Forkin' Frisco: A local's guide to dining in North Beach

Forkin’ North Beach

Neighborhoods like North Beach are typically the first to be visited by tourists and the last to be visited by residents. And as any visitor will soon find out, North Beach holds a lot more than Italian restaurants. What was a haven for the beatnik movement in the 1960s is now a haven for strip clubs and bars. But don’t be intimidated: This colorful neighborhood also hosts a number of worthwhile restaurants.

SWEET TOOTH

Cavalli Cafe
1441 Stockton St.

It would be a crime not to include the best place in North Beach to head for classic Italian desserts like tiramisu and cannoli. Once you’ve tried the familiar fare, do yourself a favor and pick up one of the lesser-known Italian sweets like vanilla panna cotta.

CHEAP EATS

Molinari Delicatessen
373 Columbus Ave.

Before there were fancy-schmancy salumi stores in the Ferry Building, there were places like Molinari. This deli offers a long menu of sandwiches to choose from, or you can build your own with ingredients like some of the best salami and provolone available.

ROMANTIC

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
1570 Stockton St.

Does your local pizza joint routinely win international awards for their pie? Didn’t think so. Tony’s is all about making one kind of pizza and making it perfectly. Split a margherita pizza with your date in this shoebox-sized restaurant and watch the master at work.

WILDCARD

Comstock Saloon
155 Columbus Ave.

North Beach purists might argue that Comstock is a little too close to the Financial District to be considered a part of the neighborhood’s dining landscape. That’s fine. While they’re arguing, I’ll be over here chowing down on the fried oyster and ham po’boy.

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