Best ice cream in SF Bay Area

Gio is an acronym for Gelato Italiano Originale, and while many of this shop’s ingredients are California organic, some of its best flavors are the result of Italian imports, like a silky, salty Sicilian pistachio, and a fluffy fior di latte with tart Cantiano cherries. Visiting the Bay Area on business in his past career as an executive at Disney, owner Guido Mastrapaolo couldn’t find the luscious gelato he knew from his native Pesaro, Italy. So in 2018, with gelato expert Patrizia Pasqualetti, he started Gio in Cow Hollow, serving a variety of classic, dense and creamy gelati and dairy-free sorbetti in which fruit shines bright. Gio has since expanded to a second location in San Ramon, and Pasqualetti has moved on to her own brand. But the quality at Gio is as good as ever, thanks partly to Mastrapaolo’s daughter, Teresa, who has joined the production side of the business and shares her father’s passion for gelato. “That was my fault,” he said. — Caleb Pershan

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