As someone who has lived in Italy for four months, I like to think I have a solid understanding of what Italian food should taste like.
After returning to CU from my trip abroad, I could not help but notice all the new wood-burning oven pizzerias that opened around Boulder. The word around town was that both Pizzeria Basta and Pizzeria da Lupo had excellent pizza. I decided to go out and have a taste for myself.
It was pizzeria throwdown time and my first stop was Pizzeria da Lupo. To save room for Pizzeria Basta, and to get a second opinion, I brought a friend who had also traveled to Italy with me. The only fair way to compare these two pizzerias, we decided, was to order the same pizza at each restaurant, this way it was fair game for all.
We sat down and ordered a margherita pizza. Upon our arrival at Pizzeria da Lupo, the hostess informed us that they were running their happy hour. We struck gold! During 3-6 p.m., their margherita pizza is only $6.00.
Their happy hour is not the only special they offer. On Tuesdays from 6 p.m.to close, there is a student special. Go with your friends, buy two pies and get a margherita or marinara pizza on the house. They also have a list of “’Za Deals” which includes a daily lunch special, a weekend brunch deal and a late night deal that includes a cocktail.
Before we could read about the other appetizers and entrees da Lupo offers, our waitress was bringing our pizza out. The beauty of a wood-burning oven is that the heat is so intense that the time it takes to cook the pizza is cut in half. My friend was already halfway done with hers by the time I picked up my slice. I was so distracted by her sounds of blissful enjoyment, I almost forgot to take a bite of my own.
As we ate our pizza and could not help but reminisce about our Neapolitan pizza experience abroad. Anything that is good enough to remind us of food back in Italy is a true winner in our book. It is easy to tell that Pizzeria da Lupo’s ingredients are extremely fresh. In addition to the house made mozzerella and San Marzano tomatoes, the other key component to their amazing pizza is their crust. It has a chewy consistency, while also having the perfect amount of char and crunch.
I have to say, the bar was set very high at Pizzeria da Lupo, however, I was not going to let it alter my experience at Pizzeria Basta.
Hidden in The Peloton condominium complex on Arapahoe Avenue, Pizzeria Basta was a little challenging to find at first. Once in The Peloton though, it is not hard to miss. Opening the front door of Pizzeria Basta, the aroma of the wood-burning oven lured me in right towards the bar. Sitting at the bar, I could watch the chef make my pizza right in front of me.
Pizzeria Basta’s pizza looked slightly different then Pizzeria da Lupo’s. The cheese seemed to be melted more into the sauce and had a lighter amount of basil. The other difference I noticed about Basta’s pizza is the thinness of their crust. Some people prefer a thinner crust on their pizza, but when I’m going for Neapolitan-style pizza, I prefer it to have a little more crust, so the middle does not become too soggy.
While both Pizzeria Basta and Pizzeria da Lupo were spot on with their flavors and ingredients, I found myself craving Pizzeria da Lupo even after I finished my pie at Pizzeria Basta. These two pizzerias both share the same price point for pizza, which ranges from $12-$16. Despite this, it is hard to look past Pizzeria da Lupo’s amazing deals, especially as a student on a budget.
I would recommend both of these restaurants to someone looking for wood-burning oven pizza, but in the midst of a pizzeria throwdown, I declare Pizzeria da Lupo as the winner.
Contact CU Independent Writer Kate Burr at Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org