Sweet Edwardian buildings, one-of-a-kind eateries, funky shops, and a hopping farmers’ market surround a beloved hill with a 360-degree view of San Francisco.
Area code is 415.
TO DO AND SEE
Alemany Farmers’ Market Sat. 5 a.m.–5 p.m. Asian greens, mushrooms, and apples, plus prepared foods such as hummus and 14 flavors of tamales. Peralta Avenue and Putnam Street, 647-9423, sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=1058 . Bernal Heights Natural Area The hill at the center of Bernal (it rhymes with kernel) offers great city views. A paved path and dirt trails lead to the top, which boasts both a multiuse park, where dogs are allowed off leash, and a rock formation composed of ocean organisms. Bernal Heights Boulevard near Anderson Street, 831-6330, sfnap.org/n_area/parks/na_ber.html . Holiday Evening Stroll Dec. 8, 6 p.m.–9 p.m. Toasty refreshments, live music, winetasting, and deals on gifts at various shops along Cortland Avenue and Mission Street. bernalbusiness.org .
Heartfelt A temple to the joys of randomness: retro toys, vintage-style linens, stationery, a wall of socks, and (not for sale) Kikker the parakeet. 436 Cortland Ave., 648-1380, heartfeltsf.com . Red Hill Books Named for the area’s supposed communist past, this thriving independent stocks best sellers and remainders, children’s books and cookbooks, art titles and zines. 401 Cortland Ave., 648-5331, dogearedbooks.com/redhill . Succulence Part nursery, part urban general store. Walk through Four Star Video to an unexpected jewel of a garden shop offering glass terrariums, wooden clocks, jars of pickles, and astonishing succulents. 402 Cortland Ave., 282-2212, thesucculence.com . 331 Cortland Inside a compact storefront five food-related vendors sell wares including spices and chai, pickled goods and hearty sandwiches (Bernalogna, anyone?), plus new and vintage Japanese and European knives. 331 Cortland Ave., twitter.com/331cortland .
Ichi Sushi This culinary hit impresses with traditional fare such as salmon nigiri sprinkled with bonito shavings, and a somen noodle salad bathed in shiso pesto. 3369 Mission St., 525-4750, ichisushi.com . Liberty Café Its flaky potpies keep patrons coming back. A cottage at the rear houses a morning bakery and a wine bar with live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. 410 Cortland Ave., 695-8777, thelibertycafe.com . Locavore Serves house-made sausages on buns. Recent favorites: a Mexican roasted-chile dog and a porter kielbasa. 3215 Mission St., 821-1918, locavoreca.com . Piqueo’s Billed as Peruvian fusion, this handsome, dimly lit restaurant pleases with pan-seared scallops and transcendent dulce de leche parfait. 830 Cortland Ave., 282-8812, piqueos.com . Sandbox Bakery Mutsumi Takehara’s pastries combine French and Japanese inspiration (melon brioche) with American essentials (morning buns). 833 Cortland Ave., 642-8580, sandboxbakerysf.com .
Request the Northern California & Nevada TourBook and San Francisco map at AAA.com  or any AAA branch. To find a place to stay, visit AAA.com/hotels . For more info, contact the San Francisco Visitor Information Center: 900 Market St., 391-2000, onlyinsanfrancisco.com .
Photography by Luna (13) Photography 
This article was first published in November 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.