Phoenix’s pizza scene received an immense boost when two local pizzerias made The Washington Post’s list of America’s Best Regional Pizza. Pizzeria Bianco and Cibo both rank within the top 25.
Crisp Premium Pizza offers unique slices that would fit right in at any Phoenix pizzeria, such as my personal favorite: Meat D-Lux featuring cupped pepperoni and sausage.
1. Pizzeria Bianco
Chris Bianco never anticipated that opening Pizzeria Bianco in 1988 in a Phoenix grocery store would lead to such an influential role in the artisanal pizza movement. Now, Chris Bianco is widely revered as an outstanding pizza maker – winning the James Beard Best Chef Southwest award in 2003 and 2022 Outstanding Restaurateur awards respectively.
Bianco currently owns and operates three locations (Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Bar Bianco in Phoenix, and Pane Bianco on Central Avenue), plus a food truck. His exquisite pizzas use farmers’ market ingredients and come with salads and small plates from their food truck. At their Downtown LA location in a former coffee roaster, you’ll find dinner service similar to that found in Phoenix with six pizzas impossible to choose from along with salads, sides, and wine or beer options – not forgetting their food truck offerings!
Cibo (pronounced Chee-boh) offers delicious Tuscan-inspired cuisine in an elegant restaurant setting. Perfect for quick lunches, after-wedding dinners, or romantic dates – you won’t be disappointed at Cibo!
The restaurant has an intimate setting enhanced by expressive art like photography, paintings, and hand-blown glass sculptures. Their seasonal menu boasts an assortment of appetizers, main entrees, and desserts for customers to choose from.
Cibo is an acutely perceptive being, capable of sensing electromagnetic frequencies and scanning humans from a long distance. She joined Killy in his search for the Net Terminal Gene and became his most prominent partner against Corporation Presidents and their massive bodyguards; additionally, she can hack into their computer systems to rewire weapons at will. Finally, Killy and Cibo reached the Toha Heavy Industries facility.
Nello’s is located near Christ Church and offers Italian cuisine that is sure to please. They specialize in salmon, white risotto, and Dover sole, while their popular dessert options include cheesecakes, panna cotta, and creme brulee. Their friendly staff welcomes guests all year long!
A restaurant chain known for creating an inviting home-away-from-home atmosphere, its owners were known to greet customers at the door or visit them at their tables. At one time it had four Valley locations including Tempe and Ahwatukee.
Celebrities and high-profile businesspeople of all kinds flocked to this restaurant, from Mick Jagger and hedge fund manager John Paulson to Honore Ryan and socialite Lizzie Grubman – but drawing them in came with exorbitant prices; one account suggested charging Brian Cox before “Succession’s” Logan Roy $500 for pasta dish alone!
4. Craft 64
Craft 64 in Scottsdale stands out amongst its competition by catering to two massive food trends – wood-fired pizza and craft beer – making it no surprise they remain bustlingly busy. Drawing its name from its capacity of growlers – refillable to-go jugs that have become fashionable across the nation – Craft 64 emphasizes local produce from McClendon Select Farms, flour from Hayden Mills, and extra virgin olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill for fresh ingredients that come from within proximity.
Josh Ivey, an advanced Sommelier and former owner of a wine bar and bistro in Australia, along with Roger Carpenter and Scott Hagen are the “hands-on” managing partners and bring an abundance of knowledge and experience.
5. Slices on Mill
Nate Cruz and Judy Krause (the accountant of Slices on Mill), purchased it after its original owners parted ways and are bringing back to life this Tempe pizza joint by serving both traditional East Coast style pizza by the slice, calzone or whole pie as well as offering specialty offerings like Old Bay Chicken Pizza, Loaded Potato Pizza and Arizona Pizza with jalapeno peppers, refried beans, chorizo sausage.
Zach Meyer works at an office nearby the location and says since Cruz took over, the pizza spot has become cleaner and has a friendlier atmosphere. He adds that for roughly $20 you can get a delicious slice with a drink daily between Monday and Friday lunch, such as Otto Rainbow which features mozzarella, pepperoni, ham, green peppers, black olives, and tomatoes.
6. Bella Gusto
Bella Gusto Pizza on the North Fork is one of the best-kept secrets. Their pizza, pasta, and dessert offerings use quality ingredients in generous portions at affordable casual restaurant prices – not forgetting being amongst one of the more accessible casual eateries nearby!
Oconomowoc Italian Deli & Marketplace provides all-in-one Italian dining, deli services, and a marketplace. Additionally, they sell authentic Italian products like pasta, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar along with cheeses and cured meats to make Oconomowoc residents happy!
Foodie fans will delight in receiving one of their gourmet gift baskets. A personalized greeting card allows the recipient to redeem it online at their website or elsewhere online.
Four decades ago, Spinato’s Pizzeria and Family Kitchen made its debut as a small mom-and-pop eatery in Tempe. Today it operates five bustling locations throughout Phoenix offering takeout, delivery, and catering services.
The Spinato family owns and operates their business without franchisor involvement; unlike some franchisees, they maintain complete control of food quality and recipes. Each month their family kitchen produces 26,000 pounds of dough and 1,800 gallons of sauce for five busy restaurants in their portfolio.
Spinato’s brand has expanded, adding larger buildings that feature bars and event spaces. Their Gilbert location now seats 76 diners and offers delivery through either their staff or DoorDash services. Their 4,000-square-foot restaurant boasts multiple dining rooms including private ones with coved booths. For more information, visit their website.