Friday, April 20, 2012

The 5 Best Pizza Restaurants in the Phoenix -- Quality, Quantity, Price, and Uniqueness (ASU Arizona State UniversityTempe Arizona Maricopa)

Today, I decided to go and try a new pizza place because they left a flier on my door and it seemed like they had some good prices. So after having their pizza, it inspired me to write about the Top 5 Best Pizza Restaurants that I've had in Phoenix and Tempe.

I'm going to do my best to rate these from 1 to 5 based on Quality, Quantity, Price, and Uniqueness, but I will also take some time to explain more about each restaurant.

1. Valley Pizza Downtown (1348 W Roosevelt St)

Valley Pizza Downtown Menu
(Click to Enlarge)
Coming in at #1 is one of my personal favorites Valley Pizza home of the Phoenix Style Pizza! This place is easily number one because not only do they offer a lot of great pizzas that you can't normally find anywhere else, but they also offer the one and only Phoenix Style Pizza including the Monsoon pizza which you literally CAN'T find anywhere else. The genius behind this delicious pizza pie is so confident in his pizza, in fact, that when my friend and I went there for the first time, he encouraged us to try it and said that if we don't like it, he will make us any other pizza of our choice for free.

So, of course, we ordered it, and neither one of us could possibly say we didn't love it.

When you hear the list of ingredients, it can be a little bit intimidating: spicy tangy sauce, cheese, chicken, bacon, pineapple, tomato, yellow peppers, jalepenos, and ranch. But just as their signs promise, this pizza is a balanced blend of different flavors so expertly crafted that they come together in one amazing taste. The spicy is balanced out with the sweet. The tangy is balanced out with the creamy. And the ingredients and sauce are even laid on their with extra care to ensure that every bite is a masterpiece. This pizza is absolutely worth buying at least once, and perhaps he will even cut the same deal with you if you go -- though I doubt you will be able to say you didn't love it. It's a little pricey, but if fills you up, it's amazingly delicious, and it's the most unique pizza I've ever had.

2. Big Jimmy's Pizza in Tempe  (1330 E. Apache Blvd)

Coming in second is Big Jimmy's, the pizza place I just tried today. But I'm already hooked on it! After having only one slice, I knew that this place makes some of the best pizza that I've ever had -- EVER! Their ingredients are so fresh, they offer lots of choices including feta cheese, they've got $4 cheesy bread that is supposed to feed up to 4 people or $3 garlic butter and parmesan bread. And they have good prices on their subs as well, which I am looking forward to trying soon. But really, what made this pizza so delicious is just how fresh and authentic it is. Just every bite was just amazing. The tomatoes and mushrooms tasted like they were just bought from a farmers market, and they did not go light on the feta either, which made the pizza oh-so-much better. They also have flavored crust like Hungry Howie's!

Other than the quality, this pizza restaurant gets second place because they give you huge portions for a good price. Their 14" large is only $5 plus $1.50 per topping, or $9 for an 18" with 1-topping ($2.50 for each additional), and they even serve pizza by the slice. It's only $2 for a huge slice (.50 per topping) or $3 for a slice and drink, which is rather ideal for someone who just wants to get some lunch and doesn't want to have leftovers for the next week.

An instant favorite!

3. Pizza Heaven Bistro (5150 n 7th st)

I grew up eating Pizza Heaven when I was in high school, but that's not the only reason it makes it on this list. For me, Pizza Heaven has always represented quality, quantity, and affordability. I used to go there and get their two slice special with a drink all the time for I think only $3-4. And the slices are HUGE! But best of all, they offer high-quality food with really fresh ingredients. And Pizza Heaven  has something that Big Jimmy's does not -- Spinach! I don't understand how this is not a pizza staple everywhere!

Pizza Heaven started out as a small pizza diner that only had a few tables, but over the years, it has grown into a very high-end and attractive restaurant. Their service is fantastic, the environment is fantastic, and best of all, they still offer the same affordable, quality pizza they always have with the addition of new menu items and even alcohol. This place is amazing,  and you should try it at least once. I have always loved Pizza Heaven, and I always will!

4. Hungry Howie's Pizza and Subs (1045 East Lemon Street)

Hungry Howie's Pizza and Subs Menu
(Click to Enlarge)
Hungry Howie's is a fantastic pizza place, and it was a really tough decision to put it down as 4th, but when you consider that it's up against the unique taste of the Phoenix Style Pizza, the fresh ingredients of Big Jimmy's, and the Exquisite pizza that you get from Pizza Heaven, it's an understandable place to put it. Plus, if you want more variety, you're going to have to pay more here.

However, even though most of Hungry Howie's pizzas and other menu items cost a bit more, they always have $5 large 1-topping pizzas, and they definitely have one of the best tasting pizzas I've ever had. But besides the deliciousness of their cheese blend and they're quality ingredients (mind you not quite as quality as the three above), Hungry Howie's is also known for their flavored crusts. And although Big Jimmy's does flavored crust as well, sometimes I would rather pay $5 for a one topping than $6.50. Great pizza, good price. I could definitely never turn down Hungry Howie's.

5. Gus's New York Style Pizza (933 E. University Dr)

Gus's New York Style Pizza Menu
(Click to Enlarge)
Finally, we come to Gus's. If it was a difficult decision to put Hungry Howie's in 4th, it is even harder to put Gus's in 5th because Gus's New York Style Pizza offers some of the cheesiest, most flavorful pizzas around, and they even offer my two favorite ingredients -- feta and spinach. They are fresh and filling and huge and delicious. There really isn't much else to say.... except that they also have a THIRTY TWO INCH PIZZA!

If you're going by area alone, a gus's 32" pizza is the equivalent to 4 16" pizzas (which makes sense because you double the diameter which means you double the radius, and that gets squared so 2x2=4x! Go ahead and do the math, I assure you it adds up.)

Gus's gargantuan 32" is enough to fill up probably 5-6 people easily -- to the point where everyone is full! My friend and I took on this bad boy once, each eating half of a thirty-two incher, and I swear to god I thought I was going to die because I was so incredibly full.

Their is a downside to their pizza though, which is that the crust is kind of bland, which is easily overlooked by how delicious the rest of it is and how big the slices are. But the real reason why this pizza gets a spot in #5 is because it is just so damn expensive. But they are also they only pizza place I know that is open 24-7! That's right, you can get a delicious new york pizza at any time, day or night. It's just a fantastic idea. And I would eat here a lot more if I just had more money.