When you think of the best pizza in America, you’re probably not thinking of a restaurant in Arizona. That is unless you have tasted a brick oven pizza at Pizzeria Bianco in downtown Phoenix. It began in the back corner of a grocery store in 1988 and has grown to the small brick restaurant where Friday and Saturday nights see hour long waits for tables. The New York Times called the pizza “perhaps the best in America” and Rachael Ray declared Pizzeria Bianco the winner of her Pizza Madness Bracket, a contest of pizzerias across the nation in 2010. While getting a table is no easy task, it took us years to learn the secrets. I’m sharing my tips so you can say you’ve been to Pizzeria Bianco, a phoenix must stop site, too.
I first read about Pizzeria Bianco during a flight many years ago. Reading through the best of categories of an airline magazine, a pizzeria in Phoenix was declared the best pizza in the country – where was this pizzeria and why hadn’t I been there? Just recently married and with no children, my husband and I planned to stop in for dinner at Pizzeria Bianco, the small brick restaurant nestled in the Heritage Square of downtown Phoenix.
Little did we know, all of Phoenix must have also had plans to visit Pizzeria Bianco that night because the wait was several hours long and they did not take reservations. We were ushered to the historic house next door that had been cleverly remodeled as the Pizzeria Bianco Bar. Hours later and still no table available for us, we chose to leave and try again a different evening. News of Pizzeria Bianco and the amazing brick oven pizza were spreading quickly and we had several other nights ending up leaving their bar without ever tasting the acclaimed pizza.
Life happened, we got busy, we had children – we stopped trying to wait for a table. Then something magical happened and we finally had the opportunity to dine at Pizzeria Bianco! The Arizona Science Center is located just around the corner and during a Saturday visit, instead of walking to the parking garage, we ventured over to the pizzeria. To our surprise, they were open with plenty of available tables! It took many years for us to finally say we’ve had “the best pizza in America” but it was certainly worth the wait!
tip: visit Pizzeria Bianco during lunch hours to avoid the dinner wait.
Considering we had tried to dine here for years, we wanted to order everything on the menu! We didn’t, but after many return lunch visits, I can say I’ve tried everything from appetizers to desserts and still have a long list of items I want to order next time.
tip: the restaurant interior is very small and doesn’t have room for strollers unless sitting outside; choose an outdoor seat or don’t bring the stroller.
Pizzeria Bianco is most well known for their brick oven pizza but definitely save room for dessert.
tip: the restaurant is very busy during downtown events and is better to visit at other times if you don’t want to wait.
Have you visited Pizzeria Bianco in downtown Phoenix yet?