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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Thu 11:30am–11:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:30am–midnight
Sun noon–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, kid-friendly, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted


2029 P St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 223-1245

3282 M St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 337-1245
Pizzeria Paradiso
Good pizza and great beer in even better surroundings—in Georgetown, at least

We’re not the first to say it, but it bears repeating: Pizzeria Paradiso serves one of the better pizzas in DC. The crust is thin near the center, puffs a little on the outskirts, and is browned in just the right places by Paradiso’s wood-fired oven. The toppings are plentiful. The price may be the only thing that’s not just right, but we’re more than willing to pay a little extra for a standout pizza, an excellent selection of draft beer, and atmosphere to match.

Both the Georgetown and Dupont locations are appointed in the classic upscale-pizzeria-or-bistro style: casual tables, wooden chairs, dried hanging foodstuffs or oil renderings of foodstuffs. But the Georgetown spot has some major advantages: better lighting; more buzz; lower, more intimate ceilings; a casual bar area, where the tables are set around a pile of wooden logs; and you’ll generally see faster service with a little less pomp. As such we vastly prefer the Georgetown branch.

Upon your arrival, the table will be set with a small bowl of green and black olives; once you order, the drink service is speedy. Beyond the excellent draft selection, there’s an expansive (seven-menu-page) selection of bottled beer, including some outstanding Belgian choices and a sizeable list of IPAs from smaller US breweries. At the Georgetown location, you can also order one of several specialty cocktails, as well as a white sangría that’s made with plenty of wine and uses fruit juice in lieu of sugar or Sprite as a sweetener.

Paradiso’s use of cheese in its pizzas is skilled, even if it’s a bit more than purists would like; it rarely overwhelms or detracts from the other flavors. Our only occasional complaint is that the crust isn’t quite as nicely salted as we’d like—nor, sometimes, is the tomato. The quattro formaggi (which is actually made with five, not four, cheeses and a few dashes of fresh herbs) is complemented by the flavor of roasted garlic, and the “Atomica” is a delightful exemplar of a traditional concept done up to taste right; Paradiso has taken the classic pepperoni pie and run with it. Instead of dry pepperoni, you‘ll find thin slices of a spicy salami, plus red pepper flakes and juicy whole Kalamata olives. More advanced concepts are also executed with aplomb: the bottarga version, for example, is a revelation, pairing a salty dried roe with salty parmesan, topped with a fried egg whose yolk is left still runny. We’ll end with the obvious: this ain’t paradise, but at least in Georgetown, it’s pretty close.

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