Experience: The Buena Vista, San Francisco

Review: In-N-Out Burger, San Francisco
February 23, 2010
Mini-Review: Nicola’s
February 24, 2010

IMG_0508Ah, the Buena Vista, the “home of Irish coffee” in the U.S.  It’s on a hill overlooking Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, and they really do have great Irish coffee.  You can read the story here, but essentially two guys who had had Irish coffee at the Shannon Airport in Ireland wanted to recreate what they’d had– and they ended up with probably the most famous Irish coffee in the world.  Terry got addicted to these coffees a few years ago, and has perfected the recipe at home.  It’s great for the winter doldrums– that much Tullamore Dew (which we have on our bar and essentially use  only for Irish coffee) is bound to warm anyone up.IMG_0509

So I’d had these at home, and when I finally got to the Buena Vista in November, I was pleasantly surprised– theirs were just as good as Terry’s!  Seriously, though, it’s an experience, albeit a touristy one, that everyone has to do when they’re in San Francisco.  Watching the bartenders make the coffee is an experience in itself, and as a singleton heading to the bar, it was fun to people watch and eventually chat with a nice local couple about the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky and other points of interest in our respective home turfs.  It’s a very friendly and convivial place that feels like it hasn’t changed a bit since they built it (and I think the bartenders might be the same too– they’re perfectly ageless).

I have no idea how the food is– I hear they do brunch, but I did not see anyone doing anything other than drinking.  It’s just that kind of place.  Good thing there was that In-n-Out down the street!

The Buena Vista on Urbanspoon


  1. I love the Buena Vista. Great video! My brother lives in SF and we hit the BV every time I visit.

    Great for warming up from the cool bay breeze on the wharf.

  2. […] Spiked coffee.  There’s the traditional Irish Coffee is great, and simple.  Here’s the original recipe from the Buena Vista. I also like the […]

  3. […] involve Bailey’s, and don’t let your bottle of Creme de Menthe get anywhere near it. Make it the way they do at San Francisco’s Buena Vista: Tullamore Dew and lightly whipped […]

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