Mama’s Pizza

3665 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta

In a recent Best of the Big A vote, Mamas’s Pizza in Alpharetta was the readers' choice for best pizza in metro Atlanta, beating out such big buzz spots as Antico Pizza Napoletana and Varasano’s Pizzeria.

A surprise, maybe. But those who consider it tops cite Mama’s old school New York-style pies, simple mom-and-pop atmosphere and budget prices.

Dad and son run Mama's

Though it occupies a small storefront on busy Old Milton Parkway, Mama’s could just as easily be a pizza joint on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

Owner Peter Vavaroutsos is a Greek immigrant who lived in New York before moving to Atlanta. Since 1979, Mama’s has made several moves, starting in Roswell and winding up in the current location near Five Seasons Brewing Co.

Vavaroutsos and his son Jimmy run the place with a friendly, no-nonsense approach, and regulars often are treated to a bit of banter.

Winning pie

Mama’s features both thin crust and Sicilian-style thick crust pizza by the slice ($1.85-$3.55) or the whole pie ($8.95-$22.25).

During a recent visit, a thin crust pie with sausage proved a worthy rendition of classic New York pizza. The crust was light and chewy, with a bready flavor and crispy end crust. Perhaps because of the Vavaroutsos family’s Greek heritage, the elemental tomato sauce was spiked with plenty of oregano and applied sparingly. The cheese was plentiful and springy, topped with a generous serving of meaty sliced sausage.

A plain Sicilian slice was much less satisfying, with less cheese and a dense, doughy crust.

More than pizza

Beyond pizza, the menu features garlic bread, mozzarella sticks, meatball and sausage appetizers, and tossed iceberg lettuce and Greek salads.

Calzones stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella can be ordered with any of the pizza toppings, including spinach and feta cheese. Meatball, sausage or chicken parmigiana subs are finished in the pizza oven. Entrees include chicken parmigiana with pasta and spaghetti with marinara sauce, meatballs or sausage.

Like the rest of the menu, the beverage list is economical. Draft Budweiser or Bud Light is $2.95 for a frosted mug or $7.55 for a pitcher. A small glass of chardonnay or merlot is $2.75.

Dining out

Mama's Pizza, 3665 Old Milton Parkway, 770-751-6001

Signature dish: Pizza

Entrees: $5.75-$22.25

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and Saturdays; 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Fridays. Closed Sundays.

Credit cards: Yes

Web site: