North Beach Coffee

North Beach / Telegraph Hill

North Beach

Foodies and poets, partiers and pasta fans all have a soft spot for North Beach. But during your holiday in San Francisco, will you also think the same?

First designated as part of Little Italy, North Beach is branded by a series of Italian flags painted on light posts in the streets.

Typically red, white and green, the light posts complement the smell of pizza, red wine and espresso to let you know exactly where you are in San Francisco.

But sadly, because of rising housing costs, some of the Italian families are slowly being priced out of the neighborhood.

North Beach is the Italian, poet and a party part of San Francisco, all wrapped into one.

Columbus Ave

With history comes stories, such as the Beat Generation of the 1950s in North Beach. Anti-materialistic writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, helped coin the term ‚ÄúBeatnik‚ÄĚ in these very streets by rejecting the middle class and status quo.

And even today, City Lights Books, one of the famous publishers of the Beat Generation, is located on the corner of Columbus and Broadway for your browsing and purchasing enjoyment.

North Beach, we think, is one of San Francisco’s more culturally rich neighborhoods.

Vesuvio North Beach

Not to mention the party atmosphere in North Beach, which stems from the Barbary Coast ‚ÄúWild-West‚ÄĚ days of San Francisco (post Gold Rush), where opium dens and Shanghai‚Äôs reigned supreme.

Even the majority of the screenplay for The Godfather was written in North Beach, at Caffe Trieste.

So when you stroll down Columbus Avenue, landmarks such as Washington Square, Saints Peter and Paul Church and Coit Tower can exercise your camera, but the history of the neighborhood, specifically of places such as the Condor Club and the Beat Museum, can leave you roaming North Beach for days. To keep things short: never stop exploring.

Italian Flag Pole

How Do I Find North Beach?

  • North Beach is an easy¬†neighborhood to come across. Columbus Avenue, the main artery of the neighborhood, is a good place to start your walk.
  • You can use¬†public transportation routes¬†9x, 12, 20, 30, 41 and 45 to reach North Beach. You can also walk easily¬†from Fisherman’s Wharf. All you need to do is look for Columbus Avenue and coffee.
  • To visit North Beach from¬†Union Square¬†we recommend walking. You‚Äôll pass through Chinatown,¬†which is a cool spot¬†to browse too.

North Beach


Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

North Beach is a popular neighborhood for cafes, pizza and nightlife. The main drag, Columbus Avenue, is cool to stroll any time of day. To explore the neighborhood properly for nightlife, check out our San Francisco: Day 2 guide.


Location of North Beach