Welcome to Ask Eater Atlanta, a dining advice column in which the editor and regular contributors answer questions from readers on everything from specifics on the ATL dining scene to where to find a particular dish at restaurants around town.
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“Where can I find old-school, square-cut lasagna ladled with rich red sauce in Atlanta?”
Atlanta isn’t lacking in great Italian and Italian-American restaurants, some leaning into hearty and classic red sauce dishes, with others taking a lighter, more modern approach to pastas on the menu. But for those seeking a bit of comfort in their pasta dish, nothing beats a thick square or two of homestyle baked lasagna swimming in tangy red sauce topped with a crispy crust of stretchy mozzarella cheese. The deep dish pasta casserole, layered with creamy ricotta and meat sauce, is deeply woven into America’s comfort food lexicon, served weekly in homes and at old-school red sauce joints across the country.
Campagnolo — Midtown
Despite its bustling Midtown locale, Campagnolo is a friendly, neighborhood Italian restaurant filled with locals unwinding together over a glass of wine paired with pasta dishes like pappardelle with duck confit and the fettuccine capricciose with wild mushrooms. The lovely patio here is hard to beat on a beautiful evening in the A. One of this restaurant’s most popular dishes just so happens to be the lasagna matta layered and topped with beef and pork bolognese, bechamel sauce, and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Order online for takeout or delivery.
Nino’s Italian Restaurant — Cheshire Bridge
Nino’s is as old school as it gets in Atlanta. Located on Cheshire Bridge Road, this Italian restaurant has been doling out classic red sauce pasta dishes for over 52 years now. The menu includes a scrumptious, homestyle lasagna layered with bolognese sauce and mild Italian sausage, bechamel, and mozzarella cheese. Other notable dishes to try are the veal parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, and fettucine with shrimp and scallops tossed in Pernod and saffron cream sauce. It can be hard to get a seat, especially on weekends, so make sure to make a reservation before heading over. Order online for takeout.
Paolino Italian Restaurant — Oakhurst
The Oakhurst neighborhood has a real gem in Paolino, which opened in early 2020. It’s a sort of homecoming for the restaurant, which was once called Saba in the Mead Road space, before relocating to Emory Village in 2017. Now back in Oakhurst and renamed Paolino, the menu offers classic Italian-American dishes and pastas, including lasagna bolognese layered with ricotta and meat sauce and topped with mozzarella and pecorino cheeses and a vegetarian option comprising roasted squash, zucchini, carrots, and onions with melted cheese and ricotta. Make sure to order gelato for dessert, too. Order online for takeout.
Nonna’s Family Kitchen — Presidential Parkway
This family-owned and operated spot on Presidential Parkway serves up homestyle Italian classics, whether via takeout, delivery, or grabbing a seat outside. Order everything from pizza, eggplant parmesan, and fresh-made tagliatelle with bolognese sauce here. There’s even an option to order take-and-bake-meals, too. This includes Nonna’s hearty lasagna bolegnese, which can be enjoyed freshly prepared or as a take-and-bake meal at home. The lasagna layers pork and pancetta bolognese sauce and quattro formaggio, romano, and mozzarella cheeses. Try the lasagna rolls stuffed with spinach and ricotta, romano, and mozzarella cheeses and topped with more cheese. Nonna’s can be found at farmers markets around town, including the markets at Peachtree Road, Sandy Springs, and Brookhaven. Order online for pick up or delivery.
Casseroles — Morningside
Casseroles in Morningside makes its business on take-and-bake, one-dish meals and is a frequent stop for busy Atlantans looking to whip up a quick and hearty dinner at home. Order small, medium, or large dishes here feeding up to 10 people, which come either refrigerated or frozen. The beef bolognese lasagna is one the shop’s most popular dishes on the regular menu. It’s layered with carrots, celery, and onions and ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, then topped with a rich and beefy tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Simply reheat at home. Order ahead for pick up or local delivery. Walk-ins welcome.
Three more lasagnas to try:
Lyla Lila: This casually elegant neighborhood restaurant in Midtown is just one block up from the Fox Theatre and includes on its menu a crispy duck lasagna with cocoa bechamel, parmigiano cheese, and a carrot-coriander puree. Reservations suggested.
Cafe Sunflower: Located in Brookwood Square in Buckhead, the vegetarian baked lasagna at Cafe Sunflower sees portabello mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, roasted red pepper, and spinach layered between tofu ricotta orzo pasta and topped with roasted shallot marinara. It’s nut free, too. Order online for takeout or delivery.
Piu Bello Pizzeria: People have two lasagna options to choose from at this pizzeria and Italian restaurant on Piedmont Road, including the classic with mozzarella and meat sauce or as a pizza topped with that same meat sauce and cheese combination. Order online for takeout or delivery.
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