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.