No, the city doesn't have a historic Little Italy, but it does have neighborhood gems, fine dining destinations and old school spots serving up everything from rustic pasta to wood-fired pizzas to contemporary seafood dishes. Here's a guide to the nine best Italian restaurants in Atlanta.
Located in a charming renovated bungalow in the heart of Inman Park, BuccoLuppo is the ultimate neighborhood Italian restaurant. Come for the homemade and extruded pasta—including the black spaghetti with hot calabrese sausage, red shrimp, and scallions—but save room for the seasonal antipasti like the crispy brussels sprouts with blood orange, soppressata, and chicory. At just $42, the chef's four-course tasting menu is one of the city's most affordable.
This Inman Park restaurant has been serving up fresh pasta, stellar wine, and cozy vibes for over 15 years. A favorite of Top Chef alum and El Super Pan chef and owner Hector Santiago, Sotto Sotto specializes in traditional Italian cuisine like the Tortelli di Michelangelo—pillowy ravioli stuffed with chicken, pork and veal in a decadent sage and butter sauce—served with seasonal and local ingredients. Pro tip: grab a seat on the patio, weather permitting.
Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante
One of the top restaurants in Buckhead, this neighborhood gem is a restaurant and grocery store rolled into one. The menu of Italian staples, including antipasti like pork meatballs and fried pizza dough and traditional pasta like lasagna bolognese and cacio e pepe is sure to please every palate. It's not all carbs here: the vegetable sides, like broccoli rabe and Brussel sprouts, and a few generous salads will ensure you get a well-balanced meal. Want to replicate your meal at home? Shop for handmade pasta, sauces, and pre-made lasagnas and other dishes after you dine.
Looking for an old school, family-run spot? Look no further than Nino's, the city's longest operating Italian restaurant. Amalfi coast native Antonio Noviello opened this Atlanta institution in 1982, and since then, celebrities and locals alike have packed the house for the warm hospitality, made from scratch ravioli and gnocchi and standout Old World recipes like the baked clams oreganata: fresh-shucked, baked, and presented on the half-shell with a heaping seasoning of oregano.
Located in the heart of Decatur, this cozy spot offers simple, seasonal Italian fare ranging from classic pasta like rigatoni bolognese and cacio e pepe to wood-fired pizzas like the Margherita. Want a front-row seat to the action? Book a seat at the communal Chef’s Table, which seats up to 12 for family-style dining and is $50 per person with an optional beverage pairing.
Sure, it's OTP (that's "outside the Perimeter" for those who don't speak Atlantan), but this standout suburban spot from the Pernice brothers is well worth the drive. Dubbed "Rome in Roswell," the restaurant specializes in Roman fare like arancini (fried risotto balls) and calamari fritti as well as pizzas, traditional pasta (try the spaghetti all carbonara), and hearty main dishes like a grilled double-cut New Zealand lamb chops with celery root gnocchi. Pair your dinner with wine from the restaurants 2,000-plus bottle collection.
Tucked away in a narrow space in the heart of Virginia-Highland, this Fifth Group concept flies under the radar but is well worth a visit. "Molto Mondays," which includes a heaping bowl of pasta with a glass of wine for just $15, is one of the city's best kept secrets.
If you fancy white tablecloth Italian with exceptional service, look no further than this Buckhead institution. Dine a la carte on house favorites like the gnocchi formaggi e tartufo—billowy ricotta dumplings with shaved black truffles and pickled chanterelles—or splurge for the five course wine dinner, which is just $100 per person.
This Buckhead stunner (a 2017 James Beard award-winner for best restaurant design) specializes in coastal Mediterranean cuisine. While the pastas like cacio e pepe and the short rib agnolotti are excellent, the seafood—like the charred octopus and Harissa-marinated swordfish—is the real standout here. Don't miss the weekly Sunday brunch, which includes all-you-can-eat antipasti at the chef’s counter.