As one heads south of Tucson the dining selection, along with the population and traffic, dwindles with each passing kilometer.  However there are some bright spots, some extremely bright spots as it turns out.

Nonna Vivi Wood Oven Pizzeria in Rio Rico is just such a spot. This casual bistro store front in the Garret’s shopping center combines the best in food, service, ambiance and value.

On a recent Wednesday evening the full house enjoyed favorites like the Caprese Salad and house Bruschetta followed by the exceptional thin crust ‘Gasty’s’ pizzas. Think caramelized onions, sausage toasted pine nuts and mozzarella on a pesto base or those same scrumptious onions paired with pears and gorgonzola again with pesto on the same heavenly, crispy crust.  Or try the Napoletana style pies with slightly thicker crusts and the same wonderfully fresh ingredients, always including the rustically delicious house made pizza sauce.

One can also engage in a little carbo loading with spaghetti accompanied by house made meat balls and marinara, the meatballs bursting with flavor, perfectly balanced by the acidity of the marinara. One more Wow! is in order.

The wine and beer list is short and sweet, with a couple of nice chiantis leading the charge. The house made fresh limonada is a nice touch, refreshing on a warm evening.

The staff bustles cheerily about, interacting effortlessly with each other and the customers, who generally interact with each other as well. The moderate din is vintage bistro with everything arriving perfectly prepared and right on time. To sip some red and be a part of it all is simply sublime.

Nonna Vivi Wood Oven Pizzeria
1060 Yavapai Dr, Suite 5
Rio Rico, AZ 85648
Phone: 520-761-2825
Open: Tuesday – Saturday 12-9:30pm

Dinner for two with a bottle of wine: about $45