Bernal Heights is sometimes described as an urban village rather than a neighborhood, which is to say it’s very family friendly, but kids or not, it’s a great place to explore, eat, and drink. There are two main retail corridors, one on Cortland Avenue and the other on Mission Street. That latter strip is contested territory — some will argue it’s just the Mission — but for the purposes of this guide, Bernal begins south of Chavez. On the one side, there’s good beer, pizza, and dive bars, with two notable breweries pouring strong IPA. And on the other, a few restaurant gems, with some Michelin-pedigreed chefs moving into the neighborhood, as well as comforting guisados and oversized soup dumplings.
As of publication time, some of these restaurants offer seated, outdoor dining. However, their inclusion should not be taken as endorsement for sit-down dining, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infection rates are lower for outside activities, but the level of risk involved with outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants and their patrons following strict social distancing, face covering, and other safety guidelines.Read More