Finding Italy in the Desert: 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Phoenix

When you want to savor some of the best Italian-inspired cooking in metro Phoenix, you'll have to book a table at Tratto, the latest offering from James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Chris Bianco. The intimate 35-seat restaurant in midtown Phoenix is the place to go for hand-made pastas and elegant yet simple small plates brimming with locavore ingredients. It's a must for fans of chef Bianco, or anyone who loves simple yet delicious Italian-inspired fare. 

Ready for great pizza? Head to downtown Phoenix, to the flagship location of Pomo Pizzeria Napolitana, where the Neapolitan-style pies are rendered according to the near-ancient pizza-making traditions of southern Italy. It's a great spot to enjoy some killer antipasti, too. 

Speaking of antipasti, Cibo is another great destination for excellent wood-fired pizza. The antipasti is worth a stop alone, though, especially the housemade burrata, arrancini and always-crispy calamari. 

If you're seeking a fine dining destination, consider Tomaso's, the swanky Arcadia restaurant that has been feeding the Valley high-end Italian fare for decades. Home to the self-proclaimed "Best Lasagna Ever," Tomaso's doesn't disappoint when you're looking for white table cloth ambiance and classic pasta dishes prepared with upscale flair. The wine list runs deep here, especially in the area of Italian reds. 



Adela's Italian Restaurant is a family-owned Italian eatery where the lasagna is as good as the one your Italian aunt used to make. If you weren't lucky enough to grow up with an Italian aunt, welcome to Adela's, where the homespun Italian...  Read More



Avanti is one of the most venerable Italian restaurants in metro Phoenix, the kind of restaurant where the owner stops by your table for a short chat and to make sure everything is to your liking. The black-and-white decor and zebra-strip decor...  Read More



Babbo means "daddy" in Italian, and that sums up the food philosophy at Babbo Italian Eatery: warm, homespun Italian cuisine designed to make you feel as if you're dining with family. The expansive menu features gourmet salads, appetizers,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Patricia Escarcega


Tratto is the new restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco, who has been instrumental in helping shine the national spotlight on the burgeoning Phoenix food scene. This time around, Bianco and company are shifting focus away...  Read More



Nook evokes images of a cozy place to sit back and relax with a hearty plate of comfort food. Fortunately, that's exactly what you'll find at this Arcadia eatery, tucked away in the Gas Light shopping center. The menu has everything from light...  Read More



Tomaso's is a classic white table cloth Italian restaurant in the leafy Arcadia district of Phoenix. The dining room is framed by Tuscan country brickwork columns, and the menu features a sprawling assortment of regional Italian cuisine, so...  Read More



North fattoria Italiana translates as Northern Italian farmhouse, a name meant to conjure images of a rustic farmhouse and family-style dining. This is driving concept behind North Fattoria Italiana, an Arcadia restaurant where the food is...  Read More



La Piazza PHX is a tiny downtown Phoenix pizzeria that boasts true Neapolitan-style pizza (certified by the "Verace Pizza Napoletana" from the VPN association based in Napoli, Italy). In a city of great pizza, La Piazza stands out for its strict...  Read More



This Central Phoenix urban pizzeria is situated in a restored 1913 bungalow, making it the perfect backdrop for a leisurely lunch or romantic dinner. Exposed brick, hardwood floors, authentic stained glass windows and a working fireplace means...  Read More



You would think that finding authentic Neapolitan-style pizza would be a challenge in the Arizona desert. If traveling to southern Italy in search of great pizza isn't feasible right now, you can satiate your appetite for great pizza with a...  Read More


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia