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San Francisco/Mission-Bernal Heights

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Mission-Bernal Heights is a district of San Francisco, bounded roughly by the 101 freeway on the east and north, Dolores Street on the west, and I-280 on the south. Composed of the historic Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods, this area is noted for its ethnic diversity, in particular its large Hispanic community. Though the district is slowly gentrifying, many urban artisans and immigrants still make their home here, and the restaurant and nightlife scene here is among the best in the city and perhaps the most locally-oriented one.


Guitar man on Balmy Alley

The Mission District (fit in with the locals by just calling it "The Mission") lies to the east of the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores, though that building is located just within Noe Valley. The area was the site of the Spanish mission that was the kernel of the city San Francisco is today. The mission itself was secularized in the 1820s, and the lands were given to the Native Americans who lived there. Many sold or lost the land in later years.

During the 19th century, the Mission District was physically separated from San Francisco proper, which mostly clustered around the seaport on the San Francisco Bay. The district's area was a pleasant country day trip for San Franciscans, and soon grew into a small village. By the end of the 1800s, the area had been assimilated into the rest of the city.

By the early 20th century, after the 1906 earthquake that destroyed several blue-collar neighborhoods, Irish and Italians relocated to the quickly expanding Mission District. From the 1940s the district gradually became more populated with Mexican/Latin-American immigrants creating a strong counterculture in the arts and politics during the civil rights movement. Following this era, the Mission remained a strongly Chicano and Latin-American neighborhood, but also with a great contingency of African-American, Asian-American and European-American driven by the relatively cheap rents in the neighborhood. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it attracted an influx of new artists, musicians, and other counterculture types.

By the turn of the 21st century, the district experienced an increased gentrification. Expensive restaurants and the construction of "live-work" spaces were moving in to the area, displacing hundreds of residents. However, as the post-Internet boom recedes, the wave of affluence is partly diminishing and the Mission is continuing to be a place for multicultural encounters, where long term residents, immigrants, hipsters and yuppies are living side-by-side.

Bernal Heights, just south of the Mission District, is a cute, eclectic neighborhood that was once very working class, but is becoming quickly gentrified. Sister to the Castro, this neighborhood is very popular with the lesbian community. The main commercial drag of the neighborhood is located along Cortland Avenue.

Get in[edit]

Mission-Bernal Heights Map

From other parts of San Francisco and the Bay Area, BART serves the Mission neighborhood with stations at 16th Street and Mission (served by the MUNI 14, 22, 33, 49 and 53 bus lines) and 24th Street and Mission (served by the MUNI 14, 48, 49 and 67 bus lines).

The MUNI Metro J-Church line runs along the western boundary of the area from downtown through the nearby Castro and Noe Valley neighborhoods, and passes within a block from the Mission Dolores that gives the Mission neighborhood its name. From the J line you can just walk into the area or easily transfer to one of the following MUNI bus lines:

  • 22-Fillmore from the Church Street Metro station. From the station, the #22 will travel down Church Street, then turn left onto 16th Street and travel across the Mission neighborhood to Potrero Hill on the other side.
  • 33-Stanyan from the Church and 18th Metro station. From the station the #33 will head east on 18th Street before turning left on Mission, then turning right onto 16th Street. Then it will turn right again onto Potrero Avenue and head south to 25th Street before turning around again.
  • 48-Quintara/24th Street from the Church and 24th Metro station. Through the area, the #48 travels east-west along 24th Street.
  • 24-Divisadero from the Church and 30th Metro station. From the station, you can take the #24 east down 30th Street and Cortland Avenue through Bernal Heights before continuing onto Bayview-Hunters Point.
  • 23-Monterey from the Glen Park station. From the station, the #23 heads up Bosworth and Mission Streets before turning right onto Crescent Avenue, running along the southern end of the district and into Bayview-Hunters Point.

Other bus routes which serve the area include the 14-Mission bus, which runs right down Mission Street from the north and south, the 49-Van Ness, which comes down Mission Street from Van Ness near Fisherman's Wharf, the 9-San Bruno which runs along Potrero Avenue through the Mission neighborhood, the 67-Bernal Heights which runs through much of Bernal Heights from the 24th Street BART station, the 12-Folsom/Pacific which heads down Folsom through Mission to Cesar Chavez, and the 27-Bryant which runs along Bryant Street through Mission to Cesar Chavez. Both the #12 and #27 terminate around Cesar Chavez and Mission Street.

For cars, the Cesar Chavez Street exit from highway 101 comes right into the Mission, and the San Jose Avenue exit from Highway 280 North brings you past Bernal Heights and onto Guerrero Avenue.

Get around[edit]

The Inner Mission is only about 20 blocks by 10 blocks, and is easily navigated by foot. The Mission is generally safe for walking (even though 16th and Mission remains a major drug dealing corner). It's not dangerous, but one should expect a certain amount of urban grittiness at night up and down Mission street near 16th. Valencia Street, just one block over, is much more gentrified and is filled with bars and eateries.

By car: You will find that people attending religious ceremonies at one of the churches dotting the mission will park down the center lane of Valencia. This is not a common practice at any other time and not advised as SFPD will not hesitate to have you towed. A popular dinner destination neighborhood, street parking is difficult to find in the early evenings. There are two cheap parking garages, one at 21st Street and Bartlett between Valencia and Mission and another on 16th and Hoff St also between Valencia and Mission.

By bicycle: You'll see many people using the dedicated bike lanes on Valencia Street, but the entire neighborhood, with the exception of the Dolores Park area, is flat and easy to navigate.

See[edit][add listing]

Mission Dolores Basilica, next door to the original Mission
  • Mission Dolores, 3321 16th Street (at Dolores), +1 415 621-8203 (), [1]. The oldest building in San Francisco and one of the many Spanish missions in California, the white, intricately decorated towers of Mission Dolores tower over the neighborhood.  edit
  • The Women's Building (and MaestraPeace Mural), 3543 18th Street, #8 (between Valencia and Guerrero), +1 415 431-1180 (fax: +1 415 861-8969), [2]. Houses women's nonprofits groups.  edit
  • Precita Eyes Murals, [3]. Can be found all around the Mission neighborhood, especially on 24th street, east of Mission Street.  edit
  • Balmy Alley, [4]. An alley full of incredible murals between 24th and 25th Street. There are some really beautiful works here, and it's always changing.  edit
  • Bernal Heights Neighborhood. Take a wander around losing yourself amongst the pretty houses and the charm, it's a fine way to spend an afternoon.  edit
  • Bernal Hill. The top is more than 40 acres of grassy open space, with views of the San Francisco Bay and Mt. Diablo to the east, downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, Twin Peaks and Noe Valley to the west and a rise of hills leading up to San Bruno Mountain in the south. People come and run their dogs here and watch eclipses, sunrises, sunsets, the Blue Angels and wildlife. There's been a celebrated coyote since 2003; recent sightings confirm it's still there. There are nooks and crannies and stairs and weeds and it's a big, big, well-loved back yard.  edit
  • Galeria de la Raza, 2857 24th St., +1 415 826-8009, [5]. Tu 1PM-7PM, W-Sa Noon-6PM. Opened in 1970, the non-profit gallery specializes in Chicano/Latino art.  edit
  • Gleeson Gallery, 148 Precita Ave SF CA 94110 (from 24th Street and Mission BART station walk 3 blocks Southeaston Mission St to Precita and make a left onto Precita go 1 block to 148 on right side of the street), 4158232224, [6]. Charming Artist run gallery featuring oils and watercolors of San Francisco.Native born Artist Jim Gleeson runs this gallery and offers postcards prints bags and original Art of San Francisco All at reasonable prices.Visa MC accepted shipping and framing available.  edit


New Mission Theater
  • Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street (at Valencia), +1 415 863-1087, [7]. An independent art-film theatre, with some of the best features shown in the country. If it's showing here, it's usually worth seeing.  edit
  • The Marsh Theatre, 1062 Valencia Street (at 22nd Street), +1 415 826-5750, [8]. A breeding ground for new performance, playwriting workshops, performances, a youth program, and classes. Some excellent one-person shows have been hatched out in the Marsh.  edit
  • Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia Street (between 15th and 16th Streets), +1 415 626-3311, [9]. San Francisco's oldest alternative art space, This tiny space has premiered works by noted authors such as Dave Eggers and world-class playwrights such as Denis Johnson. The resident theater group, Campo Santo, is very good. The space also has an upstairs art gallery.  edit
  • Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia Street (near 21st), +1 415 824-3890, [10]. A nonprofit educational group and screening venue for independent film and video. This center often shows genuinely strange art films and videos, particularly during their frequent "open screenings" (you bring it, they'll show it). Don't miss the intriguing window displays.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Carnival San Francisco, [11]. Late May. A Mardi Gras-like event which features a parade with colorful costumes, choreographed dancers, and scantily clad women.  edit
  • Outdoor open mike poetry/music/spoken word/etc., 16th and Mission. Every Thursday starting sometime between 9PM and 10PM and ending around midnight on the southwest streetcorner at 16th and Mission. No mike (so you have to shout...), and no sign-up. Completely free to all. Open to poets, MCs, musicians, comedians and all manner of performers, the open mic has been happening for the past five years and has recently spawned a lit magazine, the 16th & Mission Review, and a website: - newcomers are encouraged to perform. Bag your beer and see what the fuss is about!  edit
  • Bernal Yoga, 461 Cortland Avenue (between Andover and Wool), +1 415 643-9007, [12]. If what you want in a yoga studio is a lot of hot, tight young bodies bending away in spandex, well, Bernal Yoga has that. But it's also got a lot of older practitioners, less fit practitioners, moms-to-be and moms-returning-to-shape, and a set of instructors that really know the meaning of "all levels classes." The soulful, welcoming, peaceful community is run by sister-and-brother team Savonn and Bill Wyland, who keep things varied with frequent guest instructors and quarterly literary events, which attract nationally-known poets and fiction writers.  edit
  • J+K Fitness Studio, 1947 Mission Street, +1 415 621-5775, [13]. A fitness studio fully equipped with the latest machines, colorful exercise balls, and shiny free weights. Full service trainers encourage customers to achieve their goals and genuinely care about their clients' fitness and nutrition.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Aldea Home, 3338 17th Street (between Valencia and Mission), +1 415 865-9807, [14]. M-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su 11AM-6PM. A wide array of lifestyle accessories, bed and bath products and dining accouterments.  edit
  • Aldea Niños, 1017 Valencia Street (between 21st and 22nd), +1 415 874-9520, [15]. 10AM-6PM daily. A design-minded shop that caters to all of your baby needs, with stylish clothing, hand-picked toys, and unique, modern furnishings.  edit
  • Alemany Farmers Market, 100 Alemany Blvd (at Bayshore), +1 415 647-9423, [16]. Forget the farmers market at the Ferry Building, unless you just can't live without the high prices and the most fashionable vegetables. San Francisco's original 1943 farmer's market is where it's at. It was founded by the Victory Garden Council as a WWII ag-surplus depot! Rock-bottom cheap, we-picked-it-at-3AM fresh, it's where elderly Asian ladies swarm piles of fresh peanuts and carefully pick out the live chicken to bring home. It has flowers at unbelievable prices and a really stellar selection of basic fruits, nuts, tubers and vegetables, and exotic Asian produce. There aren't that many organic farmers, but there are some. Get there early for salad greens and Euro-American vegetables, as these go fast. The fish market is mixed but sometimes has good local catches.  edit
  • Aquarius Records, 1055 Valencia Street (between 21st and 22nd Street), +1 415 647-2272, [17]. Su-W 10AM-9PM, Th-Sa 10AM-10PM. An eclectic music store specializing in the best of many obscure genres, including drone, prog, psychedelic, indie rock, experimental, electronic, noise, black metal as well as many other international/cultural styles. While it has been a San Francisco icon since 1970 and has been located in different neighborhoods in the past, it is truly a Mission mainstay, and the staff is very knowledgeable and passionate about what they stock.  edit
  • Dog Eared Books, 900 Valencia St. (between 20th St. & Liberty St.), (415) 282-1901, [18]. A great selection of used books and readings by authors.  edit
  • Good Life Grocery, 448 Cortland Avenue (between Andover and Bennington), +1 415 648-3221. People tend to have a love-hate relationship with this grocery store on the busy Cortland/Andover corner. On one hand, it's a fine, manageable-sized market with all the quality brands of pasta, meat, dairy, condiments, juices, vegetarian staples, etc. that you would hope for in a neighborhood with a significant upscale, foodie population. On the other hand, the prices are high, and it would be really nice to be able to purchase a razor blade or non-natural hair conditioner. Great wine selection and recommendations, though.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]


  • Arinell's Pizza, 509 Valencia Street (just south of 16th Street), +1 415 255-1303. M-W 11:30AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11:30AM-Midnight, Su 1:30PM-10PM. Pizza by the slice. Loved and worshiped by East Coast transplants for being some of the closest to real NY pizza available in the Bay Area. Open until 3AM on weekends.  edit
  • Bissap Baobab, 2323 Mission Street (at 19th Street), (415) 826-9287, [19]. 6pm-10:30pm. A Senegalese restaurant with roots in West African Senegalese culture.  edit
  • Cha Cha Cha, 2327 Mission Street (between 19th and 20th), +1 415 824-1502, [20]. Su-Th 5-11PM, F-Sa 5PM-1AM. Excellent tapas in a brick-walled dining room with a bar dominating the center of the room. Expect a loud, party atmosphere, not a quiet, romantic setting. The Cajun Shrimp and the Fried Platanos Maduros are heavenly.  edit
  • El Castillito, 2092 Mission Street (at 17th Street), +1 415 621-6971. Daily 10AM-2AM. While everyone has their favorite Mission taqueria, this one may legitimately have a claim to the 'best salsa verde' throne, which is filled with serious avocado chunks. Also, they grill (rather than steam) their tortillas, a key burrito preparation issue.  edit
  • Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission Street (at 21st Street), +1 415 648-7600, [21]. M-F 6PM-2AM, Sa-Su 11AM-2AM. Dinner and a movie. The Laszlo Bar. A little splurgy and quite fine. Reservations recommended.  edit
  • Frjtz, 590 Valencia Street (at 18th Street), +1 415 863-8272, [22]. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-12AM, Su 11AM-9PM. A funky Belgian fries place, at which no Belgian works, and whose sandwiches are meh. They have fries, but gravy is not an option, so if you're from Canada, skip it. They do have wireless, however, but you have to ask. Sandwich is worth the cost of internet, if you want to evaluate things in that way. The "space" is nice too. Their toilet is pretty clean, though it plays French instructional tapes, the contents of which include children and the directions to the toilet, which may be unsettling (si vous parlez francais).  edit
  • Jay's Cheesesteak, 3285 21st Street (between Valencia and Mission), +1 415 285-5200, [23]. Daily 11AM-10PM. Niman Ranch beef, or seitan veggie/vegan sandwich options. Great garlic fries!  edit
  • Little Star Pizza, 400 Valencia Street (at 14th Street), +1 415 551-7827, [24]. Su, Tu-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. For a deep dish that can't be beat here, in Chicago, or anywhere else.  edit
  • Mitchell's Ice Cream, 688 San Jose Ave. (Guerrero) (at 29th St.), (415) 648-2300, [25]. Daily 11:00 to 11:00. Mitchell's has been serving the best ice cream and sorbets in SF since 1953. Choose from traditional fare or exotic flavors such as avocado, buko (baby coconut), guava, langka (jackfruit), macapuno (sweet coconut), mango, pineapple and ube (purple yam).  edit
  • Philz Coffee, 3101 24th St. (at Folsom), (415) 875-9370, [26]. The place for serious coffee drinkers. Choose from a wide variety of beans from all over the world, light, medium or dark roast.  edit
  • Picaro, 3120 16th Street (at Valencia Street), +1 415 431-4089, [27]. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. If you like authentic tapas, the way they were before "small plates" were all the rage, then you'll definitely love the reasonably priced, authentic and generously portioned Spanish dishes here. Don't forget to try their Sangria.  edit
  • Puerto Alegre, 546 Valencia Street (at 16th Street), +1 415 255-8201. M 11AM-10PM, Tu 5PM-10PM, W-Su 11AM-11PM. Local favorite, Puerto Alegre churns out inexpensive, delicious Mexican food & margaritas in a fun, festive environment. Divey atmosphere, but that's what you come to the Mission for. Very long wait on the weekends, but absolutely worth it. Host rules the restaurant with an iron fist, so don't try to sneak in!  edit
  • Ritual Roasters Coffee, 1026 Valencia Street (between 21st and 22nd), +1 415 641-1011, [28]. Monday-Friday 6:00am - 10:00pm Saturday 7:00am - 10:00pm Sunday 7:00am - 9:00pm. Absolutely the best coffee in the city. Organic beans roasted locally, each cup made fresh individually. A large seating area with free wi-fi.  edit
  • Savanna Jazz, 2937 Mission Street (between 25th and 26th), 415-285-3369, [29]. Music begins at 8 PM on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and 8:30 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A fun, cozy lounge and restaurant for lovers of American, Brazilian and Latin American jazz music. Have a steak and enjoy a live show.  edit
  • Serrano's Pizza, 3274 21st Street (between Valencia and Mission Streets), +1 415 695-1615, [30]. Su-Th 11AM-Midnight, F-Sa 11AM-1AM. Buy a "slice" for under $3 or add toppings for a few cents more, and they'll make a fresh-to-your order triangular slice-shaped pizza that overlaps a dinner plate at three points. Free delivery. Cash or credit, no checks.  edit
  • Taqueria Cancun, 2288 Mission Street (at 19th Street), +1 415 252-9560. M-Th 10AM-11:30PM, F-Sat 10AM-1AM. Commonly touted as having the best vegetarian burrito in SF. If you're a meat-eater, try the Alambres (beef, peppers, onions, and bacon sauteed together, served with beans, rice, tortillas and (optional) avocado.  edit
  • Taqueria El Farolito, 2779 Mission Street (at 24th), +1 415 824-7877, [31]. Gigantic super burritos. Grilled chicken and steak both are really great. Super steak quesadilla is the highlight of the menu. Open till 3AM on Friday and Saturday, 1AM the rest of the week. Nachos are enormous. Expect a line of drunks after midnight.  edit
Opera cake, Tartine Bakery
  • Tartine, 600 Guerrero Street (at 18th Street), +1 415 487-2600, [32]. M 8AM-7PM, Tu-W 7:30AM-7PM, Th-F 7:30AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 9AM-8PM. One of the Bay Area's best bakeries; rich, decadent, and pricey.  edit
  • We Be Sushi, 538 Valencia Street (between 16th and 17th), +1 415 565-0749, [33]. The best of a handful of locations of this restaurant, truly "sushi like mom used to make". Try the early bird special.  edit

Bernal Heights[edit]

  • Baby Blues BBQ, 3149 Mission St. (between Cesar Chavez St. and Powers Ave.), (415) 896-4250, [34]. Slightly overpriced gourmet BBQ with hot servers.  edit
  • Blue Plate, 3218 Mission Street (at Valencia), +1 415 282-6777, [35]. M–Th 5:30–10PM, F–Sa 5:30–10:30PM, Su 5:30–9:30PM. Expensive but wonderful "New American" cuisine with impressive artwork on the walls, and racy photography in the bathrooms. The macaroni and cheese is a must.  edit
  • Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, 3230 Mission St. (at Virginia Street), (415) 206-2086, [36]. Sun.-Thur. 5:30 -10:30 Fri. & Sat. 5:30-11:30. A fun, casual restaurant for hipsters. Do not expect fine dining or "authenticity" - just good spaghetti and big meatballs (the Caesar salad is delish, too). Beware the dangerous dive bar next door.  edit
  • Martha & Bros, 745 Cortland Avenue (between Anderson and Ellsworth), +1 415 642-7585, [37]. M-F 5:30AM-8PM, Sa-Su 6AM-7PM. Hands down, the strongest coffee on the strip. Martha & Bros. is part of a six-shop San Francisco chain. The smiling, mostly Hispanic female staff, crack-of-dawn hours (it opens at 5:30AM), big pastries and reasonable prices make the place a favorite of newspaper readers, working men and the California Highway Patrol.  edit
  • Moki's Sushi & Pacific Grill, 615 Cortland Avenue (between Anderson and Moultrie), +1 415 970-9336, [38]. Su-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. This peach-walled fish chop shop serves fun maki rolls, including a variety with tempura'd ingredients. Its also got killer barbeque spare ribs with wasabi mashed potatoes and steamed greens on its small-plates menu. A good time, often packed, so get there early.  edit
  • Moonlight Cafe, 634 Cortland Avenue (between Anderson and Moultrie), +1 415 647-6448. M-F 6:30AM-6PM, Sa-Su 7AM-5PM. A creperie with some great taste sensations. If you're hungry, the Mediterranean platter will fill you up. The toasted bagels with cream cheese, sun-dried tomato and cucumber are perfect, as is the lavender or ginger lemonade.  edit
  • Progressive Grounds, 400 Cortland Avenue (at Bennington), +1 415 282-6233. A perfect Bernal Heights cafe. Serves up some great coffee drinks and a good selection of salads and lavash wrapped sandwiches. The hummus will make anyone think twice about buying hummus from a grocery store again. Great service. A great place for all types and ages. Kids have their fun with Enzo and his assorted instruments every Sunday. PG also has a nice garden space in the back.  edit
  • Taqueria Can-Cún (not to be confused with Cancun), 3211 Mission Street (at Valencia Street), +1 415 550-1414. Sun: 9:00AM - 1:00AM, Mon: 9:00AM - 12:45AM, Tue: 9:00AM - 12:45AM, Wed: 9:00AM - 12:45AM, Fri: 9:00AM - 2:45AM, Sat: 9:00AM - 2:45AM. Simply the best taqueria in San Francisco, especially if you've had a few drinks at the Knockout or Argus Lounge. The Quesadilla Suiza with some horchata to sip on is just killer.  edit
  • Zante Pizza, 3489 Mission Street (at Cortland), (415) 821-3949, [39]. 11 A.M.-3 P.M., 5-11 P.M. Indian pizza! Need we say more?  edit


  • Bi-Rite Grocery, 3639 18th Street (between Guarrero and Dolores Park), +1 415 241-9760, [40]. Daily 9AM-9PM. How do they get that much good produce and that incredible deli counter into that storefront? Essential neighborhood and picnic-in-the-park resource. Dolores Park is handily enough a block away, and you're likely to find festivals, rallies, or the SF Mime Troupe at the start and close of their summer touring season there along with kids, dogs and tennis players.  edit
  • Lucca Ravioli Company, 1100 Valencia Street (at 22nd Street), +1 415 647-5581, [41]. M-Sa 9AM-6PM. An old-world style Italian deli/dry goods grocery who, bless them, sell ingredients. Check out the Ferlenghetti poem over the door while getting your sheet-pan pizza, sliced turkey, good wine and tiramisu.  edit
  • Valencia Whole Foods, 999 Valencia Street (at 21st Street), +1 415 285-0231. Daily 8:30AM-9PM. Organic produce and groceries, good bulk foods, and a deli with organic salads, Middle Eastern foods, and sandwiches to order. A neighborhood essential.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

While you're in SF, a shot of Fernet Branca with a ginger ale chaser is a must. Also try beers from two great local microbreweries: Anchor Steam [62] (once described as "sex in a bottle") and Speakeasy's [63] Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA.


  • The 500 Club, 500 Guerrero Street (at 17th), +1 415 861-2500. M-F 3PM-2AM, Sa-Su Noon-2AM. Great neighborhood alterna-hipster bar, but in a good way. Formerly an old man dive bar that's been taken over by the thick black rimmed glasses youngster.  edit
  • Amnesia, 853 Valencia Street (between 19th and 20th), +1 415 970-0012, [42]. Daily 6PM-2AM. Small bar with eclectic live music every weeknight. Wine & beer only.  edit
  • Asiento, 2730 21st Street (On the corner of 21st & Bryant), +1 415-829-3375 (), [43]. M-Tu 5PM-midnight, W-Su 5PM-2AM. Relatively new bar with a great selection of beer, wine, and spirits. Awesome tapas. The "Queso Fundido" is wicked and it packs enough calories to keep you dancing until 4am. Audio and video feeds of live DJs are streamed in to work around current license restrictions. This place is fun when it's packed and when it's empty.  edit
  • Beauty Bar, 2299 Mission St. (at 19th St.), (415) 285-0323, [44]. One the few real dance clubs in the Mission, Beauty Bar used to be popular with hipsters but is now mainly populated with a more ghetto crowd.  edit
  • Blondies, 540 Valencia Street (between 16th and 17th), +1 415 864-2419, [45]. Daily 2PM-2AM. Drinks are not cheap (several dollars more than every other bar on the block, but also twice as large), although to be fair the drinks are well made and strong. Truly good martinis, admittedly.  edit
  • Casanova Lounge, 527 Valencia Street (at 16th), +1 415 863-9328, [46]. 4PM-2AM every day. An awesome cross between a stylish lounge and hipster joint with the best ambiance of any Mission bar. DJs spin a wide variety of music nightly. Enjoy the '70s era velvet paintings of topless women, some posing with wild animals, and the black Burt Reynolds.  edit
  • Dalva, 3121 16th Street (between Albion and Valencia), +1 415 252-7740. Daily 4PM-2AM. It's very dimly lit but cool decor. Excellent jukebox, though after 9PM they tend to turn it up just a touch too loud. Frequently has great DJ's playing funk / R&B but varies; clientele leans toward the gentrification crowd. Lots of smoke from the VIP room in the back filters out into the main bar. Excellent happy hour!  edit
  • Delirium, 3139 16th Street (at Albion), +1 415 552-5525. Daily 2PM-2AM. The Albion was truly a vaguely scary dive bar. Delirium was another great neighborhood bar, but it's shockingly turned into a bit of a bridge and tunnel 20-something meat market these days. They have a place to dance in the back, with good 60's rock and soul on Wednesdays.  edit
  • Doc's Clock, 2575 Mission Street (between 21st and 22nd), (415) 824-3627, [47]. A truly great dive bar with a shuffleboard table and Connect Four, if that's your passion.  edit
  • Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St. (between 17th and 18th), (415) 552-7788, [48]. A fun place: bar downstairs, live music club upstairs.  edit
  • Elixir, 3200 16th Street (at Guerrero), +1 415 552-1633, [49]. M-F 3PM-2AM, Sa Noon-2AM, Su 11AM-2AM. One of the oldest bars in San Francisco, since 1858. Rock music, Pub quiz, charity events, great drink specials and a warm vibe.  edit
  • The Homestead, 2301 Folsom Street (at 19th), +1 415 282-4663. Beautifully reincarnated back into it's historical self in 2005, this cool neighborhood space is a true local's hangout. The building has been a bar since 1902. Peanuts are a bonus. Friendly and efficient bar staff. Close to the hipster Bender's, so The Homestead regular crowd is a little hipster depleted / 'we got a babysitter tonight', but all in all a great bunch. It's rumored to have had a brothel during prohibition.  edit
  • Kilowatt, 3160 16th Street (at Albion), +1 415 861-2595, [50]. M-F 4:30PM-2PM, Sa-Su 1PM-2AM. Fun yet intimate bar. Great music on the jukebox (if you like speed metal) and a decent place to play pool or darts or just get a drink. Outstanding bartenders.  edit
  • Latin American Club, 3286 22nd Street ((between Valencia and Bartlett)), +1 415 647-2732. M-Th 6PM-2AM, F-Sa 5PM-2AM, Su 6PM-2AM. Decorated in dusty kitsch, the LAC also has large paintings for sale by local artists. They can offer up some of the best, strongest margaritas in town. Just one, that's all it takes. $.  edit
  • The Liberties, 998 Guerrero Street (at 22nd), +1 415 282-6789, [51]. M-Th 2PM-2AM, F noon-2AM, Sa-Su 9:30AM-2AM. Irish Pub. Excellent late weekend brunch no one knows about.  edit
  • Monk's Kettle, 3141 16th St, +1 415 865-9523, [52]. Daily Noon-2AM. A small tavern with good pub food that specializes in craft beer.  edit
  • Phoenix, 811 Valencia Street (at 19th), +1 415 695-1811, [53]. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa-Su 9:30AM-2AM. Generic Irish pub with surprisingly good food.  edit
  • Phone Booth, 1398 S Van Ness Avenue (between 24th St & 25th St), +1 415 648-4683. Another competitor for the *definitive dive bar*. Appropriately named given its size. Free popcorn.  edit
  • Shotwell 59, 3349 20th Street (at Shotwell), +1 415 647-1141. The definition of a neighborhood bar. Still smoky despite the smoking ban.  edit
  • Skylark, 3089 16th Street (at Valencia), +1 415 621-9294, [54]. Tu-Th 7PM-2AM, F 5PM-2AM, Sa-Su 7PM-2AM. A bit of a meatmarket 'club' scene. Mostly hip-hop style and "gangster" wannabe crowd, mostly not from the city. Lots of dancing. Clientele is usually very friendly and outgoing and the bartenders handle the busy crowds with aplomb.  edit
  • Uptown, 200 Capp Street (at 17th), +1 415 861-8231. Small neighborhood bar with artsy aging punk rockers and a relaxed attitude. Dogs and bicycles welcome.  edit
  • Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia Street (at Duboce), +1 415 255-7505, [55]. Daily 9AM-2AM. Cool motorcycle/bike courier punk rock-ish alterna-crowd. The bartenders can (and almost always do) often drip with attitude. They, and the regulars, can be fiercely protective of their little hideaway. Awesome and huge backyard (i.e. beer garden). Rowdy on weekend nights and they bbq too.  edit

Bernal Heights[edit]

Bernal Heights
  • The Knockout, 3223 Mission Street (at Valencia), +1 415 550-6994, [56]. A quirky hipster bar with old arcade games and on some nights, live bands of varying talent.  edit
  • The Royal Cuckoo, 3202 Mission Street (at Valencia), +1 415 550-8667, [57]. A new cocktail bar serving outstanding Manhattans and other more unusual concoctions in a setting that feels like an old hunting lodge. A must if you like sipping bourbon and other aperitifs to old-timey music.  edit
  • VinoRosso, 629 Cortland Avenue (at Anderson Street), +1 415 647-1268, [58]. M-F 4PM-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su 2PM-10PM. A great little wine bar with emphasis on Italian varieties.  edit
  • Wild Side West, 424 Cortland Avenue (at Wool), +1 415 647-3099. Daily 1PM-2AM. Although technically a lesbian bar, this neighborhood watering hole welcomes all. Inexpensive beer flows from the taps. In the winter time, a fire burns in the main room, which includes a small pool table. But the most interesting aspect to this bar is the outside garden in the back, best enjoyed on warmer days and nights. The garden is heavily decorated with sculptures and lights. Find a nook to cuddle up with a loved one while sipping a drink.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • St. Francis House, 3743 Cesar Chavez St. San Francisco CA 94110, 415-824-0288, [59]. From website: "St. Francis House is an urban convent in the Mission District of San Francisco. A guest apartment on the street level which opens onto our flower and vegetable garden. It is surprisingly quiet and has its own separate entrance, a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and a double bed and a single bed in the bedroom. Free internet access is available in the apartment. There is also a TV with basic cable. Limited on-street parking is available in the neighborhood. Suggested donation is $50 a night. Kitchen is equipped for self-catering. (Breakfast items are furnished in the apartment)." $50 suggested donation.  edit


  • San Francisco Public Library - Bernal Heights Branch, 500 Cortland Avenue (at Andover), +1 415 355-2810, [60]. M 10AM-6PM, Tu 10AM-9PM, W 1PM-9PM, Th 10AM-6PM, F-Sa 1PM-6PM.  edit
  • San Francisco Public Library - Mission Branch, 300 Bartlett Street (at 24th), +1 415 355-2800, [61]. Su 1PM-5PM, M 1PM-9PM, Tu, W 10AM-9PM, Th, Sa 10AM-6PM, F 1PM-6PM.  edit
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