All photos (26)The Buena Vista Cafe
The Buena Vista Cafe
The Buena Vista Cafe

The Buena Vista Cafe

52 reviews
££££
American, Breakfast & Brunch, Bar, Cafe
Popular with:
  • 9.8
    Foodies
  • 8.7
    History Buffs
  • 7.1
    Nightlife Lovers
  • 6.9
    Hipsters
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2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 474-5044
http://www.thebuenavista.com/
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Description
The original building where the Buena Vista sits today was a boardinghouse until 1916 when the landlord converted the first floor into a saloon. That saloon was named the Buena Vista. ("Good View" in ... Read more
Spanish) The view was good indeed and it served as a warm meeting place for hundreds of fishermen and handlers who worked for the nearby Sardine Cannery. There they could take in a whiskey while scouting the bay for incoming fishing boats which would mean, "Quick! Finish your drink and back to meet the boats!" In 1952, with the help of a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer, the Buena Vista introduced to the world it's now famous Irish Coffee. The recipe has never changed and the view is still quite good.

Member Reviews(52)

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Pro 2018
San Diego

Fun place to enjoy their famous Irish coffee before getting in line for the cable car.

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A must for the true San Francisco experience. Best Irish coffee in the world. Should be...they have been serving for about 110 years! Great food too.

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Salt Lake City

Friendly service! Stopped in to try the Irish coffee with a large party & they did whatever they could to accommodate us. Great location near the water and food menu--want to go back to try the food!

Recommended for:History BuffsAdventure TravellersHipsters
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Cambridge

The Irish coffee was fantastic! The front bar area place is small, but there are few more small rooms in the back with more tables.

Recommended for:Budget TravellersFoodiesNightlife Lovers
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Cleveland Heights

Amazing Irish Coffee with a special treat watching the bartenders prepare them.

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Portland

Historic breakfast overlooking water. Irish coffee is world famous and the crab benedicts are a stable.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Los Angeles

It is located near where cable car starts, so if you want to drink some good ol irish coffee before or after cable car ride, this is the place.

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Long Beach

This is the first place to bring Irish coffee to America! It's a small place right by the fisherman's wharf and they have really good food. I had the steak and eggs and it was really good. The price is decent as well. Just know that the place is really busy and it's seat yourself.would definitely recommend!

Recommended for:Family TravellersFoodiesHistory BuffsHipsters
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Brentwood

My first stop on my Saturday forays to "The City". The Irish Coffee is the best ever. The bartenders are fun and the view can't be beat. Had breakfast once. Had the corn beef hash and eggs. It was ok.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Pro 2018
Local from San Francisco

Buena Vista Cafe is one of those SF institutions where both true locals as well as tourists would come and enjoy a nightcap of the world famous coffee..

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Ocean Grove

The creators of the Irish coffee still do it best. Hand down the best thing I've tasted this week! Cheers :-)

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Local from San Francisco

lots of tourists but lively atmosphere. I always get the Nutty Irishman with extra whip. If you get Marty as a bartender you'll be taken care of.

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Novato

Crowded and noisy, the Irish Coffee was said to have been invented here. In any case, they are a must for visitors to the area.

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Great place for after dinner drinks. Irish Coffee is one of the specialties. Community seating is perfect for making new friends.

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Sunnyvale

If you're going to ride a cable car, stop here first for one or two Irish coffees, then maybe take another to go. Take it with you to stand in line while waiting to board a cable car that will give you beautiful views of Alcatraz Island, the bay, China Town, and take you into Union Square. I think having Irish Coffee here is a perfect date starter, morning starter, or cable car ride starter.

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Local from San Francisco

Did you know that the Buena Vista cafe invented Irish coffee? This place has a really cute history behind it, and it feels like an old timey vibe so that can be really fun. I actually don't drink coffee so I usually get mine with hot chocolate and they have all sorts of fun hot drinks, which is nice because a lot of bars hate making these sorts of drinks. Good place to take someone from out of town to show them a little local history.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Local from San Francisco

Irish coffee...no better way to start a Sunday funday! Or any funday. The bartenders are super friendly and it's so fun watching them make dozens of Irish coffees all at once. If you are willing to go near touristland (Fishermans wharf) check it out.

Recommended for:Business TravellersFoodiesHistory BuffsVegetarian
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Pro 2018
Local from San Francisco
Ambassador

I had overlooked Buena Vista Cafe before finally visiting this San Francisco institution. Could I be blamed? It sits at a corner in one of SF's most touristy neighborhoods. The answer is yes, because Buena Vista isn't just a fun bar, it's historically relevant. It was here that then-owner Jack Koeppler introduced the Irish Coffee to the world in the 1950s, a drink that was previously enjoyed exclusively in Ireland. After perfecting the recipe with different techniques (you can learn all about them at the Cafe), today's result is quite possibly the best Irish Coffee you can have: not to sweet and not too creamy, wholly soothing.

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Palo Alto

If you're thinking of taking the Hyde Powell line, hop into the Buena Vista Cafe and enjoy an Irish coffee first. It will make waiting in that long line, all the more pleasant.
This place is an institution - they've perfected the brew and they've been serving it since the 1950s.

Recommended for:Foodies
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San Diego

The best Irish coffee to warm your bones on a cold San Francisco morning. And it's supposed to be the first place in the U.S. to even offer Irish coffee. It's open seating (or more appropriately community seating) so make friends with perfect strangers while you enjoy your coffee.

Recommended for:BackpackersFoodiesHipsters
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The Buena Vista Cafe

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Aliases: The Buena Vista, Buena Vista Cafe

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