Smuggler's Cove

San Francisco, CA
Bar
131
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650 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA
Opened in 2009
Daily from 5pm
(415) 869-1900

Critiki ratings

Smuggler's Cove

9.4

Overall

by 384 people

1

10

Detail
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

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

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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
Bar
9.2
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
Store
10
.
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
Bar
9.5
in San Diego.

Comments

JeniSprang
JeniSprang has visited Smuggler's Cove.
August 8, 2019, 8:41 AM
So, I made it a point to make this the 1st Tiki Bar on our visit to SFO. We went downstairs 1st, and ultimately made our way to the top - way cool environment, it was this past Tuesday night not long after they opened, so pretty slow with plenty of places to sit. But our bartender must have been just as annoyed as I was with the pretentious 22 year olds who were sitting at the bar, interviewing each other for some work venture. They were loud, pretentious, and totally unappreciative of the environment. I think I sprained my eye ball from rolling it so many times. I couldn't ignore them to focus on the place I came to visit, SO, that's what drinks are for, right? So we drank: and I got the rum barrel, since it's recipe is redacted from the book, and my hubby got Dr Funk - AND MAN THEY WERE AWESOME! Tasty and strong enough to drown our hipster-induced frustrations - but not strong enough to cheer up the bartender, she was not having it that night. Shit happens, we all have bad days, I get it, but the overall vibe in here tonight from the patrons seemed to be killing the mood of the place, and she couldn't save it. I'd really love to come back on a busier night, actually, or a rum recruitment night, even if it means we wouldn't be able to sit, just so we could hang with the cool crowd and get the full experience.
Stacy
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:

https://monsterago-go.blogspot.com/2018/01/im-freaky-for-tiki-10-great-san.html

Cheers!
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Upcoming Visits
TiKi75201
visiting on
Sunday, October 6, 2019
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