Night Out

Smugglers Cove

San Francisco

  • Rum
1 / 5

Mar 18, 2019

Smugglers Cove is a haven of Tiki culture specialising in rum and exotic cocktails. This pearl of a bar is hidden behind a fairly bland façade but enter in and be transported to a Polynesian world of pirates, where the emphasis is definitely on having fun.

This bar is a destination in itself – so unsurprisingly touristic – but despite this the bar manages to ensure that the atmosphere is relaxed, sociable and extremely upbeat.

The bar feels small and intimate despite being spread over three levels, a mood that is helped by the subtle lighting. A combination of seafaring knick-knacks and Pacific island references adorn every available surface. Drinks are served in Easter Island-style figurine jugs and flamboyantly adorned with exotic flowers, and bartenders attired in Hawaiian shirts complete the picture. Just when you worry that the place may be a touch too Disney, the quality and variety of the drinks on offer save it. The drinks menu belies a serious celebration of rum in its many forms. From the classic Mai Tai or Zombie to their innovative Port Royal, the versatility of the spirit is showcased pretty much to perfection. If you visit with friends, it would be errant to miss their Top Notch Volcano – a drink to share that definitely has the wow factor.

This place oozes charm, and fuses Tiki culture with a serious lust for cocktails, an American tradition which began way back in the 1930s. Since its opening in 2009 it has been multi-award winning – a testimony to its worth as an experience and a destination bar. Experience it at its best by arriving early to ensure you have a seat, which is essential if you hope to savour one of their sharing cocktails. Alternatively ensure you are there between 5-6pm, their happy hour, to make the most of your visit.