The Top 10 Best Pizzerias in Metro Phoenix | Phoenix New Times


The Top 10 Best Pizzerias in Metro Phoenix

It's always a good time to make the argument that Phoenix is the best pizza town around. These 10 restaurants prove it.
Pomo's pizzas are fired for 60 to 90 seconds in a 905-degree oven.
Pomo's pizzas are fired for 60 to 90 seconds in a 905-degree oven. Jacob Tyler Dunn
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It's always a good time to make the argument that Phoenix is the best pizza town in America.

There’s the diversity of techniques — every major pizza-making philosophy, from Chicago deep-dish to wood-fired Neapolitan style, is well-represented in the Valley.

There is the concentration of talented pizzaioli in the Arizona desert, an unlikely yet fortunate development that has helped Phoenix become a culinary destination for die-hard pizza aficionados.

And there is the simple fact that it’s become harder and harder to keep track of the ever-expanding roster of great pizzerias around town. Well, we've done the heavy lifting for you. Here are the 10 best places for pizza in the metro Phoenix.

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Chris Bianco presents a pizza fresh from the oven.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Pizzeria Bianco

Multiple Locations
Pizzeria Bianco has become the measuring stick by which every other wood-fired pizza joint in the Valley is to be compared from now until the very concept of Phoenix becomes obsolete. “I think so-and-so’s pizza is even better than Bianco’s” is a controversial yet commonplace piece of rhetoric you will sometimes hear people throw around in a somewhat desperate effort to drive home a point about how good the pizza they had last night really was. Even if it’s not your favorite pizzeria in town, it’s hard to argue against the sheer influence that the restaurant has had on the local and national pizza scene. Bianco recently won his second James Beard Award, opened a new restaurant in Los Angeles, and starred on Netflix's Chef's Table: Pizza. The Wiseguy, with its classic sausage-and-onion combo, has a smoky, savory allure. And the Rosa, with its ingenious combo of red onion, Parmigiano-Reggiano, rosemary, and Arizona-grown pistachios, might be the most famous pie in the state.

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Get ready for punchy flavors at Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante.
Tirion Morris

Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante

19420 North 59th Avenue, Glendale
This northwest Valley restaurant is hidden in a shopping center strip mall filled with sports bars and offices. But Bottega Pizzeria Ristorante is a gem. Grab a table next to the floor-to-ceiling photograph of an Italian street and start your meal with the complimentary bread basket. Multiple different varieties of bread are warm, soft, and oh-so-satisfying. Next, pick your pie from a list of red and white options. To intensify your taste of Italy, try the Capricciosa pizza, topped with prosciutto, artichokes, mushrooms, basil, and strong-flavored purple Kalamata olives. You won't find any of the boring black olives often seen on pizza here.

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Cibo in downtown Phoenix offers some of the best pizza in the Valley.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Cibo Urban Pizzeria

603 North Fifth Avenue
Cibo Urban Pizzeria is a modern classic — a popular Italian cafe that has been supplying downtown Phoenix with an irresistible menu of red and white wood-fired pizzas for more than a decade now. Chef Guido Saccone has left his mark on the local pizza scene, helping popularize the gently charred, ultrafresh crust that has come to characterize the modern age of wood-fired pizza in Phoenix and elsewhere. His pies feature an inch or so of pillowy crust before the toppings begin. Try the Funghi, a lovely melding of mozzarella, tomatoes, and mushrooms, or the Diavola for a spicy kick. Sit on the twinkle-light-strung patio of this historic bungalow and enjoy a few slices, a glass of wine, and maybe a dessert special to share.

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Grab a pie at The Desmond, downtown's newest pizzeria.
Tirion Morris

The Desmond

1 North First Street, #103
The Desmond, one of the newest pizzerias on this list, recently opened in downtown Phoenix. Sitting next door to the Kettle Black Pub, this bar and restaurant borrows a bit of the pub vibe, with a perfectly poured Guinness on the menu, and mixes in a hint of Italy. Loud music, maps of the city, and bright blue leather booths lend a distinctly urban feel, yet the menu is a classic. Try the Pizza Burrata for a fun experience from the get-go. A plump ball of cheese sits in the center of the pie, begging to be sliced open and spread over thin slices of spicy capicola and baby arugula. Well-dressed salads round out the meal at this perfect-for-sharing spot.

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La Piazza Al Forno on Glendale Avenue.
Lauren Cusimano

La Piazza al Forno

5803 West Glendale Avenue, Glendale
La Piazza al Forno in Old Towne Glendale is a longtime staple of the Valley’s Neapolitan pizza scene. The restaurant was something of a trailblazer in bringing wood-fired, artisanal pizza to the greater Phoenix area, and is certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which means it adheres to the time-tested methods of traditional Neapolitan pizza-making. The quickly-cooked, crispy-chewy crust pairs perfectly with the full-bodied flavor of San Marzano tomatoes. A menu highlight is the Lasagna Pizza, a creation that answers the age-old question of whether to order pizza or pasta. This perfectly blends the flavors of the two favorite Italian staples.

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Mimi Forno Italiano is a Laveen Village neighborhood favorite.
Tirion Morris

Mimi Forno Italiano

3624 West Baseline Road #174, Laveen Village
This south Valley restaurant is a neighborhood favorite, and for good reason. Located in Laveen Village, this small spot fills up fast. Grab a seat at the bar or be prepared to wait for a table for dinner. But at Mimi Forno Italiano, the wait is so worth it. Thin, stemmed wine glasses add a hint of elegance to the neighborhood spot, and excellent pizza brings it home. The menu is split into red and white, and we highly recommend the Polpetta. The restaurant serves a starter of meatballs drenched in red sauce, but you can also try them thinly sliced and added to this meat lovers-style pizza, accompanying ham, sausage, mozzarella, and basil. Mimi Forno Italiano also serves pasta dishes, steak specials, and an array of desserts, making it an ideal date night destination.
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Potatoes add an unusual texture to this signature pie at Myke's Pizza.
Tirion Morris

Myke's Pizza

31 South Robson #103, Mesa
Myke's Pizza, the former pop-up in Mesa, moved off the sidewalk and into Cider Corps. And there, Myke Olsen is baking some serious pies. One of the more unusual pizzas on the menu features bacon, rosemary, potatoes, and garlic cream. This is a white pie to convert the red-sauce fanatic. Another pizza definitely worth eating is the Tomato Pie which doesn't have any cheese on it. It features Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, Blue Sky Organic Farms basil, pepper, and sliced garlic soaked in olive oil so it won’t burn. The pizza hits you with the same spirit as a simple summer pasta made with sauce simmered from fresh tomatoes. Speaking of summer, the seasonal pies at Myke's are worth catching. Try one topped with peaches in the late summer, or enjoy a butternut squash and mushroom slice in the fall.

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The Parlor — one of our more impressive pizza spots.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

The Parlor Pizzeria

1916 East Camelback Road
The Parlor has become a dependable destination for creatively fashioned pizza pies that manage to bring some surprising twists to the pizza game. There is the Salsiccia, for instance, topped with sausage, grilled radicchio, and sage. Then, there are pies like the Spicy Barbecue Chicken, finished with cilantro and serrano chiles. The Parlor may not be for pizza purists, but it’s a great place to renew your devotion to the possibilities contained within a round of cheesy, baked dough. Make sure to look out for seasonal specials, as well, such as a sweet corn pie in the summer and the Autunalle, a fall pizza made with prosciutto, fig jam, and sweet potato ricotta.

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Fluffy crust and balanced toppings are the name of the game at Pizzeria Virtù.
Tirion Morris

Pizzeria Virtù

6952 East Main Street, Scottsdale
Although it is located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, Pizzeria Virtù takes a decidedly different approach to the glitz and glam of the neighborhood. Eating at this restaurant feels as though you were invited into a friend’s simple yet cozy home, where you can enjoy a glass of wine on their patio. It’s a creation of chef Gio Osso who made his way back to the space where he initially worked in the Valley. The location was previously home to Grazie, a restaurant where Osso managed the wood oven on weeknights. The chef went on to open Virtu Honest Craft, to much acclaim, but returned to pizza when Grazie closed its doors. Now, he’s crafted an expert menu of Neapolitan pizzas including the Erbazzone, a pie topped with mozzarella, smoked pancetta, garlic, spinach, ricotta, and lemon; and the Milano, a pizza that celebrates caramelized onions and chestnut honey.
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The Burratella Pizza at Pomo comes topped with chili threads and fresh basil.
Tirion Morris

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana

Multiple Locations
Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana is another spot certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. The dough has only four ingredients: imported organic wheat flour, natural yeast, Mediterranean sea salt, and water. It’s allowed to rise for at least 24 hours, hand-kneaded, and then given a swift 90-second cook in temperatures upward of 900 degrees Fahrenheit in the restaurant’s enormous wood-burning ovens. The careful prep produces blistery, thin-crust pies that are beautiful in their simplicity and long tradition. Try the Diavola, a lovely pizza full of robust tomato flavor and savory, crispy texture from the salame piccante, a spicy Italian pepperoni that’s nicely crisp at the edges. The Burratella is another favorite for fans of sweet and spicy. This perfectly balanced pie is topped with burrata, hot soppressata, mozzarella, thin "chili threads," basil, and a drizzle of local organic honey.
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