Former Neighbor Lists Where to Eat and Drink in Bernal Heights

Until recently, writer Caleb Pershan was known to us as Neighbor Caleb, a resident of these Bernalese lands. Alas, Caleb recently decamped to another part of the City, but he still knows Bernal Heights well, and that shows in his list of “Where to Eat and Drink in Bernal Heights” that was just published on EaterSF.

Caleb writes:

Bernal Heights is sometimes described as an urban village rather than a neighborhood, which is to say it’s a little isolated and very family-friendly. The name Maternal Heights has been bandied about, but kids or not, it’s a great place to explore, eat, and drink.

To be sure, there’s certainly room to quibble about some glaring omissions. Nevertheless, this is an undeniably credible greatest-hits summary of Bernal’s fooding and drinking scene as it stands in the summer of 2017.

So dig in to see the list, and let the argumentation begin.



24 thoughts on “Former Neighbor Lists Where to Eat and Drink in Bernal Heights

  1. There are so many really good restaurants in Bernal, and most of them very affordable. Three of my favorites are Angkor Borei, Moonlight Cafe and a new discovery, Sabor, on Mission St., where I recently had their home-made pork sausage with habanera peppers. It was HOT, and one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had.

  2. Wait, the former SFist and now EaterSF writer that I regularly read was a neighbor of ours?! That is cool, and perhaps that was previously mentioned in these parts. (Cheers Caleb!)

    Anyway, the list is sufficient and gives a decent snapshot to those looking to explore our hood a little bit. Obviously not all places can be listed, but I was a little shocked with the omission of Cuisine of Nepal

    • I hope not, but wouldn’t be surprised if they were.
      Yelp lists ODM as a “bar”, but they also serve food.
      Frankly, I am not positive what the criteria is that would allow or disallow minors, good question.

  3. Caleb specifically notes the El Rio is a “gay bar”.
    Interesting… I don’t know if its just me, or that I have lived in the ‘hood for so long now, or have gone into El Rio hundreds of times, but I honestly don’t think of it as a “gay bar”. I always tell people it is one of very few bars where literally everyone could and should feel comfortable going into.
    Not just gay or straight, but race, income class, type of drinker, what you like doing while at a bar.
    To me at least, while I know the history of the place, and the people that work there, it has transcended being a “gay bar”.

    Thoughts? Am I crazy, or being insensitive?

    • I’d say that El Rio used to be a gay bar but now it’s a “mixed” bar. 10 years ago I’d say that 90% of the people in there were queer. Now, I’d say that’s dropped down to around 50%. You’ll still find far more queer folks at El Rio than any other bar nearby (except for maybe Wild Side West).

    • I think I been around too long or sumthin… I didn’t think we had gay and straight drinkin fountains no more. Ain’t it just good bars and bad bars? Forgot to pay attention, I guess.

  4. Surprised he missed Baby Blues BBQ, it’s some of the best BBQ in town, and has a really friendly bar to cozy up to and hang out with the crowd of regulars.

  5. Surprised he missed BEL, Bernal Star, and Taqueria Cancun just completely skirted around them. I’m sure there are others but those are some of my regular go-to’s.

    • Yes, I had the same reaction, joyceonholly. Too many old and affordable places ignored in favor of new trendy places. On Check Please Bay Area, Angkor Borei was the only place that evening where all the diners agreed that it was fabulous.

  6. Since so many marvelous books are written and so many startups developed inside Marthas Bros and Aziz’s Progressive Grounds cafes, I am suggesting a rewrite !
    Aziz makes his hummus from scratch daily!
    Btw we also love Paulies Pickling! Your list needs work but it’s a wonderful endeavor!
    You cans find me on airbnb Experiences as Madame Renaissance (art immersion )!

    • The last two times I have been to Vega it has been way below standard. One of the appetizers was previously cooked and microwaved. Hope it isn’t a sign of things to come….

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