Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley

Categories: Top Lists

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Kaci Beeler, Etsy.com.
​Since pizza -- a basic dish associated with Naples but not exclusively so -- was taken to America by Italian emigrants, shops selling the flat disks topped with goodness have popped up on nearly every street corner.

And since most folks have a cherished neighborhood hangout that offers up simple and satisfying pies covered in gooey cheese or topped with pepperoni, we wanted to share a few of our favorite gourmet pizzerias -- the definition, in this case, meaning spots to score artisan techniques, homemade goodness, and premium toppings.

Read on for 10 favorites.

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10.) The Gelato Spot (Scottsdale)
Last fall, the owners of this cool creamery in Scottsdale made a few updates to its interior. Namely, installing a honkin'-huge, sparkle-tile wood-fired pizza oven in it. Still somewhat of a secret (no exterior signage) and a bit of a concept head-scratcher, the eatery's selection of tasty thin-crust Neapolitan-style pies is catching on with popular pies like the marinara, margherita, and chicken & BBQ. Figuring out what to have for dessert shouldn't be a problem, but what to call the place now certainly is.

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9.) Nello's (Mesa)
In the Valley for over 25 years, the Mesa location is the only one of four in the Valley that's still owned and operated by one of the original founders of the Nello's brand. The motto "In crust we trust" makes sense with golden selections like pan-style, thin, white, wheat, and original. And with the build-your-own option along with traditional pies, Mediterranean pizzas, and vegetarian and specialty selections, this beloved neighborhood spot has something for almost everyone.

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8.) Pizza People
Longtime Phoenicians MaryBeth and Tim Scanlon offer pies on the fly with their food truck, which features personal-size artisan pizzas all under 10 bucks. With dough made from scratch and nearly everything else locally sourced, specialties like the Popeye and the Fun Guy (made with mushrooms -- get it?) are delectable, plus there are vegan and gluten-free options, as well. Pizza People are regulars at Food Truck Fridays. Follow them on Facebook to see where they'll roll up next.

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7.) La Piazza al Forno
Pizza means two things at this downtown Glendale spot -- Neapolitan and wood-fired. Thanks to homemade mozzarella and dough, San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy, and recipes from the old country, chef Justin Piazza and his family have been servin' up phenomenal pies courtesy of a wood-fueled brick oven since they opened their pizzeria over four years ago. The classic margherita or the meaty Italian Stallion are solid standouts, but the The Bianca -- a wonderfully flavorful white pizza -- is a garlic lover's dream come true.

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6.) Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana
As the first and only VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) certified restaurant in Arizona, this Scottsdale pizzeria puts the ahh in authenticity. Two Italian pizza masters, Matteo Schiavone and Fabio Caruccio, make the ultra-thin Neapolitan pizza dough to exact standards in a wood-burning oven. Topped with premium ingredients like San Marzano tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, and buffalo mozzarella, these 12-inch pies are certifiably perfect.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Pizzeria Bianco

623 E. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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25 comments
Sharon B. Salomon
Sharon B. Salomon

Obviously if you want to generate remarks on the blog, just write "pizza" and that should do it! Personally, I'm not a "gourmet pizza" fan since I'm from NYC (although I do appreciate gourmet pizza), I'm okay with NYPD although I haven't tried many of the other NY style places.

Seriously?
Seriously?

Pizzeria Bianco? Seriously? Phoenix New Times has been taking in ad revenue to falsely give lip-service to places for years now, but come on. That is a place that used to be #1, by far, but just puts out a mediocre product now.

Does anybody associated with this newspaper/website have any integrity anymore? This comment will likely be deleted, because it might prevent further ads/fake reviews.

Tom
Tom

Hard to argue with this list.  I might have wanted Pizza Heaven in Phoenix to make the cut (hey, they do great things with soy cheese, and I never thought I'd type that). I still like Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe, even if the quality has slipped a bit from its peak.  Also, I know people will probably bitch about the order of the top 3, but they are all great choices.  

Zona992007
Zona992007

How about a slice of new york pepperoni pizza.  Thats all I want.

Shannon D.
Shannon D.

VPN? Who cares...if you like, EAT IT! There are bigger issues to get upset about...I mean, REALLY!?

VBN. BFD.
VBN. BFD.

  As I've done many times over on this subject, let me simply suggest the pie sublime that is still being served from the cozy confines of the original Red Devil on McDowell west of 32nd Street. Do this, and you will find truth.  

Erica O.
Erica O.

Why is pizza so divisive? Sharing a cheesy, saucy pie seems like it should bring people together, but it generally just has folks drawing battle lines. It has since the early days of message boards on Phx Yelp 6 years ago. People get pissy about their pizza. 

McYuk
McYuk

Whoo poorly written please check facts LA PIAZZA  AL FORNO has been VPN for some time now 

Twee
Twee

I agree that Cibo was on that list. The ambiance is great, the pizza is amazing and the deserts,to die for. And if you order the anti pasta salad the most wonderful green olives you will ever have. But if you want really great pizza where the New Yorkers hang out, come to Casanova Brothers in Gilbert. The guys there will make you feel like family and the pies are just like you would find in New York. My favorite is just a plain white pizza, but if you like thick crust, you'll love their Sicilian . Unlike any thick crust pizza, it's light not doughy. And they give free garlic knots to any new customers.
 

Concerned Pizza Fan
Concerned Pizza Fan

Note that the list is "gourmet" pizza places, which is basically an excuse for listing as many hip, wood-fired, and food truck places as possible.  Regular pizza places need not apply!

AWR
AWR

Why isn't Grimaldi's on this list?

Tatania
Tatania

Next time, Barro's Pizza should be added to this list.  They too have fresh ingredients in every pizza!

Liz
Liz

I thought for sure that Barro's Pizza would be on this list.  All of their ingredients are so fresh, from the tangy sauce to the mozzerella cheese and the homemade crust.  Definitely think it should be the Top 11 and Barro's should be included.

Richard Robinson
Richard Robinson

Restaurants offering $50 of food for just $25 only collect $12.50 — not even enough to cover the cost of the food. Some businesses also complain that the deals for new customers anger long-time patrons. Others say that the bargains attract high-maintenance types who don't turn into loyal customers.
"Your restaurants are full packed with people who aren't making you any money," says Paul Evans, a Kansas City marketing executive who advises clients against using Groupon.
http://news.yahoo.com/groupons...
The Answer:http://az2do.com/home

Tony Morales
Tony Morales

LGO & The Parlor rate higher than La Piazza Al Forno? Clearly Laura is more interested in which restaurant has more "cool factor" than which has the best pie. As for VPN, Al Forno was the FIRST and has been certified the longest, I would think information would be checked by a journalist before stating something so easily verified as fact....tsk, tsk.

Vedran Agovic
Vedran Agovic

I would also put Boulders on Broadway in Tempe somewhere on the list. The place is legit, consistently solid pizza. 

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

FYI, though I believe 'Pomo was the first, there are two other VPN restaurants in Arizona... one of which is La Piazza al Forno.

Bennygaro
Bennygaro

barros is an industrial pizza and not artisan pizza,would you eat at mac d,or a good home made burger......

VPNCertified
VPNCertified

First in the state was in Tucson (Vero Amore)...then POMO...then your friend at La Piazza...

Check your facts...

Dominic Armato
Dominic Armato

Though I hate to delve too deeply into something that's largely inconsequential, we're both wrong.

Pomo was certified summer of 2010, La Piazza al Forno about a year later.  But the first in the state was Vero Amore down in Tuscon, back in 2007.

Not that who was first means much (though I suspect Vero Amore might take issue with that statement), but... y'know... so long as we're making corrections :-)

inpizzaveritas
inpizzaveritas

According to everything I've read (including the AVPN site) has 'Pomo was likely certified about a year before La Piazza al Forno was (and a little over 3 years after Tucson's Vero Amore). This is based on the assumptions that (a) the timing of membership in AVPN corresponds, at least roughly, with timing of VPN certification, (b) that Carey Sweet didn't mis-report the timing of Pomo's certification back in May of 2010, and (c) that the pizzaiolo at La Piazza didn't get the timing of his own establishment's certification wrong on the pizza maker discussion board where he announced it in April of 2011.

But, yeah, the point stand that there are a couple of things wrong with the statement that 'Pomo is the state's first and only VPN-certified pizzeria.

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