Patio pies and libations at Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria

Patio pies and libations at Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria

Happy Place: Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria, 2129 Larimer Street, 303-296-7000

The Happy Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.

The Deals: $3 draft beers, $4 wines by the glass, $5 specialty cocktails, $5 appetizers.

Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.

The Digs: The wonderful thing about LoDo is that, for as many places that ooze pompous douchebaggery and superficial realities, there are also places like Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria, where you can show up in flip-flops and last night's hair and cuss and bitch about politics while shooting whiskey -- and everyone else is right there with you. And instead of dropping a bill or two on a three-course meal that leaves you hungry, you can gorge yourself on some of the best pizza around and walk out with your checkbook intact. For this, we are fans. The bar is also pretty rad: It's long and beautifully lacquered, and, if you can manage to snag a stool, it's the perfect stoop for brews and pizza. Still, we prefer the patio out back, and if you go early enough, you and your comrades can have the entire thing to yourselves.

Patio pies and libations at Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria

The Verdict: On a bearable summer day last week, we found ourselves joined on the patio by two very inebriated gentlemen who were trying, with no success, to discreetly roll a joint. Our server shot them a dirty look as he delivered our wine, and then we ordered one of everything from the happy-hour food menu.

The happy-hour beverages at Marco's fit the bill. The cocktails -- most notably, the cucumber mojito -- are outstanding, and the wine selections pair well with just about everything on the menu. But what you need to know about the food is this: Order the pizza. Not just because the pizza is phenomenal (the dough is made with imported Italian flour and authentically replicated Brooklyn water), but because the rest of the food pales in comparison. We love the simplicity of the classic margherita, and the effort definitely shows in the crust -- a heavenly, perfectly-charred balance of crisp and chew, sweet and salty. The service at Marco's is top-notch, too, and we can't wait to return.

Overall Grade: B+


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