Ben Guest had been talking about opening a pizza joint for fourteen years, ever since he moved to Denver from Chicago's South Side. His friends were getting kinda sick of hearing about it. But he finally took the plunge, and his pizzas were worth waiting for. The Mile High City was badly in need of a decent stuffed pie, and Beniamino's are beautiful: high-walled and golden-brown, filled with quality ingredients, sealed with a layer of soft dough, then topped with an herb-heavy sauce and cooked (for upwards of twenty minutes, so be prepared to wait) in authentic Chicago-style steel pans. Every one of these pies is a candidate for a Food Arts centerfold, and they taste just as good as they look.


Ben Guest had been talking about opening a pizza joint for fourteen years, ever since he moved to Denver from Chicago's South Side. His friends were getting kinda sick of hearing about it. But he finally took the plunge, and his pizzas were worth waiting for. The Mile High City was badly in need of a decent stuffed pie, and Beniamino's are beautiful: high-walled and golden-brown, filled with quality ingredients, sealed with a layer of soft dough, then topped with an herb-heavy sauce and cooked (for upwards of twenty minutes, so be prepared to wait) in authentic Chicago-style steel pans. Every one of these pies is a candidate for a Food Arts centerfold, and they taste just as good as they look.

New Yorkers agree that there are just two ways to do a pizza: the New York thin-crust way, and the wrong way. Lucky for us, that's the way they feel at the New York Pizzeria, too, and that's the way the kitchen has been making its pies since the day this pizzeria opened. With crusts that are thin but never crunchy, good-quality toppings that include real shredded mozzarella, and plenty of that magical orange grease that separates a real New Yorker from the legions of pale imitations, this pizza is as authentic as you're going to get without changing zip codes.

New Yorkers agree that there are just two ways to do a pizza: the New York thin-crust way, and the wrong way. Lucky for us, that's the way they feel at the New York Pizzeria, too, and that's the way the kitchen has been making its pies since the day this pizzeria opened. With crusts that are thin but never crunchy, good-quality toppings that include real shredded mozzarella, and plenty of that magical orange grease that separates a real New Yorker from the legions of pale imitations, this pizza is as authentic as you're going to get without changing zip codes.

Technically, what A La Tomate serves isn't even a pizza. It's a tarte à la tomate -- a golden-brown, braided, buttery, pastry-shell tart filled with pizza-like toppings that comes straight from the cafes of Provence to Denver's 17th Avenue. At first bite, the pie tastes...weird. The sauce is keyed to French tastes, kicked up with a strong dose of herbes de Provence, and the crust seems to be made from crushed-up Keebler butter crackers. But once you get past the initial shock of this being unlike any other pizza you've tasted, you quickly realize that different is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a pretty good thing, especially when the kitchen brings all the skills of a pro pastry department to the construction of each shell.


Technically, what A La Tomate serves isn't even a pizza. It's a tarte à la tomate -- a golden-brown, braided, buttery, pastry-shell tart filled with pizza-like toppings that comes straight from the cafes of Provence to Denver's 17th Avenue. At first bite, the pie tastes...weird. The sauce is keyed to French tastes, kicked up with a strong dose of herbes de Provence, and the crust seems to be made from crushed-up Keebler butter crackers. But once you get past the initial shock of this being unlike any other pizza you've tasted, you quickly realize that different is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a pretty good thing, especially when the kitchen brings all the skills of a pro pastry department to the construction of each shell.

Until you've tasted what a French-trained, James Beard Award-nominated executive chef can do once he decides to open a dream neighborhood pizza place, you really haven't tasted pizza's potential. But since the debut of the Oven, Mark Tarbell's wood-fired pie joint in Belmar, now you can. Here, every pizza is hand-tossed; topped with the best organic, locally produced and artisan ingredients Tarbell can find; draped with his signature homemade mozzarella (made fresh all day in the Oven's kitchen) and smoked ricotta cheese; and cooked in one of two massive wood-fired ovens that Tarbell himself designed. The result is a lightly sauced pie, subtly woody in the crust. These aren't just pizzas, they're works of art -- true masterpizzas.

Until you've tasted what a French-trained, James Beard Award-nominated executive chef can do once he decides to open a dream neighborhood pizza place, you really haven't tasted pizza's potential. But since the debut of the Oven, Mark Tarbell's wood-fired pie joint in Belmar, now you can. Here, every pizza is hand-tossed; topped with the best organic, locally produced and artisan ingredients Tarbell can find; draped with his signature homemade mozzarella (made fresh all day in the Oven's kitchen) and smoked ricotta cheese; and cooked in one of two massive wood-fired ovens that Tarbell himself designed. The result is a lightly sauced pie, subtly woody in the crust. These aren't just pizzas, they're works of art -- true masterpizzas.

Famous Pizza has a vibe that lets you know you've come to the right place. It could be the abraded tile, the wobbly tables, the decor that's half Greek diner, half God knows what -- but there's definitely something in the collision between look, neighborhood and attitude that makes Famous the best spot for feeding that late-night jones for thin-crust perfection. The slices here are New York-style -- meaning thin crust, small bone and greasy -- and while they're not the absolute best in town, they're available until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday for the walk-in trade. And for that, Famous is rightly famous.


Famous Pizza
Mark Antonation
Famous Pizza has a vibe that lets you know you've come to the right place. It could be the abraded tile, the wobbly tables, the decor that's half Greek diner, half God knows what -- but there's definitely something in the collision between look, neighborhood and attitude that makes Famous the best spot for feeding that late-night jones for thin-crust perfection. The slices here are New York-style -- meaning thin crust, small bone and greasy -- and while they're not the absolute best in town, they're available until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday for the walk-in trade. And for that, Famous is rightly famous.

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