In the late 1800s, Durango was no more than a refueling stop on the rail line between Alamosa and Silverton. The rail company proposed plans for its development and after plots of land were sold off, the town began to form. Many of the first buildings to be constructed were hotels that accommodated miners on their way to work in the Silverton mines, and stores selling the supplies they needed. Over time the town's population became less transient and other industries moved to the area. The Great Depression, though, brought Durango's growth to a halt until its potential as a tourist destination was recognized. The stunning mountain scenery and tranquility of the region attracted many visitors to spend their vacation time in Durango and the town entered into an era of prosperity it has never looked back from. Italian settlers who went to Durango soon realized that the year-round tourism made it the perfect place to open restaurants, and pizza has been on the menus in Durango ever since.
All the fresh mountain air in Durango creates some big appetites that need some solid food to satiate them. Whether that's the reason why Durango is known for thick crust pizzas or not is unknown, but thick crust is the pie that tops the menus in this Colorado city. Thick crust is a pizza made from a recipe that traveled straight out of Italy with the first settlers who arrived in North America. It hasn't changed much since either, although in recent years topping ingredients have become a lot more adventurous than they were originally. When first baked, a thick crust pizza carried nothing more than a thick and herby tomato-based sauce and mozzarella cheese. These days you'll be offered one with anything from smoked salmon and caviar to peanut butter and banana. There's a lot to be said for creativity in the kitchen, but when it comes to thick crust pizza, it's hard to beat that good old favorite, Margarita.
There's more than a few pizzerias in Durango that offer a pizza delivery service. To get the best delivery pizza in Durango though, get yours from Father's Daughter Pizza on Main Avenue. It's a family-run pizzeria and one which really cares about the quality of their pies. Second best just won't do for these guys. Father's Daughter Pizza occupies a well-maintained premises which is a colorful delight inside and out. Red is the tone they chose to decorate with and it works, giving an overall bright, young appeal to the walls and furnishings. The addition of fairy lights strung haphazardly across the ceiling creates added atmosphere too. There's nothing haphazard about the pizza from here at all. You'll be delivered just what you ordered, whether it be one of their scrumptious Orange Jib, with mandarin orange, their Code Blue, or their Angry Hawaii which carries an unusual combination of pineapple and jalapenos.
There's lots of great things to do in Durango. If you've been out and about somewhere like the Animas Museum or have taken the kids to the zipline adventure park, you might be considering picking up a take-out pizza rather than cooking when you get home. Only right too as who wants to cook after a day out? You'll get the best take-out pizza in Durango if you get yours from the Fired Up Pizzeria on Main Avenue. They'll certainly be all fired up and ready to bake you a great pie as soon as you walk through their door, as that's what they do best. You'll probably be impressed with their premises as well as their keenness to serve you, too, as their bare-brick and wood furnished dining area is a real eye-pleaser that's a pleasure to wait in. More eye-pleasing still are Fired Up's pizzas. They bake in a wood-fired oven, so be prepared for a few charred bubbles on your pizza crust.
Hermosa, a small rural town a few miles north of Durango, isn't called Hermosa for nothing. Hermosa means beautiful in Spanish and this town and the surrounding landscapes certainly are. The town is encircled by mountains like the Animas City Mountain, where you can hike or mountain bike long but relatively easy trails that wind through the countryside at quite high altitudes. The scenery is breathtaking, so enjoy it more by packing a pizza from the Alce Restaurant on County Road 252 and taking it with you to eat while staring at the mountain peaks.
Head due south from Durango along the US-550 and after thirty minutes cruising you'll have left Colorado and be in New Mexico. The first town you'll come to is Cedar Hills which won't particularly halt you in your tracks, so keep going for a couple more miles and you'll soon come across some things that will. Stop off to snap a few shots of Arch Rock then take a hike along the Alien Trail which leads to the site of a supposed UFO landing. If that's not your sort of thing, then try a visit to the Aztec Ruins National Monument before dropping in at the 550 Brewing and Pizza Parlor on North Main Avenue in Aztec for a slice of pie.
There's really not a good reason for heading east out of Durango unless you particularly want just a scenic drive. After around twenty-odd miles or so you'll come to the town of Bayfield which is a good point to turn around unless it's a Saturday morning sometime between July and October when the local farmer's market is on. Perusing the stalls of produce and handicrafts won't take long, so once you've done that your options are going to Hot Stuff Pizza on Highway 160B, Eepa's Pizzeria on Bayfield Parkway, or heading straight for home.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Durango?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best gluten-free pizza in Durango?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best calzone pizza in Durango?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best Sicilian-style pizza in Durango?