Food & Drink

Top Spots For Pizza In Denver

December 20, 2011 8:59 AM

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Pizza at Mangia Bevi Café (credit: CBS)

Pizza at Mangia Bevi Café (credit: CBS)

It might take you a while to find pizza that truly really tastes superb in the Denver area, but it’s here. Of all the thousands of pies being slung across the Mile High City, these stand out.
big bill ficke Top Spots For Pizza In Denver

Big Bill Ficke (credit: CBS)

Big Bill’s New York Pizza

8243 South Holly Street
Centennial, CO 80122
(303) 741-9245
This is the kind of place you might not notice unless a good friend told you about it. Plastered wall-to-wall with memorabilia and celebrity photos (Clint Hurdle and Denzel Washington are fans), the Centennial pizzeria is extremely popular. But it’s not just the gooey New York slices that bring in customers. And the draw is even bigger than the affable, six-feet, six-inch tall former Nuggets assistant coach Big Bill Ficke. Loyal customers know that Big Bill’s represents the generosity of our community. That part of the story started the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Ficke decided to set aside the day to give away hundreds of pizzas in exchange for disaster donations. They raised $65,000 for 9/11 victims that day, and the event has since blossomed into an annual “Day of Giving” with money going to different causes. Big Bill’s has raised tens of thousands for those in need — one year splitting the sum with a basketball team that lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. They’ve also raised money for the Joanne B. Ficke Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (Ficke lost his wife to lymphoma in 2007.)

zamparellis Top Spots For Pizza In Denver

Jimmy and Nancy Zamparelli (credit:

Zamparelli’s Italian Bistro

2770 Arapahoe Road
Lafayette, CO 80026
(303) 664-1275
Owners Jimmy and Nancy Zamparelli sound like the kind of people who should be serving you pizza, and once you’ve chomped down a few slices you’ll know they mean business. The couple met at the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York and spent time on both the east and west coasts before settling down in the Mountain Time Zone in 2006. The waitstaff is friendly and the special touches such as the gluten-free pizza crust option or the gelato for dessert make this a place worth coming back to. The Pepper, Pepper, Pepperoni is one of our favorite pizzas anywhere. It started out as one of their specials but so many people liked it — demanded it — that they gave it a permanent home on their menu. The mix is mouthwatering: roasted poblano and sweet red peppers with pepperoni, plus fontina, asiago, pecorino and mozzarella cheeses.

the oven Top Spots For Pizza In Denver


The Oven

7167 West Alaska Drive at Belmar
Lakewood, Colorado
The artisan pizza is thin and crunchy at The Oven and the menu is pretty creative for a pizza joint. Egg & Spinach features a sunny-side-up egg while the Urban Pineapple features fresh pineapple, bechamel sauce and roasted chicken. Things here are simply done a little bit differently — and with a little bit more care — than at most other pizza places. And if you bring the kids they get a special treat: each child gets a big ball of dough that they can form into whatever shape they want. The server then takes the dough and, after a few minutes in the huge oven, it’s steaming hot and ready to eat.

mangia bevi cafc3a9 Top Spots For Pizza In Denver

Larry DiPasquale works the dough at Mangia Bevi Café (credit: CBS)

Mangia Bevi Café

6363 S. Fiddlers Green Cir.
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(303) 763-1980
It’s a little bit hard to find, but the pizza at Mangia Bevi Café will make you glad you made the extra effort to wind through the Denver Tech Center to get there. The restaurant is located in the Palazzo Verdi building and it’s only open to the public for breakfast and lunch. There are plenty of options, but the authentic Neapolitan pizzas on the lunch menu are the thing to get. Our favorite is the Soprano, a meat lover’s dream with spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and caramelized onions. The cafe is operated by Epicurean Culinary Group Inc., and CEO Larry DiPasquale is a big supporter of CBS4 partner The Adoption Exchange.

marcos Top Spots For Pizza In Denver


Marco’s Coal Fired Pizza

2129 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
Another spot with great Neapolitan pizza, Marco’s takes its craft very seriously. Ask them to describe how seriously they take authentic ingredients and they’ll tell you about the precious flour from a third-generation family mill or the artisanal cheese imported from Italy. They feature New York style pizzas as well, with five different varieties named after each of New York’s Five Boroughs. Veggie lovers will want to check out the Queens with roasted eggplant, artichokes, peppers and mushrooms.

– By Jesse Sarles for

View Comments
  • J Todd Underhill

    I am surprised that the Dnote was not mentioned in this

  • Amy

    We’re big fans of Pasquini’s, Protos and Buenos Aires Pizzeria depending on what style we are looking for. I guess if you’ve been around awhile you aren’t considered for these lists.

    • Mike

      Buenos Aires is the worst Pizza ever!! The “crust” is prebaked, then placed into a salamander, to reheat the toppings, gross!!

  • Stephanie Riggs

    There is a huge difference when it comes to pizza and you may not even know what I am talking about unless you have sunk your teeth into an Uno’s pizza. The next time you are headed to the airport leave some time or head over after you land; if you call Uno’s at baggage claim they will have a pizza ready and bring it to your car. The deep dish is unreal, and combinations you can’t find anywhere else! Kids eat free all day Saturday.. Uno’s is on 40th Ave the last exit before entering I-70 when leaving the airport or by exiting Chambers Rd north one block to 40 Ave and a half mile east on 40th. Tell them I sent you – Stephanie Riggs (former CBS4 anchor)

  • Brad

    Peppinos on E. Arapahoe Rd gets overlooked all the time. One of the Best around since the old Days of Paisans on E. colfax.Also Wholly Canoli in SE Aurora is Awesome. BR

    • Jim

      I have not heard anyone talk about Paisan’s for at least 30 years now! Things have really changed since then! Another decent place for pizza is Pietra’s at about 44th and Garrison in Wheat Ridge. Also, Ernie’s Supper Club has some pretty good pizza….and the atmosphere is good too. Ernie’s is just east of Federal….also on 44th! Having been a former Italian food distributor with my Dad for almost 10 years, back in the 1970’s and early 80’s….I used to have a pretty good handle on all the great Italian restaurants and pizza places in town! I could name a few more…..maybe some other time!

  • Debbie Dinges

    Gargaro’s Italian Bakery, on 50th & Marshall Street in Arvada has wonderful hand-crafted pizza, sandwiches, pasta, sweets and treats and the most awesome Italian bread you will ever experience – Give them a try!

    • Jim

      There stuff is very good! Unfortunately they are a bit pricey! :o(

      • JIm


      • Jim

        Make that *****their

  • Coyote

    The headline states: “Top Spots in Denver for Pizza” However, only on spot listed is actually in the city of Denver.

  • George

    Bonnie Brae Tavern–best pizza I’ve found in Denver!

  • Geo.

    Try Pantaleon’s


    Try Pantaleone’s 2120 So. Holly. I know taste and flavor are somewhat subjective things, but I think they have the best tasting pizza I’ve tried. Denver has a lot of good pizza places…This is my current favorite.

  • Pete

    These are all overpriced fu-fu places for pizza, not real pizza places. Really, you have to go to culinary school in order to make a good pizza? Tell that to someone in Brooklyn, NY! Obviously, this author lives in Grenwood Village and hasnt tried the great REAL pizza places in North Denver.

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