Pupatella originated as a food truck in 2007 and went brick-and-mortar three years later. This two-room storefront with the sign out front that warns "Pizza Addicts Only" is the D.C. culmination of Enzo Algarme’s experience hanging around the some 200 or so pizzerias in Naples where he was born. Pupatella, a name borrowed from a late relative ("what everybody called my grandmother in Italy," he told The Washington Post), is run by Algarme and his life (and business partner) Anastasiya Laufenberg. Their oven’s bricks were built using volcanic ash from Vesuvius — hard to get more authentic than that outside Naples.
They offer red and white pies — more than three times the former — ham and mushroom, prosciutto and arugula, chorizo, sausage and onion, eggplant and red pepper among them. But Pupatella’s most popular pie is the Capricciosa featuring sautéed mushrooms, marinated artichokes, prosciutto cotto, and fresh mozzarella. Algarme’s website is charming enough to win over even the most skeptical — his FAQ explains what bufala mozzarella is, why there are leopard spots on your crust, why a real margherita is wet in the middle and never crispy, and why you'll never see a Neapolitan tossing dough. And they "love foodie bloggers."