Smuggler's Cove

Address
650 Gough Street,
(btwn McAllister & Fulton Streets),
San Francisco,
CA 94102
California
United States

Tel:
+1 415 869 1900

Hours:
Every day, 5pm-‘closing’

Door:
Go early

Style:
Speakeasy

Recommended for:
Cocktails

Price guide:
Middling

Food:
No food

Review

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.

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