As a self-proclaimed foodie, I have multiple "Best Restaurants in Atlanta" lists saved to my phone. Usually, they contain unique and classy places, but sometimes, you are just looking for somewhere classic, casual, and comforting. Gio's Chicken Amalfitano is just that: the most underrated Italian restaurant in Atlanta.

Prior to eating here, at the recommendation of a friend whose study abroad experience in Italy makes her an Italian food expert, I had never heard of Gio's, but I most definitely will be back. Being from New Jersey, a state with loads of authentic Italian restaurants, I consider myself a bit of a snob when it comes to homey restaurants serving Italian cuisine. Everything about Gio's from the atmosphere, service, and food met my standards and exceeded my expectations.


Gio's is part of the Little Italia restaurant group, consisting of four restaurants existing together in one unsuspecting brick building. Surrounded by fast food restaurants, the delicious authentic Italian restaurant is a hidden gem on the Westside of Atlanta. 

Inside the building, you are greeted with the classic checkerboard tables in the front and more in a separate seating area in the back (pictured above). There is a counter to order from before taking your seat, and next to it is a fridge filled with drinks imported from Italy. The menu is displayed above the counter with no more than 15 dinner items. Although my favorite Italian restaurants at home do not have an ordering counter system, this really added to the casual vibe that I had been searching for.

The Service

A staple in my favorite Italian restaurants is good service. Restaurants can do a few things to get the points for good service: fast serving time and generous accoutrements to the meal. 

In regard to fast service, I felt myself barely waiting for something to eat. The restaurant was packed so much so that we almost could not find a seat, however, that did not make the service slow down at all. Merely minutes after taking our seats, a server came over to bring us our complimentary salads. Upon the completion of our delicious starter, the bowls were swiftly taken away and replaced with our main dishes. Lastly, since we had paid at the ordering station, we could leave whenever we wanted without having to wait for a check. 

As I mentioned previously, all restaurant-goers received a free salad starter for their meal. I recognized this practice from my New Jersey Italian restaurants and was so happy to find a restaurant in Atlanta that does this, too. Additionally, each main course dish is accompanied by a huge piece of Italian bread. This was something I didn't even know I needed but was grateful to have to dip in my dish's sauce.


Finally, onto the most important category: the food. The salad appetizer was tossed in a light lemon dressing and was topped with large hunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This created a satisfying contrast between the tart and delicately coated lettuce with the rich and sharp cheese. 

For my main, I ordered chicken parmesan to test the waters of the restaurant. Even though it is a dish I have had hundreds of times in my life, I enjoyed and devoured every bite. The chicken was a massive cutlet with generous amounts of mozzarella cheese placed alongside a hefty scoop of spaghetti in tomato sauce. My friend who was dining with me ordered the al forno pasta, which she greatly enjoyed as well. The same flavors of tomato and mozzarella cheese were simple yet deliciously done.

Overall, I loved Gio's Chicken Amalfitano and think it is perfect for a quick weeknight bite. I would 100% recommend it to anyone looking to find authentic, homey, and underrated Italian food in Atlanta, and I really hope to try Little Italia's other restaurants in the near future.