Training park rangers and managers rarely leads to a gig as a restaurateur. But, according to the Athens Banner-Herald, Jim Waters drew on his experiences heading park concession stands to open Mama Sid's Pizza in 1983 with his wife, Sidney Anne. Now run by their son, Shaun, Mama Sid's still relies on the same pizza recipe. Dough spinners crown pizzas with more than 20 toppings, such as bacon and banana peppers. Along with crafting customizable slices for its pizza buffet, Mama Sid's team creates its own specialties, such as a marinated chicken pie with garlic butter instead of pizza sauce. The BYOB eatery has expanded over the years to include other pizzeria favorites, from ricotta-stuffed calzones to wings by the pound doused in housemade hot sauce.
Chefs at Bulldawg Pizza’s two locations hand toss pizza dough to form regular-, thin-, and thick-crust vehicles for alfredo sauce, barbecue chicken, or feta cheese. They ready gourmet pies for delivery, carry-out, or dine-in (Baxter St. location only), loading spicy buffalo-chicken pizzas with a blend of blue cheese, ranch, and tomato sauce or piling Hawaiian pies with ham, pineapple, and ukulele sauce. As calzones and toasted subs share oven space, the chefs scoop house-made alfredo sauce over steaming plates of pasta.
Pie slingers at Romeo’s New York Pizza twirl their ‘za from scratch, piling dough made in-house with red sauce and toppings such as garlic, ground beef, meatballs, and sundried tomatoes. The cozy neighborhood joint has purveyed New York–style pizza since 1945, when delivery boys first started using hovercrafts. Its unfussy menu includes hearty appetizers such as cheese bread or fried ravioli, alongside healthy salads in vegetarian or meaty iterations. Those who opt not to build their own pies can go in for one of three chef-crafted incarnations—margherita, spinach and mushroom, or vegetarian, sold by the slice or in 12-inch or 16-inch rounds.
Since founding Riverside Pizza in Lawrenceville in 1999, Al and Sandy Thompson have expanded their pizzeria business to a total of nine locations across the Atlanta area. The Thompsons oversee each shop, ensuring that pizza chefs top the day's dough with homemade sauce and real cheese grated by real cows. Besides loading pizzas with everything from sausage and mushrooms to barbecue chicken, the Riverside crew assembles roast beef, club, and Italian–style sandwiches alongside caesar and greek salads.
Originally one pizzeria in Du Bois, Pennsylvania, Buck's Pizza has ridden a wave of its satisfied customers’ praise to its current status as a country-spanning network of franchises. At every location, chefs mix fresh dough to create pizza crusts that will be topped with sauce made from California tomatoes and 100%-pure mozzarella that’s melted to a gooey, delicious golden brown. Along with 16 specialty pizzas and 11 flavors of chicken wings, oven-baked hoagies, salads, and strombolis are available for patrons to enjoy via dine-in, carryout, delivery, or while sprinting in circles around the parking lot.
Growing up in New Jersey, Tom Tillotson loved New York–style pizza from birth. But when he move to Atlanta in the 1980s, he found himself bereft of that perfect combination of flaky crust, savory sauce, and fresh cheese plucked right off the tree. Facing a life without New York's most foldable delicacy, Tom decided to take matters into his own hands. Swapping recipes with master chefs from across the East Coast, he cobbled together an authentic New York pizzeria for the Empire State of the South. Today, Enzo's Pizza serves pies that would even please Fiorello Laguardia; whether it's the meat-laden Goombah or the pesto-kissed Paisan, every pizza comes in NYC-style Neapolitan and the thicker, heartier Sicilian preparation.