was not transcendental. Hence the unwarranted spite.

          • I dont know if he has any other restaurants, but that burger place sucks too.

            As for spite and/or emotional – it gets 3 stars out of 317 reviews on Yelp. I dont think I’ve ever seen somewhere with such a low average with so many reviews in DC. It is consistently mediocre.

            The interesting thing here is that a self-proclaimed pizza expert finds what most people consider to be mediocre to horrible pizza to be the closest approximation to the pizza zenith that is the ny/nj region. Thats the point here, stay on topic.

          • Actually, the interesting thing here is that I never proclaimed myself to be a pizza expert, nor did I say that We the Pizza is the closest approximation to the “pizza zenith that is the ny/nj region” (your words not mine). If it were that good I would have gone there more than once, especially since I only live 6 blocks away. But I just don’t agree that it’s as horrible as you make it out to be. I’ve certainly had worse! And maybe I just haven’t been to the really good places yet. Which ones are your favorites?

  • From NY, and there really isn’t a comparison here to NY style pizza. I actually think Mama Lucia is the closest to NY slices that I’ve had around here.

    • Three Brothers (many locations in Maryland) sometimes comes close.

      • Have you been to Three Brothers lately? I used to (like four years ago or so) enjoy their pizza, thought it was a pretty decent approximation of a standard NY-style pie. I hadn’t been for some time, then went to one in Maryland (just over the DC border, maybe Hyattsville?) about six months ago and it was TOTALLY different, really thick crust, super oily, I mean, unrecognizable, not even the same formula or anything close. Not sure if they changed the overall ingredients / style, or just that one outpost is problematic, or it was just a really bad day …

        • I go to the original Greenbelt location regularly. The pizza is usually really good, there, but it can be hit or miss. I go to the bar, and get pizza or a sub and a couple of beers. It’s cheap and good, and I know the bartender. Tipping well has gotten me quite a few free drinks there.

  • you know whats really cool? having to travel to find regional food.
    fuck this everything should taste like somewhere else attitude.

    • I would agree, if DC had any noteworthy regional food that we could claim as our own.

      • half-smoke.
        we can pretty much adopt crabcakes too.

      • crab cakes and half smokes.

        most of the good food in the DC area is out of DC because DC was a wasteland of urban decay until a few years ago.

        Southern MD had some fantastic bbq places that have sense been suburban sprawled out of business. Good BBQ has always been spread out, its not like Texas where there’s a giant mega restaurant serving bbq on ever corner… but the good bbq places are really good. Too bad we only really have Rocklands in DC, and its mediocre. The Carnivore Food Truck is the absolute best, but its not really “in DC”.

        Additionally, the cheeseburger really is a huge strength in DC. Five Guys, Z Burger, and Rays Hell Burger are among some of the best fast food/fast casual burgers you’re going to get. Many sit down restaurants also do a good burger. This is something we take for granted, but many places dont have as many good burger places. (In and Out and Shake Shack dont count)

        NYers also think they have cornered the market on ethnic food, but DC gives them a run for their money – especially considering that the NY Metro area is 4 times larger than the DC one. Korean, Central American, Ethiopian, Indian/Pakistani, Middle Eastern… we even have places like Russia House and Olde Europe, which are a bit gimmicky but serve up pretty close approximations of what is served in their respective countries.

        If you consider ethnic food to be only Chinese, Italian, and Jewish Delis – then yes, NY has us beat

        • well said.
          i think the mistake a lot of people make when thinking about dc culture is they restrict it to DC proper. this is a big broad fluid region.

      • I wouldn’t call blue crab, shrimp, clams, oysters, and mussels cuisine– those are ingredients.

  • are stores able to legally able to restrict participation in a contest to such requirements?

    • tonyr

      I don’t see that many people could even qualify. I mean I can understand being born in one and moving to another, but having to have lived in all five sounds onorous.

  • I’ll try anything once. I had to chime in as well because the NY pizza argument is a funny east coast thing. I grew up in NY and spent 5 yrs in chicago before moving to DC 3 yrs ago. I have a countdown that is just over 365 days long now going until I move back to Chicago and the home of Lou Malnati’s, which destroys every pizza in NY by miles. The Chicago style itself is so superior to NY it is like a further evolved species that should not be unfairly compared to its wimpy east coast ancestors.

  • albany

    Wooo Hoooo! I hope it’s the real deal too – if so, it’s going to put all this overpriced crap passed off as pizza out of business

  • Pizza Pantry off Columbia Pike in Arlington used to be the area’s best by far, unfortunately that woman retired. I like Luigi’s downtown.

  • I can’t believe noone has mentioned Moroni & Brothers. Random locale that sells El Salvadorian too, but some of the best pizza I’ve tested in 13 yrs in the area after leaving NY. Definitely worth a try if you like Pete’s … Vace … etc.

  • Vace is great. If I want pizza, I go to Vace.

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