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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Pizza, Sandwiches
Casual restaurant

Mon–Thu 10:30am–9:30pm
Fri–Sat 10:30am–10:00pm
Sun noon–9:00pm

Features Delivery, good wines, kid-friendly, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted


Arlington, VA
507 23rd St. S.
Arlington, VA
(703) 894-2250

Alexandria, VA
3112 Mt. Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, VA
(703) 837-0666
Daily 11:00am–9:30pm
Café Pizzaiolo
Great beer and wine, solid pizza—it’s a good-luck charm

The Arlington branch of Café Pizzaiolo sits on one of the accursed spots in the world of commerce: a storefront that, like a bachelor with roving eyes, cannot seem to keep the same occupant for more than a season or two. In distant memory, the 23rd Street joint was a sheet-music-and-saxophone vendor; more recently, a coffeeshop.

If anyone has half a chance at achieving longevity in spite of the odds, it’s Pizzaiolo. We can’t comment on its ability to overcome the curse of a bad corner (although the rest of 23rd Street seems to be booming), but as far as food is concerned, the café has a lot going for it.

For starters, Pizzaiolo’s beer and wine selection is exemplary. We’ve found a few rare picks—including the Hemingway-inspired Two Hearted Ale—from Bell’s Brewery in Michigan, along with a small but thoughtful range of other bottles, sold individually to drink in the café, or by the six-pack to go. For wine drinkers, Pizzaiolo might double as a wine purveyor. Although its selection is inclined toward simpler wines, and you can’t expect as much input from the staff as you would in a store, there is a range of good reds, each accompanied by a short tasting note. Pizzaiolo even offers a discount on six or 12 bottles purchased at a time.

The café is a lovely spot to while away an evening or afternoon, whether with beer and wine, coffee, pizza, dessert, or some combination of the above. The single room is airy and well-lit, and there is a rotating showcase of (above-average) works from local artists. In one corner is a messy stack of board games and newspapers—a lone spot of disorder in an otherwise spotless establishment.

We’re not quite sure what Pizzaiolo means by “Stone Hearth NY and Neapolitan Style Pizza,” but the result is tasty: the crust is thin and white, with a touch of sourdough, the red sauce is applied with a feathered touch. The Neapolitan features rounds of fresh mozzarella, with the option to add slowly-caramelized red onions or any variety of fresh meats and vegetables.

Perhaps South Eads and 23rd has finally found its mate.

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