A Local Taste of the City: San Francisco North Beach & Little Italy

Everywhere & Back Blog, California, Destinations, USA 16 Comments

Looking for a few great options to try in San Francisco? Check out Local Taste of the City Food Tour. In San Francisco there are so many places to eat and they are all so wonderful! It is difficult to find a bad place to stop to a bite to eat and if you don’t know what you’re looking for it can be quite overwhelming! We decided that we wanted to see what San Francisco Food Tours considered the “hidden gems” of San Francisco. We learned that they have a few different tours available and we quickly decided on the North Beach and Little Italy tour as that was right in the neighborhood where we were staying. (Pretty convenient!)

TASTE OF THE CITY – San Francisco

The morning of our food tour we went to the designated meeting spot, which was 1 block from our apartment. We arrived early but were quickly greeted by the one other person that was signed up for the tour that day. Then came our tour guide…

Blandia came walking down the street and you could not miss her! A smile on her face, oversized sunglasses, bright clothing and exuding an aura of love for her neighborhood! After brief introductions we started off to our first stop that was just around the corner, Cafe Roma. We sat down for drinks from the menu of our choosing, followed by getting an up close view and history lesson about the coffee roaster that is onsite. It smells amazing in the cafe and the roasting machine and process was very interesting to learn about.

MARIO’S BOHEMIAN CIGAR STORE CAFE

Next up our Taste of the City Tour was Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe for a meatball focaccia sandwich (and it was to DIE for…). This cafe was very intimate and only had a handful of tables and seats up at the bar top. While we ate Blandia gave us some history behind the restaurant and we learned that the cafe had been around since the early 70s. Wondering about the cigars? Well they haven’t had any tobacco sold there in over 20 years when it was legislated no tobacco with food.

SAINTS PETER AND PAUL CHURCH

Walking across the street we entered Washington Square. A beautiful and luscious green park where we saw many people hanging out enjoying the sunshine. We were able to see the sculptures that have been erected here and learn about some of the various celebrations that are held throughout the year. Moving across the next street we found ourselves right in from of Saints Peter and Paul Church. We took a very brief walk thru the nave of the church and saw the beautiful stained glass and other architectural works of art.

MACCHIARINI CREATIVE DESIGN

Still full from the wonderful focaccia sandwiches we decided to walk a bit and went uphill to Macchiarini Creative Design. Nope not food by any means, but a very interesting place to visit.  It is a family business that has been around since the 40s and they are considered masters of one of a kind metal pieces and jewelry.  After talking for a bit, we were invited back into the workshop and had the opportunity to stamp a coin out of recycled aluminum that was finished with the designs used from the previous Burning Man festivals.

MOLINARI DELICATESSEN

We found the promise land of delis! Molinari was incredible! They were crowded and busy which we all know what that means…it must be good. We had small sandwiches, that were freshly built with the deli meats that were just sliced. So good! All around you can see the specialty deli meats available. We weren’t able to stay around long because the lunch rush was starting to pickup.

CORNOLOGY

Our next stop was a fun one…Cornology is a gourmet popcorn shop. With 8 or so flavors to try we got our fill and quickly decided that we wanted to come back and buy a full bag to take with us. They had a wide range or sweet to savory flavored popcorn, sure to please anyone that would walk in!

Z CIOCCOLATO

Walking into Z Cioccolato you can smell the fudge that they make in house daily.  Stopping by the counter we were able to chat about the process and the flavor combinations that they had available. We were able to try a few and were given a take away bag that contained a few other samples of fudge for later.  With all the eating we had been doing we were so happy to be able to have this for later! Another thing I noticed was near the back of the store they had many barrels of various other candies for non chocolate lovers.

MONA LISA RESTAURANT & STELLA PASTRY & CAFE

We finished off the Local Taste of the City food tour at the Mona Lisa Restaurant. They were just starting to open for lunch so we were really the only ones there but it was very good pizza and very hot! While we were eating and talking about our trip around the neighborhood Blandia snuck away for one last treat she wanted to make sure we tried…a cannoli from Stella Pastry & Cafe. The perfectly, sweet ending to a fabulous food tour!



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Comments 16

  1. I visited San Fran about 10 years ago and ever since then have been dying to go back. This has given me the perfect excuse. That pizza is making me drool too! Nice work!

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  2. Now we talking, foodie tour around SAN FRAN, its gotta be done. haven’t been to the city yet but would seriously consider the food tour as you have convinced me. 🙂

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  3. A food tour that also takes in the interesting sites in the local neighbourhood. I love it! I went to San Fransisco years ago – but would love to go back and do a food tour, and also take in the lesser touristy areas of the city

  4. I love the food in San Francisco. I wish I had known about this food tour when I was in the city, looks like a great way to explore the local cuisine.

  5. This looks like a great place to explore in San Francisco. That’s one thing that I love about tours – they force you to see things you may have missed otherwise. Looks like a tasty your indeed!

  6. I love food tours! They really are the best way to eat your way around a city. That fudge shop would definitely be on my list, I love fudge! It reminds me of childhood 🙂

  7. This sounds like an amazing tour. You had me at the focaccia meatball sandwich. I’m not a big fan of tours but this one seems like fun, especially as it focus on of the beaten path

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