Kasia Broussalian / Colorado Daily
David R Jennings / For the Colorado Daily
Cyrus McCrimmon / The Denver Post
Other than ramen, there is no food more synonymous with college students than pizza. Thankfully, pizza is delicious and varied enough that you can eat it for days without getting bored. Not that we recommend such a diet, of course. (Consult your doctor. Results not typical.)
We can, however, recommend a few good options among the dozens of quality pizzerias that call Boulder home.
North Boulder: 2761 Iris Ave.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
South Boulder: 637 S. Broadway, Unit S
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays
This is as close to New York pizza you’re going to get in Colorado. The dough is made fresh daily, never frozen, so their thin-crust pizzas are bubbly and crisp while still tender enough to fold. That folding is important, because Azo’s is also one of the only places in town where you can order slices, which start at only $3 for cheese (add $0.70 for additional toppings).
If it’s full pizzas you’re craving though, you can dine in, carry out or get free delivery of build-your-own or specialty pies. At the north Boulder location, the latter includes a powerful Mediterranean with two kind of olives, feta and artichokes, while the southern location is known for its Walker, with spinach, tomato, green olives and pineapple. Both are $18 for a 12-inch pie, $22 for a 16-inch and $24 for the 18.
Before ordering, check the website for coupons.
Pizzeria da Lupo
2525 Arapahoe Ave.
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Pizzeria da Lupo consistently comes out on top in local “best of” awards, and it’s easy to see why — if you know what to expect. This isn’t dorm-delivery pizza. This is date-night fare, with slightly smaller, personal-sized pizzas (base price $8) and tres gourmet topping choices like Manilla clams, arugula, capers and Calabrian chiles.
That said, it’s worth paying $13 for their uber-popular Salsiccia with fennel sausage, rapini, ricotta, mozzarella and chile flakes, and maybe another $11 for a small plate of wood-fired calamari to share. Those and two of Lupo’s great selection of craft beers will make yours a date to remember.
For a cheaper way to enjoy Lupo, hit them up at lunch for a Margherita or marinara pizza, pasta salad and iced tea for only $10.
On the Hill: 1325 Broadway (pick-up only)
11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
Baseline location: 659 30th St. (pick-up and delivery)
11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
The best part about Cosmo’s pizza locations is buried in their contact information above: Both Boulder locations are open until 2 a.m. every day of the week, making it the best place to pick up a pie on your way home from the bars. They also know what bar-closers want in terms of pizza size, skipping over small to offer only medium (14-inch, base price $10), large (16-inch, $12) and extra large (24-inch, $20).
Cosmo’s toppings and specialty pizzas are very tasty but pretty standard, and it’s their fresh, healthier entree salads that surprise. Top yours with the Ranch dressing, because no visit to Cosmo’s is complete without their spicy homemade Ranch. Add a side of it to your pizza order for $0.50 or get a whole jar for $6.49.
1647 Arapahoe Ave.
10:30 a.m.-midnight Sundays-Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Often referred to as “the high-school pizza place,” Jalino’s Pizza has been adjacent to Boulder High since 1986 and serves pizza that even those long graduated can enjoy. It’s delivery or carry-out only, but their specialty pizza list is one of the most diverse in town. Alongside the classic supreme or veggie, you’ll find creative pies like the Railbender (shitake mushrooms, red onions, pepperoncinis, roasted garlic and Haystack Mountain goat cheese) and the Prima (green-chile sauce, marinated chicken, onions, chiles and cilantro), both at $20.70 for small or $27.45 for large.
Choice of crust — traditional or whole wheat, thick or thin — is another Jalino’s bonus, as is their take-and-bake option. For the same price as a cooked pizza, you can pick up your order to cook at home on your own schedule. Before ordering, check the website for coupons.
Other pizza bites:
•Pizzeria Locale. Some of the best pizza in the state — when you’ve got money and time to burn. Money, because it ain’t cheap, and time, because there’s often a wait. (Make a reservation.) Info: 1730 Pearl St., 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays, 303-442-3033, localeboulder.com.
•Nick and Willy’s Pizza. Your stop for the best take-and-bake, leaving bland chain pizza in the dust, or order a single slice fresh on the spot. Try breadsticks or apple crisp with your pizza, which you also bake fresh at home. Info: 801 Pearl St., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, 303-444-9898, nicknwillys.com.
•Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse. The pizza is fine, but everyone knows you go to Backcountry for the beer, with 60-plus on tap and more than 200 bottles. Info: 2319 Arapahoe Ave., kitchen hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays, 303-449-4285, backcountrypizzaandtaphouse.com.