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Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Drinks
American, Irish, Bar, Cafe, Pub
Seating, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Waterfront
Reviews (2,572)
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Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We stumbled upon this lovely restaurant on our way home from a walk back to our hotel. We decided to have a look at the menu and immediately we took a seat in the terrace area outside. The weather was great and we had the...entire terrace to ourselves. The service was fantastic and we could not fault our waiter. Our drinks arrived promptly as did our food. The food was beautiful. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting San Francisco. There is still so much on the food and drinks menu I would love to have tried so I will definitely be making another visit here on my return to San Francisco in the future!More

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Our cable car driver recommended the Bueno Vista - it was a chilly morning and a warming Irish Coffee sounded ideal. Our barman was friendly and poured a perfect Irish coffee that tasted as good as it looked. This is a real gem and not...to be missed!More

Date of visit: May 2022
Reviewed April 13, 2022 via mobile

We went based on Travelocity and hotel recommendation. Four of us had meals below average. The hamburger small and not cooked as requested. The crap cakes had more filler and onions that completely overwhelmed whatever crap was in it. The meatball parm was three meatballs...over potato with some vegetables. For $20 I would have expected more. The corn beef was dry. There has gotta be better food places then this in San Francisco. The highlight was the staff - very friendly, quick service constantly refreshing water and servicing the tables.More

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed April 11, 2022 via mobile

Stopped in just for a drink and we were greeted by a very friendly waiter. We had to indulge in the Irish coffee which was delicious! Lovely atmosphere.

Date of visit: April 2022
Reviewed April 2, 2022

Sat at the bar and was helped by funny, friendly bar tender. This place is historic and famous for their Irish Coffee. Right at Ghirardelli Sq.

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 28, 2022

Back in the 70's, as a young man, I remember standing shoulder to shoulder, three deep, at the bar, drinking Irish Coffees. The bar is the same. Thankfully, the Irish coffee tastes the same, but the glass seems smaller (maybe I've gotten bigger?). Regardless, the...experience was bitter sweet: A few good memories but not the same, Certainly more expensive.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 22, 2022

No visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Buena Vista, in my opinion. They are famous for their Irish coffee. We visited two days before St. Patrick's Day, and you could tell they were working hard to get ready for what must...be a whopper holiday for them. We made sure to visit BEFORE the holiday, as I'm sure it was packed. My only complaint is that they close at 7 on many nights, and that seems incredibly early.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 20, 2022

The Irish coffee is the draw here and they know that. They charge $12 for a single coffee, which definitely feels overpriced. That said, it was fantastic. The food though...very average. I feel like I could have gotten a comparable or better breakfast at probably...25 places withing walking distance and for a MUCH lower price. There were 2 of us; we ordered an entrée and Irish Coffee each and the bill came to nearly $80. That's absurd, even for San Francisco. If you're visiting, maybe just stop in for the coffee and save yourself some money.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed March 13, 2022 via mobile

I didn't know what the fuss was about until I tried their Irish coffee and I have to say they have the best Irish coffee ever. The place has a lot of old school charm and the waiters were friendly. I think it's a must...if you're visiting SF.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Reviewed February 21, 2022

We have been coming to San Francisco twice a year for years and I can't believe we are just now getting to the Buena Vista Cafe! The Irish Coffee was absolutely delicious! We also had breakfast and the food was very good as well! I...can't wait for our next trip to San Francisco for a stop in for Irish Coffee and good food!More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed February 16, 2022

This is the place, great, great food plus the best Irish coffee you’ll ever have. Surrounded by history and filled with charm. Whether you’re at the bar or sitting at one of the tables, you’ll love the atmosphere.

Date of visit: February 2022
Reviewed January 30, 2022

We went for the coffee but were amazed by the fantastic food! Definitely order a meal while you enjoy your Irish coffee.

Date of visit: December 2021
Reviewed November 18, 2021

Darcy, our bartender was awesome! He gave us great recommendations on travel and drinks ☕️! Totally worth the trip.

Date of visit: November 2021
Reviewed November 16, 2021

Their Irish coffee is made the "old school" way! The heavy cream floats on the top. Strong and delicious. Excellent service too.

Date of visit: November 2021
Reviewed November 9, 2021 via mobile

I’ve been to San Francisco several times but hadn’t realized this cafe held the honor of introducing Irish Coffee to the USA. So naturally I had to visit the Buena Vista Cafe and was so glad I did. The Irish coffee was superb and well...worth a visit. While this cafe is a full service bar and restaurant my review focuses on just the coffee.More

Date of visit: November 2021
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Questions & Answers
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June 8, 2018|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Bill V | Reviewed this property |
It's always crowded, that's why it a famous place to go. Tables turn over pretty fast though. Not the best place for kids, but there's no reason why you can't take them with you.
September 24, 2015|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from 92kathym | Reviewed this property |
Yes...but small crowded place and most seating is bar area I wouldn't bring multiple toddler sized/ strollers high chair sized kids on a weekend
James P
April 11, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from BobbieSueK | Reviewed this property |
It is a first come first serve style..
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Frequently Asked Questions about Buena Vista Cafe

Buena Vista Cafe is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5