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Buena Vista Cafe

Buena Vista Cafe

Bar, American Restaurant, and Breakfast Spot$$$$
San Francisco
  • Stars
  • Stars
    The experts at Eater and SFGate recommend this place
    • Eater
    • SFGate
  • Tips
    James G.
    "Really good burgers - and of course the Irish Coffee is excellent!"(286 Tips)
    Vanessa S.
    "The original Irish coffee, delicious!"(7 Tips)
    Werner S.
    "Crab Benedict is awesome as well as the BV."(9 Tips)
    VickyisaStar L.
    "famous Irish whiskey"(5 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon392 Tips and reviews
  • Irish coffee
  • original irish
  • scenic views
  • breakfast food
  • casual
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Eater
    EaterJuly 28, 2016
    Sure, it's a tourist obsession, but the Buena Vista does make a damn good Irish coffee. Also, it combines coffee and alcohol and dark wooden bars, three things San Francisco adores. Read more
    Upvoted 4 weeks ago
  • Katherine W.
    Katherine WachterNovember 16, 2015
    Cool place! You must sit at the front bar for an Irish coffee. Check in the back to see if a customer named Dennis is there- he owns art gallery two doors down… He can tell u anything u want to know
    Upvoted 1 day ago
  • BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeedAugust 23, 2016
    The Irish coffee — a splash of hot water, two sugar cubes, coffee, a jigger of Irish whiskey and a frothy topping of whipped cream — is the perfect after-dinner apertif. Read more
    Upvoted Apr 6
  • Sandra L.heart icon on user image
    Sandra Lopez MilanJuly 16, 2015
    It's definitely tourist must stop. Had the Irish coffee,was my first Irish coffee so I can't compare it but I'm thinking it's gonna be hard to beat it was delicious. Had an omelette it was average.
  • Daniel S.
    Daniel StansellApril 24, 2017
    Brought the Irish Coffee out west, they have the perfect recipe. Big tip? Just order the traditional Irish Coffee (or three). This place is ALWAYS packed, so sneak in at the bar and watch the show!
  • Stephanyheart icon on user image
    StephanySeptember 9, 2018
    You have to try it. Even though it’s touristy, it’s somehow delicious and the perfect amount of booze in coffee..
  • Karen M.heart icon on user image
    Karen MiaoFebruary 25, 2016
    Obviously the Irish coffee! Service is fast, people are friendly, and it's a perfect way to warm up from an inevitably foggy day. They even let my husband & his groomsmen take a picture behind the bar
  • karely m.heart icon on user image
    karely milanMay 5, 2015
    Signature Irish coffee definitely a kick super strong.Had the steak and eggs steak was cold 😑.. Cool thing about this place is that you share tables with other people &waitresses are something else
  • Daniel K.heart icon on user image
    Daniel KellyNovember 14, 2014
    Everyone talks about the Irish coffee and yes it's good. I liked my corned beef hash with generous serving of potato but wouldn't say the food is amazing. Still a good breakfast spot with a good menu.
  • Werner S.heart icon on user image
    Werner SeibertMay 15, 2018
    Crab Benedict is awesome as well as the BV. Coffee is good as well and you have to try the Irish coffee, which is the best I ever had.
  • Frank K.heart icon on user image
    Frank KimJune 16, 2015
    The Irish Coffee definitely lives up to it's billing, believe the hype, I had 2. The corn beef hash was amazing, and the eggs blackstone had the most scrumptious and juicy thick California tomatoes.
  • Will K.heart icon on user image
    Will KivinskiOctober 9, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    My favorite was actually the Mexican Coffee with Tequila. It packs a bigger punch than the traditional Irish version.
  • Rob W.
    Rob WMay 25, 2013
    Get an Irish Coffee! All the tips aren't lying when they say its the best here. History says this is the 1st place in America where Irish Coffees were served.
  • Nick F.
    Nick FrühlingFebruary 26, 2016
    "Jack Koeppler, then-owner of Buena Vista, spent a painstaking amount of time and effort perfecting the perfect Irish coffee in 1952, which has since become what The Buena Vista is known for."
  • robé b.heart icon on user image
    robé benoApril 29, 2019
    Great place, what makes this place special is the employees, they are a family and are dedicated to making you feel an experience!!
  • Chris C.heart icon on user image
    Chris CamargoAugust 8, 2016
    Watching the bartenders make the Irish coffees en masse is one of the best bar experiences I've had in recent memory.
  • Aaron C.
    Aaron CruzJuly 25, 2014
    The home of the Irish Coffee! You gotta get at least one. Waiting a while to get a seat at the bar to watch them made by the dozen is well worth the wait.
  • Jeff L.
    Jeff LoyApril 13, 2014
    If you're hungry, no food is served at the bar and all tables are "community", so be ready to meet new people (which can be an awesome experience and lead to great conversations).
  • Kaitlin M.heart icon on user image
    Kaitlin MartineauMarch 7, 2017
    It's hard to say this wasn't the best Irish coffee I've had.. so smooth and so delightful!
  • Daria B.heart icon on user image
    Daria BukatovaMarch 16, 2017
    The cult place with the best Irish coffee in San-Francisco and fresh crabs 🦀! Nice and authentic
  • Tyler S.heart icon on user image
    Tyler SzaboJuly 4, 2015
    Great for brunch and the Irish coffee is a must. Watch it get made en masse at the bar. A few more seats are available in a side room.
  • Jessica C.
    Jessica ChoiAugust 21, 2016
    You can get an Irish coffee to go $10. They give you a small bottle of Irish whiskey and you just have to add it to your coffee outside.
  • Jim R.heart icon on user image
    Jim RobertOctober 28, 2016
    You have to have an Irish coffee (maybe two). They are to die for! The portions are large on the menu. You will not leave hungry!
  • Daniel S.heart icon on user image
    Daniel SimmonsAugust 20, 2014
    The Irish coffee is the reason this place exists. Usually pretty busy with tourists, but if you go during the week you're sure to sit at the bar. SF CLASSIC!
  • Terry Y.heart icon on user image
    Terry YangJuly 20, 2014
    Must try Irish Coffee (best I've ever had) and SF sour dough. Awesome corned beef hash too. Fantastic view to go with fantastic food
  • Jack J.heart icon on user image
    Jack JenkinsJune 30, 2014
    Excellent service, good drinks and tasty food. I recommend the pastrami sandwich for lunch... wash it down with an Irish coffee as it would be rude not to
  • JT L.heart icon on user image
    JT LEEMarch 8, 2015
    The alcohol portion of The Irish coffee is differ by waiters, for me (one with mustaches) so much for daytime. 만들어주시는 분에 따라서 강도가 달라집니다, 낮에는 주의하시길
  • Jon B.heart icon on user image
    Jon B.November 25, 2011
    Definitely try an Irish coffee The naughty Irishmen is also tasty, an of you want to get row', try a shot of Padrón with a back of sangrita. Also, one of the best Guinness pours in the States!
  • G. Saxheart icon on user image
    G. SaxAugust 10, 2015
    Come for the Irish coffee, of course, but also take time to enjoy the bay views, the history and the fries!
  • John H.
    John HaberlandJuly 21, 2013
    Yes the Irish coffee was good, but if it's out of your way to get there, you're not missing anything fantastic. Plus if you don't get there early you could be in for a long wait.
  • Lindsay F.heart icon on user image
    Lindsay FloresOctober 21, 2015
    Cute little cafe overlooking the bay. Their breakfast is so good! Try their breakfast potatoes and French toast!
  • Brandon B.heart icon on user image
    Brandon BourgeoisJuly 16, 2016
    After your third Irish coffee, be ready to tip well and take the streetcar back up the hill!
  • Richard R.heart icon on user image
    Richard RevillaOctober 15, 2014
    Well you come here for the Irish Coffee and the magic show. After 2 go ride the Cable cars across the street.
  • Jazmín G.
    Jazmín GarzaSeptember 2, 2013
    Their Irish Coffee is great! The place is wonderful and full all the time, so be quick to grab an empty spot even if it's at the bar.
  • Caroline
    CarolineAugust 16, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Delicious Irish Coffee near Ghiradelli Square. Come on a clear day at sunset to sip your drink and admire the beautiful view.
  • Michael E.heart icon on user image
    Michael EnescuJanuary 26, 2018
    The Michael Flohr paintings capturing the spirit of this place are even better than its legendary Irish Coffee
  • Arch Rock Fish
    Arch Rock FishAugust 6, 2011
    If you are in the Santa Barbara area, come check out Arch Rock Fish. We have the exact same recipe as the Buena Vista Irish coffee from the whisky, the coffee & even the glassware. See you soon. Read more
  • Maya B.heart icon on user image
    Maya ByrneDecember 2, 2017
    Best Irish coffee. A must stop location when in the area.
  • Geraldine R.heart icon on user image
    Geraldine RendónNovember 5, 2015
    Benedict eggs with a Mimosa and of course the Irish coffee is delicious, the flavor is so complex and layered
  • Simon T.heart icon on user image
    Simon TanAugust 16, 2017
    Crab Benedict was okay - get the sourdough toast though, it's worth it!
  • Matt C.
    Matt CoddingtonMarch 28, 2013
    have your phone ready in camcorder mode, and catch the bartender creating half a dozen Irish Coffees at the same time! Truly amazing AND delicious!
  • heather 🍭🎀👗
    Famous for their Irish coffees, but the other varietals are awesome too! Try the keoke coffee with brandy and kahlua. Um, yum.
  • Kim O.
    Kim OwensOctober 19, 2012
    I always make a stop here, in the heart of tourist hell, to have an Irish Coffee, remembering my dad's story of his first date when he moved to SF in the 50's.
  • Terence S.
    Terence Steward IIMarch 28, 2014
    Irish coffee, of course however the food is much better. ANY of the fresh crab items is a winner and the clam soup bowl was DEE-lish!
  • Francis A.heart icon on user image
    Francis AlvarezMay 3, 2017
    Irish coffee with bread pudin. Bit too hard on the alcohol, but great for real coffee lovers.
  • Human Tripod
    Human TripodFebruary 1, 2012
    A little known fact: although they don't allow smoking, they may allow you to light an Irish pipe with pipe tobacco if seated at the bar. Nice! Now bring me my shillelagh! :D
  • Megan B.
    Megan Blue-SkyFebruary 12, 2016
    Make sure you sit at the end of the bar, so you can watch the bartenders make the Irish Coffee. It's an art.
  • Hemant J.heart icon on user image
    Hemant JFebruary 2, 2017
    Been here 5+ times
    Start your brunch with an Irish coffee and you will never regret it.
  • Vanessa S.heart icon on user image
    Vanessa SilvaOctober 21, 2015
    This place is a must! The original Irish coffee, delicious!
  • Liz .heart icon on user image
    Liz 🦎September 9, 2015
    The Irish coffees really are good. A great way to take a break after Pier 39 and Fisherman's wharf.
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