2765 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109. (415) 474-5044
It's said that you can't go home again, but I call BS. This past weekend during our escape to San Francisco, Mr.S. took me to one of his childhood haunts- the historic Buena Vista Cafe near the Fisherman's Wharf. Had we planned a little more carefully, we probably could have hopped on a cable car right outside of our hotel and rode it straight to the porch of the cafe. Instead we drove over there and luckily parking didn't turn out to be an issue. We got there minutes before it opened and as we stood outside in line, we inhaled the crisp bay air and Mr.S. excitedly told me how he and his family would always stop by the Buena Vista when he was a child. At 9am promptly, a matronly waitress unlocked the doors and the masses moved in, tables become occupied in a flash and seats at the well worn wooden counter quickly filled. Somehow we were one of the lucky ones who were able to slide into a table next to the window. Those who were unable to find a table stood in the walkway and any open nook or cranny available anxiously looking for a seat to open. Everyone's elbow to elbow, that's how it rolls at the Buena Vista...a bit like musical chairs.
Now if you haven't heard, the Buena Vista is supposedly the birthplace of the Irish Coffee in America. The Buena Vista has been using the same tried and true recipe since 1952, can you believe it?! Every table around us seemed to be sporting a goblet of the hot, frothy liquid. (I bet they go through TONS of Irish Whiskey!) For breakfast, we both went a bit traditional. Mr.S. ordered a plate of corn beef hash (he loooves hash) and I went with some eggs, sausage and toast. Both orders were tasty- nothing fancy. Service was a bit slow but it was a full house. As soon as we paid our tab and stood to leave, hungry patrons quickly swooped into our still warm seats.
The food at the Buena Vista is solid, the atmosphere is fun and nostalgia is abound in the small restaurant. Regulars and visitors equally were lining up to come in and smiles were plentiful. While I was digging into my breakfast , I looked up and I swear I could picture a school-aged Mr.S. bellying up to the counter and demanding a plate of hash. That made ME smile. So even if the joint is a wee bit touristy, I'm glad we stopped by.