photo credit: Lani Conway
The Buena Vista
You go to The Buena Vista for Irish coffee. In fact, the caffeinated cocktail was reportedly first recreated in the United States at this century-old saloon near Ghirardelli Square in 1952. The long wooden bar is the best seat to watch all the action. Bartenders in white lab coats line up glasses, plop in sugar cubes, and fill them up with coffee, whiskey, and whipped cream. Whether you actually enjoy guzzling down a glass will depend on how much you like sweet and creamy drinks, and/or just enjoy checking out San Francisco tourist traps that are also classic institutions. This place also serves wine, beer, and non-coffee based cocktails, and has a dinner and brunch menu of decent burgers, clam chowder, dungeness crab omelets, and more.
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