Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and "fair to middling" ability to tranquilize out-of-control mayors. Today's Groupon similarly stuns, and rightfully so: for $10, you get $20 worth of meals and hot beverages at Steps of Rome Caffe in North Beach. Hearty cappuccinos and late hours fuel an energized nightlife followed by a refreshingly slumbersome morninglife.
Much like the Italian-made stoops, balustrades, and swinging handrails of Rome, Steps of Rome Caffe home brews its own coffees, lattes, espressos ($1.65–$3.85), and fine Italian desserts, among other filling menu items. Appetites witness the opening timbres of a culinary serenade through thinly sliced beef carpaccio ($6.50) preceding the flavorful options of Piazza Venezia paninis with grilled chicken, tomatoes, goat cheese, pesto, and roasted potatoes ($8.25) and steaming bowls of pumpkin ravioli stuffed with zucchini and gorgonzola cheese ($13.95).
The cafe makes a welcoming eatery environment for the gathering of friends below a canopy of Italian pop songs and Italian waiters serving up mountains of Italian tiramisu ($5.25). Doors open at 11 a.m. and stay that way until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends, making it easy to digest a margherita pizza ($10.50) and an iced cappuccino ($2.65) before saddling over to the North Beach scene with tales of recent Roman travels to share with strangers in the night. The establishment is cash only, so be sure to have some extra green on hand in case your eyes get bigger than your Groupon.
This Groupon is good for anything at the cafe, but not valid at the trattoria.
These bloggers love Steps of Rome Caffe, especially the tiramisu:
- I took my first bite, and OMG. Seriously. I want to say that this is the best tiramisu I have ever had. Let me tell you why. The mascarpone cream was light and airy. The ladyfingers were perfectly moist. – Joanne Boston, Taking Over the World One Bite at a Time
- One of the nice things about the Steps of Rome Caffe in North Beach is that it's usually the last place serving a hot and tasty meal after the other joints have locked their doors: The ideal destination for a celebratory late-night supper. – Tamara Palmer, SFweekly blog
- Great little restaurant, Can be a little busy at the weekends, but is well worth the wait. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond, they are very polite and make you feel like a million dollars, plus they can be counted on to throw open the windows and serenade the passer bys. The food is great, very tasty and well presented. – Lorraine M., Insider Pages
348 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, California 94133Get Directions