Tosca Cafe, the historic Italian-American restaurant and bar in North Beach, is reopening this weekend. The latest repolishing of this classic spot has been anticipated for more than a year, ever since the powerhouse trio of chef Nancy Oakes (Boulevard), restaurateur Anna Weinburg (Marlowe), and designer Ken Fulk took the keys last year. Despite se...

Capo’s in North Beach, the popular family-style Italian restaurant known for its Chicago-style pizza, has rebranded during the pandemic and now features small plates and, most important, Detroit-style pizzas. Along with the pivot comes a name change. Capo’s, which has been closed since March and was previously called Capo’s Pizza and Fine Italian D...

Once a hallmark of San Francisco and a bustling neighborhood for the local Italian community, North Beach is struggling to hang onto its legacy. The last decades haven't been kind to this quarter as rising rents have forced most of its family-run Italian businesses to bail, leaving commercial real estate vacancies somewhere around 50 percent. Now t...

How people will gather in person in the foreseeable future is unpredictable. But let's assume they won't be eager to rub shoulders with large numbers of strangers anytime very soon. So how will visitors approach places like North Beach, that swath of idiosyncratic, locally owned restaurants, coffeehouses, shops, bars, clubs and historic sites that...

I grew up in North Beach from 1946 through the late ’50s. I was the oldest of three sons born to an immigrant family from Sicily, a few years before Carol Doda’s breasts became institutionalized at the Condor Club, titillating tourists with silicone implants and watered-down drinks, catty-corner from City Lights Booksellers & Publishers, still gene...

The Knights of Saint Francis have guarded the Porziuncola Nuova Chapel at the National Shrine of Saint Francis for over ten years. The rector, John La Riva recently closed the little chapel, for no apparent reason, and as a result it is no longer open to members of the public. The Knights of Saint Francis request that the Archbishop direct the rect...

Beyond the throngs of tourists and kitschy Italian restaurants hides the real North Beach, a bastion of hidden alleyways and Beat-laced history. Whether you're sipping a stiff cocktail or searching for a just-right book of poetry, keep your eyes—and your mind—wide open when exploring this richly cultured neighborhood. North Beach has been hit espec...

A visit to San Francisco’s Consulate General of Italy typically begins with talk of not dinner but dessert — specifically, zabiaone. That’s because the friendly Labrador that belongs to Consul General Lorenzo Ortona and his wife, the journalist Sheila Pierce Ortona, is named for the dessert of the same deep golden color. They call her Zaba for shor...

If there is a story that all Italian Americans and all Italians living in Italy should know, it is the story of Amadeo P. Giannini: he realized the American dream, not only for himself, but for an entire society. There are so many reasons why, today more than ever, the story of his life tells the best part of the Italian DNA, whether you live in It...

The month of March has brought us Spring, and the 100th birthday of a legend, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, celebrated poet and San Francisco’s first Poet Laureate. He is also a painter, social activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers located in San Francisco’s North Beach district.  On the occasion of this historic month, L’It...