The Historical Triangle

In San Francisco’s North Beach, culturally rich character has prevailed through the decades



San Francisco’s North Beach

ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Piazza Market’s wine store, which features more than 450 California and Italian wines, all well priced. Both wine and the daily menu of freshly prepared gourmet food items, sold by the pound, are available for taking home or enjoying by the indoor fountain.

Festive Trattoria Pinocchio, where the décor is Venetian and the kitchen purely Sicilian, dominates the bustling intersection of Columbus Avenue and Vallejo Street. Chef Giovanni Zocca prepares classic dishes he learned from his mother and makes his own pastas and limoncello. Desserts, including tiramisu dusted with semi-sweet chocolate and cannoli in a Marsala shell, are made in-house. The wine list focuses on the best of California’s Sonoma and Napa valleys, as well as regional Italian wines. Wines are available even by the half-bottle. A heated sidewalk and exhibition kitchen offer wonderful people-watching opportunities.

A TASTY SOUVENIR OF NORTH BEACH

You will never brew another cup of Yuban once you’ve discovered Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company, a tradition in North Beach since 1935. One of North America’s oldest artisan coffee roasters, and remarkably still family run through the generations, Graffeo is the quintessential boutique coffee roaster and supplier to some of the world’s most renowned eateries. It is, in fact, the coffee served at the Oscars. Graffeo’s rich blends of the finest and freshest Arabica beans, freshly roasted to perfection daily, may be ordered or purchased at one of its four locations: North Beach, San Rafael, Beverly Hills, and Singapore. Since Graffeo has only focused through the years on gourmet roasting and not serving coffee, you’ll need to stop by for your supply of light roast or dark roast to take home as a tasty souvenir of the best of North Beach.

WHERE TO STAY

Washington Square Inn: Boutique hotel with European charm and comfort in the heart of vibrant North Beach boasts Cathedral and Coit Tower views, short cable car rides to most landmarks, afternoon tea, and evening wine and hors d’oeuvres. 1660 Stockton St., (800) 388-0220, www.wsisf.com.

WHERE TO EAT

North Beach Restaurant: House-cured prosciutto hangs in one of the cellar dining rooms, and longtime owner Lorenzo Petroni pours brunellos from his Sonoma Valley vineyard. 1512 Stockton St., (415) 392-1700,
www.northbeachrestaurant.com.

Tratorria Pinocchio: Watch the crowd go by over a glass of limoncello and Chef Giovanni Zocca’s house-made pastas and Sicilian sauces. 401 Columbus Ave., (415) 392-1472, www.trattoriapinocchio.com.

Piazza Market: Restaurateur Sal Chiavino’s concept for North Beach is a triad of wine bar and wine sales, specialty imported foodstuffs, and home-cooked comfort foods served buffet style and priced by the pound. 627 Vallejo St., (415) 981-9881, www.piazzamarket.com.

DON’T MISS

* Brunch at Mama’s at Washington Square, where fresh-baked breads and pastries complement wholesome American breakfasts. Never mind the long lines.
                  
* Purchasing a pound of freshly roasted organic coffee from Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company.

* A panorama of San Francisco in 1877 and photos taken during and after the 1906 earthquake at North Beach Museum.

* Filbert Steps descending a steep section of Filbert Street from Coit Tower to Sansome Street, used in the 1947 film Dark Passage.
 
* Views of major landmarks from Coit Tower. Peruse the lobby frescoes.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Palm Springs Life

Related Articles

Tour Eight Modern Masterpieces in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage

See the homes designed by the men synonymous with Palm Springs modern architectural history, including E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler and Rick Harrison, William Krisel, and William Cody during the Fall Home Tour on Nov. 1.

Sowing Seeds: TV on the Radio Debuts New Album in the Desert

TV on the Radio dove into the songs from its new album, Seeds - coming out next month - during its crowd-pleasing performance at Pappy & Harriet's.

Foodie Radar Zeroes in on Desert Tasty Tours

If your idea of relaxation involves eating your way through the rich history of Palm Springs or the fashion, art and shopping district of Palm Desert, consider indulging your inner-tourist with Desert Tasty Tours.

Cheyenne Jackson Draws from New Album for McCallum Gig

Cheyenne Jackson has come a long way from his Washington state roots, selling out Carnegie Hall, performing at the White House and now his first solo appearance Nov. 1 at McCallum Theatre.

Ghouls’ Night Out

Halloween is always hot in Palm Springs — and we’re not just talking about the temperature. So get your costume ready, pick your venue, and prepare for an unforgettable night.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.