650 Gough Street, (btwn McAllister & Fulton Streets), San Francisco, California, CA 94102, United States
Tel: +1 415 869 1900
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Every day, 5pm-‘closing’
Door: Go early
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: Middling
Food: No food
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Perhaps the tiki-est of all tiki bars. The inside of this watering hole is like an exploded pirate ship seen through the eyes of someone on an acid trip: think lines of skulls peering through wooden crates, illuminated puffer fish dangling from the ceiling, an oversized anchor suspended above the stairs, and a canon hanging precariously above the bar, rigging, chains, timber and nets.
There's a seating area on an upstairs balcony, but follow the water trickling down the wall, and you'll discover a basement area decorated with the original Trader Vic's 'Boathouse' sign. All the tiki paraphernalia here is either original vintage, or custom made, and it's a pretty impressive collection.
The cocktail list is vast, and the drinks are complicated - many containing around ten ingredients, but made very efficiently by exceedingly focused bartenders, all dressed in Hawaiian shirts and hula necklaces.
Regulars are invited to become "Voyagers of the Cove" which involves drinking and collecting a stamp for every drink on the menu. Voyagers are welcomed into the fold with a small ceremony, and awarded a tiki mug for their hard work.