A stone’s throw (dough throw?) from the BeltLine in Old Fourth Ward, you’ll find a takeout window wedged between Lingering Shade Social Club and Irwin Street Market in a tin-sided, charmingly ramshackle building. The diminutive nature of this operation, Glide Pizza, belies the outsize pies and slices available here. The shop is easy to miss, but the line snaking into the parking lot is not.
Atlanta is experiencing something of a pizza explosion, mostly dominated by Neapolitan pies. In less than two years, the robust crop of new pizzerias includes Junior’s in Summerhill, Gio’s Sicilian in Home Park, MTH Pizza in Smyrna, Forno Vero in Marietta, Grana in Piedmont Heights, Ammazza in Decatur, Slim & Husky’s in Adair Park, Firewall in Westview, and, of course, the inimitable Nina & Rafi, a literal 30-second glide down the BeltLine from Glide.
What sets this little takeout window apart? It’s the most New York–influenced of the lot, more Brooklyn than Neapolitan. I dig the texture of the crust—far sturdier than the intentionally soggy-in-the-middle Neapolitan and yet a little airier/flakier than that of a more quintessentially Brooklyn pie. The flavor profile is also more delicate than that of its New York brethren (tempting me to dust it with a little salt and oregano). But it is a very fine pie, especially when graced with the house-pickled jalapenos that come on the side. Call me a purist, but I’m less a fan of the housemade ranch for dipping. Though tasty enough, it feels decidedly anti-Brooklyn; a good crust needs no embellishment. 660 Irwin Street, Old Fourth Ward, no phone —Mara Shalhoup
It can be tricky to find this Buckhead restaurant, which is tucked away behind a tattoo parlor and a yoga studio on Peachtree Road. But once you descend the long concrete ramp and climb a flight of stairs, you’ll discover an impeccably designed restaurant that exudes cool. Vinyl records, found on shelves throughout the dining room, come from the personal collection of owner Sim Walker (of Ms. Icey’s Kitchen and Bar), a more than 10,000-album treasure trove that boasts everything from Wu-Tang Clan to the Mary Poppins soundtrack. A DJ booth is set up near the bar, where patrons can order elegant cocktails and several types of rum.
Haitian-born chef Dayana Joseph serves up a Caribbean menu featuring Jamaican ackee fruit and Scotch bonnet peppers, oxtail, and plantains. Appetizers include duck wings a l’orange or lightly fried cracked conch, which comes with a sweet and spicy scotch bonnet pepper and citrus dipping sauce reminiscent of flavor-boosted honey mustard. Skip the decadent, fatty tamarind-glazed short rib for the fried whole red snapper, topped with vividly pink pickled vegetables, and don’t miss the boozy plantain cake with cashew crumble for dessert. The restaurant is open Thursday through Sunday for dine-in by reservation; call ahead for takeout or place your order at the bar. 2293 Peachtree Street, Buckhead, 404-709-2906 —Myrydd Wells
Situated right across from Kimball House, behind a few picnic tables in the takeout-only space formerly occupied by Doggy Dog hot dog shop, this no-frills barbecue spot offers a simple menu: four sides, three meats (two more on the weekend), two desserts, and a single sauce. Of course, simplicity reigns at the moment, as does relatively affordable, family-ready comfort food, which makes BBQ Cafe a solid option for carnivorous Decaturites. (No real vegetarian meal options here.)
The $15 barbecue plate gets you one meat, two sides, a drink, and a dessert, and between the pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, those ribs are the clear winner—generously meaty and adequately smoky with a well-seasoned, salty-spicy bark. The “loaded” potato salad is richly creamy and flecked with herbs and slivers of pork (and even better the next day), a fine companion to the ribs. Lightly dressed, peppery slaw rounds out my ideal plate.
Both the meats and sides (which also include straightforward baked beans and strikingly simple corn salad) are available by the pound or half-pound. Don’t hold back on a pound of that potato salad for $7.50. 310 East Howard Avenue, Decatur, 678-235-3476 —M.S.
This article appears in our November 2020 issue.