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“Be a Tourist” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Buena Vista Cafe

Buena Vista Cafe
Ranked #49 of 5,626 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Irish, Bar, Cafe, Pub, Delicatessen
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Scenic view, Families with children, Dining on a budget, Bar scene
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Drinks, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Fisherman’s Wharf
Level Contributor
83 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Be a Tourist”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

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.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DeerBio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,764 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Novato, California
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Irish Coffee”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

Crowded and almost impossible to get a seat, but the Irish coffees are great and the atmosphere and location are so San Francisco.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank RogerWi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
55 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Delicious Irish Coffee”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

I heard about this place from a former San Franciscan. I had never had irish coffee, but I love coffee so we thought we would give it a try. Really cool spot!! Old school bartenders who whip that coffee up in about a minute flat. Great taste. Was busy but not crowded around 3 PM on a Saturday. Would definitely go back.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank courtneyjestes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morton
Level Contributor
60 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Not what I expected”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

Irish coffee was not invented here. They copied it from a place in Ireland. The food is just okay. The bartender was not friendly. Don't waste hour time and money here.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank LAS10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“...back on the past...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2013

I loved Buena Vista Cafe. The building, furniture, people and the cable car visual from the window really contribuite for a good atmosphere. And sure good Irish Coffee!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank mfaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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