The North Beach Festival
Considered to be one of the longest running outdoor street festivals in the United States, The North Beach Festival take place every June in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. It is the second San Francisco Street Fair of the year, taking place right after the Union Street Festival, which takes place on the first weekend in June.
North Beach is located in Northern San Francisco and borders Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown and the Financial District. The neighborhood is San Francisco’s “Little Italy” area, with a large amount of Italian Restaurants, Cafes, and Italian Pastry Shops lining the streets. It is also home to some great bars like Northstar Cafe, Grant & Green, Columbus Cafe, Maggie McGarry’s, Tupelo and more. The neighborhood is historically known as the epicenter of the Beat Generation, with residents being referred to as beatniks, which was originally coined by famous writer Herb Caen, who worked at the San Francisco Chronicle.
The North Beach Festival has been going strong for almost 70 years and is a popular event for both residents and people visiting San Francisco. The festival features two large stages for live music and performers, over 100 vendor booths featuring local crafts and artisan foods, poetry readings, beer gardens, street painting, a children’s area and lots of great food vendors and food trucks. Besides the booths and entertainment at the festival, attendees can also grab drinks at some local bars, check out the famous City Lights Bookstore and take a walk down Jack Kerouac Alley.
Getting to North Beach Festival
If you are in San Francisco:
Parking is always difficult in North Beach and even worse during the festival, so driving is not recommended. We recommend taking a Lyft, Uber or Public Transportation. If you want to take Muni, the Powell/Mason Cable Car, 30 Stockton, the 45 Union Stockton and the 1 California can get you close.
If you are coming from Marin County/North Bay:
You will probably need to drive to the city since there aren’t a lot of good options. To get to North Beach, take the 101 South across the Golden Gate Bridge and then take Lombard or Union Street to North Beach.
If you are coming from Oakland/East Bay:
BART is a good option to get into the city. Get off at the Montgomery Street Station and then grab a short Uber ride or walk if you feel like it.
If you are coming from San Jose/South Bay:
BART and Caltrain are both options for getting to the city. Get off at the Montgomery Street or Powell Street BART stations or the Caltrain depot and grab a short Uber to the festival.
Parking and Driving:
While it is definitely not recommended, if you choose to drive then parking will be difficult. You will probably have the best luck looking for spots in Fisherman’s Wharf or Fidi, which are just a short walk to the festival. There are also some big parking garages in Fisherman’s Wharf, which should be easy.