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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.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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