North Beach Pub Tour


From Beatniks to Blues masters, drunken sailors, hardened fishermen, and karaoke kings, North Beach is full of colourful, local identities and fanciful folk heroes. Find out about them over an Anchor Steam ale on this San Francisco tour that will get you talking.


  • Discover San Francisco’s hidden pubs in Little Italy with a local guide
  • Rub shoulders with the regulars at one of North Beach’s best bohemian pubs
  • Stroll through the colourful streets of North Beach
  • Try an award-winning Northern California craft brew
  • Learn about North Beach’s colourful history

Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, one drink (choice of beer, wine, or soft drink).

Exclusions: Food, additional drinks, tips or gratuities for your guide.

Schedule details

  • Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Meeting point: In front of Vesuvio Café, 255 Columbus Avenue
  • Starting time: 7.00 PM
  • Ending point: Washington Square
  • Chevron down Full Itinerary
  • Discover San Francisco’s best bars, pubs, and cafes on this laid-back walking tour of North Beach. Kick off this San Francisco pub tour at the a hip little joint famous for its literary gatherings, which inspired several Beat generation writers. Get a taste of Anchor Steam ale, which has been made in the city since 1896, or try one of California’s world-class wines from the nearby Sonoma and Napa Valley. Still a local favorite, this bohemian café has a fantastic array of photos of writers, actors and artist adorning the walls.

    Hit the pavement and head off into North Beach, one of San Francisco’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. A beach no more, the area was settled upon landfill, including hundreds of abandoned ships left after the 1849 gold rush. Once home to fortune seekers, local fisherman, international sailors, and writers, North Beach still maintains a distinctly bohemian and Italian flair, which means it’s nothing short of fascintating to take a walk through, especially with a local!

    On this San Francisco night tour, we’ll explore a number of local bars and cafes, from a bar decked out with sea faring trinkets left behind by sailors, to the city’s oldest watering hole with its colourful mix of locals and its thriving big Blues music scene. Sip on an espresso while experiencing the atmosphere of a traditional Italian café, complete with red leather booths and a classic jukebox spinning 45s. Later, there’s even a chance to serenade the house at a local karaoke bar!

    End your San Francisco tour at Washington Square, a local hub that’s well connected to public transport, or an ideal spot if you want to continue exploring North Beach’s wealth of cafés, bars, and restaurants independently. Your guide will be happy to provide some excellent local suggestions to continue exploring, or give you some directions back to your accommodation.

    Additional information

    • Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, one drink (choice of beer, wine, or soft drink).
    • Exclusions: Food, additional drinks, tips or gratuities for your guide.
    • Your Trip: This trip is offered on a “join-in” basis. Maximum group size is 12
    • Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
    • Child Policy: All participants must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid photo ID. Any traveller who cannot produce ID proof of age at the beginning of the trip will not be permitted to travel on the trip.
    Local contact
  • Chevron down Reviews
  • Count F – Amazing and Authentic Dive Bars

    This truly was an urban adventure as our guide, Kai led us through the dark and narrow alleys of Chinatown and North Beach to amazing and authentic little hole-in-the-wall dives like Red’s Place and Specs’. It was fun and educational, as Kai gave us a sweeping overview of the rich and colorful history of this unique city: the Gold Rush, Tong Wars, bandits, burlesque, and blues. He covered a lot of territory in a short amount of time! Thanks to Kai and Urban Adventures!

    Carolyn C – A superb way to explore the fabulous city of San Francisco

    We took this tour literally as we arrived in San Francisco and what a superb introduction to this amazing city it was. Kai was our tour guide and as with our tour with Urban Adventures in LA, we felt we were with a friend on a night out! Kai was brilliant and told many funny and interesting stories about the bars we visited in North Beach and China Town. We simply wouldn’t have found these places in our own however one of them, Vesuvio, became our local after a day of exploring the city. Kai was also extremely helpful in recommending other bars and restaurants across the city. Thank you Kai and Urban Adventures for a great tour – we would highly recommend it!

    larsbarsroberts – Hidden Gems in North Beach!

    WOW!!!! What an unbelievably fun-filled way to spend an evening in North Beach! Kai was both an eccentric and exceptional host as he took our group around a part of San Francisco I frequent often but had NO IDEA was so lively and historic. I had never tried out any of the hidden gems we visited, and am so grateful I gave this tour a chance!

    I learned all about why North Beach was named the way it was, and about Chinese gangs, and about how the (smelly but oddly charming) saloon survived the big fire that burned down just about everything around it. Be sure to ask about that story!
    I tried a bourbon hot chocolate at Tosca Cafe (which I think may now be a personal favorite, I will be going back!) and especially loved Spec’s Twelve Adler Museum, which was as warm and inviting of a tavern as it’s name is quirky.

    Preston W – Great evening exploring pubs of North Beach

    On our first evening in San Francisco, my wife and I went on an intriguing and historical pub tour of the North Beach area. Kara did a fantastic job of finding out what our small tour group was interested in and tailored the tour to fit us. We started with a pub containing historical artifacts and ended up in a bar in Chinatown. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting an informative, relaxed introduction to the North Beach area of San Francisco. Kara even sent us a map of Dim Sum restaurant recommendations!