Pub crawl jumping-off point: Pacific Tradewinds Hostel
San Francisco, California is a geographically small city that’s at the very northern tip of a peninsula. Being surrounded by water on 3 sides, it’s no surprise that this town is full of great seafood and nautical-themed drinking establishments. As such, it’s no coincidence San Francisco has some of the finest tiki bars in the United States.
In daring hosteler fashion, our scurvy crew embarked on a journey across The City’s treacherous waters to 4 of the town’s finest tiki bars on this pirate-themed pub crawl. Destinations included:
- Smuggler’s Cove – An explicitly pirate-themed tiki bar in the Hayes Valley neighborhood. This non-descript exterior is only spotted by the long but quick line that leads into a 3-story plunderer’s paradise. While you can remain on the main level, feel free to order drinks from the cabin bar, or sip on some rum while enjoying the views from the poop deck. Consistently voted one of the best tiki joints in the country.
- Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar – What was once the swimming pool at the Fairmont Hotel is now an infamous tropical bar below the this luxurious palace that sits atop Nob Hil. If it seems out of place, it’s because it is, but that’s all the more reason to hit the pirate ship-shaped dance floor, where you can move to the jams of the cover band that plays on a floating stage in the middle of the lagoon. Oh, and it rains there too. Since this all sounds unbelievable, you just need to go experience it for yourself.
- Pagan Idol – A newcomer to the San Francisco tiki scene, this is a popular happy hour haunt in the Financial District for the city’s suited-up professionals. The entire bar is shaped like the interior hull of a wooden ship. Are you starting to sense a theme here? #ImOnABoat
- Bamboo Hut – For all of the tropical theming that the other bars on this list have, Bamboo Hut is best characterized as a dive bar that just happens to have some tiki elements and bad-ass cocktails (that are a bit cheaper, too!). There’s a reason this North Beach bar was our last stop, and it made for an excellent dance party.
This is by no means a traditional bar crawl in the sense that you can walk between locations. Most require an Uber ride, but being able to say that you swashbuckled all of these bars in one night is quite the feat! At the very least, make an effort to hit any or all of these bars if you happen to be in the right neighborhood in San Francisco.