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phoenix has better pizza than new york, chicago and providence, rhode island – home of the grilled pizza, according to readers of travel + leisure who cast their votes in the 2016 america’s favorite places survey. wochit

pizzeria bianco

pizza margherita at pizzeria bianco.(p o: the republic)

phoenix is the best city for pizza in the country.

yes, you read that right. better than new york, chicago, or even providence, rhode island – home of the grilled pizza.

those may be fighting words to you - and many will no doubt disagree, but that's what the readers of travel + leisure said. it seems diners who cast their votes in the "2016 america’s favorite places" survey have fallen in love with the variety of phoenix’s pizza pies.

“in phoenix, locals and visitors can enjoy cl ic thin crust joints and james beard award-winning margheritas, or order gourmet neapolitan, wood-fired pies, traditional deep-dishes and yes, even drive-through pizza by the slice. this southwestern city even has an annual pizza festival,” said travel + leisure in its write up.

in fact, acclaimed phoenix chef chris bianco was the first to win a regional james beard award for a pizza parlor, pizzeria bianco, in 2003.

want more pizza?  armato: 14 best pizza joints in metro phoenix | pie fight! giordano's of chicago brings stuffed pizza to peoria | inside look at lou malnati's pizzeria in phoenix | iconic chicago pizzeria gino's east coming to phoenix | armato: top chicago-style eats in phoenix | montini: sorry, malnati fans, but deep-dish pizza is an abomination | armato vs. montini: in defense of lou malnati's deep-dish pizza

the story mentions bianco’s restaurant, along with oregano’s, cibo urban pizzeria, la piazza al forno and spinato’s.

perhaps it’s the dry heat that makes the crust so delicious in phoenix.

more likely, it’s the nature of our population, made up of transplants from the usual pizza beds back east and across the ocean. and, without question, the city's pizza scene got more robust and diverse last year with the influx of iconic chicago pizzerias such as lou malnati's and gino's east. malnati's has already opened, and gino's east is expected to open soon in arcadia.

clearly, it’s a good time to be eating in phoenix.

buddyz a chicago pizzeria | lost in the invasion of

buddyz a chicago pizzeria | lost in the invasion of chicago-based deep dish pizzerias is the great one we already had. down in queen creek, buddyz has been quietly turning out fabulous chicago-style deep dish and a pretty mean thin crust since 2013. details: 18423 e. san tan blvd., queen creek. 480-822-1225,buddyzpizza.com. 

dominic armato/the republic
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8. cibo | demonstrating that certification ain’t

cibo | demonstrating that certification ain’t everything, cibo inhabits an impossibly charming little converted residence with a fairy-tale patio and slings neapolitan pizza with panache. the bread tends toward the tender end of the spectrum, while the flavors tend toward the cl ic. details: 603 n. fifth ave., phoenix. 602-441-2697, cibophoenix.com. 

the republic
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7. craft 64 | “lachos” hernandez spent nearly two decades

craft 64 |"lachos" hernandez is no longer spinning the pies at craft 64, but it remains a great spot for a wood-fired pizza and a local craft beer.my favorite? thespain, a zippy little number topped with spanish chorizo, toasted almonds, olives and a touch of harissa. details: 6922 e. main st., scottsdale. 480-956-0542, craft64.com. 

mark henle/the republic
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forno 301 | there's more to italian-style pizza than

forno 301 | there's more to italian-style pizza than neapolitan. thinner, crisper and less dogmatic than its -certified brethren, the wood-fired style at forno 301 is a charming, unfussy breed — much like the room and the fellows who run it. details: 301 w. roosevelt st., phoenix. 480-787-5654, forno301.com. 

dominic armato/the republic
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5. il bosco | this cozy little nook features a menu

il bosco | this cozy little nook features a menu filled with light, crisp wood-fired pizzas that read like a list of italian ex- friends. the mia, a pizza alla bismarck with cheese, pancetta and a runny egg in the middle, is a luscious little number, but watch out for specials that use the serrano chiles grown in the garden. they bite. hard. details: 7120 e. becker lane, scottsdale. 480-335-8680, ilboscopizza.com. 

the republic
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il capo pizzeria | you'll find a very nice wood-fired

il capo pizzeria | you'll find a very nice wood-fired pizza here, but those are a dime a dozen in this town. what sets il capo apart is the 18" new york style pizza, a medium-thick chewy/crisp crust topped with a simple but flavorful sauce and quality cheese. details: 7366 e. shea blvd., scottsdale. 480-951-0077, ilcapoaz.com. 

dominic armato/the republic
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joe's new york pizza | there's a kind of poetry in

joe's new york pizza | there's a kind of poetry in a greasy, inartful late night slice, and if i ever reach the point where i can't enjoy a joint like this it'll be time to hang it up. i'm not sure i can defend it, but i sure do love it. details: 7321 shoeman lane, scottsdale. 480-947-5637, eatjoesny.com. 

cheryl evans/the republic
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10. la grande orange | la grande orange is a yogi berra

la grande orange | la grande orange is a yogi berra kind of restaurant. nobody goes anymore — it’s too crowded. but those who do are treated to a distinctive sourdough crust, topped with clever combinations like the rocket man, which features fresno chiles, broccolini, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. details: 4410 n. 40th st., phoenix. 602-840-7777, lagrandeorangegrocery.com. 

john samora/the republic
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6. la piazza al forno | the valley’s other -certified

la piazza al forno | the valley’s other -certified pizzeria, along with its downtown cousin la piazza phx, brings another formidable neapolitan pie to glendale. the only thing in the house more muscular than the owner, justin piazza, is the italian stallion, stacked with four kinds of meat. 

the republic
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lamp wood oven pizzeria | “pizza man” matt pilato is

lamp wood oven pizzeria | “pizza man” matt pilato is happy to admit that he was inspired by bianco, and he works with a similar intensity. his wood-fired pizza is more crisp and golden than the neapolitan style from which it’s descended, and he offers an ortment of painstakingly sourced toppings in smart combinations. surprisingly, the pizza might not even be the best thing on the menu. don’t miss the mignulata, a sicilian bread stuffed with cauliflower, onions and sausage. details: la mirada center, 8900 e. pinnacle peak road, scottsdale. 480-292-8773, lamppizza.com. 

lamp wood oven pizzeria
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lou malnati's pizzeria | until gino's and giordano's

lou malnati's pizzeria | until gino's and giordano's arrive to make this a deep dish battle royale, lou malnati's holds the crown. deep dish may or may not be your thing (and i'm not going to wade into the debate over whether or not it's pizza... again), but lou's has the reputation it does for a reason. details: uptown plaza, 100 e. elback road, phoenix. 602-892-9998, loumalnatis.com. 

david wallace/the republic
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9. the parlor | once a hair salon, the parlor received

the parlor | once a hair salon, the parlor received its own makeover, transforming into a stylish, modern restaurant. the summer corn pizza — with roasted corn, chiles, spicy crema and cilantro — shows off the parlor’s delicate, airy crust. details: 1916 e. elback road, phoenix. 602-248-2480, theparlor.us. 

john samora/the republic
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1. pizzeria bianco | it’s too bad they don’t hand out

pizzeria bianco | it’s too bad they don’t hand out james beard awards for colorful personalities, or chris bianco would have two. but one’s pretty good, and he earned it with a respect for great ingredients, an obsessive attention to detail, and a stubborn insistence on doing things his way. a true original, bianco has left his mark both on the local and national scenes. this one lives up to the hype. details: heritage square, 623 e. adams st., phoenix. 602-258-8300. also, town & country, 4743 n. 20th st., phoenix. 602-368-3273, pizzeriabianco.com. 

the arizona republic
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3. pomo pizzeria napoletana | one of two local mini

pomo pizzeria napoletana | one of two local mini chains certified by italy’s ociazione verace pizza napoletana, pomo specializes in traditional neapolitan pizza, making minimal pies out of nothing more than flour, water, olive oil, tomatoes, salt, mozzarella, basil and oregano. the menu features plenty of other toppings as well, but the certified varieties, like the bufala verace, are the best way to appreciate the cl ically prepared bread. details: locations in phoenix, scottsdale, glendale and gilbert at pomopizzeria.com. 

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here are the top 5 cities for pizza, according to travel + leisure. check out the full list here.

no. 1 – phoenix

no. 2 – detroit

no. 3 – buffalo, new york

no. 4 – chicago

no. 5 – providence, rhode island

more dining:  11 trends that will shape what you eat in 2017 | restaurant openings, closings in january around phoenix | top food, drink events in february around phoenix | great food finds: baiz's 99-cent pita packets

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