Gelataio's comfy interior is welcoming to all customers.

Gelataio’s comfy interior is welcoming to all customers.

Although gelato has become a popular treat in America, many do not have the privilege of a local gelateria serving organic Italian ice cream. Instead, cloying, sugary gelato is prevalent. As of a few weeks ago, however, Palo Altans are now able to experience a new taste of Italy at Gelataio.

Meaning “ice cream man” in Italian, Gelataio offers far more of a natural, flavorful gelato taste than other local shops. Found near the corner of Alma and Lytton in downtown Palo Alto, Gelataio is located on the ground floor of a newly renovated building across the street from the CalTrain station. The interior of the gelateria delivers a modern, comfy layout. On both walls of the shop are a collection of artistic pictures advertising current flavors.

Upon walking inside, customers are greeted by a wide selection of gelato, ice cream bars and juices. Behind this counter are two black chalkboards advertising the day’s flavors and prices. Beneath these, a wooden countertop runs across the back of the room, covered with treats not seen at your average gelateria, including two chocolate fountains, one dark and one milk, with wafers for dipping.

Gelataio, opened in early August, is owned by local resident Christianne Mares, who believes that Palo Alto was the ideal location to start her business.

“I thought it [Palo Alto] was a very good, creative community,” Mares says. [Palo Altans] do care about using good ingredients, and so I thought it was the perfect place.”

Despite Gelataio’s infancy, it has managed to attract a large number of customers. However, there have been low numbers of young adults.

“We don’t see so many high schoolers in here,” Mares says.

Although high schoolers are not a frequent sight at Gelataio, word surrounding the new gelateria has spread throughout the teen community in Palo Alto. Former Palo Alto High School student Yumi Temple, of last year’s graduating class, raves about the shop she discovered this summer.

“It [Gelataio] is polished, whimsical, modern and communal,” says Temple, who has gone multiple times since it’s opening.

As Gelataio’s popularity continues to grow, many should expect it to become a household name as one of the best dessert shops in Palo Alto.

“Gelataio is a place for everybody,” Mares says. “Families, children, grown ups, I want everybody here.”

Stracciatella — 8/10

Although packed with flavor, stracciatella did not have the sweetness that some have come to expect from frozen treats. For those seeking a similar taste to American ice cream, this is certainly not the same.

Coffee — 10/10

The similarity to a traditional espresso is so great that it makes one question how the ice cream they had been eating before had ever been considered “coffee-flavored” in the first place. A must-have for coffeeheads.

Cajeta — 9/10

While many other flavors focused on the natural taste of the gelato, the cajeta is perfectly sweet. While not cloying, the gelato manages to taste sugary and flavorful, and combines perfectly with the more semi-sweet flavors.