Foodie Fridays: San Francisco North Beach Italian-Food Tour

Happy Friday, Everyone!

About a little more than a month ago,  I set up a Team Building Event for my co-workers and I to go on an Italian-Food Tour in San Francisco’s “Little Italy” or “North Beach” as us locals call it.  I had always wanted to do a Food Tour and was a bit jealous that my husband and his work group just did one weeks before.  So, I found a deal on Groupon for $20 a person with Best Tours, which normally costs $50.  SCORE!  I booked 20 tickets (yes 20) and off we went!  We had such a great time and here is how our day went:

We started off by being briefed by our tour guide, Helga, who was from Barcelona, Spain.  She quickly explained how North Beach came to be and then told us where we were heading. 🙂

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Our first stop:  XOX Truffles was probably my favorite stop on the entire tour, because I love chocolate. (but what girl doesn’t?!)  Here, the owner and chocolatier showed us the process of truffle-making and we got to sample the ones he had just made.  YAS!  He also told us the story of how he ended up opening this shop with his wife.  Very sweet!

Next, we got to choose 3 truffles from his cold case to take home with us while accompanying our truffles with complimentary tea or coffee.  He had so many interesting flavors (30, I believe) and I wanted to try them all.  I chose the Manila Mango, Green Tea Matcha, and the Honey Vodka.  All were delicious!

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Next, we headed to the Original Slice House by Tony Gemignani for Pizza.  I had been to his original restaurant, Tony’s, which is next door for his award-winning Margherita Pizza and french fries (which are to die for), so I knew the slice house would be just as good.  And it was!

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Then, we proceeded to Trattoria Pinocchio for a pasta dish tasting.  We had penne pasta with a light marinara sauce.  This was just OK, but still a cool little restaurant I would otherwise not have gone to on my own.  I would probably have to go back here to try out another dish and give it a proper review because we just had a tasting.

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Our next stop took us to Stella Pastry & Cafe.  This was a small place but definitely worth it.  We tasted cannoli’s here and boy were they delicious!  This was probably the best I’ve had.  The cannoli wasn’t very sweet and was super creamy.  The shell was also very crunchy 🙂 just the way I like it.  They also had a bunch of other italian desserts that I’d like to try as well.  YUM!

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The last stop of our Italian Food Tour took us to Z. Cioccolato.  I have been here many times while I was living in San Francisco so I was happy to know that we’d be stopping here because I hadn’t been back in a while.  This place has not changed much and the charm of this sweet shop remains the same which was nice to see.  Here we tasted fudge, gelato and even taffy.  I also love that they have novelty gifts that make this place very “San Francisco” & a fun stop if you’re touring North Beach.

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The Italian Food Tour was so much fun & it was nice to spend the afternoon with my co-workers without having to think or talk about work.  It’s times like these that I appreciate that I have a job that I love and co-workers that make it fun to come to work everyday.

I’m looking forward to our next Team Building Event and maybe even another Food Tour with my friends or family in another part of San Francisco because I love exploring the city.

Have a great weekend and happy eating! CIAO!



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