Atlanta has upped its pizza game over the years, with new styles arriving. However, some beloved local pizza institutions have stood the test of time.
Here are a half-dozen:
John and Asiemoula Papadopoulos opened Athens Pizza in Decatur in 1977, serving Greek pizza. The family business continues today, with son Sandy.
Greek pizza has a bready taste and oily, springy texture. At Athens Pizza, you can order pies sized from 6 inches to 16 inches. Toppings include the usual Italian, as well as Greek flavors, including feta cheese, Greek peppers, Kalamata olives, spinach, fresh garlic and grilled chicken or gyro meat.
1341 Clairmont Road, Decatur. 404-636-1100, athenspizzaatlanta.com
Pizza in Atlanta
The Spring Dining Guide from The Atlanta Journal Constitution is devoted to the best pizza pies, pizza places and pizza makers in metro Atlanta.
Founded in 1982 by Clay Harper and Mike Nelson, Fellini’s first location in Little Five Points was the place where the hip and the broke could grab a slice. But, as more Fellini’s dotted the metro landscape, more families gathered to dine.
Fresh dough, a multitude of toppings, medium and large pies, and Sicilian pan pizzas — all at reasonable prices — do the trick at Fellini’s. The Fellini’s special comes loaded with pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, onions, meatballs, green peppers, black olives, green olives and extra cheese.
Multiple locations. fellinisatlanta.com
Established in Atlanta in 1974, Mellow Mushroom developed into a franchise operation. Though still headquartered here, there now are more than 200 locations throughout the U.S.
Serving what it bills as hand-tossed, stone-baked Southern pizza, Mellow Mushroom touts its pies’ spring water crust and fresh ingredients. The company also offers lots of vegetarian and vegan options. The gluten-free Veg Out is layered with spinach, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, black olives and tomatoes.
Multiple locations. mellowmushroom.com
Family-owned since 1979, Mo’s Pizza on Briarcliff Road in Atlanta also serves appetizers, salads, sandwiches and even hot dogs and burgers. However, the New York-style pizza is the thing.
You can order it by the slice, or a whole pie (14-inch medium or 16-inch large), and opt for the whole-wheat crust, if it makes you feel better. Among the specialty pizzas, Mo’s deluxe includes sausage, pepperoni, extra cheese, green peppers, mushrooms and onions.
3109 Briarcliff Road NE Atlanta. 770-637-5260, mospizzaatlantaga.com
In 1990, Savage Pizza opened in Little Five Points, challenging Fellini’s with a superhero-themed take on your friendly neighborhood pizza parlor. The food for the savage in you includes pasta, calzones, salads and small, medium and large pies, but no pizza by the slice.
There’s a location in Avondale Estates, too. But, whichever Savage you visit, the specialty Cajun pizza is a spicy favorite, with red hot pepper sauce, roasted chicken, shrimp, andouille sausage, red onions, green peppers, as well as Gruyère, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
484 Moreland Ave., Atlanta. 404-523-0500; and 115 Laredo Drive, Avondale Estates. 404-299-5799, savagepizza.com
The original Shorty’s opened on North Druid Hills Road in 2005, followed by a second, larger location in Tucker. After a change in ownership, only Tucker remains, but the basic idea is the same, with wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas that are named after musicians and feature unique topping combinations.
For instance, the late, great Col. Bruce Hampton is celebrated in a pizza featuring house-made bacon, smoked turkey, avocado, provolone and pickled red onions. And, the Wu Tang Clan (RIP ODB) pie comes with Buffalo chicken, Gorgonzola cheese, celery and a side of ranch dressing.
3701 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker. 770-414-6999, shortystucker.com
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