Eat With Your Hands: Vail Valley’s Best ‘Za

Square pizza with Pepperoni

Each issue of Covered Bridge we, your brave culinary explorers Russel Reuben and William Montecristo, search the valley for inspiring burgers, sandwiches, tacos, snacks on a stick, second breakfasts and finger foods.

For the second issue, we wanted to explore the culinary renaissance that seems to be on everyone’s greasy lips these days. Once associated with high school cafeteria memories, this heavyweight hero is this season’s hottest fashion accessory. From the heat lamp to the spotlight, please welcome …

Square pizza with pepperoni.

Gold: Alpine Pizza Company Lionshead.Alpine pizza

Reuben: The hype is real! Alpine Pizza Company are the new kids on the block in Vail. No need to order double ‘roni on this Detroit style pie, as the pepperoni slices stack up like flakes on a bottomless powder day. A crispy, cheesy crust lines the edges, so if you’re in for just a slice, make sure you grab a corner.

Montecristo: Huey Lewis says his 1986hit, “Hip to Be Square,” was inspired by “bourgeois bohemians” who had dropped back in, cut their hair and started working out, but had kept their nonconformist tastes. I don’t know what those words mean, but I do know melty, cheesy corners, crispy crust and an avalanche of ‘roni cups brimming with flavor juice. From humble home kitchen beginnings to social media stardom, I think this may have been the “new drug” Huey was singing about the whole time.

Silver: Pazzo’s Pizzeria Vail.

Pazzo’s Pizzeria Vail

Reuben: We absolutely had to call into this OG Vail pizzeria for their infamous “hidden on the menu” item, The Sicilian. This layered pizza party keeps the peps hidden under the cheese, but don’t befooled. Pazzo’s packs this pie with flavorful sauce that’ll tickle your taste buds

Montecristo: In 1995, I read in a snow-board magazine that to get a local’s discount at Pazzo’s you had to know the then secret location of Hairbag Alley. Nowadays, just knowing to get to Pazzo’s early enough to catch a coveted slice of Sicilian style pie packed with oregano and pepperoni will get you a nod of respect from the boys in the back.

Bronze: Pickup’s Pizza Company Edwards + Eagle. 

Pickup’s Pizza Company Edwards + Eagle

Reuben: This square pie is so light and airy you could “Do A Kickflip” with it! With their new Edwards location, no need to drive to Eagle anymore to experience this ‘roni rarity. This cloud of a square pie will give you something to text home about!

Montecristo: I used to think the neighborhood ice rink had the best square pizza in the world. Maybe it was because, in 1992, Lauren Sternberger gave me my first kiss behind the arcade, and her breath tasted like pepperoni, and her lips were as soft as Chapstick covered clouds. Soft pillowy crust, crisp corners and lots of sauce. It’s just like kissing a real live girl for the first time.


Disclaimer: These rankings are absolutely anecdotal samplings of some of the food we ate with our hands and is by no stretch of the imagination an all-inclusive or accurate encapsulation of the valley’s cornucopia of offerings. If you have a suggestion of where we should eat next please email us at

Illustrations by Becca Saulsberry.