Party Earth Review There may be a full bar at The Buena Vista, but the endless procession of tourists who pack into this long-standing Fisherman’s Wharf institution usually stick to Irish coffee. The trend began back in the 1950s, when owner... ... read full review
2765 Hyde Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
MUNI F Line: Jones Street & Beach Street
M–F 9am–2am, Sa–Su 8am–2am
Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco –
There may be a full bar at The Buena Vista, but the endless procession of tourists who pack into this long-standing Fisherman’s Wharf institution usually stick to Irish coffee. The trend began back in the 1950s, when owner Jack Koeppler returned from a vacation to Ireland determined to develop his own version of the stuff.
Nowadays, the drink is so popular that the white-haired and white-coated bartenders just line up a slew of glasses on the bar, spilling coffee and a heavy hand of Irish whiskey into each – and all over the floor – before topping with heavy cream.
The walls are covered in articles touting the health benefits of the signature drink, but neither the middle-aged Midwestern sightseers nor the bleary-eyed European students seem to doubt the claims, seeing as a thousand-plus glasses get ordered on busy weekends.
Sightseers disembarking at the cable car turnaround just outside stop in to take over the worn stools by the bar or the simple tables by the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Bay, while a darker back room provides a quieter escape for the older crowd to nosh on their meatloaf and clam chowder.
A mix of preppy young professionals and rowdier Marina locals usually shows up later, tanking up on a dash of Irish energy before a long night of barhopping.
In business since 1916 – but really only on the map since the 50s – The Buena Vista promises all who drop in a great view and a piping hot cup of alcoholic Joe.
Young professionals, preppy Marina types, older Russian Hill locals, and lots of tourists. All ages, but mostly late 20s to 40s+.
Watching bartenders make a dozen Irish coffees at once. TV brought in during the Super Bowl.
Simple American menu includes eggs, omelets, crab cakes, burgers, and meatloaf.
Appetizers $4–$15, entrées $10–$30. Beer $5–$7, wine $6–$18, cocktails $4.50–$9, Irish coffee $7.50.
Casual: khakis, sweaters, fitted jeans, comfortable shoes, some trendier wear on the pre-party crowd.
Anytime to sample the signature spiked coffee.
The Parlor (2801 Leavenworth Street) is a hybrid speakeasy/dance club where much of the younger crowd ends up.