Many San Franciscans who wander up the incline of Bernal hill from the busy Mission district may be surprised to find an urban neighborhood with off-beat charm and bohemian flair called Bernal Heights. Bernal residents enjoy relatively quiet seclusion guarded by a steep hill and narrow streets spotted with hidden staircases, great views, and even some secret slides. The district is centered around the dog-friendly peak of Bernal Hill Park with its sweeping 360-degree views.
The main retail strip is Cortland Avenue. It is home to coffee shops, restaurants, the Good Life Grocery store, retail banking, and a community library with a playground. Below the northern slopes of Bernal and north of Cortland lies the family-friendly Precita park. Precita visitors and residents enjoy the pilgrimage to Precita Park Cafe or Charlie’s Cafe that bookend the park.
Bernal is also home to the longest-running Farmer’s Market in the state. Referred to by locals as the People’s Market, the Alemany Farmer’s Market is known for its low-key atmosphere and affordable prices. Be sure to bring cash and your own tote bag.
As far as real estate is concerned, Bernal has a high concentration of bungalow style single-family homes with backyards, a bonus for attracting young families and dog owners. Bernal maintains the charm of a quieter urban setting while being on the doorstep of all the City has to offer. Come take a look.