Buena Vista Café
    Russian Hill, San Francisco

    About Buena Vista Café

    23786 8317

    The historic Buena Vista Café is known as the birthplace of the Irish Coffee in the US, when travel writer Stanton Delaplane was challenged by then-owner Jack Koeppler to recreate the Irish Coffee served at Shannon Airport here on US soil. After much experimentation (we imagine it got harder to get right if they drank the results) success was had and a local legend was born. As such it's a popular stop off for those visiting the city and can get pretty packed and touristy. Dating back to the 1950s, (the Irish Coffee was born there in 1952) the café is very proud of its history and the walls are papered in old newspapers, and the gift shop caters for the tourist crowd with a range of Irish themed merchandise such as glasses, t-shirts and even Christmas tree decorations. Unsurprisingly, then, most people order the Irish Coffee as it's the house speciality and it's certainly a good place to start: creamy and smooth with a real kick. Other cocktails and regular, non-Irish coffees are available if you're feeling contrary try the Buena Vista Margarita, or the New Orleans Fizz, or the Godiva Chocolate Coffee if you fancy something seriously sweet. The food is decent enough; you'll leave well-fed if you choose to eat we can never resist a brunch menu topped by the statement 'everything comes with hash browns and toast', and you can honour the old owner's memory by ordering the Jack Koeppler omelette, should you choose (bacon, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms, if you're wondering.) But it's their famous drinks and their San Fran welcome that people remember.

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