Lists

The Top 12 Places to Eat Pizza in Greater Phoenix

The original Pizzeria Bianco is famously found in Heritage Square.
The original Pizzeria Bianco is famously found in Heritage Square. Jacob Tyler Dunn
click to enlarge The original Pizzeria Bianco is famously found in Heritage Square. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
The original Pizzeria Bianco is famously found in Heritage Square.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
It's always a good time to make the argument that Phoenix is the best pizza town in America. There’s the diversity of pizza-making traditions — 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 diehard 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.

Pizzeria Bianco

Multiple Locations

Pizzeria Bianco has become the measuring stick by which every other wood-fired pizza joint in town is to be measured 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 town, 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. It’s also difficult to argue that a pie like the Marinara is anything but delicious — it achieves a gorgeous richness and depth, especially considering that it’s a cheese-free pie. 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 singular pie in the state.

click to enlarge Myke Pizza's potato and bacon pie is one of Phoenix's best. - JACKIE MERCANDETTI PHOTO
Myke Pizza's potato and bacon pie is one of Phoenix's best.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Myke's Pizza

21 West Main Street, Mesa

Myke's Pizza, the former pizza pop-up in Mesa, has moved off the sidewalk and into Cider Corps. And yes, Myke Olsen is baking some serious pies. One of the more progressive and visually arresting pizzas now on the menu features bacon, rosemary, potatoes, and garlic cream. This is a white pie to convert the red-sauce fanatic. Another pie definitely worth eating is the Marinara pie, which doesn't have any cheese on it. The pie features Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, Blue Sky Organic Farms basil (torn), 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.

click to enlarge The Testosterone pizza at Forno 301 in central Phoenix. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
The Testosterone pizza at Forno 301 in central Phoenix.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Forno 301

1616 North Central Avenue

If you want to feel as if you just stumbled across a small Italian café in downtown Phoenix, spend some time at Forno 301, a dimly lit shoebox of a restaurant situated across the street from Phoenix Art Museum. On any given night, you’ll find Italian-born pizzaiolo and owner Luca Gagliano working the wood-fired oven at the back of the room, where slabs of gorgeous dough swell and brown over the crackling heat. There are about a dozen pizzas on the menu, and I have yet to stumble across a bad one. Try the brilliant Testosterone, a “ballsy” pizza (if you will) that features puddles of soft mozzarella, a lovely tomato sauce, prosciutto — and a couple of eggs. The best part is using your pizza crust —the crust here is gently charred and pleasingly chewy — to sop up the cheesy, molten yolk that drips onto your pizza pan. If egg on your pizza seems like too much, try the Forno rendition of the classic 4 Stagioni (“four seasons”) pizza, which is surely one of the best in town.]


click to enlarge Cibo in downtown Phoenix offers some of the best pizza (and patios) in the Valley. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Cibo in downtown Phoenix offers some of the best pizza (and patios) in the Valley.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Cibo

603 North Fifth Avenue

Cibo is a modern Phoenix classic, a popular Italian café 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 over the years the gently charred, ultra-fresh crust that has come to characterize the modern age of wood-fired pizza in Phoenix and elsewhere. There may be no purer expression of simple, well-balanced flavors than the house marinara pie, which gives you the full thrust of the restaurant’s homemade tomato sauce, the flavor punched up further with fresh garlic, capers, and anchovies. The Funghi, a lovely melding of mozzarella, tomatoes, and mushrooms, is also highly memorable.

click to enlarge Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana is certified ... in many ways. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana is certified ... in many ways.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana

Multiple Locations

The pizza at Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana is certified Vera Pizza Napoletana, which means it adheres to the time-tested methods of traditional Neapolitan pizza-making. 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, Napoli-built, wood-burning oven. 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.

click to enlarge The pies at LAMP Pizzeria are worth the drive to north Scottsdale. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
The pies at LAMP Pizzeria are worth the drive to north Scottsdale.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

LAMP Pizzeria

8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale

Have you tried the Gem pizza at LAMP Pizzeria in north Scottsdale? It’s the kind of pie that is both visually interesting and very delicious. It’s beautifully mosaicked with spoonfuls of ultra-fresh ricotta; salty, crisped-up rounds of pepperoni; and a scattering of LAMP’s homemade, herb-scented sausage. It’s breath-takingly good, with a chewy crust that begs to be eaten. The expansive menu is filled with other artfully composed, cheekily named pies (see: “Jese’s Girl” and “Stacey’s Mom”), but no matter how silly they sound, it only takes one bite to realize that chef-owner Matt Pilato is dead serious about making top-notch, wood-fired pizza.

click to enlarge La Piazza Al Forno on Glendale Avenue. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
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 Glendale location of La Piazza was something of a trailblazer in bringing wood-fired, artisanal pizza to the Valley, and the Glendale location has brought top-notch pizza to the west Valley. The restaurant is a certified Verace Pizza Napoletana restaurant, which means you can depend on a reliably crispy-chewy crust, and the full-bodied flavor of San Marzano tomatoes. A highlight is the Dolce Diavolo, a spicy-sweet marriage of sopressata, Calabrian chiles, fresh basil, and a touch of Arizona honey. It’s really one of the more distinctive and unique pies in downtown.

click to enlarge Fresh out of the oven at Base Pizzeria. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Fresh out of the oven at Base Pizzeria.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Base Pizzeria

3115 East Lincoln Drive

Ordering a pizza called “The Chook” doesn’t seem particularly promising, but it actually turns out to be pretty great here at Base Pizzeria. The ultra-savory pizza features organic crushed tomatoes, chicken, smashed potatoes, a generous amount of shaved Parmesan, and fresh rosemary — and it happens to be both unique and delicious. This Arcadia pizzeria is run by a small group of Aussie expats who are clearly smitten with the creative possibilities of wood-fired pizza. Most pizzas feature organic, locally sourced ingredients, mixed and matched in curious and delicious configurations. If The Chook isn’t your bag, try the flavor-rich pie called the Sweet & Spicy Snag, which marries the flavors of fennel sausage and organic chiles beautifully.

click to enlarge Topping a margherita pizza with olive oil at Pizzería Virtù. - CHRIS MALLOY
Topping a margherita pizza with olive oil at Pizzería Virtù.
Chris Malloy

Pizzeria Virtù

6952 East Main Street, Scottsdale

The odyssey Gio Osso took to the pizza oven of Pizzeria Virtù began when he was 13, working in a New Jersey pizzeria. It continued when he landed in the Valley, managing the wood oven weeknights at Grazie. Osso went on to win much acclaim for his progressive Italian restaurant Virtù Honest Craft but then, once Grazie closed, he took over its space. There, he now slings pies after training with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. This is the group from Naples that certifies Neapolitan pizza, the style at Pizzeria Virtù. Thin crust. Puffy rim. Soupy center. Blazed at high heat. Floppy and sparely topped. In addition to pealing quality pizza, Osso has a mind for toppings: minimalistic unions of 'nduja and soppressata, taleggio and trumpet mushrooms, vibrant pesto and stracchino cheese.

click to enlarge Craft 64 has locations in Scottsdale and Chandler. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Craft 64 has locations in Scottsdale and Chandler.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Craft 64

Multiple Locations

It’s hard not to fall for the Aji pizza at Craft 64, a downtown Scottsdale destination for local craft beer and great Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza. The Aji, one of the signature pies at this beer-centric pizzeria, is named after the spicy South American green chili sauce. It features an ingenious medley of savory and spicy notes, topped with juicy rounds of fennel sausage that play well against cooling mounds of ricotta. Another boldly flavored pie is the Spain, topped with Spanish chorizo, cured olives, roasted red pepper, and a blast of harissa sauce. The pizza made at Craft 64 is not often an exercise in subtlety, but it’s frequently very good.\

click to enlarge The Parlor — one of our more impressive pizza spots. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
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 house pizza, for instance, topped with bacon, kale, and giardiniera. The addition of the lightly vinegary, pickled veggies seems weird in theory, but it works surprisingly well. Then, there are pies like the Puttanesca, a spicy pizza featuring a generous portion of well-cooked shrimp and calamari that are baked right into the zesty tomato sauce base. The Parlor may not be for pizza purists, but it’s a great place to renew your devotion to the possibilities contained within an 8-inch circle of cheesy, baked dough.

click to enlarge They get creative over at My Slice of the Pie. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
They get creative over at My Slice of the Pie.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

My Slice of the Pie

3724 East Indian School Road

Still a newish kid on the block in metro Phoenix, My Slice of the Pie is a small Arcadia pizzeria with a laid-back vibe and a menu full of surprising and delicious turns. There’s the Al Pastor, a Mexican-Italian mashup that emulates the distinctive flavors of the marinated, spit-roasted pork. It’s a smart and irresistible melding of bright, bold flavors that features grilled pineapple, hunks of luscious pork, scatterings of sliced red onion, salty-savory cotija and asadero cheeses, and — what else? — cilantro. You more than likely will end up eating it all in one sitting.

This story was originally published on March 29, 2017. It was updated on January 16, 2021.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.
Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy