Somehow, Phoenix is a pizza town, known far and wide for its innovative pies. Actually, we know how, and why: It's because of Chris Bianco, the passionate Bronx-born proprietor of his eponymous pizzeria. Bianco's pizzas date back to 1988, but since 1996 he's been in his Heritage Square location, serving Neapolitan-style pies to ever-longer lines and inspiring a whole generation of young American pizzaioli. Bianco won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2003 — the first pizzaiolo to ever earn the accolade. Over time, Bianco has extended his empire to include multiple locations of Pizzeria Bianco, as well as other spots like Tratto, Bar Bianco, Pane Bianco and a dizzying list of collaborations and projects that culminated in his second James Beard Award — for Outstanding Restaurateur — in 2022. Nowadays, you don't have to travel far to find delicious wood-fired pizza in the Valley. But if you'd prefer to go to the source, Bianco's margherita pie — tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil — at his 42-seat brick restaurant remains as vital as ever. That wood-burning oven is still very much lit.
623 E. Adams St., Phoenix, 85004