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Best Free Gelato San Francisco 2006 - Naia

Naia

Naia

451 Castro

San Francisco, CA 94114

415-864-6670

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This Berkeley-based minichain serves some of S.F.'s best gelato and lets you try before you buy. But its servers don't just allow you to taste for free — they insist on it. Staffers wearing goofy, Eurotrash orange bicycle caps shove spoonfuls of gelato in your face like pushy grandmothers, and we mean that in a good way. There's no limit to the number of tastes per customer, although you'd probably feel sick after sampling all 44 flavors of gelato, sorbetto, and soy gelato. (Especially since the flavors run the gamut from Guinness to Cranberry Mueslix.) How can Naia afford to give away all that gelato? Well, let's just say that a Piccolo, the smallest serving and barely more than a large scoop, costs $3.50. If you're still hungry after half a dozen samples, though, it's definitely worth it. (A North Beach branch is expected to open this year.)
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