New York style restaurants in Atlanta locals consider a must

Atlanta may be famous for hot wings and Waffle House, but the city is more than just Southern cuisine. There’s plenty of ethnic food options and little New York-inspired gems in the heart of the city. Here are some New York-style go-to spots locals consider to be just as good or even better than the big apple.



Who doesn’t love pizza? Although Antico has some of the best pizza in town, it’s a little out of students’ price range. However, Johnny’s Pizza, which actually started in New York City and came down to Atlanta, is cheaper, made faster and is just plain good. What makes Johnny’s so good? Robert Leon, Georgia Tech graduate and Atlanta native, says the crust is better than most. 

“The crust is like artisan bread — the quality is just so dang good,” he said. “It’s not overly seasoned, so it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to cover stuff up; it’s just naturally good quality bread that’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.” 

A $6 large pizza at Little Caesars may be nice for the bank account. Despite Johnny’s being slightly more expensive, Leon suggests Johnny’s quality over quantity at Little Caesars. 

“One thing I don’t really like is it’s kind of pricey,” he said. “An average-size pizza there is like $16, and then choosing all the toppings makes the price fly up real fast. But it’s not Antico — that’s a rip off.” 

As far as toppings go, Johnny’s offers anything from slabs of Canadian bacon to extra thick crust.

“My go-tos are the deluxe style or the Hawaiian, cause I’m a fat guy and those are the best,” Leon said. 

Johnny’s biggest competition is Fellini’s. Established in the ’80s, this pizza joint has been voted Atlanta’s best for years by several local sources, including The Emory Wheel

“This is the late-night spot for college students,” regular Fellini’s customer and Georgia State student Adrienne Riga said. “I’ve never been during daylight, but the vibe at night makes you feel like you’re in an 80s or 90s movie with the neon lights and grungy style of the workers.” 

With slices starting at about $2, it’s a steal, especially considering their monstrous sizes. Fellini’s has everything from a deluxe veggie slice, to white pizzas (pizza with no tomato sauce) or even thick Sicilian style pizzas. 

For a late-night snack after a night out, Fellini’s is the spot, with 7 locations throughout the city. As far as an authentic pizza joint in the daytime, Rosa’s takes the cake. 

Located on Georgia State’s campus by Aderhold, a line wrapped around the outside is the norm at this counter service classic. 

“Rosa’s is quick and easy and there’s nothing more classic than their cheese pizza,” Georgia State student Noah Britton said. “It’s also pretty dark inside, so I don’t have to worry about making eye contact while stuffing my face with a slice.” 



Reuben’s Deli is the deli to top them all. Reuben’s, a New York-style classic, is  tucked in Broad Street’s array of restaurants on Georgia State’s campus. The pastrami melt is so good that the scent can be smelled all the way from the roof of Aderhold. 

Reuben’s is the holy land for all things New York cuisine. Even the bagels are shipped in from an Upper East Side staple, H&H Bagels, which has been featured on popular TV shows like “Seinfeld” and “The Office.” 

“I’ve never even been to New York, but everything about it feels that way from films I’ve seen,” Georgia State student Yves Ishimwe said. “From the sign outside to all the old historic pictures inside to the way you see them slice the meat, it’s very NYC-ish.” 

The vibe of Reuben’s and the bagels couldn’t be more East Coast-inspired, and so are the sandwiches, like the classic Reuben, rated #1 in the city by Yelp. 

“I love their Reuben sandwich. It’s at least six inches thick and has so much flavor,” he said.  

Bagels straight from New York are a treat, but having fresh bagels everyday is Goldbergs Fine Foods’ specialty.

Located in several locations in Atlanta and even in the airport for a quick bite, this Jewish New York deli and restaurant has been grinding out fresh bagels of all different flavors since the ’70s. 

“Everytime I come home from school, I go here. I know I’m in Atlanta when I’m there. It’s just always been a local spot for me. No one else’s bagels are that fresh,” Atlanta native Clarie Reticker said. 

Not only are the bagels fresh but the coffee and the deli creations they serve in their full service restaurant too. 

“[My] go-to meal is the Summer Special: Everything bagel with house-made cream cheese, red onions, capers and smoked salmon. My favorite to come home to,” Reticker said.