Having paid homage to City Lights Bookshop and the Beat Museum, a stroll in the North Beach area must include a visit to Caffe Trieste. This café boasts the vestiges of the Beat generation, giving the traveller the opportunity to sip a wonderful espresso and taste some of the best pies and pastries of San Francisco, surrounded by the pictures of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg among others. Being here is a true literary experience. The picturesquely coloured marble tables and the wooden chairs are still those that one can spot in the old pictures of the place in which poets are shown sitting and chatting amiably. But the most amazing experience is that, not only one can taste real Italian flavours here, but still today be surrounded by those very poets that one can recognize in the black and white pictures on the walls. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been a habitué for years and Jack Hirschman, the amazing 'red poet', can be found sitting, reading the local newspaper and enjoying a double espresso almost every day.
Cute cafe and wine bar in North Beach run by a Brit. Cold beer and decent wines. Free Wi-Fi, Premiership on the telly, great sandwiches, delicious fondue. On Mondays and Fridays local musicians and poets perform.
700 Columbus Ave @ Filbert
Tel: (415) 392-9290
A low-key 40s-style cocktail bar that specialises in killer Irish coffee (the bar staff make them in batches by lining 30 glasses up along the bar). Also noteworthy for having only opera on the jukebox. A hidden gem that never seems really busy and has a great casual atmosphere.
242 Columbus Ave (between Broadway & Pacific) in North Beach;
tel: 415 986 9651
This cafe is situated in the North Beach area of the city which is renowned for its profusion of Italian cafes and restaurants. Famous musicians have visited and played there in the past and you can see photos of them on the wall. It has a proper Italian coffee machine and a relaxed atmosphere where you can while away a pleasant afternoon people watching the interesting and varied customers.
I discovered it whilst working in California and applying for a job in Trieste. A strange coincidence that I got the job and one of my
colleagues was the daughter of the original owner!
601 Vallejo Street
Tel: 415 392 6739
Such a restful place in the city. With beautiful landscaping and sculptures, this place is a real haven of peace and quiet. We only wished we'd got there earlier in the day (we arrived about 20 minutes before closing) so we could have taken green tea in the cafe, although it was more sparsely populated late in the afternoon.
Best weekend brunch place in the city. This very cool Mission eatery is where the club kids go to come down and where the bedheads go to get some coffee. The eggs benedict is a must.
3296 22nd St, San Francisco 94110 CA (nearest cross st is Valencia);
tel: (415) 824-4088
This was the largest public swimming pool and was ruined in the 60s. The ruins remain just at the entrance to the park. I went on a windswept day and was amazing.
Also, there is the Cliff House right beside it with shop, cafe and bar - amazing. I went after going to the Legion of Honour art museum. Very compact but sweet, and the best baristas - very friendly, in an incredible location
1090 Point Lobos Avenue, near Lincoln Park;
tel: (415) 386 3330;
Cafe located in the SF Art Insitute...but open to the public. Fresh-made decent food, relaxed environment, self-serve...but it is the view that is the thing. College is on the same hill as the Crooked Street (Lombard) and has a fantastic view of Fisherman's Wharf, the Bay, North Beach. There's also a wonderful Diego Rivera mural, usually a student art show going on...street parking only..sort of an Old California (before the gringos came) feel to the original building..patio, fountain...
800 Chestnut Street between Jones & Leavenworth
www.sfai.edu--look under Facilities for hours.
Closest bus line is #15 which goes near the Wharf.
Dottie’s True Blue Cafe dishes up the best breakfasts ever – don’t be put off by the queues and the slightly dodgy surroundings, their French toast/pancakes with a side of fruit salad, posh fry-ups and unusual baked goodies are well worth it. You’ll be back again and again!
522 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94102-2008
Best brunch in the city. Experience the real San Francisco - chances are you will be the only tourists. It's an easy bart ride to 24th street or better still get the J (Church) tram from the downtown.
3296 22nd St (cross street: 22nd and Valencia)
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org