Kelsey Perry – Local Tourist (North Beach Edition)
Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve made it my personal mission to try a new restaurant, cocktail bar, coffee and juice shop, and ice cream shop when I go out on the town with friends. I’ve attempted to canvas my local neighborhood first, North Beach. The land of pasta, pizza, and gelato, I’ve stumbled upon some of my favorite spots in San Francisco (that don’t always include pasta). First and foremost, Tosca Cafe takes the cake as my favorite restaurant in North Beach. The atmosphere is intimate and inviting with original murals lining the walls of the dining room, checkered floors, and the dim lighting attracts locals to stop in for a cocktail or a sampling of crispy pig tails and pressed pig ears (don’t knock it till’ you try it).
Across the way on Columbus, Molinari Delicatessen has found the way to my heart by way of spicy coppa, mortadella, and prosciutto stuffed peppers. The pressed Luciano Sandwich on scallion focaccia is what sandwich dreams are made of with fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, onion, sweet and spicy coppa, prosciutto, and my personal touch, extra mortadella. In addition to the authentic paninis, the traditional style delicatessen offers an array of olives, cold salads, cured meats, and a variety of cheeses for takeaway.
Take a stroll North on Columbus and hang a right on Union to make your way to Gelato Classico for a sweet treat. The ultra-rich and creamy hand-crafted ice cream and sorbetto transport me straight to Italy. The sorbettos are made with seasonal fruit and are the refreshing choice for a sunny city day but when my sweet tooth lingers, I always opt for pistachio or stracciatella.
There are so many dining options in North Beach it’s dizzying. However, I have to make a special mention of Liholiho Yacht Club because I experienced a truly heavenly bite in the form of an unsuspecting steamed bun. The Beef Tongue Poppy Seed Steamed buns with kimchi and cucumber is one of the best dishes I’ve had in 2017(besides the aforementioned crispy pig tails and pressed pig ears). Maybe the dish soared to the top of my list because I’m a sucker for a steamed bun or because tongue is one of my guilty food pleasures often in the form of lengua tacos. Nevertheless, all of the flavor combinations in these little buns hit the nail on the head. We ordered another plate.