Eating Italian at the North Beach Festival

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57th Annual North Beach Festival

Where: North Beach, between Filbert, Stockton, Columbus and Grant

When: June 18-19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Cost: Free

The Rundown: Long gone are the days of North Beach's Barbary Coast, Joe DiMaggio, and the Beat Generation, but their influences live on in the culture of the city's Little Italy. And every summer (since 1955!) the North Beach Festival descends into the heart of San Francisco, amplifying its Italian history through a plenitude of art, culture, and food.

This weekend, munch on a cannoli, a piece of focaccia, or scoop of gelato from one of the nearby shops or grab something from the over 20 gourmet food vendors, including Tony's Pizza Napoletana. While gorging on Italian favorites, see the streets come alive in chalk art or observe the blessing of the animals at The National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, that's right -- prayers for four-legged friends.

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