Brief History of Pizza in Denver
Denver, the “Mile High City,” is not only famous for its beautiful mountain scenery and thriving arts scene, but also for its burgeoning food culture. Historically, pizza in Denver has been influenced by various styles brought by immigrants and travelers from different regions of the United States. Over the years, the city’s pizzaiolos have taken these influences and crafted a pizza scene that is uniquely Denver, blending tradition with innovation.
Growing Popularity of Pizza in the City
In recent years, the popularity of pizza in Denver has skyrocketed. New pizzerias have popped up all over the city, catering to the ever-growing demand for a slice of cheesy goodness. This growth has been fueled not only by the city’s population boom, but also by an increasing appreciation for the culinary arts, with residents and visitors alike seeking out new and exciting flavors.
The Diversity of Pizza Styles and Flavors in Denver
One of the most notable aspects of Denver’s pizza scene is its remarkable diversity. From classic New York-style thin crust to authentic Neapolitan pies, and from hearty Chicago deep-dish to the locally-inspired Colorado mountain-style, there’s something to satisfy every pizza lover’s craving. Moreover, many pizzerias in Denver are pushing the boundaries of traditional pizza by offering inventive toppings, unique sauces, and even vegan and gluten-free options.
Purpose of the Essay: Exploring the Best Pizza Places in Denver
With so many amazing pizza places to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to find the best pizza in Denver. That’s where this essay comes in. Our goal is to guide you through the city’s rich pizza landscape, highlighting the top spots for each style and helping you discover your new favorite slice. Of course, the idea of the “best” pizza is highly subjective, but our aim is to provide a diverse selection that showcases the quality and variety of Denver’s pizza scene.
So, grab a napkin, and get ready to embark on a delicious journey through the ultimate guide to the best pizza in Denver!
The Criteria for the Best Pizza
Quality of Ingredients
A great pizza begins with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The best pizzerias in Denver understand this and take pride in using ingredients that are delivered or prepared daily, ensuring the most delicious flavors and textures.
2. Local Sourcing
Many top-notch pizza places in Denver emphasize locally-sourced ingredients, supporting local farmers and producers. This not only benefits the community and the environment but also ensures the freshest possible ingredients for the perfect pizza.
The crust is a crucial element of any pizza, and different styles call for varying thicknesses. From thin and crispy New York-style to thick and doughy Chicago deep-dish, the ideal thickness depends on the specific pizza style.
A perfect crust should have a satisfying texture. This means a delicate balance of crispiness on the outside and a tender, chewy interior.
The crust should be flavorful on its own, without overpowering the toppings. It should complement the pizza’s overall taste, often achieved through the use of quality flour, yeasts, and the perfect fermentation process.
The sauce should be rich and robust, acting as the foundation for the pizza’s flavor profile. It should be neither too thick nor too watery.
2. Balance of Flavors
A great sauce has a perfect balance of flavors, with just the right amount of sweetness, acidity, and seasoning to enhance the taste of the pizza without overwhelming the other ingredients.
The best pizza places offer a wide range of toppings to cater to different tastes and preferences. From classic options like pepperoni and mushrooms to more adventurous choices like truffle oil and prosciutto, variety is key.
Innovative and unique toppings can set a pizzeria apart from the competition. The best pizza spots in Denver aren’t afraid to push the boundaries and experiment with unconventional toppings to create memorable pies.
Ultimately, the toppings should be delicious and high-quality, working in harmony with the other components of the pizza.
Ambience and Service
The atmosphere of a pizzeria and the service provided can greatly impact the overall experience. A welcoming, comfortable environment and friendly, attentive staff can make all the difference.
The Best Pizza Styles in Denver
Characterized by its large, foldable slices and thin, crispy crust, New York-style pizza is a fan favorite in Denver. This classic pizza is typically topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and various toppings.
Originating in Naples, Italy, Neapolitan pizza is known for its soft, chewy crust, simple tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese. Authentic Neapolitan pies are cooked in wood-fired ovens at high temperatures, resulting in a slightly charred crust.
With its thick, buttery crust and generous layers of cheese, sauce, and toppings, Chicago deep-dish pizza is perfect for those who love a hearty, filling meal. The inverted layering of ingredients sets it apart from other pizza styles.
Detroit-style pizza is characterized by its rectangular shape, thick, airy crust, and crispy cheese edges. It typically features a generous layer of toppings, followed by cheese and finished with tomato sauce on top.
This local favorite features a thick, doughy crust, often infused with honey, giving it a subtly sweet flavor. Colorado mountain-style pizza is loaded with toppings and has a hearty, satisfying feel, perfect for refueling after a day of outdoor adventure.
Artisan and Gourmet
Artisan and gourmet pizzas showcase the creativity of Denver’s pizzaiolos, featuring unique combinations of high-quality ingredients, often sourced locally. These pizzas are perfect for foodies looking to try something new and exciting.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Options
Denver’s pizza scene is inclusive, catering to various dietary preferences and restrictions. Many pizzerias offer vegan and gluten-free options, ensuring everyone can enjoy a delicious slice.
Top Pizza Places in Denver
Introduction to the List
The following list showcases some of Denver’s best pizza spots, each excelling in different styles and flavors. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it aims to highlight the diversity and quality of the city’s pizza scene.
Description of Each Pizzeria
1. Name and Location
- New York-style: Big Bill’s NY Pizza (Centennial)
- Neapolitan: Cart-Driver (RiNo and LoHi)
- Chicago deep-dish: Patxi’s Pizza (Various locations)
- Detroit-style: Blue Pan Pizza (Congress Park and West Highland)
- Colorado mountain-style: Beau Jo’s (Various locations)
- Artisan and gourmet: White Pie (Uptown)
- Vegan and gluten-free: Hops & Pie (Berkeley)
2. Specialty Pizzas
Each pizzeria has its own signature pies, often featuring unique combinations of ingredients or twists on classic favorites. Be sure to try the specialties when visiting these top pizza places.
3. Unique Features
Many of these pizzerias boast unique features, such as Cart-Driver’s shipping container setting, or Hops & Pie’s extensive craft beer selection. These elements add to the overall dining experience.
4. Price Range
The price range for these pizzerias varies, but all offer a great value for the quality of pizza they serve. From budget-friendly options to more upscale dining experiences, there’s something for every wallet.
Recommendations for Various Pizza Styles
Each of the pizzerias listed above excels in a specific style of pizza, so make sure to choose the one that aligns with your personal taste. With so many options, you’re sure to find your perfect slice in Denver.
Pizza Events and Festivals in Denver
Annual Pizza Festivals
Denver hosts several pizza festivals throughout the year, celebrating the city’s love for this iconic dish. These events often feature live music, entertainment, and, of course, plenty of pizza to sample.
Pizza Tasting Events
Pizza tasting events are a fantastic way to explore Denver’s pizza scene, as local pizzerias come together to showcase their best offerings. These events often benefit local charities, combining great food with a good cause.
Pizza-Making Classes and Workshops
For those looking to hone their pizza-making skills, several Denver pizzerias and cooking schools offer workshops and classes. Learn the art of pizza making from local experts and impress your friends with your newfound culinary talents.
Denver’s Pizza Culture
Impact on Local Economy
Denver’s thriving pizza scene contributes to the local economy by supporting farmers, producers, and small businesses. The success of these pizzerias is a testament to the city’s appreciation for quality food and the entrepreneurial spirit.
Contribution to the City’s Culinary Scene
Pizza is an integral part of Denver’s diverse culinary landscape, with pizzerias pushing the boundaries of traditional pizza-making and experimenting with new flavors and techniques. This spirit of innovation has helped position Denver as a foodie destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Collaboration and Competition Among Pizzerias
The pizza scene in Denver is marked by a healthy balance of collaboration and competition. Pizzerias often work together on events, festivals, and charity initiatives, fostering a sense of community within the industry. At the same time, each establishment strives to create the best pizza possible, driving innovation and ensuring a consistently high level of quality.
Recap of the Best Pizza Places in Denver
Throughout this guide, we have explored some of the top pizza spots in Denver, showcasing the city’s diverse and exciting pizza landscape. From the New York-style slices at Big Bill’s NY Pizza to the artisan and gourmet creations at White Pie, we’ve highlighted a range of pizzerias that cater to different styles and tastes. Let’s not forget the Colorado mountain-style pizza at Beau Jo’s or the vegan and gluten-free options at Hops & Pie, ensuring there’s something for everyone in the Mile High City.
Encouragement to Explore and Enjoy Denver’s Pizza Scene
As you venture out to sample the best pizza in Denver, we encourage you to embrace the city’s spirit of culinary exploration. Delight in the flavors and textures of each unique slice, and appreciate the passion and craftsmanship that goes into creating each pie. Don’t be afraid to try new styles and toppings, as you might just discover your new favorite pizza. Additionally, keep an eye out for local pizza events, festivals, and workshops to fully immerse yourself in Denver’s vibrant pizza culture.
Acknowledgment of the Subjective Nature of “Best” Pizza
Finally, it’s important to remember that the concept of the “best” pizza is inherently subjective. Our preferences are shaped by personal tastes, experiences, and even nostalgia. What one person might consider the best pizza in Denver could be entirely different for someone else. This guide is intended to provide a starting point for your pizza journey, but ultimately, it’s up to you to determine your own “best” pizza. So, keep an open mind, trust your taste buds, and savor the adventure of discovering Denver’s incredible pizza scene.