Where to Dine in the Valley in September & October

Editorial StaffSeptember 27, 2022
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The restaurants listed are noteworthy and randomly selected from our rotating master list. We suggest that you confirm information, and we solicit your help in correcting any errors in the guide. We also ask readers to send us complaints in writing when one of the listed restaurants fails to meet expectations. Please note that, unless otherwise indicated, the listed restaurants offer free parking and recommend reservations for peak hours and large groups. Price categories reflect average dinner entrée prices; drinks, tax and tip are extra.

  • $=under $10
  • $$=$11-$15
  • $$$=$16-$25
  • $$$$=$26 and over


2728 E. Thomas Rd.
602-956-0900, avanti-az.com

This classic Italian stalwart – which was avanti in the early ’70s – retains a loyal following that still loves the house-made pastas, osso buco and veal chop. Other selections have included pappardelle with oxtail sauce or jumbo shrimp stuffed with king crab in lobster-vodka sauce. $$-$$$

Christo’s Ristorante
6327 N. Seventh St.
602-264-1784, christos1.com

This northern Italian restaurant has been a neighborhood favorite for years, thanks to Old-World service and dependable food. Rack of lamb and osso buco are faves. $$$

Cibo Urban Pizzeria Café 
603 N. Fifth Ave.
602-441-2697, cibophoenix.com

A charming house (circa 1913) is home to Cibo, a bustling Downtown pizzeria beloved for its thin, crisp and chewy wood-fired pies. Start with the fabulous antipasto platter. $$

Federal Pizza 
5210 N. Central Ave.

602-795-2520, federalpizzaphx.com 

The food is good, the drinks are better and we dig the vibe of the redeveloped 1969 building designed by architect Alfred Beadle. The porchetta sandwich is a knockout, and pizzas hit the spot without draining the wallet. $$

3159 E. Lincoln Dr.
602-381-3159, lamoreitalianrestaurant.com 

Soft lighting gives this upscale Italian restaurant a genteel, romantic atmosphere. The menu features saltimbocca, gnocchi, cioppino and fresh ravioli. $$-$$$

Mora Italian
5651 N. Seventh St., Phoenix

602-795-9943, moraitalian.com 

Celebrity chef Scott Conant puts the “it” in Italian at this buzzy Seventh Street corridor spot, blending familiar dishes with lesser-known regional favorites. Come for the imaginative cocktails at the gorgeous bar and modern-classic fusion pleasers like mushrooms boscaiola, an earthy pairing of mushroom sauce and ultra-creamy polenta. $$-$$$

Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon

Noble Eatery 

4525 N. 24th St.
602-688-2424, nobleeatery.com

Local breadmaker Jason Raducha showcases organic legumes, artisanal meats, fresh local produce and mouthwatering loaves. Look for rotating daily sandwiches, salads and starters, and smorgas with seasonal ingredients. $

Pane Bianco  

4404 N. Central Ave.
602-234-2100, pizzeriabianco.com

This wildly popular lunch spot from Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco now serves dinner, too, adding hearty, locavore Italian fare such as Schreiner’s sausage with polenta to its small selection of wood-fired sandwiches. $

Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana 
705 N. First St.

602-795-2555, pomopizzeria.com

This pizza is the real deal. Cooked in a 6,000-pound wood-burning oven imported from Italy, Pomo’s pizzas received a stamp of approval from the Verace Pizza Napoletana. Pair with an all-Italian wine list. $$

The Parlor    

1916 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
602-248-2480, theparlor.us

The Salon de Venus beauty parlor has been reincarnated as one of the best pizza places in town. The crispy, chewy crust is wood-fired, the mozzarella homemade and many of the ultra-fresh ingredients are local. Assemble your dream pie from the make-your-own menu, or choose the Yukon gold potato pizza, topped with gorgonzola, pancetta and leeks. $-$$$

Photo by Diana Lustig
Photo by Diana Lustig


The Americano
Italian Steakhouse
17797 N. Scottsdale Rd.
480-573-0001, theamericanorestaurant.com
This sexy steakhouse speaks with an Italian accent, so imagine tagliatelle Bolognese as well as prime beef and a terrific roasted half chicken. It wouldn’t be a hardship to hang out at the modern bar sipping excellent cocktails either. $$-$$$

Andreoli Italian Grocer 
8880 E. Via Linda

480-614-1980, andreoli-grocer.com

Giovanni Scorzo is large and in charge at this comfy, antique-furnished market-restaurant, where he makes the sort of Italian food Italians want to eat: house-made salumifocacciapizzetta, bresaola, carpaccio, pesce en brodetto and (if you’re lucky) vitello tonnato. For dessert, the fabulous meringata. $-$$$

Campo Italian Bistro and Bar 
8260 N. Hayden Rd.

480-5897-9195, campoitalian.com

The second time’s the charm for James Beard Award-winning chef Alex Stratta, who wisely pulled the plug on faltering Stratta Kitchen and even more wisely partnered with Genuine Concepts to create this lovely and lively bistro. Every inch of space – beautifully backlit bar, intimate dining area and plant-filled patio – is packed with locals who’ve shown up for happy hour deals (margherita pizza and a bottle of wine, $25), the already famous limoncello margarita and satisfying Italian food built upon a menu of antipasti, pasta, pizza and a handful of high-end entrées. $$

Casa Mia 

11675 N. 136th St.
480-314-0365, casamiascottsdale.com

This family-run neighborhood restaurant has been in the Valley for many years serving authentic, modern Italian dishes. Try the excellent pasta, from fusilli and linguine to paccheri and trofie. Great antipasti and meat dishes, too, and don’t forget the decadent dessert of the day. $$-$$$

DeFalco’s Italian Grocery
2334 N. Scottsdale Rd.
480-990-8660, defalcosdeli.com

A great place to grab a fat Italian sandwich or the fixings to make Italian specialties at home. Sturdy takeout entrées include lasagna and eggplant Parmesan. $

Fat Ox 
Modern Italian

6316 N. Scottsdale Rd. (Lincoln Plaza)
480-307-6900, ilovefatox.com

Named for a cattle-centric food festival in Italy, Fat Ox offers modern Italian food in an absolutely gorgeous setting. Expect an expansive, amaro-focused cocktail list and some truly exquisite pasta dishes, like garganelli with black truffle butter, speck and Parmesan. Also expect nose-bleed prices. This is Scottsdale, after all. $$$-$$$$



2950 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa
480-820-5995, nellospizzamesa.com

Back in the ’80s, this Chicago-style pizzeria was the hottest thing going. Nello’s still turns out imaginative pizzas, Italian appetizers, salads, pastas and sandwiches. Multiple locations. $-$$


1960 W. Ray Rd., Chandler
480-821-2949, pestospizza.com

Weekend nights, this cute and affordable neighborhood Italian resto is packed with locals, there for the gourmet pies, eggplant rollatini, shrimp marinara and signature pesto – served on or in just about everything. Great wine list, too. $

Vincitorio’s Restaurant
1835 E. Elliot Rd., Tempe
480-820-2786, vincitoriosrestaurant.com

Stylishly decorated but ultimately cozy, Vincitorio’s is the quintessential neighborhood Italian restaurant, offering house-made pastas, tasty pizzas and old standbys such as chicken saltimbocca, done with real flair. Don’t skip starters or dessert. $-$$$


Cucina Tagliani
17045 N. 59th Ave., Glendale
602-547-2782, cucinatagliani.com

Exposed brick, weathered doors and grape leaves give this popular West-sider a cozy Old-World feeling. Customers love the “Pick a Pasta,” first choosing a pasta, then a sauce, then ingredients such as eggplant or prosciutto to add.

Fabio on Fire
8275 W. Lake Pleasant Pkwy, Peoria
623-680-5385, fabioonfire.com

Figuratively speaking, chef-owner Fabio Ceschetti has most assuredly reached ignition. As a third generation pizzaiolo, the guy is passionate about his excellent pies. This cute, cozy trattoria with patio is also a North Peoria go-to for excellent pasta and daily specials such as roast lamb, veal piccata and cioppino. $$

La Piazza Al Forno
5803 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale
623-847-3301, lapiazzaalforno.com

Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this no-nonsense, Italian-American family-owned eatery serves up a fabulous pie. Chef Justin Piazza tops his hand-tossed, wood-fired crust with San Marzano tomatoes and homemade mozzarella. Try the garlicky white pie or the meaty Italian Stallion. $-$$$


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