10 Reasons to Eat Around Washington Square

Posted February 22, 2017 | By Dylan David

By Leila N’Amara

You might be left wondering, “Where’s the beach?” when adventuring around North Beach — San Francisco’s Little Italy. Once the most northern beach in the city — sunken ships from the Gold Rush have since filled what was once Yerba Buena Cove. Resulting in a landlocked “beach”.

The lack of water doesn’t stop beach-goers at Washington Square on a sunny afternoon though! When the sun is shining in North Beach you can’t go wrong with grabbing a bite from any of our 10 favorite restaurants and  cafe around Washington Square.


People watch at Bodega

Bodega sits on one of the sun soaked corners of Washington Square. Pull up a chair to one of the big windows with some bar bites and a glass of wine for some primo people watching as folks stroll past Columbus Ave!

Grab some sweet treats at  Victoria Pastry Company

The bane of San Francisco dentists since 1914! Victoria Pastry Company has be a beloved staple of North Beach for over a century — and you can often wax poetic with locals early in the afternoon. We suggest pulling up a chair out front so you can look out into Washington Square.

Enjoy a down-home breakfast at Mama’s

Woke up at 0615 for this #worthit

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How serious are you about brunch? Because the best-of-the-best breakfast in town isn’t for the late-risers. You’ll have to show up long before Mama’s open on the weekends if you want to grab a meal on the weekend — but ask most anybody and they’ll tell you it’s #WorthIt.

Taste a little bit of history of Liguria Bakery

found heaven

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Add focaccia from Liguria Bakery (since 1911) to your list of foods to try in San Francisco! This is right up there with clam chowder is a sourdough bread bowl from Boudin’s and cioppino from Sotto Mare — you’ll thank us later 😉

Have brunch overlooking the Square at Park Tavern

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If dog is your copilot — pull up a chair on their patio for one of the best dog-friendly brunch spots in town! Perfect spot for people watching at Washington Square — and the views of St. Peter & Paul Church are stunning.

Enjoy award-winning slices at Tony’s

Okay, real talk, Tony Gemignani was the first American to take home Best Margherita Pizza at the World Pizza Cup in Naples. Seriously, no matter how short your trip to SF is — just grab a little slice of mouth heaven!

Enjoy a meal at the “original” Original Joe’s

#sanfrancisco #nicesign

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The Original Joe’s that started all the other Original Joe’s. Or, at least what remains of it! The first location burned down — but if you look closely around the restaurant you’ll find relics pulled from the fire.

Pair bubbly and oysters at Ferry Plaza Seafood

From Ferry Building to Washington Square — oyster lovers rejoice! Ferry Plaza Seafood relocated to this bigger location on the square recently. Which means one thing: it’s still under the radar! Stop by to sample their daily oyster varietys — up to 10 on any given day!

Grab a flight of beer at Rogue

Choose from over 40 bees of tap and head to their out their back patio. Bonus points for their wind barrier and outdoor heaters!

Try some dancing and Bolivian vegan fare at Pena Pachamama

"Life is crazy, you have to learn to face the unknown"

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There’s nowhere in San Francisco quite like Pena Pachamama. What was originally meant to be a temporary music venue for a group of traveling musicians– is now going 18 years strong as the #1 World Music Venue in the Bay Area! And also happens to serve amazing vegan Bolivian food made in house. Whatever you do, don’t call this a restaurant — their musicians first 😉


Looking for a little more insight into the restaurant scene around North Beach? Check out our our Washington Square Walking Tour video on Facebook!

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for a new walking tour live on Facebook.

[Featured Image by Gerardo Diego Ontiveros via Flickr]

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