Right across from City Place Cafe is Sunrise Cafe.  While they don’t have a menu available (just a big board when you walk in), they do offer a wide variety of options.  One day, maybe I’ll feel adventurous enough to take a photo.

  • Food: One of my favorite sandwiches is their chicken gyros ($6 includes tax) because the chicken is always moist, the pita bread is good, and they put enough feta to taste but not too much.  The sandwich while it seems it might be “drippy,” it never is!  And it’s really filling.

Sunrise Cafe Chicken Gyro

  • Service: They’re polite and pretty quick.  I can usually leave my office, get a sandwich and be back in my office in 15 minutes (or less).
  • Atmosphere: With a couple of outdoor tables and chairs and only 5 or 6 stools, this is definitely more of a “grab-and-go” kind of place.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: As an alternative to some of the other places, I’ve started to add this my list of rotating lunch places.  They offer frozen yogurt (hard yogurt, not soft serve) and ice cream; pizza pitas; gyros; burgers; deli sandwiches; etc.  Their prices are very reasonable and good portions.


  • Hours: 7:30 AM-maybe 2 or 4 PM (?) Monday-Friday
  • Address: 17th and L Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: Not known

Feeling like taking a bit more of a hike for lunch than normal, I thought I’d try Aioli Mediterranean.  Thankfully, I was able to convince a friend of mine to join me. 

  • Food:We looked at their menu online and I decided to order the Roma (right sandwich), with dry cured Prosciutto Ham, lightly smoked Mortadella, Genoa Salami, and Provolone cheese.  My friend decided to order the Capri which had Prosciutto blended with Geonoa Salami, Spice Capacola Ham and Provolone cheese (left sandwich).  And, since both sandwiches sounded good, we agreed to split our orders.  We were asked whether we wanted them hot or cold and we both said yes.  While we were waiting for our sandwiches to be made, we also looked at their sides.  I got a side of lentils as an impulse purchase — and am I’m really glad I did.  I thought it had a really good flavor and I felt pretty healthy eating it (I did have to add a little salt though).    The sandwiches had a little lettuce and a unique vinegar sauce.  This meant the bread ended up being soggy.  😦 And while we both ordered hot sandwiches, they were cold and the cheese was not melted.  The highlight of the meal was definitely the lentils.  Oh, and they give you a small little container of salad with carrots, cardamon, celery, onions, olive oil, vinegar, and maybe a couple of other ingredients.  I don’t like cardamon seeds, but the salad was pretty good! 

Aioli Mediterranean Lentil Salad  Aioli Mediterranean Sandwich

  • Service: There was a really nice guy behind the counter and we got the sandwiches in under 15 minutes.
  • Atmosphere:With sparse artwork on the walls, it’s a bit of a sterile environment.  There are about 10 tables and chair inside and there’s also a small outside seating location.  There are also a few refrigerators with various sides, beverages, etc.  They have a small deli counter too.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: I really liked the lentils and the little side salad they gave us.  Their Web site is really impressive and it seems like if you’re big on the sides, you’d love this place.  Their sides are pretty reasonablely priced.  I would skip the $8 sandwich though.


  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11 am-9 pm, Sun 11 am-6 pm
  • Address: 2153 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
  • Ph: 202-558-6188

Feeling like something different for lunch, I convinced a friend of mine to go with me to Rumi Restaurant

  • Food:I went twice — once I went to their restaurant and the second time I ordered delivery.  The first time, I ordered their chicken doner (first photo).  It was really good, but there was no “Special Rumi sauce” as the description promised.  Then the second time, I ordered the doner sandwich (mixture of beef and lamb).  The pita bread was pretty good and a generous size.  Unfortunately, again, there was no yogurt sauce (as they had promised).  So both of these sandwiches, while they were good, were dry.  If there was sauce on them, I bet they would have been good!

Rumi Chicken Doner Sandwich  Rumi Doner Sandwich

  • Service: They’re pretty quick and polite.  My delivery order didn’t come with the soda though that I had ordered (and paid for). 
  • Atmosphere: The interior completely lacks any character.  It’s fake wood tables and cheap chairs, but they offer good deals and big helpings.  For example, they have a $8 pizza special where they give you two slices and a can of soda (and the slices are pretty big).
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall:Next time I order from here, I’ll make it very clear I want the sauce to be included on the sandwich.  I like the fact they’re open late and have an $8 minimum needed for free delivery. 

Here’s the menu to their pizza (Pizza Milano Menu Side A and Pizza Milano Menu Side B) and here’s Rumi’s menu (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4).  Just click on the menu and then click on the photo icon to make the menu bigger.


  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 10 AM-2 AM; Fri & Sat 11 AM-5 AM
  • Address: 2001 L St NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-331-1922

You know when you feel like a decent pie but don’t want to travel?  Or what about when your office is order pizza for the interns?  Before you hit the typical fast food pizza chain, check out Luigi’s Pizza.

  • Food: Most of the time, I’ve only gotten delivery pizza and salad.  Their crust is thin and the pie is huge (think NY-style) — it’s good.  They don’t put a ridiculous amout of tomato sauce and the toppings you order are nice and chunky (so you know what you’re eating).  I usually get the chicken, pine nuts, artichokes, and sun-dried tomato pizza.  A few years ago, I was there for a sit-down dinner, but I can’t remember what I ordered.
  • Service: Delivery is free (with a $15 minimum) and they’re prompt.
  • Atmosphere: With big wooden tables covered with checkered red and white clothes, this place has the feeling of an Italian restaurant you’d see on TV.   
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Order the pizza the next time your office is throwing a party for the interns.  It’s decent pie for a good price.


  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11 am-12am Sun 12pm-12am; Delivery Mon-Fri 11 AM-2 PM and 5 PM-11 PM, Saturday & Sun 5-11 PM
  • Address: 1132 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-331-7574

One of my friends at work felt like pizza.  I felt like walking a little (not a lot) so we thought we’d try Alberto’s Pizza.  I of course, forgot I had already been there.  Anyway, we couldn’t find the restaurant, but realized that Pizza Paradiso was across the street. 

So all was not lost!

  • Food:I ordered the Siciliana pizza with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, red onion, capers, garlic, oregano, mozzarella, and pecorino.  My friend ordered Atomica with tomato, salami, black olives, hot pepper flakes, and mozzarella.  There was a heaping amount and nice chunks of all the ingredients on the pie.  In addition, I didn’t think there was too much sauce (like some places). 

Pizza Paradiso Siciliana


  • Service: We ordered our pie to go, but they were nice. 
  • Atmosphere:Dupont is a small restaurant with only about 15 tables and about 5-7 chairs at their bar.  I can see how it’d get packed quickly!  My friend said that the Georgetown location is much bigger.  Georgetown has “Birreria Paradiso“in their basement which offers microbrews and handcrafted beers.  Their wine list is small, but all Italian (fun!). 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: It seems there’s a fight between 2Amys lovers and Pizza Paradiso on which place makes a better pie.  I think they’re both tasty.  I prefer thinner crust pizzas so I tilt towards 2Amys.  

Happy Hour: At their Dupont location, weeknights from 4:00 to 6:30 pm, they offer $4.25 of 1/2 of certain 8″ pizzas; three antipasto plates — $6.95 for small plates; $12.95 for large; $3.50 draft Rogue Dead Guy Ale; and $3 bottles of Flying Dog Tire Bite, Moretti Lager, Moretti La Rossa, and Amstel Light.  At their Georgetown location, Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, they offer the same food prices.  Georgetown has more draft beers available for $3.50. 


  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours:Dupont Circle and Georgetown: Mon-Thurs: 11:30 am to 11:00 pm; Fri-Sat: 11:30 am to midnight; Sun: noon to 10:00 pm
  • Address: 2029 P Street NW and Georgetown 3282 M Street NW
  • Ph: 202.223.1245; Georgetown 202.337.1245   

I enjoy a good pizza and have been eating a lot of it.  In fact, I was thinking I’ve been over-doing the pizza thing until I was recently in the 2Amys neighborhood.  Then I remembered their hot, yummy wood-burning pizza and I had to get one. 

  • Food:I’ve been several times and have always enjoyed the pizza.  Most recently, I ordered a Margherita pizza with tomato, mozzarella di bufala, and basil (pictures below).  The “big” thing about 2Amys is their wood-burning oven which gives the crust a unique flavor.  2Amys is the only pizzeria in Washington, DC that is recognized by the Neapolitan Pizza Police (officially called Verace Pizza Napoletana Association).  In order to be certified, they must use “only soft-grain flour, fresh yeast, water, and sea salt may be used for the dough, and only Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil or dried oregano may be used for the toppings.” 

2Amys Margherita Pizza  2Amys Wood-burning Oven Pizza Bottom

While 2Amys doesn’t have happy hour, they do have a couple of “specials” that I thought should be mentioned.   Sfogliatelle is served on Tuesday nights with fiore di latte ice cream.   According to the Web site, it is a “clam-shaped pastry filled with a sweetened ricotta and semolina mixture surrounded by a flaky, crunch and shell.” 

They also serve homemade doughnuts on Saturday and Sunday at lunch. 

  • Service: They’re polite and courteous. 
  • Atmosphere: If you need to have an intimate conversation, this isn’t the place to go during their “rush hours” (which is really between 5:30-8:30 PM daily).  I haven’t ever been for lunch, but I have to believe it’s packed then too.  When you go and are told to wait (which you inevitably will be), go to the back and try to stand a spot at the bar. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Everyone loves 2Amys and it’s easy to see why with their fresh dough and toppings.  


  • Reservations not accepted (total bummer if you go during peak times, just be prepared to wait).
  • Hours: Sun 12 noon-10 PM; Mon 5 PM-10 PM; Tues-Thurs 11 AM-10 PM; Fri & Sat 11 AM-11 PM
  • Address:3715 Macomb St NW; Washington, DC 20016
  • Ph: 202-885-5700

You could easily walk past it and not even realize, but nestled in between a rib joint and a former Chinese restaurant, here’s another great find in the area.   

  • Food:  Their menu offers something for everyone.  While I’ve had their pizza, their 3.6.9 mini burgers and onion straws are my favorite.  Today though, I felt like expanding my horizons and instead, ordered their 3 mini tuna burger special.  As it was described, it was seared tuna on the toasted brioche bread.  While I know some restaurants claim their bread is toasted, Matchbox does a great job of actually doing it.  The bread was perfectly done, which means it was crunchy and soft.  Yum!  The mini-tuna burger offered a little bit of a kick and good seasonings.  They did go overboard with putting too much sauce (can’t remember what it was) on the mini-tuna burgers though.  The onion strings are my favorite, so thanks to my friend who ordered them — I was able to steal a few.  My other friend ordered the blackened chicken sandwich and said it was tasty.
  • Service: Our server was nice and gracious. 
  • Atmosphere: With 3 stories, there’s a good decent number of seats available.  However, I think there could be 6 stories and on the weekends, it’d still be packed.     
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:  They offer something that will appease everyone at a pretty good price.  They’ve also recently added brunch, beer, wine, and a late night menu.  I think it’s a fun place to go with good food.


  • Reservations not accepted.
  • Hours: Daily 11 AM-close; Fri & Sat serving late night menu until 1 AM
  • Address: 713 H Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: 202-289-4441

Primarily in international locations around the world, DC-metro area has the only Vapiano restaurants in the US (so far).  Their menu is here: Menu Page 1 and Menu Page 2.

  • Food:While their pasta is homemade and their salads look fresh, I always get the Crudo pizza with prosciutto di parma, tomato sauce, and mozzarella.  On top of the pizza are big hunks of parmesan cheese which gives it a bit of a strong, but perfect taste.  The crust is crunchy and thin.  There’s not a lot of tomato sauce which means the toppings are the star of the pizza — and appropriately so.  I think it’s a 12″ pie.

Vapiano Crudo Pizza  Vapiano Crudo Pizza

  • Service: There are no servers, only bussers.  Immediately after walking through the door, you get a Vapiano card.  Walk to the right and you’ll see the kitchen with huge chalkboards above with fun sayings.  The first section is salad, middle is pasta, and the end has pizza.  You walk up to whichever section (me, always pizza at the end), put your card against the register, and then order your food from the kitchen staff.  You then get this little buzzer and when your food is ready, the buzzer goes off (usually within 10-15 minutes).  When you’re ready to pay, give them your Vapiano card at the register at the front door. 
  • Atmosphere: With bright red accents and light wood interior, it’s a casual dining establishment.  During lunch, it can be tough to find a table!
  • Attire: Casual 
  • Price: $
  • Overall:I love their $9.25 crudo pizza and would be tough to change my mind.  I have tried their homemade pasta, but I didn’t enjoy it.  I prefer mine to be al dente.  Oh, they also have the little 8 oz Diet Coke bottles. 

Happy Hour: They offer house wines (Pinot Grigio and Merlot) for $3.50/glass from 5-8 PM Monday-Friday.  In addition, they have p.i.n.k. vodka for their ladies’ night martini happy hours on Wednesdays from 7-10 PM for $4.95.  In their ad, they say the Manolo Tonic is the new “it” drink and we’ll be seeing it in the Sex and the City movie.     


  • Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 AM- 11.00PM; Fri. 11:00 AM-12:00 AM; Sat. 12:00 PM -11:00 PM; Sun. 12:00 PM-10:00 PM
  • Address: 1800 M Street N.W.; Washington DC
  • Ph: 202-640-1868

One day I was tried, hungry, and did I mention tired?  So I didn’t want to make dinner and didn’t even want to stop on my way home one day to pick up dinner. 

Instead, I ordered pizza.  Knowing I really enjoyed Duccini’s, I also wanted to try Alberto’s Pizza, since I had heard good things.  Yeah…

  • Food:I ordered their “thin crust” Roman pizza with chicken, pesto, and Romano cheese.  I have to give it to them for great presentation.  I mean, look at the pizza.  It looks good right?  Before I even opened up the pie, I could smell the garlic.  While there were marks on crust from being stone oven baked, the crust was soggy.  Considering it was supposed to be thin crust, if it’s not crunchy, forget it.  That doesn’t mean burnt, but it does mean there’s got to be some snap factor.  The toppings were really small — almost microscopic.

Alberto's Pizza

  • Service: I ordered over the phone so it was fine.
  • Atmosphere: No idea since I ordered delivery.
  • Attire: Casual 
  • Price: $
  • Overall:I won’t order from here again.  I’d rather order from Duccini’s with their big topping chunks and their perfect crust. 


  • Hours: Mon-Tues 11 AM-11:30 PM; Wed & Sun 11 AM-12:30 AM; Thurs, Fri, & Sat 11:AM-2 AM
  • Address: 2010 P Street NW; Washington,  DC  20036  
  • Ph: 202-986-2121  

I came home from Seattle with no food in my fridge.  I was starving and decided I really wanted some pizza.  As you may have been able to tell, I don’t like eating at chain restaurants — EVER.  I will if I have to, but I do try to avoid it if possible.  I can appreciate chain restaurants and believe they have a role in our society, but I personally prefer local places.

So, all that was needed to basically say that I don’t order from chain pizza places.  It was also raining in DC so I didn’t want to leave my apartment.  I also prefer thin crust. 

That’s when I decided I’d try Duccini’s Pizza

  • Food: Since I’ve never had one of their pies, so I figured I’d have to try their “Unique Pizza,”with secret sauce, ground beef, Italian salami, onions, black olives, fresh tomatoes, and extra cheese.  Wow friends, wow.  I can see why they have such a loyal following.  It was insanely good and really hit the spot.  There wasn’t too much sauce (a little heavy on the cheese which makes me think their normal pie would be perfect).  What I loved more than anything though was the fact the crust was still crunchy — even though it was delivery!  Plus, there were big chunks of topping.  The side salad was fine but definitely unmemorable (felt I needed to eat leafy greens).  I forgot to take a photo when I got it (again, super hungry) but here’s a couple of slices that I had re-heated.  Oh, and they let you order online!  


  • Service: I ordered over the phone and the person who took my order was polite.   
  • Atmosphere: No idea.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Definitely suggest putting this place on speed-dial/bookmarking!  The crust is crispy with great big coarsely chopped ingredients — what else can you ask for?  OK, super thin crust…still trying to find that in DC.


  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 AM – 1 AM; Fri-Sat 11 AM – 2 AM
  • Location: 1778 U St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-483-0007

Last week, I went to RedRocks Pizzeria with some friends in Columbia Heights.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, since I’ve read and heard a bunch of mixed reviews.  I thought their menu looked decent and reasonable. I already knew all about the brick-oven pizza.  I also read Tom Sietsema’s review which gives more information on the owner. 

My verdict? It was decent.Was it like the pizza I had when I was in Italy?  Absolutely not. 

  • Food: Based on the reviews I had seen, the sausage and pepper pizza was the best of them all.  I thought it had a decent flavor which means there wasn’t too much sauce or cheese that masked the flavor of the sausage and peppers.  I also ordered a small mixed green salad, which was fine.  There was nothing remarkable or memorable about it.   We also ordered the “Burrata Buffalo” with olive oil and sea salt.  Now here was an appetizer that didn’t last long on our table.  The buffalo mozzarella, for those who may have a preference, had been soaked in water.  It was still very tasty!  
  • Service: I know others have criticized their service, but our waitress was very nice. She refilled our water glasses on a frequent rate and our food came out at the appropriate time.  

  • Atmosphere: We sat inside in the back.  It was definitely cozy though so make sure you like your dining companions!

  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: It was fine.  I won’t ever suggest going, but I’d go again if someone wanted to go.  I’ll definitely never crave their pizza though.

RedRocks Pizzeria  RedRocks Pizzeria

They have a separate take-out menu, but do not deliver.  Their wine list is not impressive, it’s definitely more of a beer place.  You can tell when you see their drink menu.  On tap, they have Chimay and Allagash White. Finally, they have alfresco seating.

Happy Hour: It’s daily from 5pm-7pm and 10pm-12am.  It’s 1/2 priced cheese pizza, $4 rails, and $3 glasses of house wine


  • Reservations are accepted and recommended during “peak” hours. 
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 5 pm-midnight, Fri 5 pm-1 pm, Sat 11 am-1 am, Sun 11 am-midnight
  • Address: 1036 Park Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010
  • Ph: 202-506-140