December 7, 2011

Superb Gluten-Free Pizzas Available at Boulder’s Z Pizza

By Evan Sandsmark -  

There are a number of places to get excellent gluten-free pizza around Boulder, including Proto’s and Naked Pizza, both of which have been reviewed by us in the last year, and evidently Z Pizza is no exception. Having investigated the gluten-free options online, we decided to visit Z Pizza’s Boulder location on a recent evening and ordered a gluten-free pizza to take home (we also could have ordered it online if we wanted to, as Z Pizza has a convenient portal for doing this on their website, for the record).

Boulder’s Z Pizza, which is actually part of a large international chain with dozens of restaurants in the U.S. alone and additional locations in Mexico, Vietnam, and the Middle East, is located in the 29th Street Mall, or at least that area, which doesn’t seem to be precisely defined, as we noted in our review of Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. The restaurant is along Canyon, just East of 28th Street. Like a lot of pizzerias, you place your order at the counter, to the right of which is a seating area with around a 10 tables, where you can either eat or wait for your take-out order. With the kitchen in plain view, where employees hurry around making pizzas and preparing delivery orders, the atmosphere is lively.

Z Pizza couldn’t make it any easier to order gluten-free food, which consists of pizzas and salads (but not, at least at this point, sandwiches or pastas, which are the other two main menu options). There is an ingredient guide, available in the store and posted on their website (found by clicking on a tab that says “gluten-free and vegan options: we make it easy” – indeed they do), that lists, among other things, all the gluten-free options available. By consulting this, you can create your own pizza, either a small or a large (i.e., a ten-inch, six-slice pizza or a fourteen-inch, eight-slice pizza, respectively), adding whatever GF options suit your fancy, or you can check to see which pizzas listed on the menu are made with gluten-free ingredients to begin with (save the crust, which, naturally, has to be substituted for a gluten-free crust made with rice flour). The ingredient guide also lists four gluten-free salad dressings, which you can pair with any of the salads on the menu (just make sure to ask the staff to hold the few ingredients that have gluten, like croutons, for example). We decided to create our own small pizza, selecting a cheese (mozzarella), sauce (roasted garlic, made in house), and toppings (Italian sausage). No doubt, this is a slightly unorthodox creation, but it was superb, and we’d recommend it to anybody.

As is the case with many GF pizzas, the crust was thin; it was also baked perfectly, with the garlic-brushed crust reaching an ideal degree of crispness. Z Pizza really has the cooking time down. The mozzarella cheese was layered on top of the sauce, allowing the garlic flavor, which was noticeable but not overbearing, slightly sweet but in no way sugary, to cook into it as the pizza baked in the oven. On top of this was a generous allotment of deeply flavorful Italian sausage. Everything went wonderfully together – a pleasant interaction of seasoned sausage and garlic-infused mozzarella, enhanced by the crunch supplied by the crust, was present in every bite. If you feel like a pizza that is slightly different, one that doesn’t incorporate the standard tomato or marinara sauce, we recommend using the garlic sauce in whatever pie you dream up; it served us well.

Whatever you end up trying, though, it will probably be good – we have no reason to assume otherwise. So, we have yet another good restaurant to recommend that has gluten-free pizza. Give Z Pizza a try next time your in the 29th Street Mall area, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

Check out Z Pizza’s gluten-free ingredient guide here:

Z Pizza’s Boulder location can be found here:

1695 29th Street
Boulder, CO 80301

Note: Many of the places we visit merely offer gluten-free options, and hence are not necessarily 100% gluten-free facilities, so if proximal cross-contamination is an issue, call ahead. If you would like us to review a particular restaurant with gluten-free options, send an email to We’ll try our best to check it out!

Read Next Article » For Great Gluten-Free Soups, San Francisco Soup Company of Boulder is Your Place
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