What is Colorado-style Pizza? The Centennial State Really Delivers

Colorado-style pizza – also known as a “Colorado mountain pie” – doesn’t get a whole lot of attention outside of the Rocky Mountain region. Pizza aficionados living elsewhere can be forgiven for not being familiar with a Colorado-style pizza, but we want you to be adequately prepared when you’re in the Denver area and looking for a bite to eat.

How is a Colorado-style pizza made?

Colorado pizzas are thick-crust pies that come with a ludicrous amount of toppings. At Beau Jo’s, the originator of the style, customers can choose from a wide range of options or build their own pie using a combination of 50 different toppings.

Those who want to spice things up can get a “Firecracker” pie with hot sauce, ranch dressing, spicy chicken, fresh jalapenos, and Monterey jack cheese. Or, when you can’t decide between two classic options, there’s the “Bacon Cheeseburger Mountain Pizza,” which includes hamburger, bacon bits, tomatoes, onions, and two different types of cheese.

The crust of a Colorado mountain pie is also unique in that it is made with honey and braided on the outside. The braid is there to hold the mountain of toppings from spilling out of the pie and locals tend to dunk it in honey at the end of their meal. You read that right – the Colorado mountain pie is both dinner and dessert.  

What’s the difference between a Colorado pizza and Chicago deep-dish?

With a cornucopia of toppings and a thick crust, many are quick to draw comparisons between Colorado-style pizza and Chicago deep-dish pizza. However, this pizza is different from what is served in the Windy City thanks to its sweetened crust, wider range of available toppings, and its preparation.

Chicago deep-dish pies are baked for more than 40 minutes in the oven while Mountain pies are fired in a gas-powered oven for about ten minutes, giving them a cooking time that is closer in length to New York-style pizzas.

Why are Colorado mountain pies sold by the pound?

With so many toppings on a Colorado-style pizza, it only makes sense for it to be sold by the pound.

The standard pie at Beau Jo’s is eight inches in diameter but tips the scale at a full pound. For those who dare, the pies can also be had in two-pound, three-pound, and even five-pound (!) variations.

What’s the biggest Colorado mountain pie I can order?

For those who dare, Beau Jo’s offers a 14-pound (!!!) pizza challenge. The pie costs $75, but it’s free if you and a friend can finish it.

We won’t try to talk anyone out of a pizza challenge, but if you attempt to climb this mountain, we suggest bringing your wallet with you.


— Zach Links is an L.A.-based sports journalist who is equally concerned with the outcome of the game and what he’ll be eating at halftime. In addition to serving as a staff writer for The Sauce, he’s also the lead writer and editor of You can follow him on Twitter @ZachLinks and on Instagram @FatZachLinks.

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