The Evolution of Pizza on Route 1

Lotsa Pizza College Park Route 1 Maryland pizzeria

Want a slice on Route 1? You’ve got options.

In recent weeks, two more pizza places have opened in the area at opposite ends of the spectrum: Pizzeria Paradiso, a gourmet sit-down restaurant in Hyattsville with a wide selection of beers, and Lotsa Stone-Fired Pizza, a build-your-own casual spot aimed at students in College Park.

Later this month, local sit-down chain Potomac Pizza is expected to open at the Hotel at the University of Maryland, while build-your-own-focused MOD Pizza has signed a lease for a spot at Riverdale Park Station.

They join a crowded marketplace. Blaze Pizza, a fast-growing chain which takes a similar build-your-own approach, is within walking distance of Lotsa in College Park. Old-school pizzeria Ledo’s is around the corner from there, as is Slice’s, a New York-style pizza-by-the-slice joint. Farther south in College Park is Paisano’s, which focuses on delivery, and long-standing neighborhood favorite Dumm’s Pizza & Subs in Riverdale Park.

There’s also the usual chains—Papa John’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Sbarro—and an assortment of other smaller chains and local pizza joints—Pizza Kingdom, Pizza Mart, Pizza Boli’s, D.P. Dough, in College Park, Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in Hyattsville and Z.Z. Pizza and Kabob in Mount Rainier. And that’s not to mention restaurants like Franklin’s and Busboys and Poets and even Whole Foods, which also offer pizza.

College students are a huge reason for the pizza glut around College Park. The local scene also shows the evolution within the industry, from sit-down restaurants in the 1950s to quick-and-cheap delivery places in the 1980s to the current vogue for build-your-own fast-fired pizza. At least one analyst thinks stress over current events is driving consumers to pizza as a comfort food.

And pizza is just popular, generally. A 2016 poll found that 41 percent of consumers say they eat pizza at least once a week, a huge jump from just two years earlier. So while there’s a lot of pizza places, there’s also a lot of demand.

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