North Beach is a quintessential San Francisco neighborhood, an enduring tourist hotspot as well as a cherished icon for locals. Also known as Little Italy, North Beach is liberally peppered with a spectrum of eateries, from delicatessens to romantic outdoor cafes. Part of its fame and charm are due to celebrities such as Herb Caen, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and even Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, who were responsible for coining phrases and immortalizing clubs and restaurants by their very presence and celebrity. The Italian heritage dates back to the 1800s when the North Point docks served as a gateway for immigrants. The Italian-American constituency is partly credited for saving the neighborhood from the fires after the 1906 earthquake. Residents reportedly opened barrels and barrels of red wine, soaked blankets and then draped their homes and businesses thus saving them, or so the story goes.
Dining, Retail & Entertainment Destinations
North Beach is vibrant with history, landmarks, museums, and festivals. Columbus Avenue is one of the main thoroughfares, but many treasures are to be found on the side streets. Grant Avenue, the City’s oldest street, has a plethora of specialty shops, many of which celebrate the Italian influence.