Best Restaurants in North Beach

North Beach has drastically changed since it was a haven for beatniks, cool cats and well, duh, Italians. These days, this historic neighborhood often falls prey to the tourist crowd, but get past that very small drawback, and this neighborhood remains to emanate charm and a solid restaurant scene. From big bowls of pasta to fondue and tapas, get it all at our favorite North Beach restaurants.

Updated: June 28, 2010

Restaurants in North Beach


700 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Just the name alone is mouthwatering, but bubbling caldrons of ooey, gooey cheese with three different rarebit choices, like extra-sharp cheddar melted with either English cider, Guinness or ale.

Coi Restaurant Inc

373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

Coi is one of the most innovative restaurants in the country, and where Daniel Patterson helped pioneer molecular gastronomy. In the main dining room, his creative menu is showcased over 11 courses, while the lounge offers a less demanding a la carte menu.

Rose Pistola

532 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

It's one of the best places for dining al fresco in all of North Beach. The menu serves many of the same regional dishes found along the Ligurian coast (incidentally, the same area from which many of North Beach's first Italian immigrants hailed).

Don Pisto's

510 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Yes, ladies and gentleman, it's a Mexican restaurant in North Beach. And a darn good one, too, serving dishes inspired by Mexican street food.

Iluna Basque

701 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133

At the tender age of 24, chef Mattin Noblia and his signature red scarf opened this tapas restaurant (long before tapas became as mainstream as pizza parlors), featuring rustic dishes from the flavorful Basque region.

Cafe Jacqueline

1454 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

One of the most romantic restaurants in all of San Francisco, this charming, all-souffle eatery only sits a couple dozen people. It definitely requires a reservation and patience while Chef Jacqueline Margulis cooks for everyone herself.

Caffe Sport

574 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Why does one hit Caffe Sport? When there's a giant group of people who want to eat cheaply, heartily, and not be at Bucca di Beppo. Enough said.

Tommaso Ristorante Italiano

1042 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Back before there was Flour + Water, Gialina and Pizzeria Delfina, there was Tomasso's, one of the very first eateries to garner a reputation for its thin-crust pizzas.

Macaroni Sciue Sciue

124 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

The straight-forward Italian menu is filled with Italian staples such as cannelloni, meat rigatoni and spaghetti and meatballs. And it's all served at a fabulously affordable price.