A collection of neighborhood pizzerias with fresh American Italian food, addictively wonderful breadsticks and the best good-value Italian wine list in town. Known for craveable meatball subs and many savory vegetarian options, Pasquini’s really hits the spot with the best pizza and best lasagna in Denver.
Pasta Jay Elowsky cut his teeth in the restaurant trade at the age of 20, when he started washing dishes for his aunt and uncle at Sonny's Pizza in San Clemente, California. He went on to spend years in the Italian food business mastering the family recipes from a family that includes the chef and pizza taster for the first King of Italy. Eventually, Jay opened up the first Pasta Jay's in Boulder in 1988, dishing out handmade pizzas and pastas flavored with rich cheeses and savory sauces. His menu includes such classic plates as meatball stroganoff and crumbled sausage diavolo, or margherita and pesto pizzas.
Sazza's delicious mission is to bring delectability at a minimal environmental cost, starting at the top with as many organic, locally sourced ingredients as possible, all the way down to the free-range artichokes, recycled soda-can patio furniture, biodegradable cups and glassware made from wine bottles, and you-degradable pizza and salads. Sazza staffers even wear recycled tees that have been donated by customers (in exchange for a discount) and re-branded with the Sazza logo for new life in wear.
Royal Gorge Tavern's menu lists New Jersey–style pizzas made with homemade dough, foot-long sandwiches topped with Thumann's antibiotic-free meat, and cavernous salad bowls. Fill mouths or pockets with fried mac 'n' cheese ($5.95) before styling your own 12-inch ($10+) or 16-inch ($14+) pie, denouncing gluten with a gluten-free pizza ($11.99+), courting a calzone ($10.95+), or trapping a wild salad ($6.95+). The 12-inch Yeti, a sandwich piled with Thumann's italian lunchmeats, cheeses, lettuce, onions, sweet peppers, and dressing, doubles as a paperweight ($10.95). Traditional hot and cold sandwiches come in half ($5.95) and whole ($6.95+) varieties and pair well with frothy sips of Odell microbrews ($4.50), Guinness drafts ($5), or a glass of Ecco Domani pinot grigio ($6).
After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.
Robert Perella and his staff of talented chefs serve up appetizing feasts of crowd-pleasing Italian and pizzeria fare. Cooks diligently fashion each mouthwatering pizza with the crispy-thin crust and charming vocal accents of New York and East Coast pies, tantalizing palates alongside fresh, verdant salads and garlicky treats. In addition to dishing out classic, Empire State–style pizzas, Perella's provisions feastings with hearty sandwiches, such as a full-size meatball parmesan or tasty pasta meals, such as the meaty ziti or meat lasagna. As guests sup on Italian treats, pours of house vino or frosty brews complement dinners like impromptu bouts of dancing complement a senatorial debate.