North Beach Foodie Tour
This article is about my experience on the North Beach Foodie Tour. The foodie tour was a walking experience in North Beach / Little Italy in San Francisco.
This review is part of my San Francisco Foodie Adventure.
The North Beach Foodie Tour is held by Local Tastes of the City Tours. The Local Tastes of the City Tours offers culinary experiences throughout the city including in North Beach as well as in China Town in San Francisco.
The tour is a two to three-hour walking tour that combines food vendors, artists and other local business in the area.
The tours are small and are hosted by a knowledgeable guide with colorful stories about life in San Francisco.
My wife and I selected the North Beach / Little Italy Food Tour in the afternoon on one of the days while we were in San Francisco.
The tour costs $59 per-person and it includes food and drinks at the locations of the tour. You can reserve it online.
The North Beach Foodie Tour met at the Coit Liquor at 585 Columbus Avenue in San Francisco.
The tour was set to start at 2:00 PM.
The tour guide met us at 1:58 PM.
After introducing each other, the tour guide informed us about the experiences during the tour.
The tour was a group of five people and included walking around the North Beach Area.
The North Beach Foodie Tour started at Caffé Roma which roasts coffee directly in store and has some incredible espresso and other coffee options.
The tour guide told us about the history of the location and she introduced us to the owner.
Coffee’s, Espresso, Cappuccinos or Hot Chocolate were provided to all the tour participants.
I ordered a cappuccino. The cappuccino was served hot in a decorative cup.
The espresso had an excellent flavor and the milk and creamy.
The tour guide showed us how the espresso and coffee was roasted in house and provided other background information.
After we finished the visit to Caffé Roma, the tour guide led us to Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store and Cafe, which was in an old cigar store.
Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store and Cafe
Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store and Cafe offered a meatball sandwich on focaccia bread.
The sandwich was bold in flavor. The meatballs were light and had an excellent taste. It was served with a mild tomato sauce. The bread was soft and incredible.
The tour guide introduced us to Mario and she informed us about the history of the location.
We relaxed at the location and enjoyed the sandwiches before preparing to walk to the next location.
Catholic Church and Park
The tour guide provided a history of a park, which offered a green space in the middle of North Beach as well as a tour of a Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
The park offered tai chi classes in the morning as well as area for kids to play and adults to relax.
The park offered awesome views of the Coit tower and other areas of the city.
The Catholic Church was a historic landmark in the city and it was ornate and decorated in fine marble, gold and metals.
The church featured stained glass windows and mosaics on the ceiling.
The church was beautiful and the tour guide provided a history of the church.
Artists’ Studios and Italian Ceramics Store
The next stop on the North Beach Foodie Tour included an art studio where a local artist worked with metals to create coins.
The artist was made famous by the Burning Man Festival which started in San Francisco but has now moved to the dessert. The artist took the cans and other items leftover from the festival attendees and designed them into decorative art and coins.
The tour guide invited us to make a coin for a donation to the artist. None of the guests on the tour took up the offer.
The tour guide explained that couples could come and design their own wedding bands with the help of the artists at the studio.
It was an interesting stop on the tour.
The tour continued to an Italian china store which featured dishes, bowls and other items made by hand in various villages in Italy.
The dishes, bowls and other items were incredibly detailed. They were made by hand and had rich colors.
The store offered a wedding registry for couples and it offered shipping throughout the world.
The tour continued at the Italian Deli, Molinari Salame which offered fresh meats, cheese, sandwiches and other Italian products in the market.
The tour guide provided the history of the market and she allowed the guests to go inside.
The store featured cheese and meats that were displayed in cases as well as hung above the deli counter.
The food looked incredible and they offered made to order sandwiches on fresh bread.
The tour guide ordered a sandwich to share and we all sampled it.
The sandwich was made with prosciutto, cheese, peppers and pesto and a soft bread.
The sandwich was incredible and the meat was fresh and shaved thin. The prosciutto had an amazing taste and it went well with the peppers and pesto sauce. The bread was incredible as well. The sandwich made us hungry for more.
I’d recommend walking through the market on your next visit to San Francisco.
Stella Pastry Café
The next stop on the tour was Stella Pastry Café. The stop was brief and the tour guide had us walk inside where she highlighted the cake options.
The pastry shop bakes cheesecakes, tiramisu and numerous other cakes in house and serves them by the slice or the entire cake.
No samples were offered at this location but everything looked incredible.
The tour guide was given a box of pastries but they were not provided to the guests on the tour.
The North Beach Foodie Tour continued at Cornology which is a gourmet popcorn shop in the heart of North Beach.
The popcorn is made fresh daily and they offer nine different flavors.
Everything from bacon popcorn to caramel corn and a spicy option is also available.
Cornology ships popcorn throughout the US and it offers various size options.
The staff member at the store, provided a small sample of all nine varieties.
The popcorn was light and tangy and each of the flavors were bold.
I enjoyed the bacon option the most. You could also try the Chicago mix which has cheese corn and caramel corn mixed.
Z Cioccolato is a gourmet chocolate and candy shop made famous by the Cooking Channel where they featured the homemade fudge.
The tour guide pointed out the various options for chocolate and she provided a brief history on the location.
The guests were invited to sample the various fudge options including their famous peanut butter one which was featured on the Cooking Channel.
In addition, the store offered a variety of candy including salt water toffee.
The guests on the tour were provided a small bag with three sample pieces of fudge including an orange flavored one and regular chocolate and caramel.
The tour concluded at a famous pizza place in North Beach.
My wife and I unfortunately had to skip the last location because we had another commitment that evening.
The tour lasted three hours and was of excellent value.
I’d recommend booking for a great overview of the tastes of North Beach. You can book it here.
The North Beach Foodie Tour was detailed and the tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable about the area. It was nice we could sample such great food on the tour. Both sandwiches were excellent. I enjoyed learning about the coffee roasting process at the location and enjoyed the cappuccino as well. The only off thing about the tour was the visit to the artist studio as it had nothing to do with food and the tour guides encouragement to make coin was a bit odd. The tour was excellent and it included a lot of amazing food. For the $59 price, I think it was an excellent value. The food samples were large and you could go away from the tour not needing dinner because of all the food you got to enjoy.
Have you been on a foodie tour in San Francisco? What did you think?
Note: San Francisco Travel connected me with Local Tastes of the City who provided a complimentary tour during my stay in San Francisco.