Gioia, Bakeworks, Del Popolo, Nick's Pizza ... a survey of hot new pizza parlors
Suffice it to say, pizza is still the number one reason to visit Gioia — just as satisfying and special as it has been in Berkeley these eight-plus years. In addition to the pies, there's a classic Caesar ($9) with no visible Sicilian anchovies (though listed), merely a hint in the dressing. At lunch there are sandwiches, at dinner joys like fried squid with broccoli di cicco, spring onions, pimenton, and Meyer lemon aioli ($12), or pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, spinach, and nettles in red sauce ($17). The just-launched brunch (naturally) tops pizza with an egg, but also dishes up buttermilk flapjacks and frittatas.
As is typical, I prefer to go off hours, midday or whenever I can avoid the crowds already flocking here. No reservations means dinner hours can be rough although add your name to a waiting list and you'll get a text when you're up. Grabbing a slice to go is ideal any time as Gioia is blessedly open all day. In a city awash with world-class pizza, Gioia is a refreshing and welcome addition.
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