El Presidente Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove is honored to have been named one of the...


2017 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner

James Beard Foundation, 2017

World’s 50 Best Bars

Drinks International, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

50 Greatest Bars on Earth

The Sunday Times, London

Top Ten Food and Beverage Concepts of the Last 25 Years

Cheers Magazine

13 Most Influential Bars of the 21st Century


America’s Best Bars

Playboy, 2012 and Esquire, 2013

You can find press about Smuggler’s Cove in the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, LA Times, 7X7 Magazine, Time Out, and other print and online publications.

  • The bartender is flailing about like a heavy-metal drummer, desperately beating eight, ten, fourteen ingredients into towering, elaborately garnished concoctions. Strange words fly about—hogo, agricole, solera, orgeat—and the heady perfume of distilled sugarcane fills the air. Tiki. As San Francisco’s and perhaps the nation’s reigning Tiki bar, Smuggler’s Cove draws a crowd almost every night, and you’ve got to wait outside until there’s space. It’s worth the wait.
    — David Wondrich, Esquire’s “The Best Bars in America, 2013”
  • Since its opening in 2009, Smuggler’s Cove has changed the Tiki and rum bar game globally.
    — Virginia Miller, Where Magazine, October 2015
  • When it opened, Smuggler’s Cove was at the time—and still is today—the new mecca.
    — Corina Quinn quoting Brian Miller in Travel and Leisure, 2016
  • With an extensive menu of complex cocktails and an interior worthy of a movie set, it’s not hard to understand why Smuggler’s Cove is one of the most lauded tiki bars in the world.
    — Drew Lazor, Time Out New York, July 2015
  • I had indeed found a Polynesian wonderland and arguably the best tiki bar in the country.
    — Robert Simonson, The New York Times, April 26, 2013
  • As much as Mr. Cate enjoys the fantasia of classic mai tai joints he is rigorously academic about rum itself.
    — Pete Wells NY Times, December 1, 2009
  • Mr. Cate is an acknowledged master of both the rum cocktail and of tiki culture.
    — Jordan Mackay Diners Journal New York Times, December 4, 2009
  • Bay Area rummies will have a new watering hole of their own from none other than neo-tiki master Martin Cate.
    — Jon Bonne San Francisco Chronicle, June 4, 2009
  • It’s truly a complete vision and once you’re inside the windowless space you feel completely disconnected (in a good way) from the reality of Hayes Valley right outside the completely opaque door.
    — Jordan Mackay 7X7 Magazine, December 4, 2009
  • Given Cate’s reputation in the industry his hand with home-made tiki drinks and his unparalleled knowledge of the history and culture of the drinks Smuggler’s Cove will probably be it’s no stretch to say the greatest tiki bar on earth.
    — Jordan Mackay 7X7 Magazine, June 3, 2009
  • Join Martin Cate at Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, a shrine to Tiki libations and rum goodness.
    — Oh Gosh! TV, May 8, 2010
  • ...tiki palace Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco features two bespoke spirits.
    — Kara Newman Wine Enthuisast, June 3, 2010
  • Martin was the first to take the principles of the craft cocktail and apply them to modern tiki drinks. I think Smuggler’s Cove is the first true neo-craft tiki bar, and what’s great is that the place itself is not trying to be serious, but the drink themselves are.
    — LA Times Magazine, May 24, 2010
  • Tiki's big move came in the final weeks of 2009, when Martin Cate opened the doors of Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco. A product of years of work and dedication by one of the most talented people (and it should be said, one of the nicest guys) working in bars today, Smuggler's Cove took the once-déclassé realm of exotic drinks and made them respectable, and proved that just because something comes in a volcano bowl adorned with flowers and erupting with flames, it can still be a delicious, well-balanced drink.
    — Paul Clarke, Serious Eats Drinks, December 29, 2010
  • Smuggler’s Cove has tons of potential to be the kind of cheesy bar you’d find at Disney World. But it’s not. You can tell that Cate put a lot of thought, time, and effort into his brainchild.
    — Matt Bloom, San Francisco Magazine, December 14, 2009
  • There is so much history in the place I’m considering asking Martin to train me as a docent to give regular tours.
    — Camper English, Alcademics, December 5, 2009
  • What sets Smuggler’s Cove apart from the tiki pack is its focus on top-notch bartending talent...quality ingredients, and solid technique. It’s a serious rum-focused bar with retro-tropical decor, but there’s refreshingly little of the tongue-in-cheek cheesiness that you might expect.
    — Married…with dinner, December 4, 2009
  • It’s a little bit of rum-soaked escapism, right in the heart of the city.
    — The Inadvertent Gardener, December 7, 2009
  • A rum haven run by one of the great advocates of the spirit.
    — Matt Robold, RumDood, October 5, 2009