Atlanta >Food & Dining > Varasano's Pizzeria
2171 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3030933.814231 -84.392078
Mon - Thu 5:30PM-10PM, Fri - Sat 11:30AM - 1AM, Sun 11:30AM - 10PM
Neighborhoods: Colonial Homes - Peachtree, Northside, Northside
For pizza that's tasty without being overly doughy, Varasano's is it! Great desserts too!
After a recent visit to New York City and stumbling into what I thought the best pizza ever at Grimaldi, and then again at Motorino, my search started for the holy grail of pizza here in Atlanta. After tasting different variations of this classic oven-baked flat bread that’s topped with tomato sauce, I felt my search hit a dead end and I had to return to NYC to fulfill my craving. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After one visit to Varasano’s Pizzeria on Peachtree Road in the South Buckhead, I found it, a pizza with personality: my search was over. Fortunately, owner and master pizzaiolo, Jeff Varasano, a former New Yorker who moved south for a job opportunity as a software engineer brought with him his passion for pizza. In March 2009, Jeff opened Varasano’s Pizzeria giving all of ATL the opportunity to enjoy his take on the classic Neapolitan style thin crust pie, and what an outstanding pie it is. This is a must destination for pizza lovers!
Begin your journey to pizza nirvana by unwinding from the hustle and bustle of Peachtree Street with one of the captivating cocktails created by managing partner and master mixologist, Brett Holtzclaw. If you really want to take the edge off and replace it with total relaxation, try the Basil Gimlet – made with muddled fresh basil that somehow didn’t make it onto one of the pizzas, Right Gin from Sweden, fresh squeezed lime juice, and egg whites topped off with soda water - this potion is down right smooth and sexy and its creamy texture makes it way to easy to enjoy. In addition to these tasty libations, Brett has assembled a well thought out beer and wine list.
At Varasano’s, pizza is the main attraction and takes center stage. What makes these thin crust pies so special is their backbone - the dough. First, it is made with a sourdough culture coming from Patsy’s Pizzeria in NYC that Jeff has been nurturing for several years; this gives the dough a light and airy character and a pleasing twang. Secondly, the pie is cooked for only 2 to 3 minutes in a specially made electric oven that reaches 800 degrees making an intriguing char onto the bottom and crust, which enhances its taste even further. The Nana’s is made in a Brooklyn style with fresh cow’s milk mozzarella and a delicate San Marzano tomato sauce, so simple yet totally pleasing. The Margherita di Bufala with Hot Sopressata is a collection of zesty flavors – basil, bufala cheese, and imported dry Italian salami, all of which add a nice tangy character to this pie. The one that made me go “wow” is the Caramelized Onion with a Housemade Sausage and is sure to cure that pizza craving instantly – the jam-like sweet onions are placed over a sharp Emmenthaler cheese, and then topped with fresh thyme and a housemade fennel sausage - absolutely mind-blowing. So whenever that desire for an amazing pizza with pizzazz needs to be satisfied, don’t fret as relief can be easily had here in Atlanta with a slice of heaven from Varasano’s Pizzeria.
Not that good – I really wanted to like this place, it's in my neighborhood and more than a few times each month I need a good pizza or pasta in a convenient location.
The pizza is not even marginal (first visit) and the pasta is plain awful (second visit). And the 'donuts' they tout for dessert are just pizza dough wedges rolled in sugar and fried on the grill-gross, really, really gross...served with really runny raspberry sauce.
The stellar reviews here must be from the owner's friends and family because people who know good food wouldn't keep going back. Atlanta has too many good places to eat and spend your money to waste on this place.
A Slice of Pie Heaven! – Want thin crust pizza, Want pizza that’s fresh and flavorful, Want pizza that’s piping hot, quality ingredients, Want a pizzeria with excellent customer service, Well, you go it @ Varasano’s Pizzeria’s. My dining guest and I were starving as usual, we decided on Pizza, I rarely eat Pizza, my stomach said Yes. Now, I didn’t just want any Pizza, that’s when Varasano’s crossed my mind, let’s see what the fuss is all about. Varasano’s is directly across the street from Justin’s, on the lower level of a condo building with ample parking in the back of the building. I decided on the traditional Margherita pie (fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil), I added shrimp, they prefer that you add 1 extra ingredient, to keep the natural flavor, of course, you can try as many you like. The pizza is crisp, with a fresh sauce, high quality ingredients, lightly charred crust, it’s pizza bliss. We decided to also have a house made salad, it’s big enough for 2 people.(romaine lettuce topped with , cheese, olives, sun dried tomatoes, light vinaigrette). I think this is really cool, you can sit, sip on your favorite wine at the Pizza bar and watch the masters at work. The restaurant has an extensive wine list, guests can also feast on Salads, Sandwiches and Dessert. Did I mention, it’s Kid friendly? So if you want hand crafted Pizza that’s Pure, head on over to Varasano’s, you’ll be glad you did. Save me a seat at the Pizza Bar!
BEST PIZZA IN ATLANTA – It was the best pizza I've ever tasted !!!!!!! Jeff you're amesome!
Excellent, pure pizza – I took my wife and 2 kids (ages 10 & 11.5) to Varasano's while on vacation in Atlanta. We were looking for a "pizza joint" to change things up a bit (we had a lot of BBQ & Mexican food thus far on our trip..). After doing some web research I decided on Varasano's. It was about a 15 minute drive from downtown Atlanta. We parked across the street, (although there is valet parking) and walked in at about 8:30 p.m. on a Friday night. The restaurant's interior was modern and slick, yet not overdone. We ordered 2 pizzas; one with pepperoni and one with sausage & mushroom. Each pizza was about $15 from what I recall and about 12 inches or so. The style is what I would call "rustic" New York thin. Everything was VERY fresh and we ate every last scrap of food. I would recommend Varasano's if you are looking for an "upscale" pizza experience with excellent pizza.
A new historic Atlanta landmark – Important dates in Atlanta history:
November 11, 1864: General Sherman orders the city to be burned to the ground
May 8, 1886: Dr. John Stith Pemberton invents Coca-Cola
January 15, 1929: Martin Luther King, Jr. is born
December 15, 1939: Gone With the Wind premiers at Loew's Grand Theater
September 18, 1990: The IOC announces that the 1996 Summer Olympics will take place in Atlanta
October 28, 1995: The Atlanta Braves win the World Series
March 25, 2009: Varasano's opens in Buckhead
Life as we knew it in this city changed forever. Those of us who thought we knew the difference between pizza and great pizza but had never traveled to Naples or sampled pies from the authentic pizzerias found in New York or even New Haven, Connecticut were now being shown just how naive and sheltered we were.
If Atlanta is currently playing host to its own "Pizza Wars" as many have said, then Jeff Varasano fired the first and loudest shot.
Was it the best pizza in Atlanta at the time of its opening? Definitely. Is it still? Possibly.
The one thing I know for sure is that Varasano's upped the ante for Atlanta pizzerias, and for that I am grateful.
The pizza that started it all. – In the last year or so, Atlanta has gone crazy over pizza and the gossip that comes with it. From Fritti shuttling in Italian pizza czars who didn't speak any English to Concentrics getting in the game with a coal oven pizzeria downtown, it hasn't just been Atlanta's freak-out over Antico that's been buzzy. But the reason why Atlanta's pizza stock has risen 1000% in the last 18 months, has been because of one man, Jeff Varasano.
The brainy, passionate and slightly neurotic restaurant owner was in the NY Times before the restaurant even opened. His at-home pizza parties became legendary. And in the year it's been open, despite being blanketed in both praise and scrutiny, the man hasn't stopped trying to improve his restaurant.
In the last two years, we've gotten incredible upgrades with not one good pizza spot, but 3 or 4 GREAT pizza spots. And we have Jeff Varasano to thank for that.
Varasano's.... Is it Worth the Hype? – If there’s one thing that Atlantans seem to be starved for and craving it’s a decent slice of pizza. Now I’ll admit that, I’m not an aficionado on NY pizza, but I did spend a year in New Haven, CT which is truly one of the pizza meccas in the US. And trust me, while I was there I definitely ate my fair share of pizza. Thus, I’ve had some of the best pizza this country has to offer. And while I accept that Atlanta will never rival New York in terms of quality pizza shops or sheer number of pizza shops we do have a few that are doing good work.
In my opinion, the Atlanta pizza battle comes down to two main contenders: Varasano’s and Antico. Now while I think Varasano’s wins out on sheer taste, let me give you a few other reasons why I prefer Varasano’s over Antico:
1. Seating – rather than the one communal table that Antico offers, Varasano’s actually has legitimate, bonafide tables
2. Alcohol – yeah, maybe I’m a lush but I like to have a beer with my pizza and while the beer menu is limited and a little lacking at Varasano’s; beer is at least available. Whereas at Antico you’re looking at water and sodas.
Ok, so there is a bit of pretension about Varasano’s, I mean what other restaurant have you been to that has instructions of how to eat their food printed out and displayed on every table. But lets look past that and get to the food. I think this is the best pizza in Atlanta. The dough is almost perfect with just enough crunch/crispness balanced with a touch of chewiness. The bottom of the crust has spots of char as does the crust which certainly adds to the depth of flavor and shows that the pizza has been cooked at the proper temperature for an adequate amount of time.
One of my favorite Varasano’s pizzas is the New Haven Clam, what can I say, I got addicted when I was up in New Haven. Varasano’s adds mussels to their take on what is the quintessential New Haven pizza and they offer it with a red or white sauce. Two things the purist in me rejects, I go sans mussels and strictly adhere to this pizza’s white sauce heritage. The pizza is a perfect blend of salty, with a touch of sweetness from the clams, and a whole lot cheesy goodness. The clams go so well with the mozzarella and when combined with the awesome Varasano’s dough, with one bite, I’m transported back to New Haven for a moment or two and feel like I’m sitting in Pepe’s or Modern enjoying a pie.
I’m also a fan of the caramelized onion and emmentaler cheese pizza. The sweetness of the caramelized onions combined with the nuttiness of the emmentaler cheese, provides a depth of flavor that is almost unexpected for a mere two topping pizza. And of course there’s that awesome Varasano’s crust serving as the perfect base for it all.
And when I’m in the mood for just a down home, old fashioned pizza, I create my own with pepperoni, mushrooms and garlic. It’s simplistic and straightforward, but a little rustic all the while. Its old school pizza goodness done the right way; the Varasano’s way.
So bottom line, I think Varasano’s has the best pizza in Atlanta. Yeah there are a few things that they could improve on, but go for the pizza and check it out. My only thought is that for Varasano’s to succeed and reach its full potential as the premier pizza spot in Atlanta, it absolutely must expand its menu.
Please Jeff, from your loyal fans, EXPAND THE MENU.
The Best You Can Buy – Finally, a Wonderful Pizza Bar. Great food, wondeful Flat Crust Pizza and the Best Sauce. Luv the Salumi Pizza, the Spiced Olives andSauce are Wonderful. Great Fun Bar with two Big Screen TV,s for BallGames and Fun Bar Atmosphere. Wonderful Jeff !!! And Big hugs to Michelle, Jen and Bartender Tony....Cruise Director
All I can say is WOW – Varasano's Pizza is, hands down, the best pizza I have ever eaten. The crust is amazing, because Jeff has perfected his own yeast formula which makes for a perfectly cooked, scrumptiously charred, pizza. My favorite is the Nana's by far because of the exquisite blend of spices used in the pizza sauce itself. And I can never get tired of the Nana's cuz I can add pepperoni or their really good sausage... Next, my favorite would have to be the Salumi which is their meats pizza. They use the highest grade cuts of salumi and the pizza is just to die for. And if you are looking for something lighter, try the Carmelized Onion -- mmmm especially with sausage; or try the Chica Bella!
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