Bernal Heights is booming. Gentrification has made Cortland Street, the neighborhood’s main commercial drag, almost as crowded and popular as 24th Street in Noe Valley, with offerings including a good-sized grocery store, library, cafes, restaurants and even a good bookstore.
The area is made up of mostly single-family homes with a smattering of condos in the mix. Young families have consistently turned to Bernal Heights for house purchases over the years as Noe Valley and Glen Park have grown more expensive, and they also like it for its quick access to both the 101 and 280 freeways heading down the Peninsula.
Since Cortland Street is such a popular commercial center, the homes near it tend to be pricier. Over time, many owners have taken the little Victorian cottages and postwar-era homes on streets such as Gates and Andover, extensively renovating them into sleek mid-century architectural gems or knocking down walls of Victorians to create clever floorplans with opening living-dining-kitchen areas.
As a hillside neighborhood, Bernal’s northern portion enjoys some amazing downtown views. At the crest of the hill is a large open space known as the Bernal Cut. That’s where dog walkers and urban hikers alike goggle at expansive vistas.
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