On our agenda for the next 4-5 weekends is exploring different areas we could potentially live. First up: North Beach. It’s going to take some beating. I found a food walking tour on Groupon and thought it would be great to stuff our faces while exploring a new area, I was right!
We started out at the Trieste Cafe which felt like it should be in Rome rather than San Francisco. We ambled along to the famous Molinari deli, which also felt like it had been shipped in from Italy, before walking via Jack Kerouac alley (next to the famous City Lights bookstore) into Chinatown and back up through North Beach to finish at Washington Square.
I don’t want to give too much away about the tour or the individual places we visited because it’s nice to discover the venues and food as you wander around the area. I believe the venues visited on the tour can and do vary.
In addition to trying some wonderful food, learning some of the history of the area and finding our way around a new neighbourhood, we met some brilliant people. We met a number of the owners at the venues we visited for small food samples who told us their stories and histories of their restaurants and shops. I love it when people are so proud of what they do and so passionate about their place and their food.
One of the highlights from the tour for me was standing on the crossroad of Broadway and Columbus Avenue. If you look up the hill into North Beach and then down the hill into Chinatown it looks like you are seeing two completely different cities in different countries. The dramatic weather also helps with that illusion – one side was sunny with blue sky and the other had a foggy backdrop. I can’t think of anywhere else I’ve experienced this! If that wasn’t enough, that spot is brilliant for art with a Banksy on one wall, a mural on another and an art installation of illuminated LED-lit books above us. The book piece is called ‘The Language of the Birds’ and was originally installed as a temporary piece but was kept as it became a feature people in the area loved.
The same company do a Chinatown food tour and also have operations in many other cities. I hope to go on some more of their tours and highly recommend looking them up if you’re planning a visit to San Francisco.