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Which of the D.C. area’s fast-casual pizza places is doing it best?

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In the past few weeks alone, the Washington area has seen three new quick-serve pizza spots open. Why? People love customizing food. People love food that is fast. And, of course, people love pizza.

We sampled newcomers Veloce, SpinFire and Pizza Studio, and the rest of the D.C. area's quick-serve pizzerias, to see how they perform. For consistency’s sake, we visited each restaurant during peak lunch hours and ordered each pizza with mozzarella, hot peppers, onions and mushrooms.

&Pizza Dupont South

1215 Connecticut Ave. NW

Price: $9.77, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 17- by 7-inch oval.

How many toppings do you get: Unlimited.

Wait before order: About 5 minutes.

Wait after ordering: About 10 minutes, including making our way down the build-your-own line.

Notes: Very thin crust with cornmeal all over and not a ton of depth of flavor; doughy with a little crispness around the edges. Lightly sauced and unevenly topped. More mozzarella would have been nice.

Blaze Pizza

7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda

Price: $7.65, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 11-inch round.

How many toppings do you get: Unlimited.

Wait before order: None.

Wait after order: A little more than 6 minutes, including making our way down the build-your-own line

Notes: A distinct lip but relatively thin and crispy crust. Not a ton of flavor in the dough. Even distribution of toppings, with a lot of cheese and inconspicuously flavored sauce.

Custom Fuel Pizza

1747 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Price: $8.47, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 14- by 7-inch rectangle.

How many toppings do you get: Up to 4 from meat, vegetable and cheese categories, plus sauce.

Wait before ordering: None, though there was a minute or two of confusion about where to place an order.

Wait after ordering: About 4 1/2 minutes.

Notes: Chewy crust with a little char (though a bit raw in spots underneath), topped by a sweet-leaning sauce. Raw pieces of jalapeño thrown on after cooking.

DC Pizza

1103 19th St. NW

Price: $8.69, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 12- by 8-inch rectangle.

How many toppings do you get: 4 from vegetables and proteins, plus sauce and cheese.

Wait before order: About 6 1/2 minutes

Wait after ordering: About 6 1/2 minutes

Notes: Relatively thin crust with a little chew that retained some crispness. Dough has some yeasty flavor. Generously sauced and cheesed. Even distribution of toppings.

Pie Five Pizza Co.

429 L'Enfant Plaza Center, suite 417

Price: $7.99, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 9-inch round.

How many toppings do you get: Unlimited.

Wait before order: About 5 minutes.

Wait after order: About 6 minutes, including making our way down the build-your-own line.

Notes: Deep-dish pan option a nice change of pace, but dough is bland and spongy. Very thick (too thick) layer of cheese. Toppings a little higgledy-piggledy. Hearty marinara sauce would be at home on some pasta.

Pizza Studio

1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Price: $7.99, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 11-inch round.

How many toppings do you get: Unlimited.

Wait before order: About 2 1/2 minutes.

Wait after order: About 12 minutes, including making our way down the build-your-own line.

Notes: Some pleasant browning on the thin crust. Generous portion of cheese but other toppings on the light side. The finish of Italian herbs and garlic olive oil is a nice touch.

SpinFire

1501 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Price: $8.99, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 11-inch round.

How many toppings do you get: 4 from protein and vegetables, plus cheese.

Wait before order: None.

Wait after order: About 4 1/2 minutes, including making our way down the build-your-own line.

Notes: Well-charred, chewy dough that smacks of the real deal. Sauce punchy with oregano. Generously and evenly topped, though it appears the mozzarella and/or mushrooms have leached water.

Veloce

1828 L St. NW

Price: $9, before tax and tip.

Size and shape: 8-inch round.

How many toppings do you get: 4 from cheese, proteins, vegetables and "accents."

Wait before order: About 2 minutes.

Wait after order: About 6 1/2 minutes.

Notes: A very distinct raised lip. Flavorful, bread-like crust. Tomato sauce had body and tang. Cheese unevenly spread and on the light side. Nice to have diced cherry peppers as opposed to large rounds and roasted, rather than raw, mushrooms. A bit of blackened cornmeal on top of the pie.

Conclusion: Veloce comes out on top for its legit crust and high-quality toppings; it may remind you of the pies at Pizzeria Paradiso, whose owner, Ruth Gresser, is also the founder of Veloce. Our runner-up, and sleeper hit, is SpinFire, backed by none other than Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon. We loved its chewy crust and Neapolitan-like char, not to mention the speed. You know, if that football thing doesn't work out ...

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