Denver now has St. Louis-style pizza, but what about New Haven, Detroit and Old Forge-style?

Categories: Cafe Society

Arch Pizza opened this week in east Denver promising St. Louis-style pizza, and it made us wonder, what exactly is St. Louis-style pizza? We know that Chicago has deep dish and New York has big, tin slices, but what does St. Louis-style pizza entail?

The answer, it turns out, is very specific -- and not only that, there are more regional styles of pizza than we, and maybe you, ever knew existed. Here's our list of pizza styles and some suggestions on where you can -- or can't -- find them in Denver.

See also: First Look Arch Pizza opens in Park Hill with St. Louis-style pizza

1. St. Louis style
St. Louis style has three main characteristics. The crust is very thin, often made without yeast. The slices are squares instead of triangles. The cheese is specifically Provel processed cheese, a soft white cheese made from cheddar, Swiss and provolone.

Where to get it in Denver: Arch Pizza.

2. New Haven/Connecticut style
This style goes by both names, depending on who you're talking to, but according to its origin story it was created in the kitchen of a specific restaurant in New Haven. This pizza, also called "apizza," has a thin crust, oregano, tomato sauce and a tiny bit of grated cheese. If you want more than just a dash of cheese, or some thick mozzarella, you have to ask for it as a topping. It is also commonly served with clams as a topping. Yes, clams.

Where to get it in Denver: Papou's Pizzaria, Basil Doc's Pizzeria and Black Sky Brewery, which just opened.

3. Argentenian/ Buenos Aires style
This style comes all the way from South America and is a big part of Argentinian cuisine. It features a light dough, a variety of sauces and is heavy on the cheese. This kind of pizza also usually contains olives or a variety of other toppings.

Where to get it in Denver: Buenos Aires Pizzaria.

4. Detroit style
Detroit-style pizza appears to take its presentation from Chicago-style, but with a Michigan twist. It features a deep, thick crust and is square in shape. The other distinctive feature is the order of ingredients. Traditionally, it goes (from first to last) pepperoni, cheese, marinara and other toppings. That's right, meat on the bottom, sauce on top.

Where to get it in Denver: So far we can't find anywhere that claims to make it in the Mile High City. Do you know of anywhere?

5. California style
You've probably eaten at a California Pizza Kitchen without realizing your eating a regional style of pie. California pizza has a thin crust and the toppings come from the canon of California cuisine. This means exotic toppings like duck or eggplant and other veggies -- or even a Mexican-inspired pizza complete with beans, cheese and lettuce.

Where to get it in Denver: Any CPK. Also Big Daddy's pizza has some exotic pizzas that fall right in line with the California style.

6. Old Forge style
Created in the small town of Old Forge, Pennsylvania (which calls itself the pizza capital of the world), this style can supposedly be found throughout the state. The shape is square and the sauce is onion-heavy. But what makes this pie stand out are the uncommon cheese combinations, which can feature your basic Italian cheeses, or cheddar and American.

Where to get it in Denver: You may have to travel to the East Coast to try this kind of pizza, as no where in Denver seems to serve this style.

7. Trenton Tomato Pies
In Trenton, New Jersey, a pizza is a tomato pie. It's pretty similar to the Detroit style and has a similar order of ingredients (dough, cheese, toppings, sauce), but it's round and again it's not pizza, it's tomato pie.

Where to get it in Denver: Like a few on our list, this style seems to be bound by Trenton's city-limits.

Special Mention: Colorado style
Is Colorado-style pizza a real thing or just a motto for Beau Jo's? We haven't been able to find another restaurant that has deep dish braided dough and a mountain of toppings, but if Beau Jo's wants to claim it as the state's style, by all means. If St. Louis can have a pizza, so can we.

Where to get it in Denver: Beau Jo's

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My Voice Nation Help

Been to Basil Doc's and it isn't even close to New Haven Style Pizza.  Might have to try the others though.  Pepe's rules!!!!!!!!!!

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

You're wrong. St. Louis never had style....period.

Eric Smiles
Eric Smiles

I would love a good thin slice in Denver that isn't like the chains.

Nick McCollum
Nick McCollum

At least St Louis style isn't a twist off anything else

Wil Randolph
Wil Randolph

Maybe I can get in here to point out the fact that New Haven Connecticut has pizza. People from there will claim their pies are the best in the country. They aren't.


Detroit style is available at The Brown Dog in Telluride. Award-winning and shouldn't be missed.


Uhmmm don't forget NEOPOLITAN PIZZA. Amazing artisan style pizza with emphasis in fresh and baked to order in a wood fired oven. A-Town in Aurora does it best.

Mantonat topcommenter

A couple of European styles come to mind: French pissaladiere and Alsatian flammkuchen. There was a place on 17th a few years ago called A La Tomate that did good pissaladiere with a flaky crust, but it only lasted a few months. Haven't seen flammkuchen in Denver, but I think we need a flammkuchen food truck.

I can abide by any number of variations and innovations, as long as the result tastes good. Cheddar cheese on pizza just does not taste good.


The original Wash Park Basil Doc's was legit New Haven style when they first opened, and it was my favorite pizza in Denver.  The couple that started it had worked at Pepe's.  They sold it a few years later, but it remained excellent until about 10 years ago when the new owner started overexpanding.  It's okay now, but a shadow of its former self.

Mantonat topcommenter

@Nick McCollum ...except pizza.

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