On sunny days, North Beach shines even brighter than it does normally. Pops of pinks and greens surround you as hanging flower baskets and bright cafes line Vallejo, Stockton, Green and surround streets. It was a perfectly clear day and it was obvious the spring made a very early arrival into San Francisco with days in the mid seventies and even a few in the eighties. If you're reading this and not from the city, trust us when we say that those degrees are the warmest we're going to get. These are the kind of days that San Franciscans flock to the park and dig deep into their closet to locate shorts and skirts we've previously attempted to wear but were left with frigid bones as the blue skies tricked us into thinking it was actually warm. On days like these, we would rather bask in the warm sun than do anything else, preferably at the park with a bottle of wine and big sunglasses.
After taking a quick trip to the top of Coit Tower, you can venture a few blocks down into the heart of North Beach. When we arrived, a double espresso from Mara's gave us the pick me up we needed after climbing the steep hills and steps of Telegraph Hill. I couldn't keep my eyes off the plants that decorated the restaurants, the trees that stood tall in Washington Square Park and the small flower shops that were set up on the sidewalks. It seemed everything was in bloom and I swear the sky was just a little more blue than usual that February day.
A few must stops while in North Beach are Stella Pastry & Cafe, although almost any cafe you visit will be delicious. I've always enjoyed dining at Calzone's because of the bright tabletops and delicious food. The service is fast and it's fun to daydream of Italy there. I also love going to the The Stinking Rose. Growing up it was our go-to restaurant when visiting San Francisco and I have celebrated quite a few birthdays there! If you're looking for an iconic breakfast spot, there's no where else to go other than Mama's. Be weary thought, the line is extremely long on almost any given day. After hanging in Washington Square Park, cross the street and enjoy a cocktail and small bites at Original Joe's. This place is iconic to North Beach and the outside seating will provide some great scenery and people watching. If you're looking for a more casual feel to your afternoon in North Beach, there are many pizza by the slice joints as well as gelato stands that are just as delicious as a sit down meal. Make sure to allow time to shop along Grant Street (between Union Street and Green Street) and maybe even take home some delicious items from one of the many Italian pastries along Columbus Avenue!
What are your favorite spots in North Beach? Do you have a go to bakery or restaurant here? Please share your thoughts below, chat on Twitter, follow along on Instagram and stay connected with through Facebook!