This self-described “Neapolitan eatery and drinkery” is the star attraction at Marietta Square Market, the slick yet historically appropriate new food hall that offers a smart suburban take on the once-urban phenomenon. Lest you question Forno Vero’s bona fides, or if you happen to belong to the rare breed of diners unacquainted with Neapolitan pies, the menu here prominently states: “The crust on our pizzas have a char due to the wood fired cooking process.” Let’s talk about that char. It’s not nearly as pronounced as the black blisters that grace the crust at, say, Varuni Napoli, the Neapolitan eatery at similarly styled food hall Krog Street Market, and therefore barely warrants the forewarning. But the pies that spring forth from Forno Vero’s aquamarine-tiled ovens are nonetheless respectable and flavorful, with an underside so uncharacteristally firm you might not even have to fold your slice. The margherita pie is the benchmark by which Neapolitan pizza should be assessed, and this one does not disappoint. If you’re looking for something with more kick, the Speziato, with spicy soppressata and Calabrian peppers, does the trick. 68 North Marietta Parkway, 678-310-2078
Street Taco is one of two proper “restaurants” (as opposed to mere stalls) at Marietta Square Market. Whereas the other restaurant, Forno Vero, is the food hall’s nucleus—located smack dab in the middle of the 18,500-square-foot compound, ringed by bar stools, and facing the communal tables—Street Taco’s dining room and patio are tucked away in a quiet back corner. Well, quiet until a freight train lumbers along the tracks behind the building, which only adds to the charm—and is less distracting than the main food hall’s cacophony. As for the tacos, which will set you back $3 or $4 a pop, they don’t quite live up to the promise of the restaurant’s name, both when it comes to value and, in some cases, flavor. The corn and flour tortillas were cold and flabby, and the fish taco was weirdly bland. But the al pastor was juicy and fatty and worth the trip alone. Order three of those (on warm tortillas). 68 North Marietta Parkway, 678-823-8700
If it’s street tacos you’re after, you’ll do better by visiting a food hall of a different sort. The Global Grub Collective is a cramped storefront and a half in East Atlanta Village that hosts a half-dozen or so rotating vendors in addition to its anchor Vietnamese spot. Expect banged-up picnic tables, a stifling heat index, and some of the best (and best-priced) food for miles around. Its most recent addition is Taqueria Rojas, run by a family who previously sold tacos at a soccer park. For $2, you get a double-stacked corn tortilla heaped with one of six meat options (we especially like the birria, but you can’t choose wrong) or four veggie ones (prepared with as much care as the meat), which you can accessorize however you see fit by digging into the generous condiment station, which includes one green salsa, a pico, and several reds, as well as pickled or diced onions, chopped cilantro, queso fresco, and whole pickled jalapeños. As we waited for our order, we watched as two groups of departing diners went out of their way to thank the family members for bringing these tacos into their lives. You’ll also be inclined to express gratitude for the corn husk– or banana leaf–wrapped tamales and the lime-drenched and chili-spiked fruit cups. Currently open weeknights only. 479-B Flat Shoals Avenue, 404-430-7613
This article appears in our July 2019 issue.