Avellino’s atmosphere and delightful appetizers and assortment of entrees create a unique dining experience. Photo: Zachary Howard

If you were to cruise around Atlanta, you might find countless spots to get one of the more coveted dishes in the world: pizza. From little neighborhood hole-in-the-wall restaurants, to bigger franchises like Mellow Mushroom and Fellini’s Pizza, it seems like you cannot go more than a block without finding some pie. Additionally, over the last few years, there has been a rise in consumer demand for more authentic Italian pizza.

This authenticity comes from two aspects of the pizza: the dough and how it is cooked. One neighborhood pizza joint combines all the desired aspects to create a great pizza experience: Avellino’s: Pizza + Pub + Social.

Located on Windsor Parkway, Avellino’s is right in the middle of a bustling and vibrant neighborhood. If you were to go on a random weekday, you could sit by yourself at the bar, cheer on your sports team and order an authentic Italian pizza, pasta or calzone. Come on a Friday and you can join the crowd enjoying the fall weather on the patio. All in all, the location and laid-back atmosphere create a unique pizza dining experience.

That said, we all know what is far more important than the ambiance: the food. Since it was my first time going, the waiter gave me some suggestions on what to order. For starters (or antipasti as it is called on the menu), I ordered the garlic cheese bread, and from the insalate (salad) section of the menu, I went with the classic Caesar salad. The server was very helpful and courteous, and the appetizers came out in a reasonable time.

The cheese bread came with authentic Italian marinara sauce, and I dove right in. It was delectable. The doughy bread combined with the taste of the sauce to create a great overall appetizer, one I will undoubtedly get when I go back. The salad, while nothing to write home about, was also very good, but it is hard to ruin a Caesar salad.

Now for the main menu and what everyone has been waiting for: the pizza. First, a quick backstory on why there is so much hype around this pizza. We need to discuss the dough. It is very fine and comes out thin-crusted, something unique from most other joints in Atlanta that put their emphasis on a thicker dough.

The dough is also imported straight from Italy, much like the restaurant Double Zero, but it is priced much more reasonably. Lastly, they use a wood fired oven, as opposed to the bigger chains that use conventional ovens to mass produce pizza to generate more revenue.

On the menu side, they allow you to create your own pizza, choosing your preference of sauce, cheese and toppings. I ordered a regular sauce with cheese and meat, to which the server called me “classic.” In time, the pizza arrived, thin crusted and slightly burnt for added texture. As I ate, I realized that I was eating pizza that was truly an art form rather than a food. It is unique in the city of Atlanta, with a luxurious taste at a fraction of the price that gourmet pizza restaurants charge. 

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