Enigmatic, though understandably so, North Beach is perpetually popular with tourists and revered by locals. It’s one of San Francisco’s most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods; brimming with history and tradition while appealing to young hipsters and trendsetters. It offers some of the finest food around, one of the best bookstores in the city, unique shops and boutiques, and a very active nightlife. Its Grant Avenue is the oldest street in San Francisco, and historically the first path on the road to a new life for immigrating South Americans, Europeans and refugees from Australian penal colonies.
Known to many locals as San Francisco’s “Little Italy,” it was in the late 1800s that a torrent of Italians settled here, established trades, shops and – most famously and enduring – restaurants and bakeries. The North Beach Italian legacy is shared with that of the Beats – poets, artists and writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and City Lights Bookstore owner, poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
The neighborhood is also home to landmarks such as Washington Square Park and Sts. Peter and Paul Church, and to a colorful mix of residents, including successful young professionals, multi-generational families and, of course, artists, writers and other creative souls.
North Beach residents take special pride in their neighborhood’s heritage and most active groups of its kind in San Francisco.