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Giovanni's - Upper State
3020 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 682-3621

Reviews by the General Public

Friday night Pizza night
Reviewer: Stephen from Santa Barbara, CA
We go for pizza every friday night. Jo, the manager is wonderful, and the pizza is always the best; thin crust perfect, right amount of sauce and not too much cheese.

Flavorful and perfect
Reviewer: Jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Had the Giovanni special combo which puts just about everything on it and it is superb - crispy bottomed crust with savory tender rolled outer edge, lots of fresh veggies, subtle beautifully flavored ham and enough sausage for spice but not to overwhelm with just enough fragrant cheese melted to pull it all together. It is pizza that feels "healthy" yet totally indulgent indulgent at the same time. In a town with designer pizzas at twice the price and half the satisfaction, look no further than Giovanni's on Upper State. Goodness, it was good. Place can be noisy with families and it seemed like a slow wait, but then quality takes time. When it came, we were very happy. Give them the time to do it right. Friendly service. A medium was plenty big for two adults and even had two slices left over to take home.

Average pizza
Reviewer: Tom H. from San Diego CA
Ordered the pesto chicken pizza. It was very bland and lacked zest and flavor. Not the best pizza I've had but the crust was good. The service and ambiance was just okay. We were not impressed enough to recommend or return. Maybe a little more pesto and cheese would have made a difference. The chicken was definitely dry.

Great value in awesome pizza!
Reviewer: Danno from Santa Barbara, CA
For the price, you get better pizza than Costco or Rusty's. My wife and I got a craving for pizza this weekend and we got Costco on Thursday, Rusty's on Friday and Giovanni's on Sat. nights. Both Costco and Rusty's were on the thin side with meager toppings and we polished off both pizzas in 1.5 sittings (dinner and leftover breakfast). The Giovanni's pizza was much thicker with toppings, which were fresher and more tasty. We could only eat two slices at a time. That pizza lasted us for two whole days or about 3 complete meals each. The staff were also very helpful and didn't forget the customized features we wanted (half-and-half pizza toppings, ranch-dip on the side, etc.). Only downside is they don't deliver, but it's well worth the drive. Having multiple locations is a bonus as there's always one within 5-10 minutes.

Try the spagheti
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
Don't want pizza tonight? Try the spagheti with meat sauce or meat balls. It is delicious. The pasta is cooked just right. The sauce is light and hearty at the same time. The generous serving of garlic bread is almost too much! Save room for the spagheti! Have their salad with ranch dressing to start. And beer with pizza is good, but have a glass of merlot with this spagheti!

Reviewer: Dan from Santa Barbara, CA
We approached Giovanni's from the west-northwest, the majestic Santa Ynez mountains in the near distance to our left. The restaurant is so modest that we nearly missed it, which would not have been a problem as the parking lot is actually all the way down the block and around the corner. This last point took some sorting, but after three tries, we found the lot at the end of a public alley off Calle Laureles. The lot itself had recently been resurfaced. An exceedingly smooth ride with clearly marked spaces greeted us, as did an employee on his smoking break. We entered through the backdoor, under Giovanni's classy green awning. I was a bit put out that I had to walk past the bathrooms on my way to the counter, but then I suppose it was the back entrance after all. Joke's on me! To our left, we observed with delight a mural of the canals of old Venice, replete with water. The halcyon dome of St. Mark's Cathedral shone in the distance like a beacon in the sun. The mural, though somewhat architecturally inaccurate, was a hoot! Speaking of water, don't bother ordering it here, as beer is plentiful and economical, even in these tough times. My pregnant wife had root beer, of course! Teetotalers won't be disappointed by the wide range on nonalcoholic selections, although they may dislike having to walk past a smoking employee on their way in, that is if he is still there at the time. (Even three flavors of Gatorade! Yum!) We each grabbed a well-laminated tri-fold menu and argued, as foodies like us often do, about our repast. We settled on the classic configuration of pepperoni and mushrooms, the well-known standard by which all pizza places should be measured. Bottled beers (Heineken) and root beer were ordered to accompany our meals. A side note on the Ms. Pac-Man machine: Santa Barbara has a number of such machines; this, I must say, is the best I have yet encountered. No ripoffs like with the ultra-fast machine at Elsie's, and no switcheroos like at the comics shop on Anapamu. I handily quadrupled the previous high score, then made my way to our table. Soon, our pizza was declared ready by the young man at the counter. We went up to get the pizza and the sturdy plastic plates, ample enough to accommodate up to and including two slices at a time. We soon had to return, though, to get napkins (from a dispenser) and silverware. The sturdy silverware was somewhat mismatched, but in an attractive "boho-chic" way, and not in a tacky way, which might have been your supposition. The napkins, however, were anything but sturdy, and our thoughts about them, I must say, were untoward. Our first visual on the pizza affirmed its presence. On closer inspection, the cheese was uniformly melted, although some of it had spilled past the edge of one of the twelve slices. Topping distribution was variable. Ample quantities of pepperoni were evenly distributed to within 1.5" of the edge of the pizza, but the mushrooms were weighted heavily to one side. Amateur forensic speculation led us to believe that the chef may be left-handed. We were unable to confirm this with a visual. The pizza tasted great!

Good Pizza and Service
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Good Pizza, more "Italian" style with spices etc. Different than a Rustys/Dominos style and different than a Cal Pizza Kitchen/Martys style. They all have their niche I think. Nice people. Parking here is tricky, go down Calle Laureles and find the "public alley" and that will take you to parking.

Great Pizza - the best in SB
Reviewer: Craig Jafffurs from Santa Barbara, CA
My son and I have systematically tried all the other pizza on town. This is the best pizzza in town. Great crust and sauce. Get it cooked a bit longer for a crispier crust.

The best!
Reviewer: ern from santa barbara
I love this pizza. Goodbye rusty's. I used to eat at rusty's all the time. But they skimp on the cheese and are too expensive. Almost everytime ive gone to giovanis the pizza has been excellent. They dont skimp on anything and the crust is great. woodstock comes to a close 2nd followed by sal's, deanos, pizza mizza, martys.then maybe rustys.What happend rusty's you used to be at the top?

Best pizza in town!
Reviewer: Bethany from Goleta, CA
Not only does Giovanni's have the best pizza in town, this is the best store in the chain. My family and I are constantly saying we should go to the "good" Giovanni's. Not to put people off the other stores but in terms of service and quality, this is the best!

Real pizza :)
Reviewer: Virginia Young from New York City, NY
Unlike MOST that have reviewed this restaurant I am NOT A LOCAL. Born and bred in NYC/NJ area where there is a pizzeria on almost every corner. I am a regular now to California (visit every 6-8 wks) and have had the pleasure of eating at this place 5 times now. Unlike the stuff that California in general passes off for pizza this restaurant makes a pie similar to the food Im use to in our area. Thin crust with lots of cheese and good stuff. Sure you have the pizza hut and Little Caesars stuff but real pizza is hard to find. I have also had the pleasure of eating their Italian food and that also rates far above alot of the places I have had the displeasure of trying while out in your state. Now remember I AM NOT TALKING GOURMET just plain old good food. In fact we love this restaurant so much we took the kids and grandkids there this past summer and the baby (3 yrs) tried to eat 3 slices. This is a child that don't eat alot. :) .. We are coming back to Santa Barbara for New Years for a couple days and are going to be visiting this restaurant again.

Consistently excellent
Reviewer: JT from Santa Barbara, CA
Service is great and the pizza is the best in town. I've been going here since I was a kid and have never had a bad experience. Keep up the good work guys

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