Pizza is affordable, hassle-free food for all occasions. He can feed a crowd and moves well. It’s a meal in itself, and it’s satisfying any time of the day, even as cold breakfast leftovers.
We’ve long been a pizza-loving nation, but no more so than during the pandemic. In 2020, the number of pizzerias in the United States hit a record high of over 78,000, and they generated over $46 billion in sales.
Pizza delivery, which had plateaued between 2011 and 2018, has also been in high demand recently, as we devoured slices of this timeless comfort food from the safety of home. We paid nearly $20 billion for pizza delivery in 2021, an increase of more than $5 billion from the previous year.
In metro Atlanta, nearly two dozen independent pizzerias have opened their first or second locations since COVID-19 hit, and pizza is featured prominently on the menu of 10 other area dining establishments that have made their beginnings during the pandemic.
Many operators have taken budget-conscious approaches with their business models – from pop-ups, such as Phew’s Pies and Dolo’s, to ghost kitchens, like Brasiliana Pizza. And, G’s operates out of the same address as Italian restaurant Il Giallo in Sandy Springs.
Pizzerias also offer pies in virtually any style, whether Neapolitan, New York, Detroit, Chicago or Buffalo. In some cases, you will find two under the same roof. Two Cities in Suwanee is built around the disagreement between owners Zach Greves and Sean Spurlock over which is No. 1, Chicago deep-dish or New York’s collapsible slices.
There are establishments that aren’t afraid to tinker with tradition (head to Rice N’ Pie for a slice of India). Other pizza makers, including Luca Varuni of Varuni Napoli, wouldn’t dare touch Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’s stringent rules regarding size, appearance, ingredients, oven temperature, and more.
The fact that devotees are willing to pay for – and go out of their way to get – a pie deemed “authentic” to the traditions of its place of origin tells you how far the pizza has come since its inception in the late 18th century. . Back then, flatbread topped with tomatoes was the food of the poor.
“Pizza was born out of necessity, instead of pleasure,” said Enzo Coccia during his visit to Varuni Napoli in April. It was the first time that the famous pizza maker, whose La Notizia was the first Michelin pizzeria, went to the pizzeria opened by his protege in 2014.
This gastronomic guide recognizes pizza as a necessity and a pleasure. He recommends pizza all over the place, as well as the people who make it, bake it, and even deliver it by e-bike (Glide Pizza, for all you intowners). In a time when we have a lot of disagreements, let’s celebrate our shared love of pizza.