Family Food Adventure: Browsing Bernal Heights

A highlight of a recent adventure to Bernal Heights with my friend Rachel and our little ones, was one of the best sandwiches in recent memory at Sandbox Bakery. Check out this beauty: whole wheat roll with toasted hazelnuts, thick cut smokey bacon, roasted tomatoes and arugula. Can you say yum? In addition to this epic BLT we sampled a chili dog (one of their other sandwiches du jour), and of course some sweet treats including a cupcake with passionfruit buttercream. Big thumbs up from us moms for their excellent coffee and espresso drinks as well. The shop is tiny making it a little challenging as a sit-down lunch stop with kids. There are just a few stools inside and strollers definitely get in the way. If you get lucky, there might be a spot on one of the benches out front. For a good nearby picnicking option, try St Mary’s Park, one of Luca’s favorite playgrounds in the city.

There are a lot of other great reasons to make the trek to Bernal Heights besides amazing sandwiches. It’s a fabulous place for a stroll, a bite and a little shopping. Here are some of our other neighborhood favorites:

  • Avedano’s Holly Park Market — (235 Cortland) A premium meat market where you can find grass-fed beef and lamb, wild and sustainably farmed seafood, free range chicken, artisan cheese, pastured eggs, panini and take out dinners.
  • Bernal Cutlery — (331 Cortland) These guys know knives. Expert knife sharpening. They also can help you with your garden tools.
  • Progressive Grounds — (400 Cortland) Your earthy, ultra laid back brand of coffee shop with a great patio out back which is perfect with kids. Middle Eastern menu, bagels and Mitchell’s ice cream.
  • Liberty Cafe — (410 Cortland) This is the place that brought back the pot pie. In adddition to their restaurant, they have a nice little bakery with indoor and outdoor seating.
  • Heartfelt — (426 Cortland) Stop in and browse this cute shop for toys, accessories, kitschy doo-dads and gift items. Grab wrapping paper and cards, too. Our big purchase was a yodeling pickle.
  • Good Life Grocery — (448 Cortland) A well-appointed neighborhood grocery store with a good selection of organic and specialty items.
  • Bernal Heights Branch Library — (500 Cortland) Always a great option with kids, especially on rainy or cold days.
  • Sandbox Bakery — (833 Cortland) Great coffee and beautiful baked goods. Try the sandwiches du jour. Not much seating, so this is pretty much a “to-go” option especially with kids in tow.
  • St Mary’s Playground — (Justin Drive and Murray Street) This is one of our favorite parks in the city with basketball and tennis courts; baseball diamond; huge, state-of-the art, handicap-accessible play structure good for smaller and bigger kids; climbing wall; picnic tables and a separate rec center and dog park area. We usually come here after the Alemany Famrner’s market, but it’s also reasonably close to all the good stuff on Cortland.

7 thoughts on “Family Food Adventure: Browsing Bernal Heights

  1. Pingback: Hungry Moms Give Shout-Out for Sandbox Bakery Sandwiches | Bernalwood

  2. there are more seats around the corner at the sandbox bakery, another good idea is to take lunch over to the playground behind the library

    there are also some of the best panini style sandwiches in the city at Avedanos, i dare you to post a better panini

    Another cortland street spot that you did not mention is Moonlight Cafe. They have great breakfasts and a lots of good lunch options too. It is very kids friendly and it is a very nice, clean, casual spot.

    The playground behind the library is really nice and a good spot to stop and let the kids run around for a bit in the middle of your stroll. There is another nice park and playground in holly park, which is just a short walk up from Cortland st.

    Oh and just down from Sandbox bakery is Maggie Mudds ( it is a very good ice cream shop especially known for frozen vegan and dairy-free treats


  3. Pingback: Food Find: Suite Foods Waffle Shop | A Little Yumminess

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