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Looking for Best Pizza in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area

Cookiemaker Apr 6, 2010 08:52 PM

We really love Oregano's, the thin charred crust with a hint of chewiness, the interesting and fresh toppings. The salads are wonderful too. Anything else I need to know about for some pizza alternatives? Picazzo's? Grimaldi's? Love the idea of real Neopolitan pizzas but won't wait for hours at Pizza Bianco. Any brilliant ideas? Should I stick with Oregano's? Thanks!

  1. m
    mwest9 Aug 4, 2011 01:32 PM

    In my mind, a simple dish or drink tells alot about how good a place is. For a cheese slice to be great, all three components have to be great and well-balanced and well-cooked. Mistakes are hard to hide and I think judging a place based on a simple classic item reveals an establishment's weaknesses rather clearly. If the dough is over or under-salted, it will be obvious. Any shortcomings in the cheese, sauce or the way they are cooked come out right away. (Its the same reason I use a cappucino rather than a mocha or latte as the basis for judging an espresso house). With that in mind, these are my picks for pizza in greater PHX.

    For Naples-style, I'd pick Pomo. I've been to VPN places all over the West (LA, SF, Oregon) and Pomo ranks as one of the best I've had (I'm judging solely on how they do a Margherita, not any other pizzas nor salads). And they've been consistently excellent every time I've been. We are lucky to have them here.

    For New York/New Jersey style slices, I'd go with Mama Mia on Indian School (2 locations). Again I'm only judging based on cheese pizza served by the slice. Perfect slices, time after time.

    Mama Mia Pizza Express
    806 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014

    Mama Mia Original Pizza & Subs
    , Phoenix, AZ 85003

    'Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana
    6166 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253

    1 Reply
    1. re: mwest9
      drewb123 Aug 9, 2011 12:36 PM

      Try Raffaele's.

    2. k
      kmarg Aug 1, 2011 10:17 PM

      throw in a couple of dark horses ... Tommy V's and Tarbell's, both in the 32nd St and Camelback center. Tommy V's is very nice cross between NY and Neopolitan pizza, very good sauce and nice pub like atmosphere. Tarbell's has great pizzafrom the wood oven and while the topping selection is limited, the result is awesome. The soppreseta pie is simple, classic rich flavors.
      I also love Grazie and /la Grande.

      32nd Cafe
      2822 N 32nd St Ste 1, Phoenix, AZ 85008

      1. drewb123 Jul 30, 2011 03:02 PM

        Rafaelle's on 19th Ave/Glendale is my new Fave NY Style pizza. The best by far!

        1. jezebeljones Apr 27, 2010 11:39 AM

          Parlor--all the way. Awesome pizza, delicious salads and soups, apps...yummy. Minimal to no wait. My bf will never go to bianco now.

          1. k
            kmt123 Apr 22, 2010 01:47 PM

            It certainly sounds like Bianco fits your criteria, other than the wait you can't go wrong. I find Grimaldi's greasy/soggy and underwhelming. Being somewhat of a traditionalist I still like NYPD for the NYC side of things.

            Good luck / sandwichtalk.com

            1. valleyvittles Apr 22, 2010 09:09 AM

              Try Pomo Pizzeria in the Borgata. Authentic Neopolitan, it's the best. See my blog about it, titled Pizza Rules, at

              1. Bill Hunt Apr 17, 2010 09:49 PM

                I've done both Oregano's, across from Scottsdale Medical, a couple of times. They were always very good.

                Have done Pizzeria Bianco (seated with a party of six) and it was good, as well.

                If I had to face standing in line vs Oregano's, I think I'd choose Oregano's, at least for the pies that I have ordered.


                Pizzeria Bianco
                623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

                3 Replies
                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  Mattoclock Apr 21, 2010 10:04 PM

                  The line at Oregano's these days seems pretty long too, last time we tried to go it was an hour and 20 mins, that was the Shea location. We'd have waited but we were in a rush that day.

                  I think both Grimaldi's (DC location has been better for us ) and Humble Pie have really nice pizza's.

                  Redendo's in Fountain Hills is our closest place and it's pretty good too.

                  Humble Pie
                  6149 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

                  1. re: Mattoclock
                    danieli10 Apr 22, 2010 08:43 AM

                    I like Redendo's too. They make a good Sicilian, which you don't see very often in the valley.

                    1. re: Mattoclock
                      Bill Hunt Jul 30, 2011 09:01 PM

                      We have only done take out at Oregano's on maybe thee occasions, and each was great, though maybe not any version of "ultimate."

                      Going back a bit, there was an odd situation with Oregano's - they won nearly every possible category of restaurant in a local survey - Best French, Best Mexican, Best Romantic, Best Italian, you get the idea, though the exact categories have been lost over time. This survey caused many CH subscribers to scratch their heads in wonder.

                      Still, IIRC, we had two pies and a lasagna dish, and each was very good.


                  2. drewb123 Apr 13, 2010 03:37 PM

                    Grazie is good, Grimaldi's is really good...been there a couple times in the last 6 months and slap myself for not going back more often

                    Bianco, La Grande, Centro al Pino

                    1. k
                      kc13 Apr 12, 2010 06:23 PM

                      I like Mellow Mushroom up on the Northwest side. I'm new to the area so I haven't had much experience yet but they are nice, friendly and have great pizza!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kc13
                        lballinger Apr 13, 2010 08:41 AM

                        For "non-gourmet" type pizza, Rosario's is wonderful! Their thin crispy crust is really good!

                      2. d
                        drobe30 Apr 8, 2010 02:59 PM

                        First off, I second the Humble Pie suggestion; great pizzas, although I find the salads lacking. I love the family friendly atmosphere as well.

                        I haven't been to Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana yet, but my cousin who lived in Italy for a couple years tried it last week and said it is the REAL DEAL. They just opened within the last few weeks. I have a feeling this restaurant will be popping up on the Chowhound radar quite frequently in the near future.


                        Humble Pie
                        21050 N Tatum Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: drobe30
                          AnonymousWaitress Apr 9, 2010 10:31 AM

                          Unfortunately I will have to disagree. I went to Pomo last night and had some serious issues.

                          Some of the food was decent, but everything else was not good. Even worse, the service was atrocious. They didn't seem understaffed, but half the staff seemed completely clueless and the other half extremely busy trying to pick up the slack. The five top next to us didn't get greeted for twenty minutes, finally left in disgust, and the hostess just said "oh, that's too bad" when they told her why they were leaving. There was one server who couldn't open a bottle of wine(and I'm not talking about a german riesling where it just sticks more, simply did not know how to use a wine opener), another who couldn't pronounce carpaccio in the slightest.

                          Not just the service, the beef carpaccio appetizer was overly salty to the point where I didn't want to finish it but having it cost $15 and being the first food we were able to get after being there for 40 minutes I still ate the whole thing. The vegetable medley and bean soup was good however, very hearty(although I am a soup person and will love 90% of soups that aren't campbell). Unfortunately the bread served with it was unexciting in any way.

                          The pizza flavors were very good, but the pizza toppings were too heavy for the pizza causing the pizza crust to be completely flimsy and soggy so I had to eat the whole thing with a knife and fork.

                          With those three items and a bottle of dolcetto($45), our final tab for 2 was $92 pre-tip, which I am more than willing to pay for a meal but in this case left feeling barely full and with a bad taste in our mouth. I know this restaurant just opened but after a friend repeated a very similar story to me after going their second night open I will not be returning to Pomo unless I start to hear some glowing reviews.

                          With so many other pizza places in Phoenix/Scottsdale Pomo better get their act together sooner rather than later.

                          1. re: AnonymousWaitress
                            hungryinaz Apr 10, 2010 09:42 PM

                            I second Classic Italian Pizza, probably the most under-hyped pizza place in town.

                            Classic Italian Pizza
                            1054 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

                            1. re: AnonymousWaitress
                              drobe30 Apr 12, 2010 09:45 AM

                              What a bummer. You're report jives with what a friend of mine (who also tried the place this weekend) said. I'll probably still check them out for myself at some point, but I'll give them some more time first to try and work out the kinks. There is no excuse for that kind of service or over-salted food.

                              Regarding the pizza crust: I think they have included a lot of toppings in an effort to please the average American consumer, but considering that authentic Neopolitan pizza is required to have a super thin crust at the center, I don't think it is the best move.

                              1. re: AnonymousWaitress
                                Dmnkly Apr 12, 2010 09:09 PM

                                "The pizza flavors were very good, but the pizza toppings were too heavy for the pizza causing the pizza crust to be completely flimsy and soggy so I had to eat the whole thing with a knife and fork."

                                Haven't been, can't speak to whether Pomo takes it too far, but FWIW, a limp or even wet center is very typical of a Neapolitan. Knife and fork is very much the intention. Now, if it's like that towards the outside, you've got a problem. But a wet center is a feature, not a bug. I'm much more inclined to call it a problem if you *don't* need a knife and fork, at least as far as straight-up Neapolitan is concerned.

                                1. re: Dmnkly
                                  lballinger Apr 13, 2010 08:40 AM

                                  My husband and I went to Pomo and had a wonderful experience. I also thought the same thing - the crust was too soft for the topping and remarked on that to my husband. The owner happen to overhear me and sat down and explained to us that authentic Neapolitan pizza has that kind of crust. When I realized it was SUPPOSED to be like that, it was fine! He also brought over a pizza marguerita for us to try (free of charge) and was gracious in every way. They have since added some language on their menu to explain the crust. The ingredients are fresh and outstanding.

                                  1. re: lballinger
                                    Dmnkly Apr 13, 2010 09:36 AM

                                    Yeah, some folks are put off by a wet center, and assuming they're getting a bad pizza, they don't stop to consider whether they actually enjoy it or not. Which is completely understandable.

                                    On the other hand, just because that's how it's typically done in Italy doesn't mean you have to like it. Crispy-in-the-center crust as evolutionary step rather than stylistic difference is a perfectly valid opinion (even if I happen to disagree... vehemently).

                                    And all of that said, though I hope to visit soon, I haven't been to Pomo yet and can't speak for it. For all I know, it's a waterlogged mess that even defenders of the soft center would abhor. But when you're talking about hardcore traditional Neapolitan, the notion that knife + fork = bad pizza is in direct contradiction to how it's typically prepared in the mother country.

                                    1. re: Dmnkly
                                      AnonymousWaitress Apr 13, 2010 12:47 PM

                                      I don't mind using a knife and a fork at all, but I found it soggy, not simply soft. I've spent time in Italy and had plenty of neapolitan style pizza here and so although I could be wrong, I found this beyond soft or droopy. I would have ordered a marguerita if I had known how soggy the toppings made the crust and it probably would have helped the problem. The flavors on the pizza were great, but personally, the issues surrounding every other aspect of the evening made me not want to return.

                                      I went to Grazie last night and had such a great experience(food, service, wine) it made me sorry that Pomo didn't have it figured out, but for me I'm going to go to places where I know my money won't be wasted.

                                      Grazie, by the way, doesn't get a lot of mention on this board, but every time I go I get taken care of, my food's always great, lots of moderately priced choices on the wine list. Best pizza in the valley? I could never pick just one place but I would recommend it.

                                      Grazie Pizzeria & Wine Bar
                                      6952 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

                                      1. re: AnonymousWaitress
                                        danieli10 Apr 13, 2010 12:55 PM

                                        And, they have the best Italian beers.

                                        1. re: AnonymousWaitress
                                          Dmnkly Apr 13, 2010 03:13 PM

                                          Well, right or wrong, you like what you like, no need to defend that. I just jumped in because your first post seemed to suggest that a Neapolitan that requires knife and fork is a problem. Apologies if I got the wrong impression.

                                          I actually really enjoy a downright wet center. I'd go so far as to use the word "soupy" in a positive light. Aside from giving you a nice range of texture, center to edge, it's often an indicator of quality. Really good fresh mozzarella is high-moisture, and that water has to go somewhere. Also, one with a half-cooked egg in the center? Hoooo, buddy.

                                          Anyway, this is where I really need to shut up until I've actually gotten to the place :-)

                                          1. re: Dmnkly
                                            Dmnkly Jul 30, 2011 03:30 PM

                                            Aaaaaand now, a year later, having gotten to Pomo on half a dozen occasions, that wet center is exactly how it's supposed to be. If it isn't your thing, it isn't your thing. But that's how it's supposed to be, and I love it for all of the reasons already mentioned above.

                                            1. re: Dmnkly
                                              MesaChow Jul 30, 2011 04:56 PM

                                              Watching the No Reservations episode this week highlighting the food of Naples made me think of this exact conversation. The Neopolitan pizza Bourdain showcased was downright juicy, and he even commented that all of the locals were eating with knife and fork, so he did the same. Since Pomo is certified VPN, one can hardly argue that it's not supposed to be that way.

                                              1. re: MesaChow
                                                danieli10 Jul 31, 2011 03:49 PM


                                          2. re: AnonymousWaitress
                                            ejs1492 Apr 13, 2010 04:28 PM

                                            I agree re: Grazie. (I go to the one in North Scottsdale because it's near my house.) Pizza and service have always been excellent. And the Nutella Crepe dessert is sinfully good.

                                2. s
                                  Svegas Apr 8, 2010 02:32 PM

                                  I have found Crust, in a shopping center at SE corner of Hayden and Indian Bend in Scottsdale, to have some of the best pizza I have ever had. Small location, and off to the side of the strip mall (left side as you face Albertson's) but very good thin crispy crust, and fantastic cheese.

                                  1. d
                                    danieli10 Apr 7, 2010 08:09 AM

                                    Grazie in Old Town is awesome.

                                    1. c
                                      coastalgypsy Apr 7, 2010 07:27 AM

                                      Humble Pie has delicious pizza. The potato, garlic & rosemary pizza is fantastico!!!! Go and enjoy!

                                      Humble Pie
                                      6149 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

                                      1. exit2lef Apr 7, 2010 06:51 AM

                                        Reading "Phoenix/Scottsdale area" as "Phoenix Metropolitan Area," I'd add two contenders:

                                        Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe. The name and location (tucked in a hidden corner of a strip mall) suggest ordinariness, but it's really quite good pizza. The toppings aren't radical, but show some creativity. The salads are a little less interesting but serviceable. Interesting beer and wine selection with roots in the Balkans.

                                        Redendo's in Fountain Hills. Again, an ordinary strip mall location, but some cheery New York decor inside and wonderful pizza, garlic knots, salads, etc. There's also a second location in northeast Scottsdale which I have not visited.

                                        Classic Italian Pizza
                                        1054 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

                                        Redendo's Pizzeria & Pasta
                                        16948 E Shea Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

                                        1. ipsedixit Apr 6, 2010 09:10 PM

                                          Certainly Bianco would be on the top of the list.

                                          Others to consider, in no particular order:

                                          Pizza a Metro
                                          The Parlor

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