Doing Touristy Things: Afternoon in North Beach


This is a series, see: Coit Tower, St.Francis Elevators, Chinatown
Note: make sure to have a hangover and/or huge appetite before heading out.

Breakfast/brunch at Cafe Divine (Union & Stockton)- get seated at the sidewalk tables, and, with mimosa in hand, watch people in the park. I’d recommend the fruit bowl w/ granola or the poached eggs. Divine doesn’t have a huge menu but the ingredients are top notch. OR hit La Boulange (Columbus, Green) for a pastry and a bowl of cafe au lait. Describe how the park used to be the common for the neighborhood- the patch of ground where you could garden or keep livestock. Mention the falsehood that DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe at the church- actually just photographed in front of it.

Get a post-breakfast gelato at Naia on Columbus or the gelato place up Union St. Pavel’s yogurt is great, as well as Nutella flavor. Sit in the park and watch people.

Walk down Columbus to Molinaris’ (at Vallejo) and get the very affordable North Beach Special sandwich: layer upon layer of mortadella. Or, just sample the $1 finger-size fennel sausages.

Stop at Stella’s Bakery (Columbus near Vallejo) or Victoria Bakery (Stockton & Vallejo) and buy some pignolas, apricot tart, or almond cookies. Get cappuccino #1. Sit outside and watch people.

A little downtime browsing titles at City Lights (Columbus & Broadway): note, bee-line for the Staff Favorites shelf near the magazines.

Get cappuccino #2 at Caffe Trieste (Grant & Vallejo). Sit outside, watch people, and chat with regulars.

At this point your guests may want to leave and sample another neighborhood- but you could stay here and eat dinner and get a drink, which is another post in itself. If they’re feeling over-caffeinated and full, tell them to hike up to Coit Tower, you’ll meet them at FilmYard (Grant & Stockton) afterwards, or sitting outside Caffe Puccini (Columbus & Vallejo) sipping cappuccino #3.

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