When Lawrence Ferlinghetti died in February, for some it felt like the poet and City Lights Booksellers & Publishers co-founder took a piece of San Francisco with him. Like the store, Ferlinghetti was a literary landmark, his presence in North Beach and around the city as much a given as the fog or cable car bells. While his death at age 101 was pe...

Caffe Trieste, San Francisco's iconic high temple of coffee in North Beach, is marking its 65th anniversary on Thursday, a milestone that seems even more noteworthy after surviving through the pandemic and temporary closure.   San Francisco's Board of Supervisors declared Thursday "Caffe Trieste Day" in San Francisco, and the cafe planned to hold s...

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who died on Monday at the age of 101, was one of the key figures in 20th century American culture. He was as responsible as any single other person for the rise of the Beats, the end of obscenity laws, and, not least, the transformation of San Francisco from a backwater province to a vibrant artistic center. He did all this t...

By early afternoon, a small memorial of flowers and a can of Pabst had begun to accumulate outside the door of City Lights Books, to commemorate the death of its co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti. And by the evening, a vigil for Ferlinghetti, one of the last living links to the Beat generation, was being held in the adjacent Jack Kerouac Alley, a ti...

North Beach is one of San Francisco's most beloved neighborhoods. It is the city's "Little Italy" and has historically been home to a large Italian-American population. The Italian influence on North Beach peaked between the two World Wars when over 60,000 of its residents claimed Italian ancestry and five Italian language newspapers circulated the...

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...