Crime, Counter Culture & Spaghetti: The Evolution of Little Italy & North Beach

San Francisco, CA

  • North Beach will filled with bakeries like this one. Photo: SF Public Library.
  • Jalapeno cheese focaccia from Liguria Bakery. Photo: Vicente / Vittle Monster.
  • The facade outside of the Liguria Bakery.
  • The double towers of the Saints Peter and Paul Church.
  • The exterior of Caffe Trieste.
  • Pictures on the wall of the Caffe Trieste.
  • "Language of the Birds" in the early evening.
  • A "Defenestration" building in SOMA.
  • Signage outside of the Condor Club.
  • 1970s advertisement for The Condor.
  • The Poet's Chair.
  • The Taniperla Mural in Jack Kerouac Alley.
  • A look down the alley.
  • The crass logo for Vesuvio.
  • The scene at Vesuvio.
  • The Sentinel Building with the Transamerica Pyramid in the background.
  • The Caesar Salad at Cafe Zoetrope.

2 hours and 30 minutes
1.7 mi
Guided by Jason

Explore how North Beach evolved through a colorful series of chronological reimaginings. Originally the red light district for Gold Rush-fevered Forty-Niners, the neighborhood burned down after the 1906 earthquake and resurrected as Little Italy, giving rise to mafia-inspired literature. Decades later, North Beach became the epicenter of both the anti-establishment Beatniks and the first topless bars in America. This is the definitive exploration of one of San Francisco's most story-worthy neighborhoods.

About Your Guide
I am all about exploring local history, architecture, food and art to learn about how places came to be. You can find me in search of hidden places, the best dim sum, secret speakeasies, skyline vistas and other ingredients to build the perfect day.

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Guide Points
  1. Liguria Bakery
  2. Saints Peter and Paul Church
  3. Caffe Trieste
  4. "Language of the Birds"
  5. The Condor Club
  6. City Lights Bookstore
  7. Jack Kerouac Alley
  8. Vesuvio Cafe
  9. The Sentinel Building

About Sidewalk
Sidewalk is an app that provides free, guided walk experiences that can be created by anyone with stories to share about places they know and love.

The app navigates people through a neighborhood walk using GPS turn-by-turn directions, rich imagery and storytelling.