Al's Cafe Good Food

I'm not pretending this place is new (in fact, it has been around for decades), but I never bothered to set foot into the diner until the other day.  As the name of the establishment suggests, the food is in fact quite good (get the avocado/tomato/cheese omlet!).  However, the real highlight of the place has nothing to do with the food or service, but rather being able to sit down in a place that is completely shameless in its adoration of Americana.  It's basically going to grandma's house, only instead of colonial antiques, it's full of Betty Boop figurines, Garfield stuffed animals, Marilyn Monroe clocks, and Charlie Chaplin posters.

Also, they have a nautical toilet seat, pretty much ensuring they win at the game.  Check it.

[Located at Mission @ 29th, which is now located in Bernal Heights thanks to some realtors thinking calling the neighborhood “The Mission” makes white people scared.]

Comments (7)

Calling the lower west side of Bernal Heights the mission is new, 20 years ago it was called Bernal or San Jose by real old timers. I have no love of real estate agents but that was its accepted name for years. Even the City thinks so. Published reports on the Mission mark Cesar Chavez as the southern boundary.

omg that’s the exact same toilet seat that’s at my parent’s house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is no way that is Bernal Heights. For one thing, it’s not on the hill. You can’t be “Heights” when you’re at the bottom. It’s the Mission. Or even La Lengua works. But unless you want to create Bernal Flats, it sure as FUCK ain’t Bernal.

Are you kidding? Amongst myself and other unfortunates who have eaten there, it is agreed that the “Good Food” in the name of this restaurant actually means “some of the worst food you will ever pay good money for in San Francisco.” My boyfriend and I had such a bad breakfast there once that it is still a running joke for us when deciding where to eat. Stay away! Stay away! (unless it’s to look at the awesome decor)

I had always considered that area to be the Outer Mission until I discovered my family lived at and had a saloon there from the 1890s to around 1918. In many of the old city directories listings for them there is a BH for Bernal Heights after the address. At least it isn’t some new real estate created/made-up name like Nopa or Outset.

Bernal Heights Collective has forced the issue :)

Al’s Good Food is a totally decent diner. Food is, indeed, Good. Sadly, they are also more expensive than they should be. But I still go there every month or so, when I don’t feel like heading any further up Mission St for my lunkfast.