North Beach San Francisco Guide
A few years ago we moved to the North Beach neighborhood from the Mission. We’d just gotten tired of all the grime and grittiness of the Mission and needed to move somewhere with more a bit more color and ‘San Francisco-esque’ architecture.
After a long search, we found an apartment for rent in North Beach and the rest is history! In partnership with Zumper, today I'm showing you around the neighborhood that I've grown to love over the years, and why I wish I had used Zumper during our last apartment search:
City Lights Bookstore
For anyone obsessed with bookstores (like me), the City Lights Bookstore everything you want and more. Open until midnight, this charming and historical store is lined with the most interesting books and magazines, curated by the amazing staff. They also publish many of their own books as well host many community events. Make sure you check out the upstairs poetry room!
Right on the edge of North Beach stands one of the most iconic buildings of San Francisco - the Sentinel Building. Owned by Francis Ford Coppola, this copper green Flatiron is mostly occupied by his film studio American Zoetrope. There is a cafe a the bottom called Cafe Zoetrope.
Washington Square Park
Like a cleaner, smaller, and chilled out version of Dolores Park - Washington Square Park has a nice blend of dogs playing, picnickers, and Chinese women doing aerobics. All of it is framed by tall trees and the beautiful frontage of St Peters and Paul Church. I love sitting on a bench here during golden hour at sunset. The colors bouncing off everything is breathtaking.
Golden Boy and Tony's Pizza
When you think of Italian food, one of the first things that comes to mind is Pizza. Two standouts at North Beach are Golden Boy and Tony's.
Golden Boy does a Sicilian Deep Dish Pizza that is served in square format and regularly has long lines out the door. I love grabbing a fresh slice of their clam pizza or pesto pizza and sitting at the bar while melding into the timeless ambiance inside.
Tony's is more of a California - Neopolitan style pizza. You can sit inside at the restaurant or grab a quick bite at the slice house next door. You can't go wrong with their 4 cheese pizza. The slices here are thin and crispy with just the right amount of chew in the crust.
One of our favorite places for cake in San Francisco - Stella has two of our all-time favorites. One of them, the Sacripantina, is their creation from 40 years ago and is an absolute must if you're in the area. The other is a standard Tiramisu, but as you know all Tiramisu cakes are not made alike.. They are one of the best in San Francisco.
Speaking of Italian bakeries - Liguria is an old school bakery run by a bunch of no-nonsense Italian ladies. They only serve one thing, which they do quite well - awesome classic Foccacia bread. They usually sell out by 10 or 11 am, so try to get there early to get the type you want.
We're so glad we moved to North Beach from the Mission! We only wished we had known about Zumper at the time, as it totally would have made our apartment search so much easier. One of my favorite things about Zumper is how you can create alerts when new apartments appear that match your criteria. No more having to re-enter just how many bedrooms, square footage, and upper/lower ranges. So smart!
Also, in case you’re not convinced that North Beach is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in San Francisco - here are some more photos of my favorite places in North Beach!