Food & Drink

The Best Pizzerias in Denver Right Now

Published On 08/20/2015 Published On 08/20/2015
atomic cowboy
Atomic Cowboy
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist

Pie Hole

Baker

A black sheep amid the hipster show-ponies of South Broadway, this place is the rec room you dreamed about as a wee lad: foosball and pinball, freaky murals and graffiti, late-night hours, and plenty of beer. Also, thin-crust pizza by the slice or the 19-inch monster, ranging from classics, to daily specials with fanboy names (Vader, Army of Darkness), to flashes of stupid genius like the Munchy Mango. The standard is vegan, but you can (and should) get it with cheese, which mingles with peanut sauce, chopped mango, sugar-roasted jalapeños, and green onions for a creamy, sweet-savory, weirdly meaty, instant addiction.

Ruth Tobias/Thrillist

Blue Pan

Highlands Square

Yes, this place serves other kinds of pizza (you'll find New York, Italian, and Chicago-style pies on the menu), but that's not what you're here for. The specialty from award-winning pizzaiolo Jeff "Smoke" Smokevitch is the addictive Detroit-style pies which transform often-trashed crust into the cheesy, caramelized highlight of your pizza-eating experience. Pair it with a Colorado craft beer and give yourself a pat on the back for being so damn smart with your life decisions.

Brava! Pizzeria della Strada

Downtown/LoHi

With nothing but a wood-fired mobile oven and a couple feet of workspace in the shadow of the 16th Street clock tower, David Bravdica built a Downtown dining destination on the strength of a proper, almost flaky crust topped with quality ingredients. So you can just imagine what he and his crew are doing now that they have a second location, with walls and everything, in the sensational food hall Avanti. Actually, you don’t have to imagine since you can go down there (right now!) and get some pizza. Try The Fun Guy.

Fat Sully's Pizza

Fat Sully's New York Pizza

South Broadway (& other locations)

You could basically spend an entire day at the Atomic Cowboy, aka the bar that also acts as Sully's home base. In the mornings, Denver Biscuit Company's mile-high biscuit sandwiches are the star at this triple-threat stop. Later, though, and well into the night, it's the massive, foldable Sully's slices that bring the crowds to this cowboys-and-aliens-themed watering hole. Whether you're ordering to-go from the window at one of its three locations (South Broadway, East Colfax, and Berkeley), eating in and enjoying the local brews on tap, or catching its food truck out and about, you're guaranteed to find the same delicious sense of regret for the food coma that will take control afterward.

Enzo's End Pizzeria

City Park

Is the world full of sleek, celebrity-run pizza parlors with money-burning ovens and runway-ready staff? The kind with a Bob’s Big Boy statue on the roof, a legendary dive bar that doubles as a spare dining room next door, and the nicest, most on-the-ball employees ever to give slackers a good name? Not so much. In fact, this is the only one we know of. Pro tip: order your thin, crispy pie at the adjacent PS Lounge, where your first drink always comes with a shot on the house. And ask for the Spinaci with red sauce, which adds light, bright tang to the mix of spinach, Kalamata olives, mozzarella, and Romano.

Ruth Tobias/thrillist

Angelo's Taverna

Alamo Placita

You’re not just getting pizza. You’re getting super-cozy, red bricked and stained glass ambiance. And raw oysters. And broiled oysters. And oyster shooters. And then some booze after that. While the pie with shaved ribeye, peppers, and onions is decadent, it’s just part of a complete package. The same way your leftover slices will soon be part of a complete breakfast.

Homegrown Tap & Dough

Homegrown Tap & Dough

Wash Park

Like Angelo’s, this Park Burger sibling is all about the big picture, with everything coming together in friendly neighborhood harmony. The kitchen has a blast rolling out featured specials topped with chicken, candied bacon, and ranch dressing one day; gorgonzola, pears, and balsamic the next, and it even gives French fries & wings the pizza treatment by tossing them with Parmesan, pepperoni, pancetta, and so on. And the bar has some fun of its own, too, with a pay-it-forward drink program called This Round’s On Me. So if you can't find a good time on the patio at happy hour here, you might actually be part of the problem. Oh wait, you are definitely the problem.

Ian's Pizza

Ballpark

It’s across the street from Coors Field and it’s open past last call. What more could you ask for from a pizzeria? Let us tell you. You could ask for thick-crusted pie topped with the kitchen sink -- pasta, black beans & rice, specialty combos like fish & chips or brats & kraut, you name it. You could also ask for house-made dipping sauces like green chile ranch, and side salads with 40 different ingredients. And beer. And chocolate-peanut butter Chex Mix for dessert. This Wisconsin-based cult favorite will deliver by even the biggest PITA’s standard (but don’t even think about asking for pita).

Courtesy of Lucky Pie

Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House

Louisville/LoDo

The weekly specials never fail to intrigue, whether inspired by a rueben with corned beef, Swiss, and Thousand Island dressing; Midwestern comfort with shaved beef and cheese curds; or Thanksgiving dinner with acorn squash and maple walnuts. But this two-hit wonder also counts among Denver metro’s best beer bars, with 20-plus taps devoted to local, geeked-out, and rare (not necessarily in that order) brews. In fact, in the course of a few visits to either branch, you can probably kill most of the birds on our list of destination breweries with one very lucky stone.

Brik on York

City Park West

Take a date if you're heading to this suave wine bar with live music nearly nightly. Come for dinner and try the White Buffalo with mozzarella, Italian sausage, caramelized onion, oregano, pecorino, and truffle oil atop a pillowy-yet-crackling pecan wood-fired crust. Then come back for Sunday brunch, when the luscious mascarpone, bacon, and maple syrup pie obliterates your average pancake platter. And you can trade your lawnmower fizz for a nice big Italian red or an amaro-based cocktail while you’re at it.

Buenos Aires Pizzeria

Ballpark

Not that ingredients like mint leaves, orange slices, and coconut flakes are any weirder than barbecue sauce or ranch dressing or honey (if Italian immigrants didn’t want us Americans messing with their great pizza recipe, they should have left it back home!). This laid-back, low-key charmer has perfected the Argentine style: try the #7, which starts innocently enough with mozzarella, ham, and roasted red peppers before veering off into awesome chaos with hearts of palm, hard-boiled egg, and a blend of mayo and ketchup called salsa golf.

Adam Larkey Photography

Pizzeria Locale

Baker/Highlands Square

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when the masterminds behind Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine and Chipotle Mexican Grill met to discuss their plot for world domination. But you’ll get the gist of it by being a human at the counter of their pizzeria franchise: these guys mean fast-casual gourmet business. Acting as streamlined versions of the full-service Boulder flagship, the Denver outposts of Pizzeria Locale offer the same knockout Neapolitan-style pies -- including the Mais with crème fraĂ®che, ham, and corn -- in a fraction of the time, along with beer or wine on tap, a couple of salads, and the famous butterscotch budino for dessert.

Cart-Driver

RiNo

Getting squeezed and jostled like cargo in a shipping container -- because you’re actually in a shipping container -- is all part of the fun at this ode to the roadside cafes of Italy. The other part of the fun? The airy, bubbly, truly amazing pizza, be it the namesake pie with sausage, kale, and red pepper flakes; the shiitake with taleggio and charred onion; or the Four Seasons with ham, burrata, and market produce like arugula, pears, and strawberries.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Pie Hole 44 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (Baker)

Pie Hole is the basement rec room you dreamed about as a kid: foosball and pinball, freaky murals and graffiti, late-night hours, and plenty of beer. This spot serves thin-crust pizza with specials like the Munchy Mango, that comes Vegan (unless you request cheese) with peanut sauce, chopped mango, sugar-roasted jalapeños, and green onions for a creamy, sweet-savory flavor.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Blue Pan 3930 W 32 Ave, Denver, CO 808212 (Highland)

Blue Pan pizzeria is turning out Detroit style, classic Italian, Chicago cracker thin, and New York style pizza. Each variety comes with multiple topping combos, plus they have a beer and wine list to go with whatever variety you choose. The specialty from award-winning pizzaiolo Jeff "Smoke" Smokevitch is the addictive Detroit-style pies which transform often-trashed crust into the cheesy, caramelized highlight of your pizza-eating experience.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Brava! Pizzeria Della Strada 1601 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80202

With nothing but a wood-fired mobile oven and a couple feet of workspace in the shadow of the 16th Street clock tower, David Bravdica built a Downtown dining destination on the strength of a proper, almost flaky crust topped with quality ingredients. So you can just imagine what he and his crew are doing now that they have a second location, with walls and everything, in the sensational food hall Avanti.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Fat Sully's 141 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209 (South Broadway)

Fat Sully's operates out of Atomic Cowboy (alongside Denver Biscuit Company and 24 beers on tap), slinging hand-tossed NYC-style pizzas with fresh toppings. In the mornings, Denver Biscuit Company's mile-high biscuit sandwiches are the star at this triple-threat stop. Later, though, and well into the night, it's the massive, foldable Sully's slices that bring the crowds to this cowboys-and-aliens-themed watering hole.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Enzo's End Pizzeria 3424 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (City Park)

Enzo's End Pizzeria has a Bob’s Big Boy statue on the roof, a legendary dive bar that doubles as a spare dining room next door. Come by for a thin, crispy pie like the Spinaci with red sauce, which adds light, bright tang to the mix of spinach, Kalamata olives, mozzarella, and Romano.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Angelo's Taverna 620 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Angelo's Taverna is an old-school red-sauce parlor with a killer oyster bar (try the char-grilled platters and shooters) and chewy-crusted, lavishly topped pizzas. This neighborhood spot has a super-cozy, red bricked and stained glass interior, with a back patio shaded by trees. The pie with shaved ribeye, peppers, and onions is decadent, and the leftovers make for a great snack if you can't finish it all in one sitting.

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7. Homegrown Tap and Dough 1001 S Gaylord St, Denver, CO 80209

This pizza place calls itself an "Italian restaurant with a little Colorado flair", which means good food with a great beer selection. The kitchen has a blast rolling out featured special pizza's topped with chicken, candied bacon, and ranch dressing one day, and gorgonzola, pears, and balsamic the next. There are plenty of salads, pasta's, and delicious appetizers like chicken parmesan sliders and sausage stuffed olives choose from as well. The beer and wine list is also impressive, with a selection that will satisfy everyone.

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8. Ian's Pizza 2210 Blake St, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

Ian's Pizza is located across the street from Coors Field and it’s open past the last call and prides itself on using only locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients. This spot serves thick-crusted pie topped with options like pasta, black beans & rice, specialty combos like fish & chips or brats & kraut, and more. You'll also find house-made dipping sauces like green chile ranch, and side salads with 40 different ingredients.

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9. Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House 1610 16th St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

Lucky's LoDo location has 5000sqft of exposed brick and steel work, floor-to-ceiling windows aplenty, and a 27-tap concrete bar ready to please. The weekly specials never fail to intrigue, whether inspired by a Reuben with corned beef, Swiss, and Thousand Island dressing; Midwestern comfort with shaved beef and cheese curds; or Thanksgiving dinner with acorn squash and maple walnuts. But this two-hit wonder also counts among Denver metro’s best beer bars, with taps devoted to local, geeked-out, and rare brews.

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10. Brik on York 2223 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (City Park)

This City Park wine bar, Brik on York, is designed so the drinks and food are designed to pair seamlessly. The open kitchen is home to a real Italian wood-fire pizza oven and churning out antipasti, salads, Italian dishes, and of course, pizza. Come for dinner and try the White Buffalo with mozzarella, Italian sausage, caramelized onion, oregano, pecorino, and truffle oil atop a pillowy-yet-crackling pecan wood-fired crust.

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11. Buenos Aires Pizzeria 1319 22nd St, Denver, CO 80205 (Northwest)

The weirder the toppings the better at this laid-back Argentinean pizza joint. Not that ingredients like mint leaves, orange slices, and coconut flakes are any more outlandish than barbecue sauce or ranch dressing or honey. Try the #7, which starts innocently with mozzarella, ham, and roasted red peppers before veering off into awesome chaos with hearts of palm, hard-boiled egg, and a blend of mayo and ketchup called salsa golf.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Pizzeria Locale Denver 550 Broadway Blvd, Denver, CO 80203 (Southwest)

Pizzeria Locale is a fast-casual gourmet shop that offers knockout Neapolitan-style pies made with house-made dough, which is then slapped thin and quickly cooked by the flames in their oven. We suggest ordering the Mais with crème fraîche, ham, and corn -- along with beer or wine on tap, a couple of salads, and the famous butterscotch budino for dessert.

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13. Cart Driver 2500 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205

The name may conjure up thoughts of race cars, but Cart-Driver is actually named for the old-school Italians that would travel to various villages with a cart of food and make meals for people. This neighborhood pizza place is a tiny spot made up of shipping containers which aim to do the same: serve a simple but good meal at an affordable price. Wood-fired pizzas and oysters make up the simple menu along with a small but carefully chosen drink list.

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