Atlanta is both a relic of the civil war and civil rights movement and a modern metropolis with a vibrant Black and Southern pop culture scene.
Also, the city of Atlanta has a wonderful restaurant and bar scene. While you might associate it with Southern Comfort, this city offers plenty of other cuisines.
During my time in Atlanta, one of the things I enjoyed the most was dining at different Italian restaurants.
The best Italian restaurants in this city encompass a wide variety of Italian traditions, from the informal Osteria to fine-dining traditional Italian bistros.
I have compiled a list of the best Italian restaurants in Atlanta for you to explore and pencil into your itinerary. Check it out, and make sure to stop by any of these top eateries!
2637 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
Winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award for 20 consecutive years along with Atlanta Magazine’s vote for Best Italian Restaurant for the past 18 years, La Grotta Ristorante is a high-end Italian bistro in Buckhead.
La Grotta has been a fine-dining fixture since it opened in 1978, offering a charming atmosphere in a small, refined space with a lovely patio garden.
La Grotta Ristorante offers a traditional Italian multi-course menu for dinner accompanied by an exquisite wine list.
I skipped the hot and cold appetizers and went straight for the house-made Raviolini con Caprino, goat-cheese stuffed ravioli with apple and celery in light butter and sun-dried tomato sauce.
313 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307
From Milan native and head Chef Riccardo Ullio, Sotto Sotto Restaurant honors the culinary traditions of Italy in a bustling, modern atmosphere.
Located in Inman Park, Sotto Sotto offers a refined dining room with floor-to-ceiling artwork and an enclosed, vine-covered sunroom.
Its delicious and authentic cuisine has been lauded by TimeOut as one of the best restaurants in the nation.
The menu offers classic favorites as well as a rotating seasonal menu. The wine list has won the Wine Spectator’s Award.
My favorite dish was the perfectly cooked Costoletta Alla Parmigiana, featuring pan-fried bone-in veal parmesan with for di latte mozzarella and arugula.
753 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Featured in the New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, and Southern Living, BoccaLupo is an Inman Park favorite for handmade pasta and a friendly, casual atmosphere.
Chef and owner Bruce Logue displays his passion for Italian American cooking through his colorful and refined takes on classic Italian American dishes.
The menu is a simple list of antipasti and pasta, but the dishes are complex and original. I started with the crispy brussels sprouts in agrodolce.
Followed by the most delicious lamb and goat cheese lasagna in Pomodoro I’ve ever tasted. You won’t find lasagna like this at home or anywhere else!
992 Virginia Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Located in an old brick building with a romantic outdoor terrace in the historic Virginia-Highland neighborhood, La Tavola Trattoria is a beloved Italian bistro run by executive Chef Brian Moll.
The enchanting atmosphere and award-winning dishes have won La Tavola praise from the Food Network, Jezebel Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, and more.
The menu offers an expertly curated wine and cocktail list to accompany a high-end menu of antipasti, handmade pasta, and classic Italian entrees.
In my opinion, the squid ink spaghetti with calamari, Calabrian chilies, garlic, and Thai basil pesto certainly lived up to the hype from The Daily Meal’s op-ed.
3199 Paces Ferry Pl NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
Portofino is a unique modern Italian American eatery that has been delivering creative dishes in an equally creative atmosphere for the past 20 years.
The gorgeous, intimate dining room in the heart of Buckhead could double as an art gallery, opening onto one of the most beautiful patios in Atlanta.
Portofino uses locally sourced ingredients to create Italian-inspired dishes with stunning plating. I recommend their veal and ricotta meatballs with marinara as a shareable small plate.
My favorite entrée was the pan-seared black cod with brie polenta, wilted kale, and grapefruit segments.
500 Pharr Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
Another Buckhead institution, Pricci has been serving classic Italian dishes in a high-end space for nearly 40 years.
The elegant space offers equally artsy and creative platting for dishes that honor Italian traditions while also adding modern twists.
Pricci is a part of owner and famous restauranteur Pano Karatassos’ successful fine-dining dynasty. They have a wonderful menu of hand-made pasta, salads, and wood-fired pizzas.
I had to try one of their wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas and chose the Funghi Cipollini and Fontina pizza with local wild mushrooms, cipollini onions, fontina, and a luscious truffle bechamel.
I paired it with an arugula salad with golden beets and candied walnuts for a deliciously light dinner.
1441 Dresden Dr #100, Atlanta, GA 30319
Teetering between North Atlanta and Ashford Park, Valenza Restaurant is a charming and romantic bistro that will transport you to a rustic Tuscan tavern.
The rustic-chic dining space with its washed stucco walls, exposed beams, and authentic Italian frescos creates a special atmosphere to enjoy authentic Italian dishes.
Executive Chef and owner Matt Swickerath uses the freshest locally sourced ingredients and novel cooking techniques to put an innovative twist on traditional Italian food.
I’ll be dreaming about the mussels with roasted garlic, fennel, sambuca, tomatoes, and white wine for the foreseeable future.
They were the perfect prelude to a dish of fresh tagliatelle with pork shoulder ragu.
519 East Paces Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
From Tuscan natives and brothers Alessandro and Marco Betti, Antica Posta Restaurant is an authentic Tuscan eatery that draws from the Betti family’s multi-generational background and butchers, chefs, and restaurant owners.
Located in Buckhead, Antica Posta offers a polished atmosphere to enjoy the most authentic Italian food from the Betti family’s recipes.
The Bettis still own and operate a butcher shop and restaurants in their native Italy and then use the family brand’s salami in their charcuterie plate.
I loved the skillet-seared scallops with black truffle butter to start. I decided to try Chef Sandro’s Oven Roasted Tuscan Chicken for the main course.
It was one of the best roasted chicken dishes I’ve ever eaten.
Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE UNIT 131, Atlanta, GA 30308
Bellina Alimentari is a specialty market, natural wine bar, cooking school, and farm-to-table Italian eatery in one.
Located in the Ponce City Market, Bellina Alimentari has a laudable philosophy of ethical, local sourcing, culinary education, and authentic Italian meals for its customers.
Their eatery uses only local ingredients and partners with local ranchers who treat their cattle humanely.
The food is an education in and of itself, offering classic, simply made Italian dishes with the highest quality ingredients.
I decided to sample one of the most classic dishes of all, the Carbonara, using house-made bucatini, a farm egg, English peas, smoked bacon, and 30-day aged pecorino.
309 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307
Another of famed Chef and owner Riccardo Ullio’s award-winning restaurants, Fritti is a hip yet casual Neapolitan pizzeria modeled off the pizzerias and friggitorias Ullio frequented in Naples.
Located in a fashionably remodeled garage next door to Ullio’s other restaurant, Sotto Sotto, in Inman Park, Fritti uses imported Italian ingredients and a wood-fired oven to create the most authentic Neapolitan pizzas.
Fritti means “fried,” so you can expect a wealth of fried antipasti, like calamari and eggplant croquettes. They also have a refreshing salad menu to accompany a delectable Neapolitan pizza.
The pizzas are as traditional as they come, with a few high-quality toppings that do not weigh down the delicate wood-fired crust.
My favorite was the Crudo e Rucola with prosciutto, arugula, and olive oil.
5920 Roswell Rd B-118, Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Located in the North Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, il Giallo Osteria and Bar is an intimate, family-style Osteria and wine bar from close friends and business partners Leo Moura and Executive Chef Jamie Adams.
Chef Adams is an accomplished chef, having been a featured Chef at the prestigious James Beard House and a contestant on Food Network’s show, “Chopped.”
Osterias traditionally have small menus, offering the very best samples of the Chef’s specialty. Il Giallo is no exception, and you can expect anything on the menu to be fantastic.
My favorite dish was the whole Branzino with artichokes, English peas, roasted peppers, and tomatoes. I recommend starting with the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream.
1931 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
Overlooking the beautiful Morningside Nature Preserve, Nino’s Italian Restaurant is the oldest continually operating Italian restaurant in Atlanta, opening in 1968.
Nino’s is a family-friendly classic Italian restaurant serving authentic dishes from owner Antonio Noviello’s family recipes.
Many of the dishes at Nino’s are named for Noviello’s family members. The made-to-order menu has all the classic antipasti, pasta, and entrees. There’s also a pre-fixe tasting menu.
I wanted to try a dish close to the owner’s heart, so I chose the Fettucine Alla Michela with sauteed shrimp and seared scallops in a saffron cream sauce over house-made fettuccine.
357 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Noni’s is a super-cute Sweet Auburn neighborhood trattoria located in a vintage-chic space, cluttered with old-timey relics and countless photographs of old and new family portraits.
The homey and lively atmosphere is a fantastic setting for a casual family-style meal or late-night drinks and dinner with friends.
The vast menu features antipasti, sandwiches, customizable pasta dishes, signature entrees, desserts, drinks, and espresso.
I couldn’t resist the muffuletta sandwich with salami, soppressata, mortadella, provolone, tomato, and olive tapenade on perfectly oily and dense focaccia bread.
I stayed for a fancy cocktail, sampling the Mezcal Word, a Mexican variation of the Last Word cocktail with mezcal, green chartreuse, lime, and luxardo cherries.
1095 Canton St, Roswell, GA 30075
Garnering acclaim from Eater, Zagat, Atlanta Magazine, and Wine Spectator, Osteria Mattone is a lovely Roswell neighborhood trattoria and osteria.
The fancy trattoria offers a refined atmosphere in a country-meets-industrial-chic dining space that opens onto a glorious wooden deck.
The more casual Osteria and bar have fantastic happy hours. The menu is more akin to an Osteria, with a small but delicious selection of pasta, pizza, antipasti, and entrees.
The presentation at Osteria Mattone is phenomenal. I had to take a photograph of my gorgeous plate of Agnolotti di Oxo, a braised short rib-stuffed pasta with butter sauce.
1123 Peachtree Walk NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Pasta Da Pulcinella is a small, romantic Italian Bistro in Midtown with nearly 30 years of serving delicious house-made pasta from a classic and unchanging menu.
The elegant atmosphere features white tablecloths, Tuscan frescos, and a soundtrack of Italian classical music.
They’re open for lunch and dinner, offering a high-end multicourse menu. My favorite type of pasta is stuffed pasta, and they had the widest selection of ravioli and tortellini on my list.
I loved the classic lobster ravioli with ricotta and lobster-stuffed pasta in a Champagne cream sauce. I started with a beautiful and classic antipasti dish of pears with parma prosciutto.
During your visit to Atlanta, you can enjoy the city’s hip and colorful present by wandering through Centennial Olympic Park or taking a tour of the World of Coca Cola.
You can also spend your time learning about the past at the Atlanta History Center. But make sure you take the time to enjoy some delicious meals at one of these best Italian restaurants in Atlanta.
Whether you’re looking for a casual Neapolitan pizzeria or a farm-to-table Italian American eatery, you’ll find it on the above list.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
- La Grotta Ristorante
- Sotto Sotto Restaurant
- La Tavola Trattoria
- Valenza Restaurant
- Antica Posta Restaurant
- Bellina Alimentari
- il Giallo Osteria & Bar
- Nino’s Italian Restaurant
- Osteria Mattone
- Pasta Da Pulcinella
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