Beloved SF Restaurant Moves to Frisco, Texas
Baonecci Ristorante, a beloved Italian eatery formerly located in North Beach, has skipped town after over 15 years in the neighborhood.
Owners Walter and Stefania Gambaccini, who originally hail from Lucca, opened the restaurant in 2004. Previously known as Danilo Bakery, the space occupies a coveted location on Green Street alongside a smattering of North Beach favorites, including Golden Boy Pizza, Caffe Sport, and Sotto Mare.
As someone who once lived in the area, I remember Baonecci Ristorante as a steady source of warmth in the neighborhood. Twinkle lights cast the interior in an inviting glow, drawing in locals and tourists alike for sumptuous servings of pizza and pasta.
Like so many other small businesses, Baonecci suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Gambaccini’s soon began considering affordable areas for relocation.
“We traveled to see how places were handling COVID-19, and we had some friends here,” Walter told the Dallas CultureMap. “We saw that Texas was booming, especially where we are in Frisco.”
It’s a significant loss for North Beach.
Eater named Baonecci one of the best Italian restaurants in San Francisco, noting its “comforting lasagna, bolognese, and crunchy thin-crust pizza.”
The location also has some Hollywood cachet.
Chris Columbus’ Mrs. Doubtfire famously featured the apartment located directly above the space, then called Danilo Bakery. About a decade later, in 2014, the restaurant made an appearance in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes.
Hollywood appearances aside, the neighborhood eatery will be sorely missed.
North Beach-based artist Jeremy Fish, who designed and painted the restaurant’s logo in exchange for free pizza for life, went so far as to praise Baonecci as “the most authentic Italian food in San Francisco.”
When the restaurant opens in Frisco later this spring, perhaps it’ll earn a variation of the same title.