Best Restaurants: San Francisco, CA (North Beach)

Expertise Provided By: “Frommer’s San Francisco”


Destination restaurant serves a nightly 11-course tasting menu “full of the bounty of Bay Area produce and ingredients.” Courses might include Dungeness crab raviolo and aged duck breast.

Park Tavern

Handsome, upscale tavern dishes up New York steaks, burgers, chicken and potato hash. The lively bar scene features excellent cocktails.

Rose Pistola

Outstanding Italian dishes, such as grilled octopus to bruschetta with crab to wood-fired pizzas to cioppino.


Elegant restaurant with delicious and authentic Persian cuisine. Meat dishes include filet of lamb marinated with lime, house yogurt, saffron and onions. Extensive vegetarian options include eggplant braised with saffron, tomatoes, and dried lime.


Small and large plates of superb Basque cuisine in a charming, casual setting indoor or on the patio. Main dishes include braised seafood and seafood stew with red pepper sauce or a New York steak with braised shallots. The orange blossom dessert beignets are a must.

Original Joe’s

Landmark North Beach joint with exceptionally well-prepared retro menu heavy on traditional faves such as pot roast, veal, hamburger steak, and a killer butterscotch pudding.


Baking exceptional, traditional-style pizza since 1935, the line outside the door belies the drab, windowless exterior of the place. Once inside, however, you’ll find a lively atmosphere that is particularly family-friendly. Tommaso’s serves up an array of tasty Italian dishes, but the pizza is the star attraction.

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

Always packed and for a reason. Owner and master chef Tony Gemignani has won eleven championships at The World Pizza Cup in Naples and co-owns the International School of Pizza in San Francisco.

Il Pollalo

“Simple, affordable, and consistently good” is a combination that’s tough to beat. Luscious, lemon-infused chicken is the specialty of the house. Lamb, Italian sausage and more are also on the menu. Choice of salad or fries.

Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store

No cigars sold or smoked in this century-old corner café across from Washington Park. Instead, steller cappuccinos, eggplant and meatball sandwiches. Local microbrews, Italian and California wine list.

San Francisco Art Institute Café

“One of the best kept secrets in the city.”   Fresh, local, and organic ingredients, affordable breakfasts, salads, ethnic specials, all for under $7. Bonus points – the downstairs gallery features a stunning 1931 mural by Diego Rivera and the upstairs café  features killer views of San Francisco Bay.

Tosca Café

Trendy, tasty food along with frequent celebrity sightings at another San Francisco institution, “a revamped 1919 boho classic.”

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