As is the case with the rest of San Francisco, parking in North Beach can be a nightmare!
The majority of residential streets in North Beach are 2 hour parking 8am - 9pm (except Sundays and residents). The 2 hour limit that extends all the way to 9pm combined with the shortage of space on streets makes free parking in North Beach a challenge, especially for non-residents. Be sure to check the parking meter for days and times as some meters do require payment on Sundays.
There are a number of commercial parking garages serving North Beach. Garages along The Embarcadero serve a lot of tourist areas such as Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf and can be quite expensive, especially without validation.