Lots and lots has been written in these pages regarding pizza and the best examples of it in the Bay Area. Lots has also been written about the various styles available and how they are different.
After making my own little tour through the East Bay and SF over the last few weeks, I just have to say that the pizza at Gioia was incredible.
Of course, it's classic New York style--but I like this over some of the more bready and slightly burnt Italian styles. The crust was crispy through and through--not flaky and cracker-like, but rich with olive oil and yet a firm structure for the ingredients. This pizza can be picked up and eaten by hand, which is something I enjoy doing. Furthermore, it seems to be as good if not better when it's warmed up the next day. Most pizzas get soggy. This crust retains its crispness and delivers after being re-warmed in the oven. Gioia goes for simplicity on the toppings and it's not a made-to-order kind of place. You order off the short menu, and that's what you get. Personally, I'm alright with that, because even the formaggi pizza was exceptional.
The only drawback of the place is that it's basically a takeout joint. No place to sit except a thin counter at which one could devour a slice in five minutes. No beer or wine, so no real atmosphere so to speak of. It's a gift for the people of this little neighborhood. I live in SF, and it's a long journey to make to get fresh pizza and have nowhere to eat it.
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