San Francisco Spotlight: Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Café

By Shelly Lurie

San Francisco is undoubtedly rich in labor history. Part of that history is the iconic Buena Vista Café – the establishment credited with introducing Irish coffee to the United States. The beverage consists of coffee mixed with sugar and Irish whiskey with cream on top – a classic that warms you to the bone.

Located in San Francisco’s tourist mecca, Fisherman’s Wharf, right next to the Powell-Hyde Cable Car’s final stop, the Buena Vista is steps away from views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. You can’t visit San Francisco without getting an Irish Coffee here – they’ve been serving them for over 60 years!

Buena Vista opened its doors in 1916, but it wasn’t until 1952 that the Irish coffee made it on the menu. Since then, the Buena Vista has served over 30 million Irish Coffees and currently makes around 2,000 of them a day! They crank out these drinks a dozen at a time and at an astounding pace. It’s fun to sit at the bar and drink your Irish Coffee while watching the bartender.

So next time you’re in San Francisco, stop for an Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Café and support these skilled, unionized workers!

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