NFT San Francisco Diamond Heights / Glen Park

Diamond Heights / Glen Park

Though adjacent, these neighborhoods are worlds apart in vibe and weather. Diamond Heights, with its boxier, modern, ho-hum apartments and homes, is frequently foggy but offers stellar views. Sunny Glen Park, in the valley below, is a friendly "village" with narrow, winding streets, charming restaurants, cafes, bookshops as well as enchanting, older homes. BART and the multi-use Glen Canyon Park are close to both.

The homey Glen Park "downtown" around Chenery and Diamond Streets has excellent restaurants, a bar, an upscale market, and a cozy library. Diamond Heights offers a Safeway and a few utilitarian stores. Over the hill is Noe Valley's yuppie-friendly 24th Street and the decidedly more diverse Outer Mission.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Valerie Ng
Photo:  Valerie Ng

I could probably recommend a lot of downtown Berkeley restaurants over Pollo. In fact, I wouldn't have bothered checking it out had a friend not suggested it. Even she admitted it wasn't the most appealing joint in the area, but the food wasn't too greasy and most importantly, it was cheap. There are a wide variety of choices available, from breakfast plates to gyros and burritos. I ordered a salmon burrito, a new item on the menu, which came with a pretty decent homemade salsa. The burrito itself wasn't bad, and quite substantial. I've certainly had better, but it was still pretty tasty considering it didn't come from the Mission. I wouldn't say that Pollo is my go-to place, but if I wasn't craving anything in particular and just want a decent, inexpensive meal, I'd definitely consider it again.

Posted By:  Carolyne Rohrig
Photo:  Carolyne Rohrig

Joe's Cable Car
What happens when you combine a cable car experience with the best hamburger in town? You get Joe's Cable C ar Restaurant. Even though you're not going anywhere when you're seated, you will get a thrill from the eclectic decor on the walls and roof. The highlight is of course the menu. It's all about hamburgers. They're a mixture of rib eye and chuck steaks, trimmed and freshly ground daily for that delicious, mouthwatering taste. Choices include barbecue, teriyaki, Middle-Eastern, pizza and many others. The ever popular milk shakes, fries, and onion rings are also on the menu. Joe's been flipping hamburgers since 1965 and has become a legend in his own time.

Posted By:  Jennifer Anthony
Photo:  Jennifer Anthony

Cafe Stefano
Café Stefano, an Italian restaurant on the border of Bernal Heights and the Mission, promises the small, family-operated, dining experience. And it delivers. When I brought the teenage girl I mentor there on a weeknight, we immediately felt at home (and I felt like I was back in Italy). Not realizing that the pizza would be big enough for two (or three!), we ordered a pizza funghi for her, and the ravioloni di zucca alle noci e salvia (yellow pumpkin ravioli) for me. The place doesn't yet have a liquor license, which was fine (refer back to how I was trying to be a good role model). We had two Strawberry Fantas, which were astonishingly delicious. The ravioli, topped with a sprinkling of crushed walnuts and coated in a brown butter parmesan and crispy sage sauce, were savory and sweet. But, as to be expected of a family-run restaurant, the service was the best feature--warm and attentive. The owners are Latino, and our waiter was Algerian. Yet another reason to love and be intrigued by the restaurant (and SF).

Posted By:  Ivana Ivanovic
Photo:  Ivana Ivanovic

Sunrise Nail & Facial
Some of the good cheap things we San Franciscans don't have: Cuban food, flights to the Caribbean, and a multitude of street carts. But to balance that (and things we share with NYC such as no parking, horrendous rents and worse dating scene), we have a great quality, competitive, rich yet inexpensive... pedicure and manicure scene! For those of you laughing, please understand that the cost of SF living leaves very little room for certain girlie expenses, and we miss them! But while only a few SF beauties can afford fancy salons, most of us desire/can afford only the simple luxury of a regular mani/pedi. No matter what subculture a San Francisco female represents, her toes and nails will at all times be perfectly done--something we take pride in. So what makes "my" place special in the sea of salons popping up on every corner of our fair city? Apart from cleanliness, staff kindness and easy parking, it is the price/quality ratio. I challenge you to find a better mani/pedi at a mere $15, or a better waxing, cheap or not (prices vary based on your needs; ask for Donna). Last but not least: boys are welcome too!

Posted By:  Jennifer Anthony
Photo:  Jennifer Anthony

Even with its mesmerizing “now open” banner, the name Eggettes might have anyone but the egg aficionado a little wary. But when the intoxicatingly sweet smell of said eggettes wafts onto the sidewalk, one can’t help but succumb and zombie-walk inside. Ask anyone who grew up in Hong Kong about the inverted waffles shaped like eggs, and you’ll have them misty-eyed, remembering the dessert snack they cherished back in the motherland. Vanilla and chocolate eggettes are the standard–made daily before customers’ eyes on a waffle iron they covet for their own kitchen–and certainly safer than the ones in Hong Kong that are shoved into hot coals. Each day also boasts a third special flavor such as melon and sesame. But the magic of Eggettes doesn’t end there; it also offers fruity freezes, espresso, teappucinos, tofusions, and snacks. And the ambiance is a hybrid of swank coffee shop and lounge: one side of the room hosts dazzling (and free) Internet-access computers while the other side offers videos on a wide-screen tv and a cush tan leather couch and chairs. For those whose ADHD still isn’t appeased, vending machines stuffed with toys line one wall, eager to digest quarters.

Posted By:  Eric Saxon
Photo:  Eric Saxon

Children's Art at Glen Canyon
The primeval spirits winnowing around Glen Canyon find their representation on the outside wall of that park’s basketball gym/community center. This is a true gem of Art Brut: the friezes of humanoid forms look like the work of children or mental patients. Contained within the boundaries of the bodies are strange constellations, clusters resembling coral-colored planets, and phosphorescent asteroid belts shaped like sliced tomatoes; echoes of another universe. No, this is not the gatefold sleeve of the next Animal Collective album, but it could be. There are at least ten weird forms on the wall, some triggering laughter and some, if you look closely and long enough, inducing teleportation. Overlooked by most joggers.

Posted By:  Eric Saxon
Photo:  Eric Saxon

Rare is the public space in San Francisco that isn’t preened and fussed over: there’s simply too much money and not enough land! But here is a rarity—Sunnyside Conservatory. The tiny spot in oft-unsunny Ingleside looks like the Addams Family Mansion after they moved out. It’s basically a Victorian house that has trees growing in the middle of it and out of the windows. Whoever takes care of the place obviously has a love for many, many plants growing together in an array of multitudinous greens. And hey, this place is also old as hell—it was there for years without anyone knowing. (It has always been a busy city.) Dating back to 1891, the house survived the 1906 earthquake to no celebration. Left to selectively grow and accumulate wildly, the restored, largely redwood house and its grounds are now .19 acres. It’s a refuge in a self-conscious, narcissistic city that sometimes loses itself in making everything look so damn perfect.

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Restaurants (13)
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