Atlanta Pizza Days #8: Rosa’s Pizza

February 3, 2009 · 3 comments

in atlanta, atlanta pizza


The 8th pizza destination of the Atlanta Pizza Days is Rosa’s Pizza, yet another pizza joint in this series that I had not previously eaten. I’m not gonna lie, the pizza consumption is starting to get tough. My craving for pizza is a bit diminished and this is most definitely affecting my fitness…I’m pretty sure the standard training for triathlons doesn’t include eating 24-35 slices of pizza per week during peak training season. But we press on, and I’ve heard great things about Rosa’s, so it’s easy to “get up” for the promise of good pie. Rosa’s has earned a 4.5/5 rating on Yelp and almost all of the 50+ Yelpers have given it four or five stars. The Foodie Buddha himself also claims Rosa’s to be his favorite pizza in the ATL. 

I headed on over to downtown Atlanta (who knew ATL had a downtown?) and eventually found a parking spot and walked on over to Rosa’s, which is located in what looks to be a popular area to eat if you work downtown or attend GSU. I was actually quite surprised to see such a quantity of people walking around the streets, and even at 1PM there was a line out the door at Rosa’s…definitely a good sign. My dining cohort and I got in line and had a few moments to scope out the scene. Most people were ordering individual slices, which come from precooked pies that they throw in the oven to warm up.

Pies sitting in racks for all to see was a bit of a turnoff, but in their defense, with the amount of turnover during the busy lunch hour the pizzas couldn’t be sitting there very long by the time you get your slice. I was glad to find out that when ordering a whole pie they don’t just warm up an already made pizza, so we placed our order and enjoyed a cannoli and large salad (plenty for two people) while our large plain cheese order was prepared. Results and pictures below!


Dough (average score -2.75/5) 

  • “too thick for NY style, major gummy spots in the endcrust”
  • Blind Taste – “good thickness, but a little too crunchy”

Sauce (average score – 3/5)

  • “liked the sauce, sharp flavors, oregano, tons of it, caused a cheese slide”
  • Blind Taste – “good amount but a little bland”

Cheese (average score – 4/5)

  • “lots of gooey, greasy, browned cheese, good stuff”
  • Blind Taste – “good coverage and decent flavor”

Overall (average score – 3.5/5)

  • “a little bit off of the NY style, but the cheese and sauce were to my liking for this style”
  • Blind Taste – “good regular slice – not bad, not exceptional”


Final Thoughts: I wasn’t disappointed in Rosa’s pizza, but after all the hype I was ready for a pizza “destination” and Rosa’s doesn’t earn that type of billing from me. When I first saw their pizzas, they clearly looked like a straight forward New York style pizza, and I looked forward to eating it. Modern New York style has its appeal – thin with large foldable slices, lots of cheese, zippy sauce, and one to two slices is a meal. 

When the pizza arrived, we had to wait a solid 5 minutes to eat as it was so hot the copious amounts of cheese would have easily slid off with the help of the large amount of sauce. We also noticed how thick the endcrust was for New York style. It’s much thicker than any pizza I’ve eaten in New York. If you want a great example of New York style pizza, go try “New York Pizzeria” on Chamblee-Tucker. It’s a tiny restaurant tucked away in a strip mall that actually has a decent thin slice. 

I loved the cheese, I loved the sauce, but I just can’t get away from the crust problems in this pie. As it was so thick, it couldn’t cook properly and when looking at a slice from the side you could easily see the gummy uncooked portion of the dough in the center of the crust. It’s kind of like when you are looking at pasta that has been cooked al dente. Dough like this is going to blow up in your stomach; a couple of my good friends call it the “dough blow”. My dining companion also commented on how this is the kind of pizza that is going to make you feel sickly full after two slices.

The fact that both me and my pizza tasting partner pretty much left the entire endcrust of the first slice uneaten when we moved on to the second slice can summarize my experience at Rosa’s. BUT, it’s a good price, a quick spot for a slice, and it is NOT pizza garbage like some I’ve had during this series. The staff was also extremely friendly. I would eat this any day over Mellow Mushroom. 

Good filling cheesy goodness if you are in the area = YES!!!. Pizza destination worth the trip alone = Not so much, especially when I have to pay $5 to park. 

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Rosa's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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  • Sarah

    Good review. Rosa’s is a special lunch destination for some of us at UPS, despite the 40 minute round-trip ride. I’m grateful for the former GSU student who introduced it to me. I think we go for the downtown busy atmosphere (especially since we work just OTP). Also the line and the ordering process are a fun diversion. And we go there for the pizza, obviously. I have always had by the slice (thus previously cooked then reheated) but have enjoyed it each time.

    Your Pizza Days have been enlightening, so thanks for collecting the data and sharing it. I’m looking forward to more. I’m already more aware of the fact that I don’t think about the pizza I’m eating – I typically just enjoy the company, atmosphere, and beer… And thanks for sharing that article on the history of pizza a couple of weeks ago.

  • Sarah –

    Good point on the business lunch! I work from home most of the time now and I really miss heading out for lunch on a Friday with a big group from work. Half the fun is the conversation with friends & getting out of the office. The food can often take a backseat, but I can see Rosa’s being fun for that kind of visit.

    So you have debunked my non pizza destination claim. :-)

    I enjoyed going…I don’t want everyone to think I have hated everything I’ve eaten. I’m just being a tough critic. A 3.5/5 is one of the highest scores so far!


  • Is Rosa’s my favorite in the city: Yes. Does that mean much… not really :-) I would probably give it a bump by about a 1/4 of a point by this scale. On my site, I would give it a 1.5/4 (Which comes in between Good and Very Good). Pizza in Atlanta is poorly represented…. for now! Keep up the good work Jimmy. The dedication and follow through is nothing short of impressive.

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