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North Beach Food & History Walking Tour - Small Group

Posted by GrayLineofSanFrancisco on August 17, 2020

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Have some time to spare? Walk and talk with us as we explore North Beach, San Francisco’s “Little Italy.” Food, history and of course eye candy (food for people watchers). We meet and start the tour, at the Sentinel Building, also known as Columbus Tower. In front of Francis Ford Coppola’s, Café Zoetrope. 

We will walk north on Columbus towards our first stop. No, the first stop isn’t for food, we need to build the appetite with some history first.

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We will pass through what was historically a very robust adult entertainment area. Much tamer now, but still this area has rich history. We pass the Condor Club, where Carol Doda made her mark on history, being the first topless dancer in 1963.

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Murals and art adorn the buildings and alleyways throughout this district. Our first destination will be The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi. Patron Saint of animals and the environment.

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Beautiful interior where the stained glass and murals are beautiful to behold.

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On Columbus Ave, we pass restaurants adapting to the new norm with outside seating. North Beach has the best in Italian Cuisine, Cafes, Pizzerias, and Clubs.

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Stella Pastry & Café is where we will get our first treats. Below you can see the attention to detail when creating their classic Italian pastries and Biscotti.

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So much to choose from, wish we could taste them all. Something for everyone and of course a coffee or espresso. Now we can eat, walk, and talk as we continue to Washington Square will take the side streets off Columbus Ave, and pass through more of the surrounding neighborhood restaurants and bakeries.

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The surrounding area known as Washington Square has much to offer. Exploration of the iconic Peter and Paul Church, and Washington Square Park.

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We will explore the interior of the church with its beautiful vaulted ceilings and amazing alter. Entering the park, we will talk about the significance of the statues and where there is a time capsule buried. Designated seating area in the Washington Square Park maintains social distancing in public areas.

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Our pizza order should be ready by now! We will pick up our slices of pie and drinks and enjoy them in the park.

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Pizza consumed and appetites sated, it is time to continue the exploration of “North Beach.” Our destination is City Books & Publishers. Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and many more famous “Beat Poets” can be found among the shelves.

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Around the corner in Jack Keroac Alley, murals and Vesuvios Café.

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Before we end the tour, we will enjoy a celebratory completion drink. Cocktail, beer, soft drink, what ever quenches your thirst at Vesuvio Café.

Come and explore with us the history and cuisine of one of San Francisco’s favorite districts.

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