When a menu lists offerings as diffuse as pizza, oysters, and soft serve it’s usually a sign you’re in for a bad meal. It’s also reminiscent of all of the horrible places you ate at in high school that served seafood, turkey melts, and burritos. But needn’t you worry, former-Village-Inn-heads. Cart-Driver’s seemingly random mix of food will make you forget all those late nights spent eating subpar grilled cheese and writing your Riot Grrrl zines.
Not only is Cart-Driver good, it's surprisingly some of the better pizza you can find in this town. Why is it surprising? Well, because the restaurant is basically an elegant shoebox (okay, it’s a shipping container) with a wood burning oven inside. It's also more of a pizza counter than a restaurant, where you order at the register and hope you can land a table. We've been lucky on most of our visits, and at the very least, the people at Cart-Driver are so nice that you won't mind waiting. Just know that this Ikea model apartment is not for big groups, and that if things get too jammed up, it’s best to take your pie to go.
Despite - or maybe because of - its diminutive size, Cart-Driver is a great neighborhood hang where you could spend hours drinking too much beer and eating too much pizza. And we’ll never discourage that behavior, especially when the food is this good. This is “fast casual” at its best, or as they call it, "slow food, fast." It's the perfect place to start or end your night, as Cart-Driver is open until midnight daily, with rotating options for pizza, oysters and boozy gelato. Denver keeps getting better all the time.
The best pies at Cart-Driver are the most simple, like this pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil. It's got that San Marzano tomato flavor you’re looking for and it's awesome. The similarly stripped down Mariner is tasty too.
Cart-Driver’s titular sausage and rapini is a solid choice for meat eaters and surpasses the clam pizza, which you might also be tempted to sample. Whatever you do, have one of these on your table.
A jacked up pepperoni pizza with lots of garlic and chili. You probably want this.
We had high hopes for the Four Season’s separate quadrants of squash, pear, ham, and potato, but it’s a better Instagram picture than a pizza. The burrata and ham were good, but the potato on crust was, in the words of our own Greg Spitzer, “like putting a hat on a hat.”
Tasty and fresh oysters that run about $3–4.50 apiece depending on where they hail from. We love the mignonette with celery root and their home-made hot sauce as compliments.
There’s no better way to top off an evening of pizza and oysters than with some soft serve gelato. It also doesn’t hurt when you can jam a mini bottle of the boozy digestif Underberg in said soft serve (a/k/a the Underserve). It’s a great little late night snack.