Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area

August 1, 2012 6:00 AM

Maybe it’s the cured meats, the aged cheeses or the marinated vegetables, but there is something about Italian delis that makes one smile when hunger strikes. Denver’s Italian delis offer more than just a good sandwich. There is usually a good story and a friendly smile to go with the sub. Never let your kitchen go without ample Italian staples with visits to these Denver-area Italian delis and markets.
spinellis Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area


Spinelli’s Market
4621 E 23rd St
Denver, CO 80207
(303) 329-8143

The northeast Denver Park Hill neighborhood has a gem of an Italian deli on 23rd Avenue. Spinelli’s Market is family owned and has the feel of a classic east coast Italian deli, one that your grandparents might have frequented decades ago. The food is authentic and from the first step in the door, you’ll feel right at home. Spinelli’s has hot entrees available for takeout that will give customers the ease and comfort of a home-cooked meal without resorting to fast food. The sandwich menu is extensive and includes Italian meats like Genoa salami, capicola, black forest ham, smoked ham, roast beef, house-roasted turkey, housemade tuna, chicken and egg salad, mortadella and bologna. Like a true Italian deli, Spinelli’s uses marinated vegetables like eggplant, summer squash, portabello mushrooms and peppers. If looking for more than just a quick bite, the grocery section is filled with Italian specialty items like Spinelli’s Italian sauces, semolina pastas, Italian condiments, olive oil, vinegars, local vegetables, fresh breads, coffee, ice cream, gelato and hard-to-find Italian biscuits and cookies.

Related: Top Spots For Pizza In Denver

valentesdeli Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area

(credit: Valente’s Deli/Facebook)

Valente’s Deli Bakery & Italian Market
7250 Meade St
Westminster, CO 80030
(303) 429-0590

There are no short cuts at Valente’s Deli Bakery & Italian Market. Since the 1940s, when owner Fred Valente opened the shop, the sausage fillings with fresh pork and seasonings have been made in house by sons Larry and Dino Valente. The meatballs, which year after year get rave reviews, are also a family recipe passed down from Elaine Valente to her daughter Louise. The meatballs, made from ground beef and pork, are available in sandwiches and for home meals. Valenti’s is also a butcher shop that sells only high-quality meats that are cut and ground on site. The deli meats include domestic and imported Italian meats like 18-month aged Tanara Giancarlo prosciutto di Parma. Valente’s makes as many as 16 different breads, six types of rolls and 20 cookies and Italian desserts like tiramisu and cannolis. It also offers two dozen different types of pies. Looking for authentic San Marzano tomatoes or a tin of Lazzaroni amaretti cookies? You won’t be disappointed because this market has every Italian brand you can think of. Large orders and catering is encouraged, just call ahead of time.

tonysmarket Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area

(credit: Tony’s Market/Facebook)

Tony’s Market
12001 E Caley Road
Centennial CO, 80111
Plus five other Denver locations
(303) 991-1350

The Rosacci family—Tony, Daniel, Mick and Avie—are an Italian food lover’s best friends. It’s easy to spend hours in the store, eating a meal in the bistro and shopping for groceries in the market. Tony’s recently switched out its deli meats from Boar’s Head to Dietz and Watson and sandwiches are available in bistro and for takeout. The bistro is a great place to have lunch or dinner. The menu includes Italian wood-fired pizzas, burgers, salads and happy-hour appetizers with beer and wine. Tony’s is perhaps best known for its extensive fresh meat and seafood selections of only the highest-quality beef, pork, poultry, fish and shellfish. If you can’t make up your mind, Tony’s can do it for you with its bulk packages of sausages, ground meat patties, thick bacon, house-cut steaks and pre-made kabobs. With five locations throughout Denver, you should have no problem finding any Italian dish that comes to mind.

parisi Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area


4401 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
(303) 561-0234

Parisi is not the typical American-Italian deli, it’s more like an authentic Italian trattoria and deli. For instance, although it calls its sandwiches paninis, they are not those thinly-pressed sandwiches that other sandwich shops sell. Parisi’s paninis are just like what you might find at a street-side deli in Italy; a little meat and cheese with vegetables like eggplant, bell peppers, lettuce and tomato, sandwiched in a nice bread. Parisi does have pressed sandwiches, authentically called crostones, but these are also served with a little meat, a nice melty cheese like fontina and rich pesto or spread to spice it up. For heartier appetites, Parisi has absurdly good pastas, like spaghetti carbonara and tagliatelle Bolognese, and risottos, like funghi porcini. Try the gelato to go and promenade like the Italians to work off the calories.

paninisandwich Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area

(credit: Thinkstock)

Vinnola’s Italian Market
7750 W 38th St
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
(303) 421-3955

Vinnola’s is where Wheat Ridge locals gather for a casual breakfast and coffee, lunch, a late afternoon dessert or an early dinner. The first impression of Vinnola’s is that it loves sweet things, made evident by the Italian pastries, desserts and breads. Beautifully-filled cannolis are hard to ignore as you look at the lunch menu. The flavors vary from traditional Italian and Bavarian cream to pistachio cherry and chocolate cherry. Vinnola’s also has a wide selection of biscotti and unique Italian pastries like sfogliatelle, a puff pastry filled with sweet ricotta. The savory menu includes breakfast and lunch hot and cold sandwiches. The meatball and sausage rolls and strombolis are a local favorite as is the homemade lasagna. Whole pizzas and pizza by the slice is available, as is take-and-bake pizza.

italiansausages Top Italian Delis In The Denver Area

(credit: Thinkstock)

Carbone’s Italian Sausage Market & Deli
1221 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 455-2893

Carbone’s is old-school good with perhaps the city’s best meatball and Italian sausage sandwiches. It’s a no-frills kind of Italian deli with limited seating and a Jesus statue guarding the place. While you are there, take in the atmosphere. The sandwich makers are family and they will make you feel like you are a part of theirs. If hot sandwiches aren’t for you, you can never go wrong with the traditional Italian sandwich with Italian cold cuts, provolone and peppers. Order it with a splash of olive oil and vinegar. The market portion of Carbone’s has a small selection of Italian food like dried pasta and a refrigerated case for perishable items.

Related: Top Italian Food In Denver

Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at