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Red pie with pecorino, garlic, Kalamata olives, and oregano
White Pie’s Fuggetaboutit with pecorino, garlic, Kalamata olives, and oregano.
Ruth Tobias

21 Places for Primo Pizza in Denver

A go-to guide to the city’s top pies and slices

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White Pie’s Fuggetaboutit with pecorino, garlic, Kalamata olives, and oregano.
| Ruth Tobias

Denver may not have its own signature pie, but it’s a thriving pizza town nonetheless, representing the full spectrum of regional American — not to mention traditional Italian — styles admirably. From Detroit and New York to Naples and Sicily, there’s something here for every homegrown local or transplant. In fact, there are so many stellar parlors in metro Denver alone that there’s no room for their Boulder counterparts below; to offer a quick rundown of the most notable up northwest, then, consider the original Pizzeria Locale, Basta, Fringe, New Yorkese, and Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage.

As for these 21 spots, they’ve either long defined the local scene or are quickly proving themselves indispensable to it: Here’s a true slice of the Mile High City.

Note: The places on this map are not ranked but ordered geographically. Did we miss your favorite? Send us a message throughout the tipline. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Hops & Pie/Berkeley Donuts

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Helping to put Tennyson Street on the map when it opened to instant raves a decade ago, this craft beer and pizza parlor has streamlined its menu since the pandemic began, but the selection goes beyond the norm even so. It starts with a hefty list of custom ingredients for topping thin-, thicker-, or Detroit-style crusts: Think smoked tofu, ham hock, blue cheese, and mashed potatoes. It continues with the Artisan Pie of the Month, which could feature pork belly, manchego, hoisin, kimchi, scallions, and sesame seeds or duck confit, goat cheese, bacon, dried cherries, caramelized onions, rosemary, and balsamic. And then there’s the slice of the day, which might be a play on Frito pie or a meatloaf TV dinner. Throw in an ever-rotating taplist, and the options are truly near-endless.

Meat and veggie pizza on a serving pan Thomas Kolicko

Grabowski's Pizzeria

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Chicagoans know that there’s more to the Windy City’s pizza scene than deep-dish — there’s also what this pizzeria inside RiNo market hall The Source calls “cracker crust, tavern-style.” Crispy and crunchy yet surprisingly sturdy, it makes for a fun change of pace. True to tradition, topping options are simple and meat-heavy, though the Old Comiskey features the salty, tangy Italian veggie relish called giardiniera.

Grabowski’s Chicago Classic pizza Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

The Greenwich

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Despite the name — and the Big Apple–inspired decor, and the fact that chef Justin Freeman hails from the Hudson Valley — this RiNo hot spot doesn’t do New York–style pies. What it does do, however, is fabulous, from the chewy, well-structured sourdough crust to smart topping combos like lamb meatballs in spicy sauce with honey labneh or bacon marmalade, Brussels sprouts, and Meyer lemon relish.

White pie with green chile Ruth Tobias

Bar Dough

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Only good things can come from a tiled oven as drop-dead gorgeous as the one at this LoHi haunt. And so they do. The pizzas here aren’t fussy, just crafted with care to pair with drinks that exude Italian style — from classic spritzes to the wild Hold the Piada with burrata-infused gin and parsley. Speaking of parsley, it’s a garnish on the Manila clam pizza with pancetta, saffron, and chili flakes, whereas rosemary scents the Ragazza Bianca with taleggio, proscuitto cotto, delicata squash, and a dash of barrel-aged maple syrup.

Sausage pizza with broccolini and red chiles Kayla Jones

Blue Pan Pizza

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Operating a second branch in Congress Park, this Highlands specialist in Detroit-style pizza has won international competitions with some of its creations, baked in square steel pans that yield caramelized, cheesy edges. Among the prize pies is the Parma Italia, which features both parmesan and prosciutto from its eponymous region as well as sopressata, burrata, scamorza, and arugula.

Detroit-style pan pizza with pepperoni Ruth Tobias/Eater

Redeemer Pizza

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As the dynamic duo behind beloved pasta joint Dio Mio, Alex Figura and Spencer White know a thing or three about dough, and they’re proving it at this pizzeria down the block from their flagship in RiNo (complete with an alley window for service by the slice). Natural leavening and a 72-hour fermentation process yields just the right amount of crunch, give, and tang, while toppings like aged Gouda, pickled beech mushrooms, and balsamic-roasted onions lend gourmet flash; specials of the day might involve cacio e pepe or barbecued beef rib, mustard cream, and ranch coleslaw.

Pizza on a platter above bread and salad Luke Gottlieb/Victor of Valencia

Cattivella

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Southern-born but Italian at heart, Elise Wiggins ferments her pizza dough for 48 hours before popping it into the wood-burning oven that anchors her exhibition kitchen. The results, befitting her training in Naples, tend toward the traditional, exemplified by highlights like the Quattro Formaggi with provolone, mozzarella, fontina, and gorgonzola, plus preserved tomato and thyme.

Salumi pizza Ruth Tobias

Cart-Driver

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For its Euro-cool vibe as well as its wood-fired pies, this dynamic duo — housed in a RiNo shipping container and the old Z Cuisine space in LoHi, respectively — has mojo to spare. In addition to crowd favorites like the namesake Cart-Driver with mozzarella, sausage, kale, and chili flakes (pictured) and the clam pie with littlenecks, pancetta, roasted garlic, and cream, it whips up specials on the regular — a recent example being the Currywurst with bratwurst, fingerling potatoes, pickled red onion, curried ketchup, and Kewpie mayo. Snappy cocktails and geeky wines add to the allure.

Sausage and kale pizza Ruth Tobias

Famous Original J's Pizza

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Just as he does at Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen next door, the owner of this Five Points walk-up joint, Joshua Pollack, engineers his water supply to give it the mineral content of that in New York — which in turn gives his dough the gluten content it needs for that streetwise crunch and chew. What more does an East Coast transplant need to cure homesickness — besides, of course, a tangy red sauce and a classic array of toppings? (But just in case the answer is “a thicker crust,” Famous J’s also offers rectangular “grandma pies.”)

Two pizzas on a picnic table From the Hip Photo

Marco's Coal Fired | Ballpark

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Mark Dym opened the first pizzeria in Colorado to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the international regulatory body for proper Neapolitan methods, in the Ballpark neighborhood back in 2007. So while it also offers Sicilian and New York–style pies — including one topped with its famous limoncello-marinated chicken — first-timers should start with any of the tributes to pizza’s birthplace, graced with ingredients like mozzarella di bufala, crema di tartufo, and pistachio pesto. (For those in the DTC area, there’s a second location in Englewood.)

Pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, red onion, and basil Marco’s Coal Fired

White Pie

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Though fraternal owners Kris and Jason Wallenta, who also run Dos Santos around the corner, opened this stylish Uptowner in honor of the New Haven–style parlors they grew up around in Connecticut, their menu is anything but beholden to tradition (East Coast or otherwise). Pies here come topped with everything from mashed potatoes, bacon, and candied walnuts to Brie, Swiss, porcini, and black truffles — and they taste as intriguing as they sound.

Red pie with sopressata, pickled chiles, and hot honey Ruth Tobias/Eater

Benzina

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Everything about this newish East Colfax haunt, housed in an old muffler shop, is stylish, including its pies. Chewy at the edges, so thin yet well-structured as to defy physics at the center, the crusts are artfully layered with all the good stuff: clams in cream with parsley and lemon (pictured), say, or maitakes and shiitakes with dollops of mozzarella and black garlic.

Clam pizza Ruth Tobias

Fat Sully's Pizza- Colfax

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Getting its start as a food truck before entering the confines of Atomic Cowboy, Fat Sully’s now boasts locations along a trio of high-traffic Denver corridors: Colfax, Broadway, and Tennyson. But for all its growth, this scrappy pizzeria remains a cult favorite — especially in the wee hours — for its hand-tossed, 26-inch behemoths, which yield slices big enough to fold in half, New York style.

Slice of pizza with a pint of beer Atomic Cowboy

Denver Pizza Company

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Rich but never greasy — even though the beer-battered crust is buttered before serving — the pizza from this takeout and delivery trio is the brainchild of a Chicago native whose combos lean unapologetically all-American. The East Colfax, for instance, piles chicken, cheddar Jack cheese, green peppers, and tomatoes atop green chile, while the Cream Cheesman combines its namesake ingredient with bacon and pepperoncini. 

Pizza with tomato and basil in a takeout box Denver Pizza Company

Angelo’s Taverna

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Though it wouldn’t be out of place anywhere along the Northeastern Seaboard, Angelo’s has for decades served as a second home to the Alamo Placita neighborhood, where it serves up red-sauce staples and seafood treats like chargrilled oysters with equal aplomb. Signature combos include the extra-meaty Sir Psycho Sexy with meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, salami, and pancetta, while the list of custom ingredients gives vegetarians plenty to play with — fried eggplant, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, artichoke hearts, and three different types of olives, for example. (A second location in Littleton adjoins sibling Carboy Winery.)

Pizza with shaved steak, peppers, and onions Ruth Tobias

Pizzeria Locale - Broadway Denver

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The fast-casual spinoff of the famous Boulder original now has four locations in Denver, all devoted to Neapolitan-style pies prepared from start to finish in minutes flat. The Mais with ham, corn, garlic, crème fraîche, and garlic oil has its own fervent following for good reason (and so, by the way, does the budino, or butterscotch pudding).

Margherita pizza on a marble counter Pizzeria Locale

Pizzeria Lui

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Grateful Bread Company alum Zach Parini opened this little Lakewood outlet to instant acclaim in 2017, and the buzz hasn’t died down since. A beautiful wood-burning Acunto oven from Naples turns out equally handsome, bubble-crusted pies whose toppings range from the fairly standard (including excellent pepperoni) to the highly unexpected: Take the mozzarella-based Butternut Squash, roasted with Honeycrisp apples, bacon, and pistachios plus a drizzle of spicy honey.

Pepperoni pizza with gorgonzola Ruth Tobias

Joy Hill

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Despite the unfortunate timing of its grand opening just before the pandemic, the arrival of this homage to the fern bars of the 1970s on South Broadway’s Antique Row has proven auspicious thanks to the kitchen’s earnest craft. The organic dough undergoes a natural two-day fermentation to yield a crust that’s paper-thin yet somehow sturdy on bottom, chewy at the edges, and tangy all over, while the topping combos are as flavorful as they are thoughtful (not to mention veggie-centric). Must-tries include the Hunter with bison chorizo, cheddar, green-chile ranch dressing, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro (pictured) as well as the That 70’s Pie with three cheeses, arugula pesto, braised kale, and roasted golden beets.

Pizza with bison chorizo, cheddar, onions, jalapeños, and green-chile ranch Ruth Tobias

Kaos Pizzeria

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Living up to its billing as a garden-to-plate restaurant, this longtimer on Old South Pearl doesn’t just emphasize local sourcing, it grows some of its own produce and even has a bartering program for neighbors with green thumbs. The results sometimes resemble fresh, colorful salads on crust as much as pizza. Seasonal specials are always worth a whirl, whether topped with provolone, goat cheese, figs, pancetta, and rosemary or honey buffalo chicken, gorgonzola béchamel, red onions, and arugula, plus a side of spicy ranch. (Meanwhile, over in Berkeley, sibling Mas Kaos slings tacos as well as pies.)

Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, and basil
A classic Margherita at Kaos.
Glenn Ross

Esters Neighborhood Pub

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Denver doesn’t have anything quite like Massachusetts-style bar pizza, but this beloved Virginia Village fixture and its Park Hill sibling have carved out a similar niche as vital purveyors of the neighborhood pub pie. Despite their relatively thin, crispy crusts, they’re solidly built for soaking up any of the 20 or so craft beers on tap (with plenty more in bottles or cans), be it the Ya Mar with sausage, salami, ham, and two types of mozzarella or fancier fare like the Bliss with aged Gouda, herb-roasted potatoes, arugula pesto, scallions, and both garlic- and white truffle–infused olive oil (pictured).

White pizza with potatoes in takeout box Ruth Tobias

Brewability Lab

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Here’s a pie that’s more than the sum of its slices. This brewery employs people with developmental disabilities to make not only its beer but its pizza on spent-grain crusts; the results — including the Big Mac Cheeseburger pie drizzled with Thousand Island dressing (pictured) — are as delightful as the mission is meaningful.

Cheeseburger pizza Ruth Tobias

Hops & Pie/Berkeley Donuts

Meat and veggie pizza on a serving pan Thomas Kolicko

Helping to put Tennyson Street on the map when it opened to instant raves a decade ago, this craft beer and pizza parlor has streamlined its menu since the pandemic began, but the selection goes beyond the norm even so. It starts with a hefty list of custom ingredients for topping thin-, thicker-, or Detroit-style crusts: Think smoked tofu, ham hock, blue cheese, and mashed potatoes. It continues with the Artisan Pie of the Month, which could feature pork belly, manchego, hoisin, kimchi, scallions, and sesame seeds or duck confit, goat cheese, bacon, dried cherries, caramelized onions, rosemary, and balsamic. And then there’s the slice of the day, which might be a play on Frito pie or a meatloaf TV dinner. Throw in an ever-rotating taplist, and the options are truly near-endless.

Meat and veggie pizza on a serving pan Thomas Kolicko

Grabowski's Pizzeria

Grabowski’s Chicago Classic pizza Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

Chicagoans know that there’s more to the Windy City’s pizza scene than deep-dish — there’s also what this pizzeria inside RiNo market hall The Source calls “cracker crust, tavern-style.” Crispy and crunchy yet surprisingly sturdy, it makes for a fun change of pace. True to tradition, topping options are simple and meat-heavy, though the Old Comiskey features the salty, tangy Italian veggie relish called giardiniera.

Grabowski’s Chicago Classic pizza Paul Albani-Burgio/Eater

The Greenwich

White pie with green chile Ruth Tobias

Despite the name — and the Big Apple–inspired decor, and the fact that chef Justin Freeman hails from the Hudson Valley — this RiNo hot spot doesn’t do New York–style pies. What it does do, however, is fabulous, from the chewy, well-structured sourdough crust to smart topping combos like lamb meatballs in spicy sauce with honey labneh or bacon marmalade, Brussels sprouts, and Meyer lemon relish.

White pie with green chile Ruth Tobias

Bar Dough

Sausage pizza with broccolini and red chiles Kayla Jones

Only good things can come from a tiled oven as drop-dead gorgeous as the one at this LoHi haunt. And so they do. The pizzas here aren’t fussy, just crafted with care to pair with drinks that exude Italian style — from classic spritzes to the wild Hold the Piada with burrata-infused gin and parsley. Speaking of parsley, it’s a garnish on the Manila clam pizza with pancetta, saffron, and chili flakes, whereas rosemary scents the Ragazza Bianca with taleggio, proscuitto cotto, delicata squash, and a dash of barrel-aged maple syrup.

Sausage pizza with broccolini and red chiles Kayla Jones

Blue Pan Pizza

Detroit-style pan pizza with pepperoni Ruth Tobias/Eater

Operating a second branch in Congress Park, this Highlands specialist in Detroit-style pizza has won international competitions with some of its creations, baked in square steel pans that yield caramelized, cheesy edges. Among the prize pies is the Parma Italia, which features both parmesan and prosciutto from its eponymous region as well as sopressata, burrata, scamorza, and arugula.

Detroit-style pan pizza with pepperoni Ruth Tobias/Eater

Redeemer Pizza

Pizza on a platter above bread and salad Luke Gottlieb/Victor of Valencia

As the dynamic duo behind beloved pasta joint Dio Mio, Alex Figura and Spencer White know a thing or three about dough, and they’re proving it at this pizzeria down the block from their flagship in RiNo (complete with an alley window for service by the slice). Natural leavening and a 72-hour fermentation process yields just the right amount of crunch, give, and tang, while toppings like aged Gouda, pickled beech mushrooms, and balsamic-roasted onions lend gourmet flash; specials of the day might involve cacio e pepe or barbecued beef rib, mustard cream, and ranch coleslaw.

Pizza on a platter above bread and salad Luke Gottlieb/Victor of Valencia

Cattivella

Salumi pizza Ruth Tobias

Southern-born but Italian at heart, Elise Wiggins ferments her pizza dough for 48 hours before popping it into the wood-burning oven that anchors her exhibition kitchen. The results, befitting her training in Naples, tend toward the traditional, exemplified by highlights like the Quattro Formaggi with provolone, mozzarella, fontina, and gorgonzola, plus preserved tomato and thyme.

Salumi pizza Ruth Tobias

Cart-Driver

Sausage and kale pizza Ruth Tobias

For its Euro-cool vibe as well as its wood-fired pies, this dynamic duo — housed in a RiNo shipping container and the old Z Cuisine space in LoHi, respectively — has mojo to spare. In addition to crowd favorites like the namesake Cart-Driver with mozzarella, sausage, kale, and chili flakes (pictured) and the clam pie with littlenecks, pancetta, roasted garlic, and cream, it whips up specials on the regular — a recent example being the Currywurst with bratwurst, fingerling potatoes, pickled red onion, curried ketchup, and Kewpie mayo. Snappy cocktails and geeky wines add to the allure.

Sausage and kale pizza Ruth Tobias

Famous Original J's Pizza

Two pizzas on a picnic table From the Hip Photo

Just as he does at Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen next door, the owner of this Five Points walk-up joint, Joshua Pollack, engineers his water supply to give it the mineral content of that in New York — which in turn gives his dough the gluten content it needs for that streetwise crunch and chew. What more does an East Coast transplant need to cure homesickness — besides, of course, a tangy red sauce and a classic array of toppings? (But just in case the answer is “a thicker crust,” Famous J’s also offers rectangular “grandma pies.”)

Two pizzas on a picnic table From the Hip Photo

Marco's Coal Fired | Ballpark

Pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, red onion, and basil Marco’s Coal Fired

Mark Dym opened the first pizzeria in Colorado to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the international regulatory body for proper Neapolitan methods, in the Ballpark neighborhood back in 2007. So while it also offers Sicilian and New York–style pies — including one topped with its famous limoncello-marinated chicken — first-timers should start with any of the tributes to pizza’s birthplace, graced with ingredients like mozzarella di bufala, crema di tartufo, and pistachio pesto. (For those in the DTC area, there’s a second location in Englewood.)

Pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, red onion, and basil Marco’s Coal Fired

White Pie