Ever had a slice of local pizza-chain, Anthony’s Pizza? Ever stopped by Lechuga’s to pick up some Little Devils? What about a historic dinner at the old mob hangout Gaetano’s? Well if you have, you’ve tasted a little bit of Denver’s history.

I pride myself on eating, and shopping local. And there’s one unsung hero, that I feel should be recognized for decades of providing Denver with tasty products – Clyde’s Sausage. Clyde’s opened its doors in 1964. They make sausage, meatballs, burger patties, and more for some of Denver’s most classic, and recognizable eateries. While Clyde’s isn’t a name that’s as recognizable as Polidori’s or Boulder Sausage, it in every right should be.

Clydes is one of the few sausage producers that still uses bone-in, never frozen pork butts and shoulders. Why is this important? Flavor, for one. Leaving the bone in keeps that source of flavor there till the very end. It’s also important because it’s tradition. It’s the tradition of doing things right.  Instead of having everything mechanized, and done for you, they do it themselves. Is it more expensive? Sure. Do they take a cut out of their profits? Absolutely. But they still do it right.

From the Chorizo, to the Italian Sausage, everything is created, and shipped out after just 2 hours. That’s right. These aren’t created and stored for days, they are made, then taken directly to the restaurants. So what’s the end result here? The best sausage, meatballs, and burger patties in town.

While Clyde’s isn’t open to the public, they still have a piece of Denver’s heart – taking daily deliveries of tasty meat up and down 38th, and all across the metro area. Non-commercial orders aren’t encouraged, but don’t worry, you can enjoy this tasty fare at a number of restaurants in the metro area. Here’s just a few to get you started.

Lechuga’s  – try a Little Devil – spicy and delicious.

Patsy’s – Denver’s oldest Italian Restaurant. Founded in 1921.

Gaetano’s  - every feared an 80 year old man? You’ve never met a Smalldone. Classic Denver history here.

3 Sons – So beautiful at Christmas, even if they did leave the better location.

Dino’s - Little Lakewood Gem on Colfax.

Anthony’s Pizza – A Colorado chain you can be proud of. Good NY style pie.

Mama Sannino’s – Great spot for Italian-American in Arvada.

Vinnola’s -Try a meatball sandwich or calzone, they’re so good. They also have great products and baked goods.

So in a world of over-processed, less-than-desirable quality of food, it’s important to recognize the people who do it well. And going to one of these restaurants is actually supporting two local businesses – the restaurant, and Clydes. So print out this page, and use it as your Guido’s Guide to Italian-American in Denver. And, yes, I’m Italian, so I can say Guido without any reprimand. You on the other hand, can call it the Guide to Eating Well-Made Traditional Italian-American Awesomeness.  Yeah. Unless your Italian of course, then you can revert back to the initial name I gave it.

Mangiamo!