Smuggler's Cove

San Francisco, CA
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650 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA
Opened in 2009
Daily from 5pm
(415) 869-1900

Critiki ratings

Smuggler's Cove



by 377 people



Everyone You
Decor 9.8
Drink Quality 9.9
Drink Selection 10
Mood 9.6
Music 9
Service 9
Tikiness 9.4
Tilt 9.4
Vibe 8.7

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Humuhumu’s description

Smuggler's Cove was opened in December 2009 by Martin Cate, a renowned rum expert and longtime tikiphile who was one of the founders of Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge
Alameda, CA
in Alameda. Smuggler's Cove specializes in all varieties of rum and rum drinks, with a particular emphasis on historic and exotic cocktails. Cate has attracted some of the top bartender talent in the talent-rich city of San Francisco. Smuggler's Cove regularly appears on the lists of the best bars in the world. It has proven incredibly popular: if you go on a weekend, be prepared to possibly wait in a line for entry.
The decor is a blend of nautical and tiki. The dimly-lit bar spans three floors: the main and lower levels each have their own bars, and an upper half-level is a tiki hut that overlooks the main floor. There is a waterfall between the main floor and the lower floor, with a small pool at the bottom. The construction was led by Ignacio "Notch" Gonzalez, of San Jose's Top Notch Kustoms
Top Notch Kustoms
San Jose, CA
The offerings can be overwhelming in scope: over 500 rums, and more than 75 cocktails. If you're intent on trying as many as possible, consider entering the Rumbustion Society; those who complete the list are rewarded for their efforts.
In September 2016, Martin Cate opened False Idol
False Idol
San Diego, CA
in San Diego.


Stacy has visited Smuggler's Cove.
March 11, 2019, 10:28 PM
Highly knowledgeable and friendly bartenders, and well balanced drinks. Fun mugs for collectors. Huuuge selection of rum. I recommend coming early on a weeknight to secure a good place to sit and take in the fun atmosphere. Avoid Thursday nights and weekends.
Monster A GoGo
Monster A GoGo has visited Smuggler's Cove.
February 1, 2019, 12:32 PM
I've had the privilege of visiting this place twice now. It looks like it really is the cool place that lives up to the hype. I just have not been able to get there when there was not a mass of people there (and, from the way it seems, that will probably never happen). On both visits I've been stuck next to a wall.

Don't get me wrong. The place looks fab and is obviously popular. I need to give it a third chance. The first time I went, I was sick and I really couldn't gauge how my drink was. The second time I was with a friend and my drink was not the best choice for me.

The third time is the charm, right? I'll have to hope that holds true when/if I get back. If you would like to see what one of my experiences was like (complete with photos and tales of other San Francisco-area tiki spots), you can check out my blog here:

TikiTikiDC has visited Smuggler's Cove.
January 2, 2019, 5:57 PM
This space is clean and fun, but I think the cocktails are not up to standard for a true tiki-lover -- no garnishes, not swizzle sticks, and expensive compared to other tiki bars in the area.
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Articles in Critiki News

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Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
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View all 706 Smuggler's Cove regulars & visitors