Valentine's Day ideas outside the candy box


For many men Valentine's Day is like a check list: flowers? Check. Chocolate? Check. Restaurant reservation? Check. A romantic walking tour… check?

We went to San Francisco's North Beach and here's a reality check -- this place is romantic.

"The neighborhood is really alive during Valentine's Day," said Anthony Azzollini.

Azzollini knows about these things. He spends a lot of his day roasting coffee in the front window of Café Roma and he welcomes the Valentine's Day tour organized by Tom Medin.

"Romance is really how you connect with someone, your spouse and that connection of food is really enjoying stuff together. The best times I've had with my spouse is when both of us have had a great time learning something together and having a great time together," said Medin, the director of Local Tastes of The City Tours.

A true romantic, Medin has put together a Valentine's tour of North Beach. Couples eat their way through the neighborhood, but more than that, they learn about food, beverages and how to make them.

"It is always fun, it is always a blast because you have get to see couples, new couples, old couples and it's fun. They get roses and have espresso and coffee, cannolis," said Azzollini.

Then they move on to learn about pasta, pizza, bread and here at Z.Cioccolato, chocolate and love. They know about these things there. Mark Warmus is the managing owner.

"My wife and I met and fell in love in North Beach on the one year anniversary of the store," said Warmus.

Their love and the store are doing quite well. Here the tour goes behind the scenes.

"They get to go into the kitchen and see what we are up to and we are always making something unique and different. The chefs have carte blanche to make whatever they want as long as they keep the store full," said Mark Warmus from Z. Cioccolato.

And of course there are tastings.

Medin had some final advice. He said, "Don't eat much before. We don't believe in minor tastings."

The tours are available throughout February. They take about three hours, it costs $59 and all the food is included.

Local Tastes of the City Tours

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.