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Holy Water
Holy Water
Patricia Chang

Where to Take a Date in Bernal Heights and Noe Valley

The best date spots in the neighborhood

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Holy Water
| Patricia Chang

Nailing the perfect venue is an absolutely essential component to the success of a date. But here's the thing: What makes a great first date spot is definitely not the same as what makes a place the best to celebrate a special occasion or even a second date — so deciding where to take a plus-one doesn't always get the same answer. Every situation has different needs — neighborhood, vibes, price point — and it can be tricky to find the right bar or restaurant if you've never been there. So next time you're trying to pick a fitting location, just consult this guide. We've got you covered if it's Bernal Heights and Noe Valley you're cornering.

In need of the best date spots in other neighborhoods? Check out this ultimate guide to dating in San Francisco.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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First date, drinks: Holy Water

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Excellent cocktails in a modern space are all you need for a first date in this sleepy neighborhood. Plus, there are some bar snacks like nuts and jerky to help line your stomach.

First date, coffee: Pinhole

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The colorful, quirky space has seating inside and out front, and the rotating coffee is always on point. Just beware of the children that often flood the space, though it's large enough that you can usually avoid them.

Second date, moderate: Blue Plate

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This underrated neighborhood restaurant has a back garden that will make any date swoon. Reserve a table out there and dine on top-notch comfort food with a twist that's matched by an approachable wine list.

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Second date, expensive: Saru Sushi

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Tucked into a cranny in Noe Valley, Saru has a cult following — and long waits that start when it opens, so be prepared. But options in this neighborhood are limited, and you can get to know your date better over a drink before you're seated (tip: head right across the street to Caskhouse). All will be forgotten once your table is ready and you bite into the expert nigiri.

Where to lock it down: La Ciccia

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No restaurant in the city has more charm than La Ciccia, where a husband-and-wife team have put their love into the space for the last ten years. Let wife Lorella Degan settle you into your table and a great bottle of wine, after which husband Massimiliano Conti will delight your taste buds with the traditional Sardinian fare. It all leads up to a special evening free of some of the pretense that can infuse SF dining.

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LTR, moderate: Hillside Supper Club

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This market-driven casual restaurant is a true neighborhood favorite, with regulars and industry types filling seats every night. What keeps people returning are the same qualities that make date night feel special: excellent, familiar food; friendly and knowledgeable staff; and affordable, interesting wine.

LTR, expensive: ICHI Sushi

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Ichi Sushi offers a lovely omakase that incorporates both classic and new sushi offerings, while also focusing on sustainable fish. When you and your SO want a big-ticket night out in the neighborhood, Ichi is the way to go. Be sure to sit at the bar for chef interaction, and do note that Ichi downsized recently, back into its original, petite space at 3369 Mission St.

Darren Samuelson

Breakup spot: Rock Bar

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People will be too focused on pool and ping pong to notice the drama unfolding in your personal life. Pick a booth at this divier bar (with the bonus of better-than-average cocktails) for some privacy, and make it quick.

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First date, drinks: Holy Water

Excellent cocktails in a modern space are all you need for a first date in this sleepy neighborhood. Plus, there are some bar snacks like nuts and jerky to help line your stomach.

First date, coffee: Pinhole

The colorful, quirky space has seating inside and out front, and the rotating coffee is always on point. Just beware of the children that often flood the space, though it's large enough that you can usually avoid them.

Second date, moderate: Blue Plate

Eater Archives

This underrated neighborhood restaurant has a back garden that will make any date swoon. Reserve a table out there and dine on top-notch comfort food with a twist that's matched by an approachable wine list.

Eater Archives

Second date, expensive: Saru Sushi

Tucked into a cranny in Noe Valley, Saru has a cult following — and long waits that start when it opens, so be prepared. But options in this neighborhood are limited, and you can get to know your date better over a drink before you're seated (tip: head right across the street to Caskhouse). All will be forgotten once your table is ready and you bite into the expert nigiri.

Where to lock it down: La Ciccia

Eater Archives

No restaurant in the city has more charm than La Ciccia, where a husband-and-wife team have put their love into the space for the last ten years. Let wife Lorella Degan settle you into your table and a great bottle of wine, after which husband Massimiliano Conti will delight your taste buds with the traditional Sardinian fare. It all leads up to a special evening free of some of the pretense that can infuse SF dining.

Eater Archives

LTR, moderate: Hillside Supper Club

This market-driven casual restaurant is a true neighborhood favorite, with regulars and industry types filling seats every night. What keeps people returning are the same qualities that make date night feel special: excellent, familiar food; friendly and knowledgeable staff; and affordable, interesting wine.

LTR, expensive: ICHI Sushi

Darren Samuelson

Ichi Sushi offers a lovely omakase that incorporates both classic and new sushi offerings, while also focusing on sustainable fish. When you and your SO want a big-ticket night out in the neighborhood, Ichi is the way to go. Be sure to sit at the bar for chef interaction, and do note that Ichi downsized recently, back into its original, petite space at 3369 Mission St.

Darren Samuelson

Breakup spot: Rock Bar

People will be too focused on pool and ping pong to notice the drama unfolding in your personal life. Pick a booth at this divier bar (with the bonus of better-than-average cocktails) for some privacy, and make it quick.

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