Better known as Little Italy, this neighborhood was once a hotspot for counterculture and features an array of bars, jazz clubs, galleries and cafés.
North Beach is known for its Italian heritage and bohemian culture. Shop for fine cheeses and meats in old-world delicatessens and dine in traditional Italian restaurants with red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Seek out the haunts of famous Beat Generation writers and poets, such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
Though its rich counterculture history attracts a lot of tourists to the district, North Beach remains a much-loved destination for locals too. The lively neighborhood has a high concentration of bars and nightclubs. Listen to live music in a jazz venue or chat with friends in a cozy wine bar. The area is also full of independent clothing boutiques and bookstores, making it a popular alternative shopping destination.
Book a walking tour of North Beach to discover some of the city’s finest local food. Find out how coffee is roasted and visit a deli that’s been operating since the late 19th century. Some of the best Italian restaurants and cafés in San Francisco can be found in North Beach.
Relax in Washington Square, a historic park in North Beach surrounded by sidewalk cafés and restaurants. This beautiful park also hosts movie nights and special events throughout the year. Bordering the park to the north is the Sts. Peter and Paul Church. This beautiful twin-spire cathedral was completed in the early 20th century.
The 210-foot (64-meter) tall Coit Tower stands in Pioneer Park east of Washington Square. Purchase tickets from the tower’s gift shop and ascend to the observation deck for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and bay. Spot the Golden Gate Bridge and other San Francisco landmarks.
North Beach is north of San Francisco’s Financial District, about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from San Francisco International Airport. Street parking can be scarce in this area so use available parking lots or travel here by bus instead.
Spend a day exploring North Beach’s excellent bars, restaurants and cafés while learning about the area’s significant Italian and literary history.