Best of Moffat County: Carelli’s serves up piping hot pizza, cold beer as winner of 6 awards |

Best of Moffat County: Carelli’s serves up piping hot pizza, cold beer as winner of 6 awards

Carelli's Pizzeria & Pasta owners Brett and Stephanie Etzler load a pizza into the oven and handle the beer taps. The eatery won six 2018 Best of Moffat County awards, including Best Italian Restaurant, Best Pizza and Best Beer Selection.
Andy Bockelman/staff
Carelli's Pizzeria & Pasta Description: Restaurant Address: 465 Yampa Ave. Telephone: 970-824-6868 Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday Website:

Have you got a friend coming into town who wants a taste of Italy, likes their vegetables and seeks variety in their suds? Carelli’s Pizzeria & Pasta checks all those boxes and more.

The downtown Craig eatery received a slew of 2018 Best of Moffat County awards, winning outright in six categories: Best Italian Restaurant, Best Pizza, Best Sandwich, Best Salad, Best Beer Selection and Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests.

Owned by Brett and Stephanie Etzler since 2011, the pizza parlor has been a mainstay of the local food scene by sticking to the tried and true classic pies.

“It’s all about the dough. I make all that from scratch,” Brett said. “You’ve gotta have good dough for good pizza, especially with the thinner, New York crust. Our deep dish is pretty good, too, and that one goes back to my roots, since I’m from Indiana, and I spent a lot of time in Chicago. I’ve just gotta make one of those every day.”

He added that “scratch food” is the guiding principle of the kitchen.

Submarine sandwiches that range from the meatball to the signature DC — ham and breaded chicken — are complemented by an array of leafy greens for all tastes.

The same goes for what’s on tap.

A rotating selection of microbrews coming in from near and far such as regional providers Yampa Valley Brewing Company, Butcherknife and Palisade Brewing Company — are available for casual and serious beer lovers, be it in the form of a mild lager, a stout or a hoppy IPA.

Its spot at 465 Yampa Ave. has changed little by little in terms of design and has also added more outdoor dining options in recent years, with seating both on the backdoor patio and the front sidewalk.

A series of Saturday brunches also provides new menu selections, though Stephanie noted that “staying true” to the regular fare is also a priority. After also managing Mulligan’s Bar and Grill at Yampa Valley Golf Course for two summers, getting back to one location has been beneficial.

“We have a lot more creative energy that we’ve been able to use,” Stephanie said.

Brett and Stephanie credit their staff of about two dozen as the reason for their success.

“A lot of these people have been with us for years and years and years,” she said.

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