One of the more prominent locations along Athens’ East State Street business stretch, Abrio’s Brick Oven is a centerpiece of the local community. The Italian restaurant and pizzeria hosts a variety of events throughout the year; older folk come for live jazz music while families enjoy holiday parties. There is a stage for live music, a bar, a party room, and a patio where wine tasting events are regularly held. Abrio’s brings a lot to the plate year-round, and one forgets that at its base it remains somewhere to eat pasta and pizza while sipping house wines.
Abrio’s advertises its pizza first and foremost, but it actually seeks a holistic Italian menu with a variety of pastas. But I like pizza, and the Verdure pizza, one of Abrio’s signature items, was immediately attractive to Kristen and I. With whole garlic, roasted Italian peppers, roasted red peppers and portabella mushrooms topping Mozarella and marinara, the vegetable pizza was overflowing with flavors. I was amazed. The thin, soft crust was so buttery it was like a breadstick. Delicious. With so many roasted vegetables, it’s hard not to like. There are a smaller number of toppings than the standard pizzeria but Abrio’s more than makes up for it with quality pizza.
With so much going on, a lot can be said for Abrio’s atmosphere too. It’s a comfortable, modern take on a classic Italian dive. Typically Italian decor and music abounds around Abrio’s, but the place still feels very clean and refined. While Abrio’s is a one-spot show, it has the sophistication of somewhere decidedly more organized. It’s an atmosphere that easily grows on you.
Service is great too. Particularly for such a busy place, I quickly got served. I highly suggest beating the mealtime crowds, but pasta and other dishes come quickly. The pizza seems to take the longest to prepare, but even that comes within 30 minutes as the rush begins around 5:00-6:00. Groups of all sizes seem to be accommodated, but it’s best to plan well in advance in order to get best service. Prices here are a little above what the average store is selling, but I would say this place has quality above the rest, too. It’s well worth the extra few bucks to get such a genuinely authentic pizza. There’s a 30-mile menu too, ensuring much of what you order has local ingredients.
Abrio’s gives a lot more than food to Athens’ local community. With so many things going on for people of so many different ages, you’ll easily find something you like about this place, as you should. It’s definitely worth a taste.
- Abrio’s has a lot of events, live music, wine tastings, and other things. Check the schedules online to see whats going on.
- Abrio’s totes itself as a pizza place, but it has a lot more to offer on the menu, so don’t just assume it’s for pizza.
- Events happen here for families, groups of older people and everyone in between. There’s something for everyone.