Magazine article Sunset

North Beach Noel

Magazine article Sunset

North Beach Noel

Article excerpt

Shop for seasonal treats in San Francisco

It's more likely to be sunny than snowy, but make no mistake-it's holiday time in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. "North Beach at Christmas is all about family," says Silvia Santucci Scott, who, along with sister Christina Santucci, runs Stella Pastry. "People come to the neighborhood to get all the things they need to prepare for their own celebrations. Italians value family so much."

Many of the neighborhood's culinary offerings are found along Columbus Ave. Start crossing names off your favorite foodies' Christmas lists at Scott's cheerful Stella Pastry (446 Columbus Ave.; 415/986-2914), with its cloud-painted ceilings and behind-the-register shrine to Marion Brando. The must-taste here is the handsome sacripantina, an airy layered cake with Marsala wine-infused zabaglione filling.

A few doors down is Biordi Art Imports (412 Columbus; 415/3928096), the deservedly loved Italian tableware and ceramics store. And on the corner is the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi (610 Valkjo St.; 415/983-0405), where free organ and carol concerts are offered at 4 on Sundays year-round. …

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