623 E Adams St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Pizzeria Bianco has been a favorite Phoenix restaurant of mine for the past three years or so, both for the food as well as the experience. Nationally acclaimed by food critics, it has been an Arizona staple since 1987. Bianco has changed location a few times throughout history, but has spent almost the last 15 years is located downtown in the Baird Machine Shop's historic site. The small space has a modern feel and only seats about 40 people, which sometimes means over two hour wait times. In my opinion, that's part of the experience and brings to mind the question "Is a restaurant really any good if you go there at dinner time on a Friday or Saturday and it doesn't have people willing to wait for the food?" To do Pizzeria Bianco properly, make it a late afternoon event where you expect a wait and plan to have a glass of wine (or two) next door at Bar Bianco. Recently, they extended their hours to include lunchtime, which has significantly decreased the wait time for a table. In fact the last time I went (on a Thursday at 4pm) we were able to get a seat at the restaurant bar immediately...which we declined to go spend some time at Bar Bianco because it felt wrong not to wait at least an hour for a table! Several of the wait staff have been at Bianco for years, and it gives a familiar, homey vibe to the experience even though Chris (the owner) no longer mans the wood fired pizza oven.
When it comes to pizza, I'm not die hard for one style over another. There are times where you want the solid heartiness of deep dish, and others (like an Arizona summer) where you want something a bit lighter and not so heavy. What strikes me about Bianco is the freshness and authenticity of the pizza. Chris Bianco, the owner, spent a year in Italy to perfect his pizza, and came back with a pie that features a delightful balance of handmade dough, mozzarella they make onsite every morning, locally grown vegetables, and herbs from the garden in between the restaurant and Bar Bianco. For any Arizona resident who hasn't experienced Pizzeria Bianco - make a point to discover it; it's worth the wait!
We love Pizzeria Bianco, but if you want more options - here are other restaurant favorites!