1586 Hopkins St. (@Monterey)
Berkeley,, CA 94707
Gioia is a top rated Pizza place in North Berkeley. It has been there since 2004. As they put it: “Gioia Pizzeria takes the best of pizza traditions from the old world and the new. Classic flavors and ingredients such as artisanally made sausage, fresh mozzarella cheese and arugula come together in inspired traditional ways, seasoned with the influence of Bay Area kitchens such as Zuni Café, Chez Panisse and Oliveto” Gioia is a small hole in the wall with minimal counter seating. The place specializes in thin crust pizza and is known for local, organic ingredients. It was rated as a top pizza place by Michael Bauer. Our last visit was in late 2011 and we noticed prices had gone up. Their San Francisco location opened in 2012, we dined here in May 2012. It is located right next door to burger heaven, Polkers.
The pizza is in a display case and reheated when you order.
The San Francisco location is much nicer, with lots of tables, but you still need to go up to the counter to order your food. The food is then delivered to your table.
Gioia Menu Pictures:
Gioia San Francisco Menu
Gioia had five pizzas available on the day of our visit. Different pieces are available throughout the week. You can order slices or an entire pie.
Gioia San Francisco has sandwiches, snacks, and pasta in addition to the pizza.
Gioia Food Picks:
Salsiccia – Housemade Sicilian Sausage, Pecorino, Ryan’s Pickled peppers ($4) a solid pizza with a thick edge, and fairly thin center that could have used a little more sausage.
Prosciutto Arugula – Prosciutto, Arugula, Tomato Sauce ($4) was covered with healthy dose of Arugula, making for a very healthy pizza!
Ceasar Salad, Sicilian Anchovies, Levain Croutons ($9) looked very simple and pristine. No heavy dressing here.
Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with Mozzarella, Chicken Cutlet, Parmesan, Marinara ($11) came on an Acme bun and proved to be a pretty large sandwich, fresh out of the fryer. Good stuff.
Pepperoni Pizza ($25, $3.50 slice) cheese pizza with circles of pepperoni on top was a solid pizza. The crust was crispy and of medium thickness. There was a ton of grease on top of the pizza probably due to massive amounts of cheese. The pepperoni tasted fine.
Salisicca ($25, $3.50 slice) cheese pie topped with Fatted Calf fennel sausage and fresh oregano was also decent. Not a lot of flavor to the sausage. Again, very greasy.
We came with high expectations and were satisfied by the pizza on our last visit. The San Francisco location expands their menu to make this restaurant much more appealing than a pizza slice store. Gioia clearly cares about the ingredients. We like Gialina or Pauline’s in San Francisco more. Arinell Pizza in SF, Speederia pizza in Belmont is very similar to Gioia’s New York style, as is A Slice of New York in San Jose. A thick crust alternative is the venerable Zacharys Pizza in Oakland. Takeout is available. Bring your cash, they do not take credit cards.
2240 Polk Street (Between Green, Vallejo)
San Francisco, CA 94109