Whether you’re eating it out of a delivery box, fresh out of a wood fire oven, or on a platter while sharing it with friends, pizza is flat out one of the most delicious foods out there. Versatile and open to regional interpretations and styles, pizza, especially in Boulder, can be simple and traditional or wildly experimental, and is perfect for nights around the holidays when you’re exhausted with cooking or when you are just flat out craving good pizza. While “Colorado-style” pizza might not have the same ring to it and well-known characteristics as the New York or Chicago styles, there are plenty of venues in Boulder that tout a breadth of options for pizza-lovers, the biggest consistent being the more ingredients and the more variations of them the better.
The Wood-Fired Slice
Under the Sun Eatery & Taphouse has quickly become one of my favorite venues in South Boulder for its community feel, its great beer selection, and, of course, for its pizza. With community tables and a warm, inviting atmosphere, Under the Sun boasts a wood-fire pizza oven where you can watch the pizza dough being tossed and see your carefully crafted pie just as it’s coming out of the oven. It’s nearly impossible to choose just one pie from the menu, as they vary from classics like pepperoni and margherita to unique variations such as the “Jonathan Apple” with apples, bacon, honey mustard, mozzarella, caramelized onions, arugula, goat cheese, and walnuts, or the “Herb Potato & Bacon” with rosemary crème fraiche, fontina, yukon gold potato, charred onion, kale, and bacon. Happy hour specials are available all day on Mondays, there is live music on Saturdays, and the wood oven is still open for pizza-making late even after the rest of the kitchen closes. The pizzas are light and airy, the staff is unbelievably friendly, and the restaurant as a whole is a warm, cozy, must-try spot in South Boulder.
The Family-Style Slice
Advertised as the home of the “Colorado Style pizza,” Beaujo’s on Baseline Road boasts an enormous menu filled with some extremely unique and hearty pies to choose from. Patrons can order the “Mountain Pie” style pizza, which literally means a mountain of ingredients piled so thickly into the pie that it’s almost as if you’re eating a big, cheesy casserole within a thick hand-rolled crust. You can also opt for the “Prairie Pie” style without the signature hand-rolled crust edges and with a slightly lighter load of ingredients. With the option to build your own pie or to order one of Beaujo’s specialty pizzas, which range from the protein-packed “Motherlode” to the “Chicken Cordon Bleu” with a garlic cream sauce base, Beaujo’s menu varies wildly and includes many other to-die-for dishes like the “Lasagna Skillet.” Instead of ordering your pizza based on the inches of its diameter, you order your pizza based on how many pounds of ingredients you want in your pie.
Beaujo’s also boasts a huge number of gluten-free options. For those trying to be slightly more health-conscious, you can order your pizza with a whole wheat crust, and for those who need to order gluten-free, every item on the menu is clearly marked as to whether making the item gluten-free is an option. A family-friendly restaurant, this is a great location to share a pizza with family and friends, as even the smallest pie on the menu poses a challenge to try to eat solo.
The College Slice
There are many pizza options on University Hill across from the CU Boulder campus, such as Cosmo’s Pizza and The Sink, home of the “Ugly Crust” pizza. Another staple is Boss Lady Pizza, which caters to the college crowd with in-store by-the-slice options, delivery, and off-the-wall pies with ingredients so experimental and varied that only college students could possibly have the metabolism to handle them all in one pizza.With a long menu of both classic and unique pizzas with some clever names, this location is perfect for the college crowd and for anyone else looking for a very unique slice. To complete the experience, Boss Lady Pizza also offers dessert pizzas, such as the I-can’t-believe-it-sounds-so-good “Pop Tart Pizza” with, yes, crushed Pop Tarts and a top crust covered in frosting and sprinklers, and a variety of other cookies and goodies.
The Quick Slice
Conveniently located within Pearl Street Mall, Pizza Colore is a great place to grab a quick slice of pizza when your quick walking tour of Pearl Street becomes a half-day window-shopping event. With ready-made pizzas to choose from, patrons can quickly grab a slice and sit on the small patio at the front of the shop and refuel. For those looking to order a whole pizza or sandwiches ahead of time, Pizza Colore also offers delivery service. With thin-crust, New York-style options as well as thicker Sicilian slices, Pizza Colore is a nice, quick option when you’re out and about and craving a traditional slice.