Counter-service Italian restaurant Pochino caters to the college crowd

The restaurant promises Old World flavors ready in minutes

Pesto tagliatelle

Courtesy of Pochino Italy

A restaurant and franchise consultant for years, Jennifer Erdman hadn’t considered opening her own concept until she met Italian restaurateurs Giuseppe Barbera and Andrea Casarin. The Venice residents opened her eyes to authentic Italian cuisine. Together with co-founders Chris Lowe and Sam Lundy, they created Pochino Italy, a counter-service Italian restaurant near Kennesaw State University.

Pochino (pronounced with a ‘k’ sound, not a ‘ch’) serves house-made pasta and pinsa (Roman, oval-shaped pizza) in a clean, modern atmosphere. Open since Memorial Day, it serves lunch and dinner seven days a week with both dine-in and takeout available. There’s even a pickup window for quicker service.


Courtesy of Pochino Italy

“Atlanta is a phenomenal food town, and we wanted to be near a university for a youthful audience,” Erdman says, noting that food is ready approximately five minutes after ordering.

With a name that means “a little bit of Italy,” Pochino promises Old World flavors with imported, high-quality ingredients. Customers can choose their pasta (penne, spaghetti, tagliatelle, gnocchi, and maccheroni) and sauce (options include pomodoro, cacio e pepe, pesto, and Bolognese), a salad (house or caprese), and/or a pinsa (eight varieties are available). Erdman describes the pinsas as “hand-stretched, light, bubbly dough made with three types of flour, so you don’t feel so bloated. They’re crunchy on the bottom and topped with fresh mozzarella, not shredded.” They come sized for an individual, duo, or family, based on your preference.

Gelato biscotti (gelato cookie sandwiches)

Courtesy of Pochino Italy


Courtesy of Pochino Italy

For dessert, expect cannoli, gelato, sorbet, Italian shortbread cookies, and gelato cookie sandwiches. Espresso and Americano coffee are available; sour, cherry, and clementine sodas are in the works.

Erdman and team are already searching for a second location in the northern suburbs, after which they hope to begin franchising the concept.

Inside Pochino Italy in Kennesaw

Courtesy of Pochino Italy