*The below is written by @foodistagirl, an Atlanta Eats guest blogger*
I lived in New York for seven years – all of my twenties – and I ate a lot of pizza. In fact, I kept a ranking of best pizza places in NYC. I moved back to my hometown Atlanta two years ago and have since discovered six pizzerias that rival some of New York’s finest. While I am not a food expert, I absolutely love a quality slice, so read on to learn about my favorites in ATL!
The Food Market Pie: Varuni Napoli (Morningside & Krog Street Market)
Varuni’s second location in the heart of Inman Park is the newest food station inside of Krog Street market, and its experienced pie makers bring fresh simplicity and classic Neapolitan taste. Led by chef Luca Varuni, Varuni Napoli offers made-to-order personal pizzas built upon an airy, fluffy dough made daily out of four basic ingredients: water, sea salt, olive oil and finely ground flour. The dough is topped with sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala (cheese made from the milk of water buffalos) imported from Naples, and extra virgin olive oil. The simple, classic pizza cooks in a tiled oven right in front of customers as they dine at the counter or wait to take their pizza to the rustic tables outside of the market. Try the “Amore Mio,” which also includes roasted artichokes, salami, mushrooms, olives and pecorino romano cheese. If you like white pizza, order the “Oro Bianco” (“white gold” in Italian). This decadent pie with black truffle oil, bufala ricotta, taleggio cheese, pancetta, and pecorino romano melts in your mouth.
The “Little Italy” Pie: Antico Pizza (West Midtown)
Giovanni Di Palma’s “Little Italia” is a little Italian food haven on the west side of the city, and Antico Pizza is at the heart of the enclave. Sitting at communal tables in Antico’s open dining room is like being at a show; the chefs adeptly spin, sauce, and sprinkle pizzas at an impressive pace. Though Antico’s menu offers several red and white pizzas with a variety of toppings, the specialty of the house is the “Sophia” and it is a must-eat. The “Sophia” features bufala, cipollini onions, roasted mushrooms, and a decadent drizzle of white truffle oil, which you can smell as the piping hot pizza comes towards you. The thin crust pizza is expertly oven-fired and guaranteed to leave no leftovers.
The OTP Pie: O4W Pizza (Duluth)
Formerly located in the Old Fourth Ward, this newcomer to Duluth is the self-described “Home of the Grandma Pie.” O4W Pizza’s signature Grandma Pie is a 16” square sliced, thin crust simple marinara pizza featuring mozzarella and pecorino romano cheeses. Anthony Spina’s New Jersey roots shine through in his chewy, simple, and completely perfect pies. The sauce is ever so slightly sweet, and completely evocative of a classic Jersey slice. The simple “Jersey Round” is also a must; this 16” round pizza has the perfect cheese-to-sauce ratio and needs no other toppings. However, if you want a few more flavors, try the “Jersey Shore,” which is the fun, crazy cousin of the “Jersey Round.” It’s topped with breaded chicken, fried onions, hot cherry peppers, and prosciutto. This spicy pie is fist-pumping good!
The Buckhead Pie: Dolce Italian (Buckhead)
Nested in the center of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, Dolce Italian offers diners elegant, beautiful pizza pies and seats on a vibrant outdoor wraparound patio. Order the off-the-menu “Stella” pizza (you can blame me for spilling the secret!), and you will not be disappointed. This pizza is a star-shaped masterpiece with a crust stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese. “Stella” is also topped with prosciutto, salami, and truffle oil, and the combination is absolutely heavenly. Even if you don’t typically eat your crusts, you’re going to eat every bite of this pizza – including all of that cheesy crust. Sip a glass of wine with your pizza on the patio and enjoy the breeze and the people watching.
The Trendy Neighborhood Pie: Ammazza (Edgewood)
Located on the namesake street of the trendy Edgewood neighborhood, Ammazza is both a pizza destination and a local watering hole with a huge selection of beer and a vibrant bar. Ammazza blends local flavor as well as traditional fresh Neapolitan ingredients; the restaurant makes its own mozzarella every day and brings in meat from a local butcher, the Spotted Trotter in Kirkwood. Try the “Amarena,” which includes a savory combination of sausage, peppadew peppers, caramelized onion, and roasted black cherries. Or, if you are bringing the kids, Ammazza has a “Glitter Pizza” that has edible glitter as a topping! The restaurant also offers “Pizza Fritta,” or “fried pizza,” essentially pizza dough stuffed with delicious toppings, deep fried, and coated with even more sauce. Order the “Carnosa,” the meat and cheese lovers’ pizza that includes mozzarella, fior di latte, and ricotta plus sausage, pepperoni and meatballs. Note: On Saturday, June 10th, a vehicle lost control and hit Ammazza Edgewood. Though there were no injuries, as a result, Ammazza is temporarily closed for renovations.
The People-Watching Pie: Little 5 Pizza (Little 5 Points)
Head over to this funky neighborhood where tattoos are the norm, where weird is cool, and where people watching is never dull. You’ll find a prime view of the center of Little 5 Points and some generous slices in a casual pizzeria called Little 5 Pizza. Since 1985 (the year I was born!), this family-owned pizza spot has been serving pies as well as single slices for the indecisive diner. Try the “Vegetarian,” which is teeming with veggies, or a “Little 5 Special,” which is loaded with meat (pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, and ham), vegetables and fruits (mushrooms, onions, olives, and peppers), and extra cheese. There is a reason these are sold by the slice – you may only need a few to be completely stuffed! Grab a seat outside the restaurant and enjoy your slices and the views!
Which pie are you going to try on your next pizza adventure? Let us know below in the comments!