North Beach - San Francisco
San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood is also known as “Little Italy.” The area is filled with cozy Italian restaurants, outdoor cafes and coffee houses, unique shops, and bustling Broadway nightclubs and bars. In the early 1950s, North Beach was home to the famed Beat Generation, which included writers and poets Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Today, North Beach remains one of the city’s most popular hangouts and a great place for people-watching.
Best Pizza in SF – Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
What would Little Italy be without amazing pizza. Our favorite San Francisco pizza restaurant is Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, home of 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani. Their pizzas are incredible… pastas too! Full bar includes fine Californian and Italian wines. No reservations so expect a wait during peak times. If you’re pressed for time, you can also pick up pizza-by-the-slice-to-go next door at Tony’s Slice House. Both locations are located in the heart of North Beach.
Washington Square Park
This tranquil grassy park is located in Washington Square, in the heart of North Beach. The park, lined with Italian restaurants and cafes, is frequented by tourists and locals alike. It’s a fun place to hang-out, relax and people-watch. Stop by Molinari Delicatessen, located at 373 Columbus Avenue. The popular Italian North Beach deli is a San Francisco institution. Pick up a gourmet made-to-order focaccia sandwich or picnic lunch-to-go. The deli carries a fantastic selection of imported cheeses, meats and fine wines. The place is always crowded, but it’s worth the wait. If you feel like walking, San Francisco’s famed Chinatown is only a few blocks south of North Beach.
Saints Peter & Paul Church
Visit Saints Peter & Paul Church (pictured above). The historic landmark dates back to 1884. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had their wedding pictures taken here after their City Hall wedding. The church is located in Washington Square Park. Open daily.
North Beach Festival
Every Summer, locals and visitors alike come to the North Beach Festival. Enjoy fun arts & crafts, gourmet food, California wines, kids’ activities, and several stages of live music. It’s one of San Francisco’s oldest street fairs – and one of our favorites! The free 2-day festival is held on Columbus and Grant Avenues, and adjacent streets.
Italian Heritage Parade
The legendary Italian Heritage Parade, the city’s oldest civic event, dates back to 1869. Today, the popular North Beach Parade, celebrating the culture of Italian Americans, includes marching bands, decorated cars, colorful floats, and performances by traditional Italian musical artists. The annual Parade begins at the foot of Jefferson and Powell Streets in Fisherman’s Wharf, runs south through North Beach on Columbus Avenue, and ends in Washington Square in front of Saints Peter & Paul Church.
Book SF Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips and Fun Things To Do
See the sights of San Francisco at your own pace aboard a fun hop-on hop-off Double-Decker Bus Tour. The fully-narrated tour lasts around 75 minutes if you stay on the bus for the full loop. The tour covers all of central San Francisco – Fisherman’s Wharf, Ferry Building, Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, and Lombard Street. Hop-on-and-off at your leisure at any of the 24 stops. Tour also includes a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or take a fun Walking Tour of the city’s famous neighborhoods.