When in North Beach, do as the Italians do

Tom Molanphy

By , Local Expert, San Francisco
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The San Francisco restaurant scene is as stable as the city's earthquakey ground. With the latest tech-boom pouring money into the city, new restaurants are popping up left and right, each one declaring itself the latest and greatest in culinary delights. There's nothing wrong with innovation, but once you've gotten your fill of the California cuisine craze, take a trip back to the old country, to a place and time when the only questions about how to prepare food was how much and how hot.

North Beach, San Francisco's iconic Italian neighborhood, can bring you back to those simpler times. Whether you want the  boisterous...  Read more »

  • 1

    North Beach Restaurant

    North Beach Restaurant is really the next best thing to eating in Tuscany itself.

    Local Expert Tip: "North Beach gets its wine from the award-winning Petroni Vineyards."

  • 2

    L'Osteria del forno

    L'Osteria is known throughout the whole Bay Area for its delicious prosciutto.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take a stroll down Columbus for an after-dinner cappucino."

  • 3

    Sotto Mare

    Sotto Mare serves an excellent cioppino, San Francisco's signature seafood stew.

    Local Expert Tip: "The combos are plenty for two!"

  • 4

    Rose Pistola

    Rose Pistola's jazz nights have become a North Beach staple.

    Local Expert Tip: "The menu changes daily, so be sure to ask your server for the specials."

  • 5

    Golden Boy Pizza

    Golden Boy has focused on just pizza since 1978.

    Local Expert Tip: "Impressive beer list for such a small place."

  • 6

    Chiaroscuro Ristorante

    Chiaroscuro has more business professionals than tourists, but the food is expertly prepared.

    Local Expert Tip: "This restaurant is right across from the Transamerica Builiding, a San Francisco icon."

  • 7


    • Cuisine: American, Italian
    • Average Main Course Price: $30
    • Neighborhood: North Beach

    The bright lights of Calzone's dominates the top of Columbus Street and is an excellent spot for people watching.

    Local Expert Tip: "With a hopping bar and restaurant service until one in the morning, Calzone's is the perfect late-night North Beach stop."

  • 8

    Mona Lisa Restaurant

    Mona Lisa is one of the most popular tourist restaurants in the city.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the Rissota Cacciatore, a house specialty."

  • 9

    Trattoria Contadina

    Trattoria is an effective blend of intimate space for couples and larger spaces for more social groups.

    Local Expert Tip: "They take their motto seriously: Lascia i problemi alla porta, or "Leave your problems at the front door.""

  • 10

    Michelangelo Ristorante & Caffe

    Out of all the North Beach restaurants, Michelangelo is most famous for its gnocchi.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the homemade pappardelle boscaiola."



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