Category Archives: GIO Club

GIO Gelati in Orange County

Did you know you can order our gelato in Orange County? We are happy to say that we are expanding the love of gelato down the beautiful California coast. By using our GIO Membership Program you can get deliveries of gelato right to your home! That means staying safe and getting the best that nature has to offer.

Our gelato is made with all-natural ingredients grown right in the California sun. Spun into gelato with real Italian recipes and actual artisanal experience straight from Italy. Four decades of gelato making wisdom plus the wonderful culinary basket available here in California make a treat you don’t want to miss out on!

With us, you’ll be eating direct from nature. No preservatives or pesky additions. Eat healthy and rest easy with us! We believe gelato is the future.

Live in Orange County?

Get gelato delivered right to your door by joining our GIO Club. Simply select the flavors you want and let us do the rest!

Gelato vs. Ice Cream

If you want to know more about the benefits of gelato, read our blog post about Gelato vs. Ice Cream.

Places to try GIO Gelati in Orange County

Stop by Trenta Pizza and Cucina in Costa Mesa or Gracias Madre in West Hollywood or North Beach!

Spread the word!

Help us spread the word by telling your friends and family down in Orange County about our GIO membership program! After all, one scoop of gelato can go a long way.

Watermelon Gelato: Refresh & Rehydrate

Is it even summer without Watermelon Gelato? Break out your picnic baskets and red & white checked blankets because this flavor will make you want to grab your closest friends and chill in the park.

Watermelons are in season from July through August. At GIO we believe that eating fruit at their peak seasonality is one of the most important things. That’s why our fruit flavors are constantly on being changed. We want to give you the best and working hand in hand with mother nature makes that possible.

Watermelon Gelato health benefits you ask?

Watermelons are high in essential nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. A perfect sweet source of hydration that refreshes you. Watermelons are 90% water and are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth with natural sugars.

Watermelons also contain:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins B1, B5 and B6

Brighten up your day and complexion with this summery flavor.

Our watermelon gelato recipe is made of three ingredients: watermelon, organic cane sugar, and water. It is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and egg-free.

Come try it

Stop one of our GIO locations or order on a delivery app! You’ll want to try this sweet and creamy flavor!

Napa Fig Gelato: An Ode to Mediterranean Summers

Fig gelato! We source our figs directly from Napa County, where figs trees are aplenty and ripe for the picking. Enjoy this seasonal flavor at its peak!

Held in high regard since ancient times, figs bring a lot to the table. Long associated with health and prosperity, you can follow their mention back to the earliest written texts. Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, this delicate fruit churned into gelato form is an ode to sun-kissed summers.

What are the Health Benefits of Napa Fig Gelato?

Figs offer soft, chewy bites paired with the perfect amount of crunch from the seeds within them. They provide a wonderful source of natural sugars, minerals and soluble fiber. Moreover, they are known to help reduce high blood pressure, improve digestion, and increase bone density. 

Figs are a good source of:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Copper
  • Potassium

Stop by for a scoop and enjoy the taste of figs enveloped in the summer sun. But, be warned this flavor might transport you to the Mediterranean!

This flavor is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and egg-free. However, most importantly we promise it’s delicious!

Stop by our store or order online

Shop at a GIO Gelati location or check us out on most delivery apps!

You can also order a pint of Napa Fig gelato on our online store:

New Vegan Gelato Subscription from GIO Club

Now going live: GIO Vegan! GIO Gelati is now starting to deliver to vegan customers the news pure-vegan gelato subscription. A new subscription box with 3 pints of vegan gelato of your choice. Local, fresh, healthy, vegan gelato delivered directly to you!

Is Gelato Vegan?

Let’s start by clearing the air. You have mixed emotions when you hear something is vegan? That’s okay. But, let’s make sure we’re on the same page here. When we say vegan gelato, we mean there wasn’t any dairy involved in the process. But in no way, is that a factor in our decision for the end product. At GIO, our vegan options are gelato first and vegan second.

In other words, we prize getting the perfect flavor and consistency above all else during the gelato-making process. Therefore, that means that if a flavor didn’t need any dairy, then it is also vegan. 

Most of our fruit options are vegan because we use pure water instead of milk to enhance the fruits natural flavor. For example, our passion fruit, raspberry and banana flavors are all just 3 ingredients! Organic fruit, organic cane sugar and water blended to creamy perfection! 

Is Vegan Gelato Healthy?

We make Vegan gelato from a wide array of fresh fruity blends and nut or chocolate flavors that are also good for you! As a result, a lower calorie intake and a smaller chance of upsetting your belly. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that vegan gelato flavors are low in fat and can be up to 20% fewer calories as opposed to their dairy versions.

Want to know the benefits of gelato? Read our article about why gelato is good for you! We believe that picking each fruit in the right season greatly determines our gelato taste, something that we rely heavily on. The seasonality of gelato matters! That’s why we have seasonal flavors, announced at the beginning of each month so we can fully embrace what Mother Nature brings to the table.

“Careful research and respect for each ingredient allow us to offer gelato that is pleasurable from the point of view of taste and aroma. A product aimed at well-being. The choice of working with water and milk alternatives, grants us the true flavor of each ingredient and acts as a study of taste to accompany us in everyday life.”

– Patrizia Pasqualetti, Gelato Chef

How we make Vegan Gelato?

Vegan simply means dairy-free. Containing only the necessities to maintain true flavor and a rich gelato experience. Because gelato is slowly churned over a long period of time, it has the consistency you know and love. But most importantly, this process stays true to the ingredients and differentiates gelato from ice cream. Remember, it’s gelato not ice cream!

Gelato is Our Passion

We’re passionate about gelato and the health benefits of our products. For this reason, we’ve brought over 4 decades of gelato-making wisdom here to the United States to share with you. By hand-picking every ingredient we use, we hope to shape a better tomorrow and a healthier future. 

We believe gelato is the future. 

Try out GIO Vegan Gelato Subscription

Want guilt-free gelato delivered to your door? With GIO Club that’s what you’ll be getting. Browse our large selection of flavors and customise your experience. Contactless delivery every 2-4 weeks means there’s nothing to worry about except how you’re going to enjoy your gelato! We look forward to serving you.

Gelato Toppings, Anyone?

You love gelato but want to take the experience to another level? Try out our selection of gelato toppings! Here at GIO, we offer an array of delicious additions both in store and with our GIO Club membership.

The Gelato Toppings Options

Our gelato chef Patrizia Pasqualetti, thought long and hard about the best series of combinations she should select to accentuate our gelato. Enriching your gelato experience was of the utmost importance and so an array of natural ingredients was hand-picked.

You can choose from an array of options to top-off your gelato starting with: chopped almonds, hazelnut and pistachio. Next up, a variety of high quality chocolate pearls in various flavors including: dark chocolate, white and hazelnut chocolate, chocolate with raspberry.

How to pair your gelato and toppings

You may think there’s nothing to choosing your gelato toppings, but it can make or break the experience. We recommend:

  • Chopped California almonds paired with gelato flavors such as salted caramel, vanilla and our fantastic pistachio ice cream.
  • Chopped Piedmont hazelnut paired with espresso, tiramisu and cappuccino gelato. In the Italian tradition, hazelnut binds very very well with all those ice creams that have espresso. Try it for yourself!
  • Chopped pistachio with maldon salt can be paired with dairy-free coconut or dairy-free chocolate gelato. Salty and sweet flavors blend well giving your taste buds more to enjoy.
  • Chocolate pearls are a fun addition to any cup or cone. Enjoy garnishing your favorite gelato flavor with GIO’s colorful chocolate pearls.

Any combination can be fantastic, fun and cheerful. The addition of the crunch factor can be a pleasing sensation that everyone can enjoy.

You can try these and other combinations to personalize your gelato and make it a pleasant moment in your daily life.

You can also try all these toppings at home thanks to GIO Club! wherever you are.

How to join GIO Club

First you need to ask yourself, do I want gelato delivered right to my door every two to four weeks? If yes, this is the perfect plan for you. Pick your flavor selection and let us worry about the rest! Visit us at GIO Club to sign up.

Milkshakes AKA Frappè: The Magic of Mixing Gelato and Milk

Milkshakes are classic drinks made with gelato and ice cold milk. They were invented in the US, but it’s the Italian gelato that makes them memorable. Milkshakes, aka frappè, are easy to make, and delicious to drink.

A popular trio of milkshakes created with the the best flavors from GIO Gelati.

“You don’t need to go to heaven to find out what a milkshake is like, because we bring heaven to you in our milkshakes.” ― Anthony T. Hincks

What’s the history of gelato milkshakes?

Gelato milkshakes, called frappè in Italian, are a drink that was born in the 1800s. The original milkshake was a healthy and robust drink with whiskey and eggnog as the base ingredients. At the time, pharmacies were selling milkshakes as a tonic.


Throughout time, syrups and gelato were added to the recipe and milkshakes slowly changed to become the popular creamy drink we now know and love.

Get the the best gelato flavors for a perfect milkshake

Still to this day, the most popular flavors for a milkshake are the gelato classics: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana gelato. You will always find those flavors in our stores in San Francisco and San Ramon. You can also get them at home thanks to our GIO Club gelato subscription and our online store. Nevertheless, we always suggest to try new, more particular combinations with our ever-changing selection of gelato flavors. What about a milkshake made with White-Mint-Chip or Bacio, or our Gianduja chocolate chip inspired by the famous “Bacio Perugina?”

Making gelato milkshake the old fashioned way

Nowadays, we all have a modern mixer but it’s fascinating to look at the first mixers used to make milkshakes. These old and heavy machines did not run on electricity but rather on human strength.

Here’s a look at an approved invention from the United States Patent Office in 1889.

The inventors, Francis H. Shepherd and John W. Meyer stated: “Our invention relates to improvements in machines for mixing beverages—such as “milk-shakes,” “shaker-lemonades,” “mint juleps,’ etc.” They’re as passionate about milkshakes as we are, if not more!

How to make milkshakes at home

Let’s start with a banana milkshake, a simple flavor everybody loves. Preparing the milkshake is a reasonably straightforward process.

  1. Start by pouring a glass of cold milk into your mixer.
  2. Add two medium scoops of banana gelato, and a teaspoon of cardamom or cinnamon.
  3. Mix until the texture becomes creamy and homogenous.
  4. Then pour your milkshake into a cold glass.
  5. Lastly, add a few slices of banana for texture and a bit of cocoa powder on top.

This simple recipe makes for a perfectly healthy but sweet snack for both kids and adults. Of course, you can have fun with the recipe by mixing and matching your favorite gelato flavors.

A soda jerk throws a scoop of ice cream into a malt cup to prepare a milkshake (The Library of Congress).

Your next milkshake experiment?

Are you ready to go on a culinary adventure? If you are a coffee lover, we have a suggestion for a tasty caffeinated milkshake. Mix a scoop of stracciatella gelato and one of hazelnut with a glass of hazelnut milk. Add two espresso shots and you have a fantastic breakfast alternative. Healthy, nutritious and caffeinated!

Milkshakes in American pop culture

Milkshakes are now part of American pop culture and have appeared in countless movies. One the most famous milkshake scenes is in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” with John Travolta and Uma Thurman.

Another famous milkshake scene is in the famous movie “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” released in 2016 by Netflix.

How not to make a milkshake, according to Pee-Wee “Big Holiday.”
How to make an Affogato al caffe'

Learn About Gelato Toppings and How to Make Affogato al Caffè

Let’s start with GIO Toppings, so you don’t forget to garnish and personalize your gelato with tasty toppings! Let’s take a look at how and when to use GIO Toppings.

Curious about Gelato Toppings?

GIO Gelati is excited to offer you a series of delicious and high quality Italian gelato toppings to experiment with.

Combining Chocolate gelato with GIO Toppings Orange Chocolate. You can buy all GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.
Combining Chocolate gelato with GIO Toppings Orange Chocolate. You can buy all GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.

The king of all garnishes, of course, is chocolate. We at GIO Gelati crafted a variety of chocolate toppings, in many shapes and styles, chosen specifically to embellish each gelato flavor.

Our topping recommendations are driven by the perfect combination of texture and flavor. Our dairy free coconut gelato, for instance, pairs perfectly with pearls of dark chocolate and chopped pistachios. The sweet tropical taste of coconut, the bitterness of the chocolate and the light saltiness of the pistachios surprise the palate with an explosion of flavor and variety of consistency.

Taste is a principal component of GIO Gelati’s product philosophy but fragrance, texture, and even color are also of great importance. This is why we have combined our dairy-free chocolate gelato with our pearls of dark chocolate infused with orange extract. Uniting orange and chocolate is part of the Italian tradition, and not without good reason.

All of our toppings can be indulged in directly from jar to cup in any of our GIO Gelati stores, or online through our GIO Club membership. Come and taste for yourself! 

What is Italian coppa gelato?

Here’s another great suggestion on how to enjoy gelato: Coppa Gelato. A traditional way of eating gelato in Italy is to have a coppa gelato. The expression translates as gelato sundae, but in Italy, behind this simple word “coppa” which literally means “cup”, there is a whole history of this dessert that goes back a long time. Flavors are not mixed randomly in a coppa, but each combination of flavors reflects a specific tradition.

As you probably already know, GIO Gelati loves traditions and loves to keep them alive and for this reason we recommend that you visit our store to learn what they are and how replicate them at home.

Cups of GIO Gelati decorated with GIO Topping: Pistachio and Orange Chocolates. You can buy allo GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.
Cups of GIO Gelati decorated with GIO Topping: Pistachio and Orange Chocolates. You can buy allo GIO Toppings at our stores in San Francisco and San ramon. GIO Club members can order it from the GIO Club exclusive store.

How to make Affogato al Caffè?

Affogato al Caffè is the quintessential Italian coppa gelato. What a delightful combination of flavor and texture! And what fun to make this dessert at home and share it with friends. Here is the affogato al caffè ricetta.

  1. Place in a coppa (a large cup), 1 scoop of hazelnut gelato, 1 scoop of stracciatella and 1 scoop of cappuccino or tiramisù gelato.
  2. Pour on top of the gelato 1 shot of hot Italian espresso.
  3. Garnish your affogato with GIO’s chocolate pearls and 1 small cookie.
  4. Serve the Affogato to your family and friends.
  5. Enjoy!
GIO Gelati: How to make Affogato al Caffè. Simple. Quick. Delicious.
How to make Affogato al Caffè. Simple. Quick. Delicious.

That was the affogato al caffè recipe. Easy, quick and delicious. A great example of a traditional italian coppa gelato!

Where to experience GIO Gelati flavors

Come visit our stores in San Francisco and San Ramon to learn more about the authentic Italian gelato culture and to learn how to share sweet moments with family and friends, or make your affogato at home by ordering from our exclusive GIO Club.

Pistacchio di Bronte, the best pistachio for the best gelato

Does the Seasonality of GIO Gelati’s Flavors Matter?

Seasonality is an important part of artisanal gelato. Many of the flavors we all enjoy at GIO Gelati are seasonal gelato flavors. We make every single scoop of gelato with only the best and freshest ingredients. Therefore our production must be in sync with the availability of fruits, nuts, and any other ingredients. Only fresh seasonal ingredients contributes to the flavor, smell, texture, and color of our gelato. Sometimes, a flavor’s ingredient is not available or the quality is not up to our high standards. In that case, we simply stop making that flavor. The flavor will come back to our store only when the missing ingredient becomes available again. The seasonality of many of our gelato flavors is the final proof that we only use natural and fresh ingredients. By the way, you should be very concerned about gelato places offering seasonal flavors all year round.

Let’s see a few examples of seasonal flavors, like seasonal fruit gelato.

Pistachio: how a Sicilian nut became one of our most popular gelato flavors

Pistachios are high quality nuts, but of even higher quality are the pistachio seeds.
Pistachio plants originated in Persia; they were first cultivated in the Fertile Crescent by ancient Hebrew civilizations and they were considered very precious fruits.

The pistachio plant was imported into Sicily by Arab populations. The cultivation became particularly spread in the area of the Etna volcano. The Etna volcano provides a very fertile soil rich in nutrients from the lava giving Sicilian pistachios a unique taste and aroma. The quality of those pistachios are unlike any other variety in the world. It’s the result of the extraordinary combination of a particularly rich fruit and the special soil of the Etna region.

At GIO Gelati, we made the decision to use only Sicilian pistachios. We want our customers to experience the intense flavor of this special nut through our pistachio gelato.

Pistacchio di Bronte: the best pistachio for the best gelato

The variety of pistachio that we use is called Pistacchio di Bronte. This particularly precious fruit is harvested every two years only between the months of August and September. We chose this variety as our best ingredient. We find that Pistachio di Bronte delivers the most color and flavor of all varieties when used in gelato. Our guiding principle is to ensure that our customers will have a full sensory experience of the main ingredient when tasting our final product. The aroma, color and taste found in the raw pistachio nuts are brought to life in the pistachio gelato by GIO Gelati. The taste of our pistachio gelato, made only with Sicilian Bronte pistachios, is faithful to the mix of sweet and slightly salty aroma of the Bronte pistachios. The vivid green color is natural and it reminds us of the sea surrounding the wonderful island of Sicily.

Pistacchio di Bronte, Sicily, a fantastic ingredient for the best pistachio gelato. Image courtesy of Fabio Ingrosso.
Pistacchio di Bronte, Sicily, a fantastic ingredient for the best pistachio gelato. Image courtesy of Fabio Ingrosso.

At GIO Gelati we pride ourselves on respecting the seasonality of each ingredient. Every year, we wait for the newest harvest from Sicily to start making our special Pistachio di Bronte flavor.

Nocciole from Langhe: how Italian hazelnuts become hazelnut gelato

The same principle is true when we make the nocciola – hazelnut – gelato. The nuts that we use for this flavor come exclusively from the Langhe region in Piedmont, Italy. These wonderful, gently rounded fruits are worked into our gelato. We make hazelnut gelato only when we receive the freshly harvested and freshly roasted nuts. We know they will give our gelato an especially intense flavor.

Tonda gentile delle Langhe is the hazelnut variety from Piedmont we selected for our hazelnut gelato.
Tonda gentile delle Langhe is the hazelnut variety from Piedmont we selected for our hazelnut gelato.

California figs: how local figs help us recreate a California summer in a single scoop of gelato

At GIO Gelati we respect the cycle of nature. Soon we will be able to make fig gelato. For this flavor we are grateful to the rich soil and sun of California that produces this fruit. Figs make a very interesting gelato at GIO Gelati because we use the fruit in its entirety: pulp, seeds, and skin. The color of our gelato comes from the color of the skin of the fruit. The skin color ranges from pale to intense yellow. The texture of our fig gelato is enhanced by the crunchiness of the seeds. The flavor that comes from the combination of these elements is honey sweet. At GIO Gelati we always respect the source of our ingredients. We want our fig gelato to reproduce what we experience when we bite into a ripe fig. Although figs mark the beginning of the end of summer, we treasure them. The wonderful California summer climate transforms them into the intense combination of flavor and color we love.

California figs, the richest in flavor. Perfect ingredient for a fantastic gelato flavor.
California figs, the richest in flavor. Image by Gudlyf is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Where to try real Italian gelato

When you enter our stores and buy our gelato or when you receive our gelato at home via the GIO Club subscription, we want you to experience the best that nature has to offer through the purity of the ingredients we use. We believe that by respecting nature and its cycles and by producing our gelato in an artisanal way, we will give you a healthy gelato that will alway satisfy your desire for a special treat.

Changing GIO Gelati flavors

How to Change Flavor Selection for Your Next GIO Club Delivery

Changing your favorite flavors for the next GIO Club delivery is very easy! A few clicks and you are done. Watch this short video to learn how.

GIO Gelati in San Ramon is reopening

Don’t Hold Back Your Gelato Cravings, We Are Open for Business

As the country begins to open up, we want to share our plan for returning to a ‘new normal’, including how we are maintaining the health and safety of our customers and employees as our top priority. Before the initial COVID-19 outbreak led to the partial closure of our shops, we at GIO Gelati had been actively working to establish our business and integrate with our community. Although these unforeseen circumstances hindered our plans, they did not stop us from serving our gelato to you, when – arguably – it was needed more than ever. Shelter-in-place became a reason to start up our new GIO Club membership program, which has been a great success ever since! We haven’t and will not stop selling our gelato, and we are forever grateful to our loyal customers who have stayed by our side during this difficult period!

GIO Gelati employee serving gelato at the Union Street Location.

When are we open?

As the days get longer and hotter, we look forward to a soft reopening that involves the proper precautions to keep our clients and workers safe. Our San Francisco location has maintained (nearly) regular hours (M-F 11am-10pm), while our San Ramon shop has been less accessible due to COVID-19 restrictions. We are excited to announce that we are coming back with full force! As of June 5th, our San Ramon location is now open Wednesday-Thursday, 2pm-8pm and Friday-Sunday, 11am-8pm.

What we’re doing to maintain health and safety standards

At GIO Gelati, we are passionate about complying with the health guidelines that allow you to safely and comfortably enjoy our delicious gelato. As we reopen, we continue to make cleanliness and hygiene a priority during both production and customer-interaction. This involves regularly sanitizing all materials used for preparing and serving our gelato, frequently disinfecting the shop itself, and requiring gloves for team members and masks for everyone who enters our shops.

Why we are passionate about the San Ramon area

We love our San Ramon location! Our product is centered in fresh organic California produce. Working alongside some of the other small businesses in the area has allowed us to team up with other ecologically conscious companies to promote the production of quality food that doesn’t compromise sustainability or natural sourcing. The bi-weekly San Ramon Farmers’ Market is a great example of these efforts. Our gelato cart is now a regular sight at the Farmer’s market and a moment of joy for many patrons. There we also meet our new supplier for many of our fresh gelato ingredients, such as apricots, peaches and nectarines, all of which are now in season.

Little did we know that San Ramon’s City Center was designed by Renzo Piano, Italy’s most renowned living architect! It is so exciting for us to join a community that welcomes us with displays of our heritage, and also invites us to integrate and belong. Feeling at home, while being pushed to keep up with the ever innovative Bay Area, has felt like the perfect combination. Along with other businesses such as Delarosa and its authentic pizza, we are thrilled to continue to bring an Italian touch to this hub of culinary ventures.

GIO Gelati shop in San Ramon Bishop City Center
GIO Gelati shop at City Center Bishop Ranch.