Also known as San Francisco’s Little Italy, the neighborhood of North Beach dates back to the 1800s when the North Point docks served as a gateway for immigrants. During the 1906 earthquake, Italian-American settlers apparently soaked blankets in red wine and draped them over their homes and businesses, saving the structures from the fires. Over the years, celebrities such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Joe DiMaggio, and Marilyn Monroe immortalized the many clubs and cafes in the area, contributing to North Beach’s romantic, fun-loving reputation. Today, the neighborhood is still vibrant with history, landmarks, museums, and festivals, and, of course, great food, and nightlife.
Grant Avenue, the city’s oldest street, is lined with specialty shops and eateries. Some of the liveliest clubs and bars in town are scattered throughout the area. And, of course, you can’t beat the authentic Italian food—and other ethnically diverse grub—offered by the many restaurants within these blocks. Several MUNI lines run through the area, making North Beach a convenient place for commuters as well. ©2016 Maryann LoRusso