If you’re looking for a holiday to hold you over until St. Patrick’s Day, why not celebrate National Meatball Day on March 9? After all, the chilly month is the perfect time to chow down on a hearty pasta dish. From food trucks to high-end Italian fare, it’s hard to pick the best spot for meaty goodness in Atlanta. Whether you’re down for a Southern Y’all Meatball or you prefer the traditional spaghetti, here are five local restaurants worth checking out. Maybe just leave your vegetarian friends off the invite list for this night out!
Alright, this may be the meatball mecca of Atlanta. With no less than six different varieties of meatballs, including a recipe passed down by their grandmother, the Truelove brothers are kind of a big deal in the meatball arena. Their Mighty Meatball Truck includes the standard Italian and chicken parmasen options as well as Vietnamese, buffalo and Greek takes on the meatball. They generally can be found in the food truck park, but check the website for other current locations. See where the truck is today by clicking here.
Nino’s Cucina Italiana
1931 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, GA 30324
Local treasure Nino’s has been serving authentic Italian food on Cheshire Bridge Road since 1968, so you know it can make a mean meatball. Amalfi native Antonio Noviello married an Atlanta woman and moved here to take over the place, bringing his hometown touch. Celebrities from Sheryl Crowe to Joe Torre have been impressed by this diamond in the rough. Meatball lovers will want to try the spaghetti con polpette di carne – spaghetti and meatballs ($17).
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Clock Tower Place
408 S. Atlanta St.
Roswell, GA 30075
If you’re looking for a meatball appetizer rather than a main course, check out the meatball al Sugo at Sugo. For $7, you get a satisfying sausage meatball stuffed with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and dates, and drizzled with a sauce of tomato basil. Sugo also serves a child-size portion of the traditional spaghetti and meatballs entree. Meatball Day is a great excuse to head out to charming historic Roswell.
At $1.50 per meatball, Figo won’t bust your wallet but will give you the chance to sample a variety of different tastes. The Y’all Meatball is a distinctly Southern take, with barbecue sauce, corn and collard greens in a pork and bacon sausage. The Zia Emilia is a lamb meatball with mint, goat cheese and raisins. Another hearty option is the Alba, named after the Italian foodie town, combining beef with onions and white truffle oil. With seven Atlanta locations, this local pasta spot is convenient for everyone.
La Tavola Trattoria
992 Virigina Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
You can’t go wrong at this Virginia Highlands hotspot, and the spaghetti with tomatoes, basil and veal meatballs is no exception. At $16.50, it is easy on the budget, too. There’s also the option of a side of the veal meatballs alone for $4 if you’d rather choose something else for your main course. The vibe here is rustic, friendly and comfortable, equally great for date night or a get-together with a group of friends.
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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.