Lo Coco’s Restaurant was founded by Giovanni Lo Coco in 1966, in a quaint historical gold mining town named Jackson, located in the California foothills. Although his first attempt was not met with great success, born here was his trademark pizza dough recipe, which would someday become the quintessential centerpiece of Giovanni’s success in the Bay Area. In 1962, Giovanni immigrated to America from a small fisherman’s village in the province of Palermo, Sicily. A true rags-to-riches story, Giovanni arrived in America with one suitcase, one hundred dollars, and unrelenting drive and ambition. However, it was his talent and skill the kitchen that eventually materialized into multiple iconic restaurants, spanning from Marin County to the East Bay. His formula for success was built around the creation of his secret Sicilian style pizza dough recipe, which has been passed down to his children like a precious family heirloom.
Lo Coco’s pizza is best noted for its light and airy, yet chewy and tasty crust. In fact, the crust is so good that diners have been known to tear off the crust, butter it, and eat it first! The pizza toppings are as authentic as the Sicilian crust. Lo Coco’s only uses real, whole milk mozzarella, Italian imported Pecorino Romano, and the freshest sliced meats and vegetables available. It is also important to note that attributing to Giovanni’s success was the fact that he was innovative; he offered unique toppings like artichoke hearts, baby clams, and eggplant as pizza toppings dating back to the late 1960’s! In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Giovanni added a variety of pasta dishes, salads, and fish and meat specials to his menu. Once again, the authenticity of his ingredients proved to be as authentic as the Sicilian style pasta being plated, and the man creating them! It was this formula, built on Giovanni Lo Coco’s steadfast philosophy that: “you cannot cheat the people!” that has attributed to the ongoing success of Lo Coco’s Restaurants, which are still going strong some 50+ years later!
Giovanni Lo Coco’s legacy lives on through many of his six children, two grandchildren and wife, who continue to run the iconic family restaurants with the same integrity and pride of their father and husband. The quality of the food is still paramount, and the Lo Coco family continues to share the same passion for the business. It is for this reason, that if you are a newcomer, you may end up sitting next to young parents, who started eating at Lo Coco’s when they were their children’s age, or a group of Berkeley grad students from Nebraska. No matter who you are, the Lo Coco family and their team will try their very best to make you feel welcome, and serve you a meal that will leave you with plenty of desire to become a regular!
His Legacy Continues...
Today you will find Nina Lo Coco with her brother Philip Lo Coco & mother Lisa still passionately serving the delicious pies!
Lo Coco's in Terra Linda, San Rafael has been an icon and staple for great pizza since 1971. Making it the oldest Lo Coco's and was opened by Giovanni Lo Coco and his two brothers Filippo and Nicola. This year is was voted # 1 pizza in Marin by the Independent Journal.
Visit Maria Lo Coco at Lo Coco's on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland!
"Although it's been around for decades, the popularity of this Sicilian eatery hasn't dwindled a bit, in part because of the colorful personalities of the owners."
The Grandchildren: Visit Gilberto, Gianluca & Cesare at La Fornaretta in Newcastle!
"Everything at La Fornaretta is made from scratch, everything from the sauces to pizza dough down to the bread — baked fresh in traditional Sicilian style and served warm as a starter for your meal."
Visit Gilberto Lo Coco & Claire at their San Anselmo Shop!
Lo Coco's Restaurants & family use only the best olive oil: Amphora Nueva which can be found in Berkeley, San Anselmo and Lafayette. Click their logo below to hear of the rich history of Claire Bradley & family (who is Giovanni Lo Coco's daughter in law. Way to go Gilberto Lo Coco! Foodies all around in the extended Lo Coco clan.
From the Press
“Sicilian food integrates gastronomical influences left behind from numerous conquerors. For instance, saffron, currants, citrus, pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios show Moorish influence. At Lo Coco’s, we make our meatballs with pine nuts and currants.”
"A Neighborhood Pizza Spot From the Lo Coco’s People, Pink Onion, opens in San Francisco at the intersection of SoMa and Mission."
One can find Francesco
Lo Coco at the Pink Onion