Summertime in San Francisco means fog. That’s just the way it is. Thankfully, we have festivals throughout the chilly months to make it all better. One of the biggest festivals in town is the North Beach Festival and North Beach is the heart of Little Italy so this past weekend I came prepared with big energy and a big appetite.
Four blocks are closed off to traffic and are lined with stalls filled with art, jewelry, and clothing you can’t find in chain stores. Shopping and strolling works up an appetite and there are plenty of food vendors on the ready to satisfy your craving for gyros, garlic fries, or teriyaki chicken.
I was on the hunt for pizza and I found the most amazing sausage and onion pizza that made all passerby stop and drool. Yes, it tasted as good as it looks.
To wash down your meal, there is a beer garden everywhere you turn with live music included or in the case of the beer garden my friends and I visited, a priest giving an annual blessing to pets with some promotion of Heineken in the background. No matter the entertainment, the beer gardens are a great place to meet locals, enjoy the sun, and people watch. However, if you want a change of scenery you will have no trouble finding a bar to squeeze into as there is one on almost every corner.
So let us review. Shopping leads to pizza, pizza leads to beer, and now beer leads to cannolis. This doughy pastry filled with sweet creme and chocolate chips topped with powdered sugar is the perfect bookend to the day.
Everyone comes out to the North Beach Festival, whether they are old, young, with families or friends. It’s the kind of festival where strangers can become comrades for the day hanging out in Washington Square Park. If the sun decides to peak out from behind the fog like it did this past weekend, then it makes the party that much better.