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Buena Vida Cantina, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Buena Vida Cantina

4.6
4.6
83 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary Mexican
Buena Vida Cantina is inspired by our travels to northern mexico and our love for
Mexican comfort food & street cuisine. Featuring unique dishes from Chef Erik Hopfinger and fresh Agave based
cocktails.

Buena Vida is for San Francisco and SOMA where community is ingrained in our
heartbeat. The Good Life.

Join us in The Garden, our outdoor dinning space, and enjoy everything we have to offer. Great food, laughs, good times and The Good Life.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 14 times today
Experiences are available.

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary Mexican, Cocktail Bar, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (415) 287-6561

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Owned/operated by

    Asian and Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Latinx or Hispanic, Women

  • Executive chef

    Erik Hopfinger

  • Catering

    For catering, outdoor parklet buyouts or large party requests please email our events director, Krystal Forrester, Krystal@blockpartysf.com.

  • Private party facilities

    For catering, outdoor parklet buyouts or large party requests please email our events director, Krystal Forrester, Krystal@blockpartysf.com.

  • Neighborhood

    SOMA

  • Cross street

    Between 4th & 5th Street

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Experiences

  • Valentine's at Buena Vida

    $75.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2023 only
    Enjoy a 4-course Prix Fixe Dinner, created especially with you and your date in mind! We'll greet you and your date with a specialty drink before answering any questions you may have about the menu. Our menu will be comprised of items such as a Snapper & Shrimp Ceviche, Surf & Turf, Queso de Cabra Enchilada and a Dessert Sampler for Two.

What 83 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. RK

    RyanK

    Charleston

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great restaurant, great happy hour, friendly staff.
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 19, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and priced right. We were seated on time and requested the bar. While COVID has definitely had a labor hit on every restaurant, I found that Alex who manages and works the bar was very good and she kept things right on time from dinner to drinks. Love this place
  3. k

    kemeva

    San Francisco

    100 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    100 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall4food4service3ambience3
    Really good margaritas, chips and guacamole. Tacos were good too! Nice, easy, authentic Mexican food spot in the neighborhood.
  4. NH

    NancyH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 13, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was fresh and delicious - guacamole was really flavorful. The service was wonderful!
  5. SF

    ShelleyF

    San Francisco

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service, good food, very quiet -- a lovely place for lunch. Went with five colleagues. Everyone was happy.
  6. SL

    SeanL

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We had a wonderful experience. The service was attentive and the food was a great value for the $$!
  7. DK

    DKL75

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 7, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    A very good lunch in a rather odd location. Friendly service, very reasonal prices.
  8. TS

    TiaS

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The atmosphere was charming and the waitstaff was super helpful with our food allergies. It was a wonderful experience!
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I was meeting a group of friends after a few months and we had a lovely experience at this restaurant. Margs were great and all the food was delicious.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Creative, authentic, fresh and very tasty food! Friendly service. A bit noisy inside (loud music), but we sat outside.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My coworkers and I went to dinner here, we are in town for a conference ana we had the best time! Great Mexican food! Great drinks! Would revolved for work dinners - the ambiance was very nice.
  12. HG

    HollyG

    Detroit

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was wonderful. We all had the El Jefe tacos, and the esquites appetizer, which were phenomenal. The drinks were creative and generous. The chips and guacamole were fresh and very good.
  13. AS

    AlSo

    Las Vegas

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had an excellent time. We come here regularly and are always impressed by the food and service. Friend waitstaff and half priced margaritas on Tuesdays make this an every week spot.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Chose this restaurant for my step-daughter’s 16th birthday with 6 of her friends. The service was prompt and the girls loved the food, especially the quesabirria tacos. The staff was fun and friendly and provided 2 tres leches cakes for her birthday candle.
  15. JB

    JessieB

    San Francisco

    75 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    75 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This time, I went for dinner with my husband. Awesome cocktails, great steak and lobster taco, plantains, Yucatan rice and El Jefe taco for my hubby. He was sold on my recc!
  16. LK

    LarryK

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on September 18, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience3
    Slow service, only ordinary food and drink, at pretty high prices. Bad combo. Disappointing overall. One and done, sadly.
  17. JB

    JessieB

    San Francisco

    75 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    75 reviews

    Dined on September 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great for groups Reasonable, delicious options. Attentive service.
  18. TA

    TiffanyA

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 11, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3
    Excellent food! Service was slow, despite it being a relatively quiet night in the restaurant. It seemed there were only two servers for the entire place. Really enjoyed our experience overall.
  19. KB

    KimB

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on August 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful restaurant and very attentive staff. Great place for a work event.
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlantic Canada

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Cool spot with great margaritas and great tacos! Service was attentive and efficient. Would return and would recommend.
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, drinks, and service. Good for groups!
  22. N

    Nate

    Palm Springs

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on August 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Loved this place… sit at the bar if you can. Alex was sooo amazing, making amazing drinks and providing the best service. Can’t wait to go back!
  23. LO

    LisaO

    Seattle

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic service, great food & drinks. My guests commented that their skinny margaritas are the best that they've tasted so far. It was a perfect ratio and balance of the ingredients. Witch water was extremely beautiful, tasty, and strong; hence the name. Awesome & fresh salsa trio, fish taco, lobster & steak taco, Al Pastor, Campichano, Quesabirria were all at the elevated level. The ambiance of the restaurant is easy going and classy. You can have a businesss meeting here, bring a date, or bring friends to dine indoor or outdoor.
  24. M

    Monique

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was a pleasant experience from the moment we arrived. Everyone was welcoming, professional and nice. The service was great, didn’t feel rushed, attentive and accommodating. The food was delicious. The menu had a good assortment. We will return. Thank you
  25. EZ

    EZEZ

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience2
    services are not that great, napkins are dirty. Food are ok.
  26. A

    Antony

    Atlanta

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I came for the margaritas, and stayed for the friendly staff, who provided stupendous service.
  27. O

    Oakland1998

    San Francisco

    11 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    The food was very good. We had several tacos and a flautas appetizer and chips and 3 salsas. I had the house margarita and my friend had a nice Malbec. I would recommend this restaurant. I will be back.
  28. AB

    AliciaB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    What a great gem of a Mexican restaurant! Everything we had was delicious. And we had almost everything on the menu, there were 12 of us. Chips and salsa and quacamole were some of the best ever.
  29. MA

    MarkA

    San Francisco

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    First time we came for dinner. We had been before for brunch. Dinner was excellent. The food came out hot and quickly. We each had a different taco, plus the guacamole with homemade chips and portions of flautas and shishito peppers to share. All were delicious and more than the 3 of us could finish. The frozen margaritas were also tasty. Service was friendly and efficient. Compared to our brunch experience, we thought the ambiance a bit dark. Overall, excellent place to go for outstanding Mexican cuisine with hearty portions, great service and excellent value.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing service, delicious food, and a great atmosphere
  31. MA

    MarkA

    San Francisco

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My wife, a friend and I went to Buena Vida for the first time. The food, margaritas and service were outstanding. We went for brunch. I had their hash, my wife had the Chilaquiles and our friend had the Eggs Benedict. We also had a side of guacamole & chips. Everything was excellent. Their chips even seem to be home made. We enjoyed the food and ambiance so much we’ve already made plans to return! Next time we’ll go for dinner!
  32. R

    Rojomo

    San Francisco

    28 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Professionals and friendly. Food was tasty. Salsas were great.
  33. b

    babc

    San Francisco

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great! Service was impeccable and the ambiance was nice-cozy and dark.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Most amazing guacamole and tacos I’ve ever had
  35. m

    mjhs

    Washington DC

    53 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    53 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food, service from everyone was simply outstanding. Interior of the restaurant was very attractive and if one just wanted a cocktail/snack the bar was a good size. Food was excellent. We had the guacamole [to die for!] and a couple of tacos each and were more than full. The service was impeccable - everyone did every job and made sure we were happy and well taken care of. For us it’s a strong recommendation to give it a try.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall1food3service1ambience1
    Had high hopes for this place based on reviews. Went for Mother’s Day prepaid brunch which we had paid via open table. Took my 6yo and 8yo. Waiter took about 15 minutes before he came to our table for drinks. Understandable if place was busy but only 4 tables were full. One was a larger family of 8. The waiter new nothing about the prepaid package. Had to grab manager, who comes back another 5-10 minutes later. So minimum 20 min wait bf we even order drinks. Trying to stay cool as to not upset mom on Mother’s Day. Comes back 10 min later with drinks then takes our order. We wait about 20 minutes before our order comes out. My 5yo son and 8yo daughter already pretty hangry and if you have small kids you know what that’s like. So then food comes out, manager steps in and apologizes saying they gave my sons order accidentally to another table. So we wait and finally he gets his food and engulfs it. Food is good. Nothing out of the ordinary but good. Made a mother’s days experience pretty bad. Really unfortunate. And just fyi I’ve never left a really bad reviews but this case was really unique.
  37. AF

    AnnF

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went for a wonderful Mother's Day brunch. The staff was so attentive. The food was delicious. It was a lot of food for the price. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
  38. BA

    BayAreaNative

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Great food and service! Queso with chorizo is 💣
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on May 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Mixture fish was amazing and service outstanding
  40. LP

    LeeP

    Nashville

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great. We had the last reservations of the night and they still accommodated us perfectly. The hot mess margarita was superb and we all enjoyed our tacos. Queso was pretty great too.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Diner temperature check required
    • Staff is vaccinated
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Buena Vida Cantina using the Order Online button. Buena Vida Cantina also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (415) 287-6561.

Buena Vida Cantina is rated 4.6 stars by 83 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 14 times today
Experiences are available.

Order delivery or takeout

Other options

  • Order online
Google Map for Buena Vida Cantina

860 Folsom St, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Between 4th & 5th Street

  • Neighborhood

    SOMA

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Thu 4:00 pm–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary Mexican, Cocktail Bar, Comfort Food

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Owned/operated by

    Asian and Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Latinx or Hispanic, Women

  • Executive chef

    Erik Hopfinger

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (415) 287-6561

  • Catering

    For catering, outdoor parklet buyouts or large party requests please email our events director, Krystal Forrester, Krystal@blockpartysf.com.

  • Private party facilities

    For catering, outdoor parklet buyouts or large party requests please email our events director, Krystal Forrester, Krystal@blockpartysf.com.

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