Locals Circle | North Beach in San Francisco | Travelspective


1950’s San Francisco was a very different place than you see today. Art, music, and poetry dominated the culture and lifestyle of its citizens, providing grounds to contrast the two-point-five kids and a white picket fence décor of the decade prior. It’s the city where beatniks came to play, and there is no other neighborhood in San Francisco made to preserve that golden era of counter-culture better than North Beach. If tech is the heart of Silicon Valley, then this neighborhood is its spirit. For those out to enjoy a casual Sunday, follow in Shoshana’s footsteps with a slice from Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, or take a walk through Washington Square Park, the scenic community center of Little Italy. Stop in at Vesuvio Cafe and soak in the atmosphere, and booze, just as Kerouac had, or visit City Lights Book Sellers, publishers of Ginsberg’s “Howl.” Everything worth visiting is close enough to walk to. Trendy cafés and 100-year-old bars share the same space and woven between them is an easy going energy cultivated through years of nonconformist thinking.

From Washington Square, go north on Filbert for about 6 blocks and you’ll hit Telegraph Hill, a beautiful residential area with stunning views in every direction. There you can visit Coit Tower or head east for a snapshot of the famous Filbert Steps. There is so much to see in North Beach that visitors should take their time and go with the flow.

Heading north on Grant Ave. is the perfect way to literally take a trip down memory lane. The oldest street in San Francisco is home to The Saloon, the oldest surviving bar in the area (EST. 1861), and Caffé Trieste, the quaint little coffee shop where Italian Espresso was first introduced to the west coast.
For everything Beat, check out the Beat Museum. There you’ll find memorabilia, letters, and pop culture artifacts from some of the generations most notable voices.
From the corner of Grant and Vallejo, walk east up Vallejo about 3 blocks. At the top of the hill, the street will give way to the Vallejo St. Stairway, a stretch of stairs that cut through lush residential gardens. There are three sets of steps. Take the central path if you’re in it for the scenic route.