Review: Pupatella, Arlington VA

Whenever there is a discussion of the best pizza in the Washington DC metro area, Pupatella is part of the conversation.

On previous visits, I’ve stayed in the confines of DC proper, and had authentic NY slices at Wiseguy NY Pizza, great hybrid stuff at Seventh Hill Pizza, great Neapolitan at Comet Ping Pong, and world-class Neapolitan at 2Amys.

But Pupatella – perhaps the granddaddy of DC Neapolitan – remained on my must-try list. I finally got the chance on Father’s Day weekend, when we visited on Saturday at lunch hour.

The Neapolitan oven where pies cook at 800-100 degrees in 60 seconds

Lining up to place an order

We arrived just minutes before the lunch crowd began queueing up; the process is that you order and pay up front, then take a seat. The staff brings your food to you. This leads to confusion about who to tip and when to tip, and whether you should bus your own table. Not a terrible system, but not a good one either.

“Salad 1”

It was a pleasantly warm afternoon, so we opted for one of the tables in the rear courtyard. It was a cozy space, but the tables were wobbly and the aroma of nearby decaying trash was distinct. The management needs to pay a bit more attention here.

Perfect card for pizza blogging Dad

For our party of two, we ordered “Salad 1” ($7.50) which included organic baby arugula, prosciutto, shaved Parmesan, and balsamic dressing. We chose two pizzas to split: