North Beach - Discover San Francisco’s Captivating Treasures Hidden Right
in Plain Sight - in Little Italy

North Beach - San Francisco's Little Italy.
Filled with check-clothed ristorantes, cafes and Old World delicatessens, this is THE place to go for old-fashioned Italian food, like...

Piazza Pellegrini - an elegant casual restaurant on Columbus Avenue - where you'll feel like you’re eating at a Trattoria in Italia.
Mama’s on Washington Square - on the corner of Filbert and  Stockton Street - serves breakfasts and lunches. Be ready to line up for some lip-smacking fluffy omelets, homemade jam, and fresh baked breads and pastries.

Let’s just walk around... do some people-watching and enjoy the neighborhood shops.

There’s tons of neat, quirky little shops tucked away in its alleyways and as well as major streets.

North Beach - Food, Fun and Beatniks?

Yep, that’s right! This neighborhood’s, also, known as the West Coast’s capital for the Beatnik movement in the 1950s.
Guys like... Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, Neal Cassidy and others hung out in places like Vesuvio’s and City Lights Bookstore on Columbus.

Fascinated by the beat writers? Then you’ll love Vesuvio’s... right on the street corner

across the alley - Jack Kerouac Alley - from City Lights.

Vesuvio's - North Beach in San Francisco, CA

And let’s be sure to check out The Beat Museum - on Grant Avenue.

It’s where Kerouac, along with his friends and associates, are showcased at this work-in-progress museum.

Featuring a collection of books, manuscripts and other things from the days when poets, artists, writers, and the rest of the beat generation made the scene on upper Grant.

Okay! Looking for a fun night on the town. Then let’s head over to Beach Blanket Babylon. Ever heard of it?
Well it’s one of those places that every local has on his list of activities to do... but hasn't done yet.
It’s kinda like going to Alcatraz... or eating a bowl of clam chowder in a bread bowl. He probably wouldn't be tempted to do that on his own.

But... even though there's the slight hint of a tourist trap... that disappears when the lights go down and the show's tireless parade of clever puns begins.

You see North Beach’s... Beach Blanket Babylon - on Green Street - is a musical satire that polks fun at politics... social issues... and celebrities. The entertainers enormously zany costumes are worth the admission alone.
Want to see what we mean? Take a peak...

Pretty astonishing! Don’t you agree?
Don’t just take our word for it... Hear what Sarah W. from Abbeville, AL had to say...

My son and I went to the Beach Blanket Babylon show - what a terrific evening!
The actors /musicians, dancers were top notch entertainers.
The show is so up-to-date that Prince William and Kate's pregnancy was included - even her morning sickness!
The performances were so professional, smooth, funny. And the costumes were amazing.
I'm looking forward to going again when I'm here in the spring.
I hear the show continually changes to keep up with current events/people in the news.

North Beach - More Than Just an Italian Neighborhood

There’s so much to see and do. And we’re just touching the surface. Like seeing...

St. Peter and Paul Church - on Filbert Street. It’s the church that Cecil B. DeMille featured in his 1923 film The Ten Commandments. And where  Joe DeMaggio’s funeral was held in 1999.

The Gothic St. Francis of Assisi Church - on Vallejo Street - doesn’t have an active congregation.. so it’s now a National Shine. It has some of the most stunning murals we’ve ever seen.
And during the free concerts that they hold on Sundays,  we can hear its 1926 Schoenstein pipe organ.

The neighborhood’s biggest attractions  - Telegraph Hill in Pioneer Park - is where we’ll find Coit Tower.
This 210-foot white concrete tower was built in 1933 with funds bequeathed by the unconventional Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy widow known for her wit and way with guns and cards.

So let’s take the elevator to the observation platform for a 360-degree view of the city.

The tower’s lobby displays 1930’s era murals entitled Aspect of Live in California, 1934, offering detailed depictions of the time.

More than two dozen local artists produced the frescoes.

We’ll  end up this visit with the famous Filbert Street Steps. Lined with gardens and Edwardian cottages. And if you hear any squawking overhead... that’s a flock of wild parrots - Peruvian Cherry-headed Conures – that make Telegraph Hill their home.

To really take in and absorb North Beach... we recommend spending some time here... chatting with the locals - getting to know the neighborhood. It’s truly the best way... don’t you agree?

So... what are you waiting for... let’s get going!

Return from North Beach to San Francisco Bay Area

Return from North Beach to Home

Related Pages

Panning for gold