San Francisco Sketchbook: The Buena Vista

San Francisco Sketchbook_The Buena Vista

Here’s a little doodle that Luca and I made on a recent visit to the Buena Vista Cafe. This is the spot when you need a dose of real-deal, old school San Francisco. It’s not really about the food (although you’ll never find me complaining about the “straight up” crab sandwich on sliced sourdough — they don’t mess it up with unnecessary garnishes and fancy stuff). The magic of The Buena Vista  is more in the ambiance, the sounds of cable cars in the distance, the bartenders in white jackets, the mix of tourists and regulars, and that impressive line up of dainty Irish coffee glasses down the length of the bar.

… and don’t even get me started about Irish coffee, the perfect cocktail for any true coffee-fanatic. My sweet husband has taught himself how to make a really good  one over the last few years which means that we can serve ’em up just like the Buena Vista when we have friends around for brunch or when we’re just too lazy to make the drive across town. He says the secret is in the whipped cream. Lightly sweetened and whipped just until it’s soft and droopy. I think there’s something about that special glass they use too. Here’s the step by step from The Buena Vista website in case you want to try conjuring up some old school San Francisco flavor for yourself.

Old School SF_The Buena Vista


2 thoughts on “San Francisco Sketchbook: The Buena Vista

    • Having grown up in SF, it’s not always easy to find spots that really feel like classic SF. Love all the new and trendsetting places, but sometimes you just want to havce an “old school” moment. The bar runs almost the entire length of the restaurant, with lots of alcoves and flourishes….. pretty spectacular. And those rows of Irish coffee glasses are a true sight to behold.

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