San Francisco’s famous Italian-inspired North Beach neighborhood is filled with wonderful eateries. Even among all the delightfully delicious and authentic restaurants and cafes, loyal fans like to say that Trattoria Pinocchio is a nose ahead of the rest.
In the Heart of North Beach
Floor-to-ceiling windows and a heated front patio with outdoor tables mark the dining spot where great food and service are happening. The classic Italian restaurant sits at a bustling corner beside the landmark church, Saint Francis of Assisi, right where Columbus Avenue and Vallejo Streets meet in the heart of North Beach.
Chef Giovanni Zocca says that perhaps there are three reasons why his pasta dishes, and his seafood in particular, are so wonderful. First, he was born within sight of the sea and spent his youth training with the fishermen in the harbors surrounding Trapani in his native Sicily. Second, he learned to cook from one of the finest masters of Italian cuisine -- his mother -- and that’s the best culinary education available. Third, he’s been cooking up a storm at the crowd-pleasing kitchens of Trattoria Pinocchio for decades.
Since we wouldn’t want to stretch the truth, there’s a fourth reason -- a unique reason -- why Trattoria Pinocchio is ahead by a nose. Theater is part of your dining experience at Trattoria Pinocchio. When you stop by for a bite or a cocktail at the bar, you may discover that the multi-talented Chef Zocca is not only the owner, chef and chief bottle-washer, he is also the resident tenor. The restaurant features an open exhibition kitchen, so you can watch the team busily preparing your meals while Chef sings of “la dolce vita.” Bravissimo.
Soak up the sounds and flavors of Chef Zocca’s native Sicily, where the staff say the best Italian dishes this side of Palermo are served at brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Daily from the kitchen comes freshly made ribbon fettuccine, gnocchi, ravioli and lasagna. Aside from the famous housemade pasta and pizza, specialties of the house include filet mignon, veal, seafood and Cioppino.
Dessert, Coffee and a Song
Most guests love to linger at their tables in the Venetian-style interiors while enjoying yummy, traditional homemade Italian desserts such as tiramisu, crème brulée and poached pear in chocolate sauce. Accompany a meal with superb California and Italian wines, order a grappa for after-dinner and look over the specialty coffee menu. A full bar with signature cocktails is a magnet for pre- and post-theater evenings...or just come along for an impromptu performance from Chef Giovanni Zocca himself.