San Francisco-Bernal Heights Edition Along With The Mission + A Food Discovery Trip Giveaway With Creminelli
For giveaway info, just head to the bottom of the post.
To just think this time last year I was traveling down the coast making my way to my favorite city in all the land. July 20th 2017...Lin's birthday actually, we made it to San Francisco on our 9,000 mile Moto trek northwest. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge was not new to us, but seeing it and traveling over it on a motorcycle-well I have no words. Not sure how any birthday will ever compare to that one!
I fell hard for San Francisco in my 20’s and I mean hard. I became infatuated with this place. I wondered for hours through the vintage stores on Haight, breathing in the dusty, musty vintage air. I returned back there a few years later and felt like I was home. The colorful culture of this city just captivates me like no other place in the world.
A good friend of mine has an extra flat in Bernal Heights and it was available to us on our travels. (If you need lodging..DM me) Bernal Heights, located as it is at the southern edge of the Mission valley, served by only a few city bus lines and perched atop a steep hill, to boot. And oh my is it steep! I even took a wicked crash their on foot making the rest of the trip pretty painful on the bike. Having to put a wounded severely scraped knee in a knee pad...OMG--I think I am still a tad traumatized.
Anyhow, those who do wander up the incline may be surprised by this quaint urban village that seems forgotten by time. The main shopping strip of Cortland Avenue is populated by small markets, cafes, fruit stands and barber shops, and the residential streets are a cluster of diminutive bungalows and community gardens. However, Bernal Heights bears the influence of city sophistication, with trendy boutiques and innovative restaurants scattered among its homely storefronts. The neighborhood is a bastion of artists and progressives, popular with the lesbian community and attractive to young families looking for a first home and quiet streets (the neighborhood is also affectionately referred to as "Maternal Heights"). It is also a mecca for dog owners, thanks to a high concentration of single-family houses with yards and the nearby haven of Bernal Park, a canine free-for-all of off-leash frolicking. Oh how Henry and Melvin would just love it to pieces.
I was only here for less than 48 hours so there's still much of Bernal Heights I want to explore on a future visit!
Here are my Bernal Heights Faves.
Bernal Heights Park: The grassy dome that tops Bernal Hill -- lush and green in the winter, dry and faded in the summer -- brings to mind the windswept Scottish Highlands as you hike the brief but steep climb to the summit. The lofty view casts out over Noe Valley, the Mission, China Basin and the downtown skyline and extends to Marin and the Golden Gate Bridge. The park is a popular off-leash dog park as mentioned above. And to witness a sunrise and sunset here should be at the top of your bucket list!
Check out the mural on the facade of the Helipad House at the tippy-top of Folsom Street just below Bernal Hill. It was created and executed by Casey O’Connell, on behalf of Neighbor Scott and Neighbor Regina. Plus, the cool lady with her finger in the shark’s eyeball has a cool tattoo that says… YOU. And if you look closely, there’s a San Francisco skyline in the shark’s teeth!
Precita Park Cafe- Precita Park Café has been an integral part of the Bernal Heights neighborhood since opening in 2011. The largest of the three café locations serves local, sustainable fare from a curated list of purveyors. Precita Park Café serves dinners nightly including handcrafted pizzas, pastas, cheese, butter as well as craft beers, and California wines. They aim to create a warm, inviting environment, an extension of Precita Park across the street and the growing, vibrant community. If the weather is warm enough, grab takeout and picnic in the park.
Hillside Supper Club- Founded by two chefs who enjoy the camaraderie of eating and drinking together, more often than not guests come as strangers and leave as friends. Creative, seasonal eats with Italian inflections plus sustainable wines & views of Precita Park.
Bernal Star- Loved afternoon rose here on the patio while shopping all along Cortland Avenue. They have delish baked goods too!
Succulence- This hop boasts one of San Francisco’s most diverse offerings of succulents and cacti, and a huge variety of airplants. The shop is filled with terrariums, aerims, and custom-made vertical gardens. They have a bookshelf stocked with plant books (and books about anything else that they found interesting and succulent!) and a rotating collection of original art and sculpture for sale. They offer items for the bath and home, antique and one-of-a-kind handmade fixtures, and a carefully curated selection of ceramics.
Heartfelt: Carefully curated choices of gifts & sundries from chocolates to socks and flowers offered at a welcoming shop.
The Epicurean Trader- The most beautiful craft products can be found here! They hand select the best small batch artisanal products from across the country for their incredible flavors, fusions and beautiful packaging.
It's truly such a magical little area in the city!!
And so close to The Mission!
Always have to stop at my faves while in San Francisco so add these to your list too no matter what area you stay in.
Mission Chinese Food, Pizzeria Delfina, La Taqueria, and Bi-Right Creamery all though I had Humphry Slocombe for the first time and I like their ice cream so much better. Lin still loves Bi-Rite though and actually thinks it's the best ice cream in the world.
And always always give Dolores Park a big kiss from me!
I love you with all my heart SF.
Find more of my faves from the city by the bay here.
When I travel food always shapes my journey and defines my memories. Food is also an essential part of life and community. It's what makes us who we are as a people. Without it there is no authentic travel experience. It's the times we congregate around a chef’s table with newly formed friends, get invited to lunch with the locals or take time for a picnic in a vineyard that we remember the most. ❤️ Even just walking with my love in Dolores Park with pastries and coffee — I can still smell the sourdough and remember how I could imagine my everyday in that beautiful city. 🍞🥖🧀☕️ And today I could not be more excited to partner with @creminelli . They are giving away a food discovery trip to New York City or San Francisco – over $4,000 value. -Squeal !! ✈️💺🛳⚓️🗽🌁 Creminelli is most notably known for transforming authentic charcuterie into fresh, clean-label, protein snacks. They love to discover and share foods and flavors from all over the world - after all, that’s how they got their start; a trip to Italy, the discovery of amazing charcuterie and the ambition to share it with the world. It’s that same passion that inspired them to create this opportunity for fellow foodies to create experiences of their own . Everyone deserves a #DiscoverFood adventure . 🌯🍳🥚🍱🍨🍲