The Ultimate Atlanta Pizza Spots for a Legit Slice
We’ve asked the experts.
At the end of a long week, is there anything better than ordering your favorite pizza and hunkering down to binge Netflix? In its many iterations, pizza provides affordable comfort, especially in a time of stress and uncertainty. But what exactly makes a pizza great?
Sure, there are regional variations of pizza, but each person who makes it imbues it with their own style. As co-owner and baker behind Root Baking Co, Chris Wilkins grew up around pizzerias. “Probably my favorite job was working for my godfather, who had a pizza supply company in upstate New York,” he says. Apparently, the pastime stuck. One night at Root, they had some extra dough so he whipped up pizza on a whim. Eventually, what started as a weekends-only thing evolved into Pizza Jean’s, its own concept in the same space.
Some pizza makers are committed to a certain style, he says, but at Root he tries to focus on the crust, which is made from a similar dough he uses for his bread. “It makes sense that if you put good tomatoes on top of a bread with freshly milled flour that’s treated with some amount of dignity, then in theory, a good pizza will result from that,” he says, adding that his style is “kind of New York, kind of not New York.”
One pizza maker who adheres to a certain style is Luca Varuni of Varuni Napoli. The pizzaiolo grew up in Naples and can’t remember a time without pizza. “I used to spend my weekends with my grandma when I was a kid, and one thing we did was make dough and make pizza together,” says Varuni. “I used to love eating dough raw and still do.” (Don’t try this at home, kids.)
A Neapolitan-style pizza crust is made with 00 flour topped with a San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella di Bufala Campana, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and basil garnish. “When we talk about Neapolitan style, you are talking about the brick oven, and the brick oven usually runs around at 800-1,000 degrees,” he says. “This makes your cooking time about 60 to 90 seconds.” This results in a crust that has a slightly crispy exterior that gives way to a fluffy, soft interior. Varuni doesn’t discriminate when it comes to eating pizza, though. “I’m a pizza lover in general,” says Varuni. “I like a good New York pie, I like a good Sicilian pie, I like a good grandma pie.”
No matter which style, crust, or topping you prefer, Atlanta has an option for you. So next time you find yourself craving a slice, here are 17 places to visit.
Located on the second level of Ponce City Market, Pizza Jean’s shares a space with its sister company Root Baking Co. It’s open Thursday through Saturday. Three pizzas -- a red pie, a white pie, and a chef’s choice -- are available by the pie or slice.
How to order: Order takeout or delivery through Toast.
Junior’s started as an underground pizza delivery run by husband and wife team Jennifer and Alex Aton and now has a location in bustling Summerhill. Alex whips up a mean New York-style pizza and introduced Atlantans to pepperoni cups. Build your own pie, order a slice, or look out for their specials, like the Fresh Prince pizza inspired by the Philly cheesesteak. You can order your pizza to-go, or you can dine on the patio, but the dining room is currently closed.
How to order: Order takeout online or delivery through Postmates.
Don’t let the name fool you, O4W Pizza is now actually located in downtown Duluth. This a no-frills joint. Owner and pizza maker Anthony Spina turns his attention to crafting his New Jersey-style pizza. His most beloved pie is the grandma pie, a 16-inch square pizza topped with homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella, pecorino, and olive oil. But, he also makes a killer Detroit pizza. Best to go with a couple friends and order one of each.
How to order: Available for dine or order takeout through ChowNow.
Glide Pizza is very pandemic-friendly with a takeout window conveniently located on the BeltLine. Mask up, place your order, and take your pizza to go. Founder Rob Birdsong lived in Brooklyn and opened Glide after moving back and realizing he couldn’t quite get the slice he wants. Choose from cheese, pepperoni, or “the garlic” (olive oil, garlic, two kinds of mozzarella. But whatever you do, get a side of house-made pizza ranch.
How to order: Order takeout through Toast.
Anne Quatrano’s iconic hidden gem may not spring to mind when you think “pizza night,” but hear us out. The menu features five pizzas baked in a wood oven. True to form for the restaurant that made farm-to-table cool back in 1998, the pizzas are loaded with seasonal ingredients in creative combinations. The potato pizza -- with smashed new potatoes, caramelized onions, and raclette -- is especially comforting in these cooler temps.
How to order: Order takeout online.
Triple Jays Pizza Bar
A father and his two sons, each with “J” names, started their pizza joint as a food truck but opened their brick-and-mortar location in February. They sell Detroit and New York-style pies, as well as slices and wings. Emphasis on the wings -- you don’t want to skip those!
How to order: Sit outside, order takeout through Toast, or get delivery.
Vegan pizza… that’s actually delicious? Yes! Plant Based Pizzeria has a lot of hype, and rightly so. Popular topping combinations include the Hawaiian with a barbecue drizzle, vegan mozzarella cheese, pineapples, and Beyond sausage. The menu also includes “burgers,” calzones, and flatbreads. Pizzas can be made gluten-free by ordering a cauliflower crust (there’s an upcharge).
How to order: Order takeout through Toast.
Blue Moon Pizza
Speaking of, we know that good gluten-free pizza is hard to find, so we couldn’t leave Blue Moon off. The pizzeria offers regular crust, but has especially good pizza for the gluten-free crowd. The gluten-free pies are only available in a 12-inch personal pan pizza size. Blue Moon also has a limited menu of other gluten-free treats like bruschetta and Buffalo chicken salad.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery online.
At Varuni’s Morningside location, you can order large pizzas with popular topping combinations like the Bastardo with mozzarella, pepperoni, Ndjua (spicy pork spread in ragu sauce), and pecorino Romano. There’s also a selection of salads, appetizers, and beer and wine. At Krog Street Market, where Varuni has begun to offer limited dine-in service, expect personal-sized pizzas in similar combinations.
How to order: Dine in, order from the takeout window, or get delivery through Uber Eats, DoorDash, ChowNow or Zifty.
Avellino’s offers Neapolitan-style pizzas and you can’t go wrong with the Polpetta with mozzarella, ricotta, meatball, cremini mushrooms, and fresh basil. If you’re feeling a sauce-less pizza, the molta carne with mozzarella, Italian sausage, pepperoni, pancetta, Calabrese salami, and basil is a great choice. Go full on carbs and get the garlic cheese bread, too.
How to order: Dine in or order takeout through ChowNow.
MTH stands for Mussman, Turner, and Hall, the same three friends and business partners behind nearby Muss & Turners and Local Three. They consider their pizza to be “Smyrna Style,” aka chef-driven with seasonal toppings and baked in a brick oven. Standouts among the creative combinations include the El Guapo with charred jalapeño-tomato sauce, chorizo, poblano peppers, potatoes, and cotija cheese.
How to order: Dine in, or order takeout and delivery through RevelUp.
Antico Pizza Napoletana
Opened in 2009, Antico is widely regarded as some of the best Neapolitan pizza in town. Before the pandemic, locals and tourists alike would flock to Gio Antico’s “Little Italy” complex in West Midtown and wait in long lines for some pizza and gelato. Now there’s a location at the Battery and Alpharetta’s Avalon -- and the wait times aren’t quite as crazy.
How to order: Dine in or order takeout online.
Nina & Rafi
Owned by Anthony Spina of O4W Pizza and Billy Streck of Hampton + Hudson, Nina & Rafi is located off of the BeltLine. You can’t order the grandma pie, but you can order a hefty square pie or Detroit red pizza. Among the appetizers, the pizzeria salad is not to be skipped (hey, you need your veggies) and roasted wings make the meal complete. There’s a full bar with expertly prepared amaro cocktails if you want something other than a beer or glass off wine.
How to order: Dine inside or outside, or order takeout and delivery through ChowNow.
The pizza at Ammazza is what the owners call Neapolitan influenced -- it’s made with 00 flour, but isn’t restricted to ingredients imported from Italy. In fact, the pizzas feature plenty of locally grown produce as well as regionally sourced meats, like pepperoni from nearby Spotted Trotter. If pizza and beer is your favorite iconic duo, you’re in luck, they have more than 30 beers to choose from. Both locations of Ammazza have plenty of outdoor seating.
How to order: Dine on the patio or order takeout through online.
Slim & Husky's Pizza Beeria
The fast-casual pizza concept began in Nashville and has since expanded to include two locations in Atlanta. Owned by three childhood friends, the restaurant serves up pizzas with names inspired by 1990s hip-hop. The Cee No Green, for example, is a combination of red sauce, cheeses, ground beef, pepperoni, hickory smoked bacon, Canadian bacon, and Italian sausage. Order your pizza in size “slim” (10-inch) or “husky” (16-inch). And yes, in case you were wondering, they do have cinnamon rolls with a variety of cream cheese flavors.
How to order: Dine inside or outside, order takeout online, or get delivery through DoorDash.
Established in the early 1980s, Fellini’s is true Atlanta-style pizza (but really, it’s close to New York-style). In addition to pies, you can order a slice as big as your head, adorned with the toppings of your choice. Whatever you order, pair it with a cold beer to complete the proper Fellini’s experience. Late-night pizza cravings can be answered at the Roswell and Buckhead locations, which are open until midnight.
How to order: Dine outside or order takeout online.
Some might say that 2020 has been pretty savage, so eating Savage pizza only makes sense. Another longtime relic of Atlanta’s pizza scene, Savage calls Little Five Points and Avondale Estates home. You can order delivery if you live within range, or you can order takeout to be enjoyed at home or on a patio. Stick with one of the specialty pizzas, like the Cajun with spicy red pepper sauce, roasted chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage, onions, peppers, and gruyere and mozzarella cheeses.
How to order: Dine outside or order takeout through ChowNow.