When in San Francisco's North Beach, do as the Italians do

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 family style atmosphere of Calzone's or a more intimate table for two at L'Osteria del Forno, North Beach has every occasion covered. Put yourself in the hands of a culture that eats, drinks and breathes - in that order.

The North Beach neighborhood reflects the Italian understanding that a meal is not just made of food on a plate; it's made of the atmosphere, the service, the smiles and the laughter that make that experience unforgettable. If you want to be surrounded by people who love food for food's sake, pick a restaurant on our list, unloosen your belt, and head to North Beach.



Just when you think you couldn't try another bowl of pasta or one more slice of pizza pie, this trendy but warm North Beach pizzeria makes you an offer you can't refuse. This Tuscan-style restaurant feels like home because it's as tight and cozy...  Read More

Mama's on Washington Square


Act fast and early if you're thinking about Mama's after lunch you're out of luck. And you certainly don't want to miss the array of perfectly prepared breakfast foods. Generous portions are standard, whether you order a fluffy omelet, a stack...  Read More

Michelangelo Ristorante & Caffe


When you visit Michelangelo Ristorante & Caffe which is located in the heart of North Beach, you're in for a real special treat. First, We welcome you as part of the Family with warm greetings and cheer.Then we start you off with our Famous...  Read More

The Tenderloin


Founded way back in 1937 and having survived the Great Depression, Original Joe's is a great place to eat. The simplicity of the meals is only outdone by the portions: the classic Flatiron Steak and Eggs is three square meals on one plate. The...  Read More



If all you want to do in North Beach is eat pizza, head to North Beach's pizza institution, Golden Boy Pizza. Peter Sodini started his pizza enterprise in 1978, and it's expanded to several other locations. Sodini's sons have taken over the...  Read More

North Beach


Calzone's blinding red neon lights might remind you of a certain fast food joint, but don't worry: behind all the flash is quite a bit of substance. If you're looking for a full meal, try their oddly shaped, oblong, thin-crust pizza with...  Read More

North Beach Restaurant


The time and energy that North Beach Restaurant did not expend on its name, they have fully used on their atmosphere, staff training, menu and preparing an overall dining service as close to Italy that you'll find in San Francisco. Lorenzo...  Read More



If you're not in the mood for some quiet, off-the-beaten-path cafe that only a few have heard of, then make it a Mona Lisa night. From its auspicious spot in the heart of North Beach, everything about this place clamors for your tourist dollar....  Read More



Sotto Mare's old-school Italian ambiance and incredibly fresh fare receive rave reviews from North Beach natives and Bay Area visitors alike. The restaurant is known for its traditional baccala, savory crab cioppino and Boston-style clam...  Read More



If you're not quite sure if you want a loud and boisterous Italian experience or a more intimate, calm dining experience, then head to Trattoria. There are more famous Italian restaurants than this modest establishment, but it's hard to find a...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom