I’m always amazed how diverse this city is. One block your are finding yourself in China Town and only across the street you are entering Bella Italia. I don’t visit this cute little San Francisco neighborhood as often as would like, but each time I’m there I’m enjoying it even more. Today’s neighborhood guide is walking us trough North Beach, San Francisco’s Little Italy. If you are lover of Italian food you could probably spent days here enjoying pizza, pasta, cappuccino & co. But North Beach has more to offer than delicious food. Its streets are full of culture, landmarks, unique shops, poetry, interesting people with old stories and noisy nightlife on weekends. Watch this video to learn about North Beach from a real local. Surrounded by China Town and Fisherman’s Wharf, two major touristy neighborhoods, North Beach can be pretty touristy itself, but you can still see locals wandering around on a hunt for some delicious italian sausage or just sipping coffee and watching the flow. I love to have a stroll trough North Beach. On some days I will start with a brunch at Mama’s, iconic food spot with a loooong waiting line worth the wait and on other days I would just grab some pastry and
coffee at Mara’s, one of San Francisco’s best pastry bakeries, followed by a long walk up to the Coit Tower and down the Filbert Steps and up again. It’s a great work out for the pizzas to come that day. Wandering the Filbert Steps feels like you are in an small, hidden village. Artsy sculptures are decorating the lush gardens along the way. You will see some tourists wandering around, but surprisingly it’s never too crowded. My personal goal is to go to North Beach at least once in a month as I really like the vibe of this neighborhood. (public transportation is really bad from my place to North Beach, takes me like an hour). How about you? Are you ready to soak in a slice of Bella Italia while sipping some espresso and eating some pizza?
Tony’s Pizza – 4 Yelp start from over 2,000 reviews. Need to say more?
Mara’s Pastry Shop – no fancy interior, no fancy bakers, no fancy names. Just pure italian home-made goods.
Liguria Bakery – Come super early when they open, bring cash and you will get best focaccia in town.
Gelateria Naia – I just love their ice cream. Great flavors and you can taste the quality.
Mario’s Boheminan Cigar Store Café – This is Italia at it’s finest. Get the tiramius and the cappuccino con “vov”.
Molinari Delicatessen – everything you need for an authentic italian spread.
Shops on Grant Avenue – bordered by Union Street and Green Street this block harbors many cute little shops worth the stop.
My favorites :
Little Vine – food & wine
Schein & Schein – old maps & antiques
Alla Prima – fine lingerie
Mashka Jewelry – fine, hand-made jewelry
Coit Tower – One of SF’s iconic sights. Definitely a must-visit.
Filbert Steps – Wander these stairs and transport yourself to an urban jungle.
Washington Square Park – Grab a drink, a pizza slice, lay on the green grass and just relax.
***Looking for some more San Francisco inspiration. Check out all neighborhood guides. ***