Head down to Tiffany Avenue, one of the bike boulevards in the city and stop at Cafe Seventy8 in your building to grab a coffee to start your day. I like to call this area the Bernal Flats and Tiffany Avenue is a great, friendly little community in the city! Back in 2010, neighbors came together to plant trees and 23 sidewalk gardens on the street (and have a party too)
The neighborhood is dynamic! Another new cafe is the Portuguese-inspired Cafe St. Jorge. Meanwhile, there are plans for an improved and greener gateway at Valencia and Mission Streets. And I'll be excited to see all the meetings pay off for the neighbors when the Mission Valencia Green Gateway is realized!
Downstairs is the post office, Café 78, a ups store, a dry cleaners, Relaz Feet and Goood Frinkin Chicken! Just around the corner on Mission Street you can enjoy many eateries, bars, shops and restaurants such as Emmy’s Spagetti Shack, Blue Plate and recently opened Pizzahacker. If inspired for a night out, kick up your heels at Roccapulco Salsa Club and El Rio or hang out at Vigil’s Sea Room, Rock Bar, Royal Cuckoo and Iron and Gold. Watch Giants baseball or attend a poetry reading at the 3300 Club. Don’t forget to enjoy a dinner out at Ichi Sushi + NI Bar, The Front Porch or Mi Lindo Peru either!
Here, you're a part of the wonderful Bernal Heights neighborhood! Head up the hill and start your morning on Cortland Avenue some days. Try Sandbox Bakery for a coffee and croissant or negi-miso pan, or stop by Martha & Bros to see some neighbors, or enjoy the cozy back room or outdoor garden at Progressive Grounds Coffee Shop.
Bernal Heights is diverse, vibrant and ever evolving. The Bernal Heights Neighbor Center works for the neighborhood, offering programs for the young and old along with throwing a great annual party, Fiesta on the Hill! Subscribe to local blog BernalWood to stay up-to-date with local happenings. There’s always the Saturday’s Alemany Farmer’s Market and Sunday’s Flea Market. Get to know your neighbors at Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Movie Festival, Hillwide Garage Sale and other events.
Enjoy some local parks, gather your picnic from the Good Life Grocery or Safeway and visit some parks starting at Holly Park, next to Good Prospect Community Garden and Esmeralda Slides, finishing the afternoon with a glass of wine at Precita Park Café and perhaps some Mitchel's Ice Cream or Mission Pie?
Beautifully landscaped public stairways make the neighborhood a great place for a morning, afternoon and evening meander. Stop by Bernal Beast to spoil your fluffy friend, or consider a workout at BernalFit while your dog gets fun time or a walk as well!
Explore Precita Park just on the other side of the hill from Cortland Avenue. The park offers a friendly playground, with plenty of open space for a picnic or party with a bouncy house as well. On one corner, there’s the Precita Park Café, on another, the Hillside Supper Club. There’s also Charlie's café and a handy corner store! Oh, did I mention the dog wash station as well? From here, it's a short walk to lower 24th Street and the myriad of offerings there.
Despite being visible from many of the city's vista points, Bernal Heights is something of a hidden treasure. Many residents have lived in the area for many years, and it has remained a stronghold of working class and bohemian lifestyles as the rest of the city has changed all around it.
With the ruggedly expansive Bernal Hill Park at its center, it's no surprise that dogs and kids seem at times to outnumber adults in the neighborhood. Holly Park, on the south side of the hill, and Precita Park to the north, provide even more opportunities for outdoor mingling. Cortland Avenue is the main commercial drag; community activism, ethnic dining and nightlife mix on this eclectic street.
Beautifully landscaped public stairways criss-crossing the hill make the neighborhood a great place for an afternoon meander. A popular destination is the stretch of Mission Street that runs along the western foot of the hill; the addition of several trendy restaurants and hip bars are rapidly changing the face of the neighborhood.
Community spirit is strong in Bernal Heights, which has its own neighborhood center and newspaper, the Bernal Journal. Each year brings the much anticipated Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, featuring movies made by local filmmakers.
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