As the likes of TripAdvisor, Vacation Idea, and Open Table attest, Denver isn’t falling short in the restaurant department, especially if those restaurants serve the kind of spaghetti Mom used to make. The city’s food scene is buzzing, and at the forefront of the action are the dozens of fine Italian restaurants that line its streets. Next time you’re in the mood for meatballs, pizza, or thin and thin pasta, head over to one of these great options.
10. Carbon frame
Where: 2129 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80205
Pizza doesn’t always have to be an easy take-out option. At Marco’s Coal-Fired, the art of the pizzeria is on full display. Using the laudable techniques of Verace Pizza Napoletana (not to mention some of the finest ingredients known to mankind), Marco’s has taken the humble pizza and transformed it into something truly magnificent. You may have to pay a bit more than you normally would for a slice of cake, but a bite of Calabria (fresh mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, spicy salami, hot dry-cured coppa, fresh basil, and San Marzano tomato sauce over a crunchy base, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil) should be enough to convince you of the value.
9. Dough bar
Where: 2227 W. 32nd Ave Denver, CO 80211
There is something for everyone at the cozy little neighborhood restaurant Bar Dough. Serving a great selection of small plates and more substantial plates (including some exceptional wood-fired pizzas), Chef Carrie Baird has done wonders in creating a menu that manages to be innovative and accessible. With comfortable, modern decor and fast, friendly service, it’s a great place for a mid-week party.
8. Pizzeria Parisi, trattoria e vino
Where: 4401 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
The Parisi pizzeria, trattoria e vino is divided into two concepts: above, you will find the fast-casual option; On the ground floor, you will land in the elegant full service restaurant and wine bar. The only difference between the two is you: if you want to relax and enjoy a glass of good Italian wine and a good meal, the second option is to call. For a quick and tasty bite to eat on the go, head upstairs. The quality, service and food in both are on an equal footing, and very good at that. If you’re sitting downstairs, the pecan ravioli won’t disappoint (and the sumptuous tiramisu will do anything but), while second-floor customers can’t go wrong with a slice or two of classic Margherita pizza.
Where: 3760 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211
Going through the doors of Gaetano’s is like entering history. Once the hangout for Denver’s only mob, there are little reminders of its notorious past everywhere you look, from the black and white photos hanging on the walls to the unique retro vibe. These days the gangsters may be gone, but their legacy lives on in the old school, 100% authentic menu. The weekend brunch is practically a local institution, and the perfect opportunity to enjoy one of their bottomless Mimosas.
Where: 955 N Lincoln St Unit d. Denver, CO 80203
Although the atmosphere is low-key and understated, when it comes to food, DiFranco’s is a big winner. Focusing on authentic and honest Italian food made with fresh local ingredients, there is a simplicity and elegance to the menu that is a breath of fresh air. Try the penne with prosciutto vodka sauce for a taste experience worth writing about at home.
5. Dio Mio
Where: 3264 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Dio Mio may not be the place to take Nonna for a lazy Sunday lunch, but if you’re happy to eat your spaghetti while fighting for elbow room with the trendy crowd, this is the place to go. Replacing checkered tablecloths and fussy table service with counter service and hip hop, the atmosphere is young, vibrant, and friendly. The menu, for its part, is 100% refined. With his focus on creativity and quality, he can ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe’ his way around the turntables and never land on a bad one. Just make sure that whatever you choose, you pair it with as much freshly baked sourdough as you can fit in your mouth.
Where: 2639 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Since bursting onto the Denver restaurant scene in 2014, Spuntino has become a local favorite. With its focus on fresh local ingredients and a philosophy of cooking from scratch, it positively oozes quality. Despite the high standards, the prices are more than …