Restaurant Reviews

Review: Cart-Driver Looks Like a Winner in the Fast-Casual Pizza Race

Cart-Driver 2500 Larimer Street 303-292-3553

The midterm elections may be a blip in the rearview mirror, but Denver remains a battleground. Only instead of politicians vying for voters, restaurateurs are fighting for guests. This is especially true in the pizza business, where the campaign remains as heated as the thousand-degree ovens behind the parties' blistered, Neapolitan-style pies.

Pizza has been a hot-button item for years, ever since the economic downturn prompted chefs to explore foods that wouldn't break the bank. For decades before that, however, it was a more common crowd-pleaser: something delivered to your door when you didn't feel like cooking, a staple at kids' parties to be eaten before cake, an easy bar accompaniment to a pitcher of beer. In Denver, Proto's Pizza helped usher in the new era of more gourmet pies, followed by Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria and Kaos; these, along with many other pizza emporiums, have solidified their fan bases over the years. The current race is between two newcomers: Pizzeria Locale and Cart-Driver.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz