21 Essential Phoenix Pizza Joints

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A conversation about exceptional pizza in Phoenix begins and ends with Chris Bianco, the humble perfectionist who opened his first Pizzeria Bianco in 1994, won the James Beard Best Chef Southwest award in 2003 and earned more national attention in 2005, when cookbook author Ed Levine declared his pizza the best in the U.S. He set the bar for the Phoenix pizza-makers who followed, proving that pizza made with care and quality ingredients was different and infinitely better.

A margherita pizza dolloped with fresh mozzarella cheese.
— Nikki Buchanan and Chris Malloy

Authentic Italian: Pizzicata treats everyone like family

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Pizzicata owner Federico Venturini considers his guests and employees family at his Carefree Italian restaurant. Guests impart stories of visits to Italy, from which Venturini hails. In turn, Venturini shares authentic dishes like Pinsa Romana, pizza (starting at $10) with 48% less sugar, 85% less fat and no cholesterol.

Two people sitting at a table in front of a mural.
— Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


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Find pizza and wine, the perfect combo, at Pizzicata Pizzeria Ristorante patio, nestled between several quaint shops. It’s easy to spend an afternoon solo with your favorite bottle or grab a late lunch with a friend. Just because it’s a pizza spot, don’t assume the restaurant doesn’t carry wines on its reserve list.

Wine and wine glass on the table
— Rudri Patel

Inside Pizzicata, the first pinsa-certified restaurant in metro Phoenix

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Pinsa differs from pizza in the way its dough is made. A mix of wheat, soy and rice flours plus a 72-hour fermentation makes for an airy and crisp base with richer flavor.

Inferno pinsa

“Healthy,” “delicious” and “pizza” aren’t often used in the same sentence, but when Pinsa Romana is on the menu, that’s exactly what you get.

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Instead of merely using bread flour, Pinsa uses a mixture of high-quality, non-GMO wheat, rice and soy flours,” he adds. “What does this do? It creates a dough that is substantially higher in moisture, due to the wheat, while being crunchy and without animal fats, thanks to the rice and soy. Once all of these are combined, the dough is left to mature over 72 hours and break down into simple sugars, which gives us a substantially more digestible product.”

Pizzicata insalata, pinsa, and a glass of white wine

Carefree Restaurant Pizzicata Named Arizona's First Certified Pinseria

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For a few years now, pinsa — a rustic pizza with crispy yet light and airy crust dating back to the Roman Empire — has been trending across Europe and from San Francisco to Brooklyn. And the real deal is available right here in Arizona at Pizzicata Ristorante Pizzeria in Carefree.

Pizzicata's Capricciosa pinsa
— Geri Koeppel

The Taste of Italy: North Valley favorite moving into Mesa

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When spouses Federico Venturini and Viola Tagliaferri immigrated from Umbria, Italy, to Arizona over half a decade ago, they came in pursuit of the American dream. The couple are now expanding their business, Pizzicata, to Mesa near Painted Mountain Golf Resort. It’ll open in late October.

Two people sitting at a table in front of a mural.
— Alex Gallagher