Martha Dear

Image: The crust, the cheese, oh my.

Last Updated: May 2022

Current Status: Open for Dine-in both inside and out (uncovered) and Take-out, Wednesday through Sunday.


In a dimly-lit basement a big, white, gas-fired pizza oven turns out distinctive sourdough crust pies.  Tim Carman writing in the Post was jolted by the tanginess of the crust.  Laura Hayes, then of the City Paper, wrote an ode to the Sausage and Peppers version.  They both talk of securing the pies in the front seat of their cars to get them home safely; something that is no longer necessary now that dine-in is an option. Martha Dear inspires odes and induces cravings.

Chef Demetri Mechelis is one half of the duo behind Martha Dear, along with Tara Smith.  His family owned a Greek restaurant in Wheaton and Martha Dear is named for his mother.  Many of the pizzas include ingredients that reference Greece, like the white pie with garlic, basil, mozzarella, kefalograviera and myzithra.  Those references extend to the non-pizza entries like whipped feta, Moussaka, and hummus.  They offer supplemental dips, including a variation on the ranch dressing heavy on dill. The Caesar Salad is one of the best in the District, and don’t sleep on the ribs with a honey and fresno peppers.

Smith overseas an eclectic beverage list that is heavy on Greek wines from small producers, plus Greek and U.S. beers.  Cocktails and non-alcoholic options are also available. They offer a couple dessert options, but you, like many others, may find the temptation of the Mt. Desert Island ice cream shop upstairs too tempting.

Martha Dear opened December 2020, with a 38-seat dining room that they chose not to use immediately due to Covid. Some stories will mention the sold-out pies from this era when they only did carry out. The dining room with its long curving bar is now open and things have calmed down, but there remains a buzz about this place. It is a delightful, scrappy spot in Mt. Pleasant that became a bit of a phenomenon. The success is well-deserved.

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Cuisine: Pizza
Neighborhood: Mt. Pleasant
Address: 3110 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010
Reservations: Walk-in

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: Tim sings of sourdough and gives the backstory on the couple behind the restaurant.

Washingtonian: Top 25 New Restaurants in the 2022 Food issue. – no thread yet

Rick Eats DC – Puts it on the Top 10 list, and best inside District lines.