One more reason I know I could be perfectly happy living in San Francisco: Lucca Ravioli Company. This place is a local institution for a reason. Walking into Lucca Ravioli is like walking back in time 30 or 40 years- right into a Francis Ford Coppola movie. The guys behind the counter are smiling and handsome with their crisp white butchers’ hats and aprons. The place smells like simmering minestrone soup- you can practically hear it bubbling away. The floor is warped and slanting, which only adds to the overall charm of the place- as if it has been rooted here so long the building itself has started to become part of the hilly San Francisco landscape. They also have an amazing wine selection: Italy-focused, eclectic and reasonable priced.
I could spend days in here- the sights and smells in a place like this are home to me. This is the real Italian-American experience. I feel safe here, swaddled in hanging salumi and buffered by aisles of imported Italian dry goods. I think of my grandparents and their love of stuffed shells smothered in red sauce. It makes me smile.