We've spent the last year in the laboratory putting Phoenix under the microscope to reveal hundreds of specimens of the best culture, outdoor adventures, shopping, dining, and nightlife the city has to offer. And we're finally ready to publish our results. Nerd alert! Now presenting Scientific Phoenix.
Pizza is now a vegetable, so eat up with glee. Here in Phoenix we have more than our fair share of top-notch pizza joints, at least one of which (Pizzeria Bianco for those that didn't pick up on the hint) has garnered national recognition. In honor of the doughy creation, here's our list to the best neighborhood pizza around greater Phoenix.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, Southeast Valley: Nello's Pizza & Italian Restaurant
In the Valley for more than 25 years, this neighborhood favorite is not only owned and operated by one of the original founders of the Nello's brand (with four locations in the Valley), its pizza dough is still made by the folks from the original joint. The motto "In crust we trust" makes sense with selections like the original pan-style (don't call it deep dish) along with thin, white, and wheat options. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, Downtown Phoenix: Cibo Urban Wine Cafe & Pizzeria
Pronounced CHEE-bo ("food" in Italian), this cozy eatery in a restored 1913 bungalow in the Roosevelt Historic District stars Tuscan pizzaiolo Guido Saccone working pizza magic at the wood-burning oven. The 12-inch pies are works of art, with a hand-tossed thin crust that's equal amounts of crunchy and chewy and topped with an extra drizzle of virgin olive oil before adding locally grown organic produce and premium Italian-imported ingredients. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, North Phoenix: Isa's Pizza
Joe and Myrah Aiello opened their counter-service pizza joint next to their Italian deli in April, and the cheery little spot landed on the go-to list of North Phoenix residents in a hurry. Serving up New York-style (thin with a crispy crust) or Sicilian-style (thick with a bread-y crust) creations for eat-in or to-go and using top-notch ingredients like tangy, housemade red sauce, high-grade mozzarella cheese, and imported pepperoni, pizza fans can order up their favorites by the slice or the whole pie. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, South Phoenix: Amano Pizza Bistro
In an area of Phoenix not necessarily known for handcrafted Italian food, this charming little neighborhood spot fits the very definition of a diamond in the rough. Since 2004, Eric and Kathy Bower have turned their little corner of the South Mountain area into a true go-to for residents of the area seeking top-notch pizzas. These hand-tossed pies cover the basics quite well -- a crisp, chewy crust being a fine starting point. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, Scottsdale: Pomo Pizzeria
Of course, most decent restaurants attempt to meet a standard by which they prepare and serve food. And at this stylish establishment, that's a model by which it can truly be called Neapolitan-style pizza. See, the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana is an Italian trade group that makes the rules for authentic pie, and Pomo follows them to a T: imported San Marzano tomatoes, 00-grade flour, creamy mozzarella di bufula, hand-kneaded dough, and a wood-fired oven (shipped in from Naples) hot enough to bake the pie within about 90 seconds. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, West Valley: La Piazza Al Forno
In downtown Glendale sits one of the Valley's best pizza joints, where Justin Piazza and crew use a wood-fueled brick oven and top-notch ingredients (including San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy) to whip up thin, crispy Neapolitan-style pies as specified by Italian trade organization Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana. Start with the classic, the Regina Margherita, with its bubbly crust, wonderful mozzarella di bufala and fresh basil. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, Central Phoenix: The Parlor Pizzeria
Hard to believe this stylish joint has been around for four years already. In a town with so much good pizza, that's a testament to the quality of Dan and Aric Mei's food. And it's still one of the coolest places in this area of the Valley in which to hang out. The former mid-century beauty parlor features a wide-open but intimate dining room, a casual bar area with a few high-top tables and sports on the TV, and a pleasant patio situated next to the Parlor's herb garden, which is regularly utilized in the Meis' (who also own Ahwatukee favorite Nello's) rustic, wood-fired pies. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
Best Neighborhood Pizza, Tempe: Classic Italian Pizza
As one of the only signs of life in a near-barren Tempe strip mall, this gourmet pizza go-to is like an oasis in the desert. From chef and proprietor Azhar Began, a short but solid assortment of top-notch wood-fired pizzas, crispy and delicately chewy and with lightly charred crusts, awaits your selection. Check out favorites like the Italian Sausage, with housemade pork sausage, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers, or the Greek white pizza with mozzarella, feta cheese, spinach, sundried tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Read the full Best of Phoenix 2012 entry and download the app.
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