Best Pizza

Gioia Pizzeria

Most California pizzas are like Brooklyn burritos: best avoided once you know how good the real thing can taste. But Gioia Pizzeria makes unmistakable Brooklyn pizza, and manages to give it a California sheen without corrupting the product. Owner Will Gioia grew up in Brooklyn and has recreated for Bay Areans that quintessential East Coast experience of grabbing a slice. Gioia even has a quaint little window for ordering from the street. The California influence is apparent in the use of organic flour, fresh herbs, and sometimes — New York purists be damned — baby spinach. Will and his wife and co-conspirator, Karen, paid their dues working in California-cuisine restaurants and are dedicated to local ingredients. Everything coming out of the oven here is delicious, but the eatery's plain slice is the Platonic ideal of pizza: thin crust with charred edges, topped with San Marzano tomatoes coalesced into a smooth, shiny sauce that is lightly stippled with mozzarella. (And if you want to be East Coast, do order a "plain slice" rather than a "cheese.") Take your slice to go, add a strawberry lemonade for good measure, and savor the union of East and West, street food and gourmet treat.
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