This was our first trip to California so I did plenty of research before hand. I didn't want to miss any of the good stuff. So we did our share of touristy stuff which included walking the Embarcadero and visiting Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf.
The Buena Vista Cafe was one of the destination spots for the day after reading about their famous Irish Coffees. It's right across the street from the Hyde St cable car turntable which makes it a great location to watch the hustle and bustle of the crowds. We visited on a picture perfect Thursday and as others have noted it was busy but not crowded. We found 2 seats at the bar without issue. The bartender was not friendly and acted as if I was putting him out by ordering a drink. We ordered Irish Coffees of course and I think he might have even rolled his eyes. Whatever, dude, that's what this place is famous for and I wasn't going to let a disgruntled bartender bring me down on a fabulous day in a great city. To his credit, the Irish coffees were great. So at least he could make a good drink even if he was an jerk.
We chatted it up with the couple next to us at the bar who happened to be from the same state (which is typical when we travel). All in all, it was a worthwhile experience (minus the cranky bartender) and We will visit again if we ever make it back to San Fran.