10 Best Italian Restaurants in Atlanta: Pizza, Pasta and Amore!
In this carb conscious world we live in, it is often good to forget about all our dieting and indulge in some fantastic pizza and pasta dishes. When the urge to have Italian strikes, there are no shortage of them in Atlanta. You can always count on 10 Best to point you in the direction of the Atlanta's best Italian restaurants. These span price ranges and neighborhoods, so there is sure to be something for everyone in this top 10 Best Italian restaurants list. Whether your preference is for the classics or you prefer a new spin on Italian you are sure to find them in this list.
If it is a special occasion like an anniversary or an upscale business dinner, look no further than La Grotta or Pricci in Buckhead. However, if you want a more intimate and cozy date spot, 10 Best has got you covered there too. Look no further than La Tavola or Pasta da Pulcinella. No. 246 or Sotto Sotto makes a great option if you have a group dining out.
We've even got a few spots outside the perimeter worth checking out. Double Zero and Cibo e Beve are new comers in Sandy Springs. They are both good spots for group dining with a modern twist on Italian fare. And if you don't mind a bit of drive, head up to Vingenzo's in Woodstock where many of the house made items are made with ingredients imported from Italy.
Pasta da Pulcinella
Finding its home in a converted cottage, this established Italian haunt is known for its creative pasta dishes. Buckwheat and semolina noodles are accompanied by a variety of savory sauces -- tomato-basil, bolognese and walnut among them. One of the restaurant's treats is the Totelli de Mele, an apple-sausage ravioli, dressed with a sage-laced brown butter sauce -- incredible! You'll also find gnocchi and risotto, along with daily specials. However, it is the pastas here that are the star of the show, so stick with those to be guaranteed a satisfying meal. Prices, are quite reasonable, especially given that the restaurant is in the heart of Midtown. (404-876-1114)
Besides pizza, There were meats and cheeses (build your own charcuterie plate), as well as pastas and full meals. The Roast ($29 of Pork Shoulder with accompanying condiments and Radicchio salad) and Pork Belly with Pumpkin Risotto are two starters not to miss. Pizzas come with scissors for cutting as they are not pre-sliced. Double Zero is a terrific spot for a big group outing. The space is huge and they can accommodate large groups. Pricing is fair, the wine list and cocktails are superb. And as far as the menu goes, there's something for everyone all with phenomenal service (404-991-3666)
Cibo e Beve
Italian for "eat and drink" Cibo e Beve is an intimate restaurant located in Sandy Springs. Besides an interesting take on Italian food, there's also a vibrant list of cocktails. The bar is open late serving pizza and antipasto. Chef Linda Harrell, with over twenty years in the restaurant industry, creates interesting dishes that keep visitors coming back. With a focus on seasonal produced, they source from local growers. At lunch, keep it simple with pizzas, pastas and sandwiches. Dinner is where is the restaurant really shines. Standout dishes are the Goat Cheese Panna Cotta, Spaghetti all'Aragosta , and save room for the deliciously classic Tiramisu. There's also a terrific brunch menu available. Don't miss out on trying items like the "Adult pop tart" and the "Hipster brunch," french toast stuffed with prosciutto. ((404) 250-8988)
Located in Buckhead, this is a sleek and stylish yet comfortable upscale Italian restaurant. Expect to find a broad range of patrons: those on dates, business dinners and those celebrating special events. The open kitchen (complete with woodburning oven) highlights the skill of the culinary team, although it never intrudes on the dining experience. The menu, which emphasizes rich, hearty foods, features such dishes as sauteed baby lobster tails, grilled lamb chops, braised veal shank, and sea bass. You'll also find excellent pastas, gnocchi, risottos and salads, savory appetizers, and crisp gourmet pizzas. The restaurant isn't cheap. Expect to pay at least $25 for entrees. Save some money by having lunch instead of dinner here. (404-237-2941)
Sotto Sotto Cucina Italiana
This popular Virginia Highland restaurant is a top choice for classic pasta dishes served with in a fun and lively atmosphere. Note that seating is rather tight here. This isn't a spot to have a private conversation as most seating is at communal tables. As far as dishes expect to find pastas like tagliatelle and risotto and other dishes such as veal, lamb and whole roasted fish. Some rave about the chocolate soup for dessert. But it is definitely a love or hate it dishs. Wine list and cocktails are great. Service is incredibly friendly and helpful. This neighborhood gets extremely crowded on weekends. Experience them at their best during weekdays. They do offer free valet parking. (404-523-6678)
Owner, Michael Bologna, has been cooking since he was a young boy. Nearly everything in this restaurant is from Italy: the flour, the oven, yep, almost everything. Many of the items are made in house including the mozzarella and sausage. Desserts are all made in house as well. To start, order the Grandioso tasting. With four different house made mozzarella cheeses, olives, roasted red peppers, and a salad with two different kinds of balsamic sauce, you can also choose from a selection of cured meats to add. Order the simple Margherita pizza, simple yet delicious. Pizzas are cooked in an 800 degree oven for 90 seconds. The quick cooking renders the ingredients nicely melted on to the pie and a beautiful char on the crust. Standout pasta dishes are the Al Forno which comes topped with fresh Ricotta, as well as the Sugo di domenica'(shredded pork braised for six hours in a tomato sauce) and well as the Gnocchi. Most dishes aren't more than $20. (770-924-9133)
Decatur seems to be a small town but has a lot going on. There are fabulous restaurants to be found in this city, one of which is newcomer Italian restaurant, No. 246. The dark wood and beautifully decorated space make you want to linger over your meal. At lunch the pizzas and sandwiches like Porchetta steal the show, but at dinner it is all about the pastas. One of the best dishes on the menu is the Spaghetti. Instead of a red sauce, it is served with olive oil and garlic and large flavorful shrimp. Start either meal with at least one of the spreads. Think canelinni beans or butternut squash. If you have a small group celebrating a birthday, think about reserving the chef's table. (678-399-8246)
Veni Vidi Vici
Veni Vidi Vici means "I came, I saw, I conquered." Well, the food here conquers all at this northern Italian restaurant. Start off with grilled octopus or veal meatballs; be careful not to fill up on the appetizers as main courses are not just large, but huge. Main dishes include succulent rotisserie meats from the wood-burning oven, Duck Lasagna, Risotto Frutti di Mare (for seafood lovers) and the ever-popular veal shank osso bucco. While te restaurant has both an open and modern decor, the space doesn't feel empty, yet still very personable and each table has its own coziness to it. There are many wine choices by the glass available, should you not want to order a bottle. (404-875-8424)
An open kitchen and soft lighting add further character to this cozy Virginia Highland restaurant, which is often filled to capacity with loyal regulars. The fantastic Italian cuisine, features delicious salads like beets with apple and a delightful mussels appetizer. Pastas are fantastic with unique items like boar, bone marrow and rabbit sausage. Standout entrees include pork saltimbocca, and seared Georgia trout. The olive oil cake makes for an interesting dessert. Locals know to visit here for brunch and get in easily without a long wait, instead of that other crowded restaurant across the street. The outdoor patio is popular during warm weather. (404-873-5430)
La Grotta Ristorante Italiano
This beautiful Italian restaurant overlooks a lush garden in the prestigious Buckhead neighborhood. Award-winning (consistently voted Best Italian Restaurant by Atlanta Magazine and AA Four Diamond Award recipient for 17 years) northern Italian cuisine and outstanding service provide an ideal setting for birthday or anniversary celebrations, and business dinners. Start with the Prosciutto di Parma con Melone - Shaved Prosciutto Ham with Fresh Melon, Mint, Aged Balsamic Glaze. Mussels and calamari can be found on the menu, but snails are also there too. Upscale offerings include several veal dishes and lamb chops. Overall, you'll have a spectacular experience from start to finish. (404-231-1368)
About Malika Harricharan
Malika is the Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta. With a background in marketing, Maika's passion is Writing and Social Media Marketing and she works for various clients in Atlanta. Malika also seeks Atlanta's hidden gems, writing about them on her Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She believes that an exceptional meal can be found at a hole-in-the-wall joint, as well as in a swanky building. Exotic travel is also important to our Atlanta expert, who wants to see the whole world. “There are so many great experiences and so much we can all learn from different cultures,” she says.
Read more about Malika Harricharan here.