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

9.5

Overall

by 352 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.8
Drink Quality 10
Drink Selection 10
Mood 9.6
Music 9.1
Service 9.1
Tikiness 9.4
Tilt 9.5
Vibe 8.8

Upcoming Visits

  • CosmoReverb
    visiting on
    Sunday, March 10, 2019
    February 11, 2019, 7:01 PM
    I recommend hitting SMUGGLER'S COVE first. Both it and LAST RITES can get jam-packed full, but SMUGGLER'S is much smaller and there is always a line forming before the place opens.
    February 13, 2019, 10:22 AM
    Thanks for the tip! That was indeed our plan. It is our first visit to Last Rites so we were going to start with the familiar and move on to the new after dinner.
    February 13, 2019, 11:54 AM
    Will you be stopping at the new ZOMBIE VILLAGE in the Tenderloin? It's not on Critiki yet--but it is there. I have not been yet and am so anxious to get there. Have a swell time. Cheers!
    February 13, 2019, 3:08 PM
    Yup!! We certainly hope to! We are going to try and hit up ZV and Pagan Idol on the next day.

    ZV, LR, and Kon Tiki across the Bay have all sprung up since the last time we were in the Bay Area so we are excited to hit all the new places.
    February 13, 2019, 4:18 PM
    How exciting for you. I do know ZOMBIE VILLAGE was put together by the folks who created PAGAN IDOL, so it should be fab. I didn't find KON TIKI that much different inside than when it was LONGITUDE, but i'll wait for you to discover it for yourself and report back. I wish I was going with you. Have a drink for me. CHEERS!

Regulars & Visitors

View all 652 Smuggler's Cove regulars & visitors

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

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!
TikiTikiDC
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.
WanderingWill
WanderingWill is a semi-regular at Smuggler's Cove.
December 31, 2018, 10:11 PM
A tiki masterpiece. It hits all the marks. The outside is appropriately dull and unassuming which makes the transition even more special. No TVs playing sports or karaoke to attract the bachelorette parties, just overproof tiki goodness! There is no better drink selection to be found and everything is created to the highest standard. The events are great and the Rumbustion Society brings people together. Everything has a tiki focus and the decor has Disney-level detail (thatís high praise from me). I just wish it didnít attract the Hayes Valley bros and the SoulCycle chicks. But the true fans are great and everyone keeps a solid vibe. Highest recommendation.
View all 42 comments

Articles in Critiki News

All 9 Critiki News articles
Upcoming Visits
CosmoReverb
visiting on
Sunday, March 10, 2019
February 11, 2019, 7:01 PM
I recommend hitting SMUGGLER'S COVE first. Both it and LAST RITES can get jam-packed full, but SMUGGLER'S is much smaller and there is always a line forming before the place opens.
February 13, 2019, 10:22 AM
Thanks for the tip! That was indeed our plan. It is our first visit to Last Rites so we were going to start with the familiar and move on to the new after dinner.
February 13, 2019, 11:54 AM
Will you be stopping at the new ZOMBIE VILLAGE in the Tenderloin? It's not on Critiki yet--but it is there. I have not been yet and am so anxious to get there. Have a swell time. Cheers!
February 13, 2019, 3:08 PM
Yup!! We certainly hope to! We are going to try and hit up ZV and Pagan Idol on the next day.

ZV, LR, and Kon Tiki across the Bay have all sprung up since the last time we were in the Bay Area so we are excited to hit all the new places.
February 13, 2019, 4:18 PM
How exciting for you. I do know ZOMBIE VILLAGE was put together by the folks who created PAGAN IDOL, so it should be fab. I didn't find KON TIKI that much different inside than when it was LONGITUDE, but i'll wait for you to discover it for yourself and report back. I wish I was going with you. Have a drink for me. CHEERS!
Regulars & Visitors
  • The Jab
  • Tikitastic
  • Rugby Matt
  • Lokelani
  • JenTiki
  • Trott
  • martiki
  • puppo
  • Raro
  • monet2u
  • Super8
  • Aquatic Safarinaut
  • paulynesia
  • Diamond Shoals
  • Zombie Mike
  • BuzDeadwax
View all 652 Smuggler's Cove regulars & visitors