La Calavera Pizza now open for ‘pizza for everyone’ in Kirkwood

Pizzeria to offer gluten-free, vegan pies
Pizza from the menu of La Calavera Pizza. / Courtesy of La Calavera Pizza

Pizza from the menu of La Calavera Pizza. / Courtesy of La Calavera Pizza

Dale Ralston and Eric Arillo, who closed their beloved La Calavera Bakery in Kirkwood in early 2020, are making a comeback in the same location with a different type of product.

La Calavera Pizza opened April 3 at 1696 Memorial Drive, featuring a selection of pies made with locally sourced ingredients and handmade sourdough crust.

Ralston said she and Arillo “wanted to find something that would still be our own thing, but easier to manage and less of a strain physically and mentally than the bakery.”

The appeal of having the same schedule, especially since the couple has young children, along with already have a property and oven, made pizza a good fit. Arillo also had pizza experience after years of making it for himself and Ralston during their lunch breaks.

The couple, who developed relationships with local growers and makers when they would sell La Calavera Bakery goods at local farmers markets, source organic whole wheat flour from Dayspring Farms, meats from the Spotted Trotter and produce from local farms Grow Where You Are and Row By Rowe. Ralston. She and Arillo plan to tap at least a dozen more small farms this year for produce.

“Eating fresh, seasonal, responsibly grown food and humanely produced meat is important to us, and makes for a more delicious pizza, too,” Ralston said.

As for La Calavera’s crust, it was important to the couple to make “pizza for everyone,” Ralston said, which means offering options for gluten-free crusts and vegan pizzas.

Arillo, who has a decade of experience making sourdough bread, uses a natural sourdough starter that “makes for a bubbly, tasty crust that’s nice and chewy on the outside and fluffy inside, with great flavor,” Ralston said. Traditional white and organic whole wheat flour crusts are also available.

The menu’s 16-inch pies all come with a base of tomato sauce and basil. Signature pizzas include the Luna, with mozzarella, pecorino and garlic tomato sauce; the Homeboy, made with pepperoni, mushrooms and chili oil; and the Jardin with onions, button mushrooms, bell peppers, kalamata olives and basil.

Customers with plant-based diets can switch out traditional cheese for homemade vegan cashew cheese sauce and hemp Parmesan (a shredded vegan cheese, not made in-house, is also offered). All sauces and crusts are already vegan (.

Rounding out the menu are a salad; palos, or sourdough breadsticks with olive oil, cheese, garlic, oregano and lemon zest and a side of sauce; and vegan cookies that are holdovers from the bakery days. Additional bakery items, as well as seasonal specials, may also make their way onto the menu. A variety of non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase.

La Calavera is currently only open for takeout, with plans to offer dine-in service and delivery in the future.

Hours are 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Masks are required when entering the building.

1696 Memorial Drive, Atlanta. 404-697-7030,

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