Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

Bar
1304 Lincoln Ave.
Alameda, California, United States
Ph: (510) 749-0332 - Website
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Tue-Thu 5pm-12am
Fri-Sat 5pm-2am
Sun 3pm-10pm
closed Mon
Opened in 2006
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Kona Club, Oakland 3.9 mi
6.3 km
The Conga Lounge, Oakland 4.6 mi
7.4 km
Trader Vic's Final Resting Place, Oakland 4.1 mi
6.6 km
The Enchanted Tiki Office, Emeryville 4.2 mi
6.7 km
Trader Vic's, Emeryville 5.0 mi
8.0 km
Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda
July 2014, photo by Peniamina
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Humuhumu’s description:
Forbidden Island is a tiki bar on the island of Alameda just east of San Francisco. It opened in 2006, but it has the look and feel of a classic old tiki bar. The bar was the creation of Martin "Martiki" Cate, a longtime tiki devotee, rum expert, and former Trader Vic's bartender, and brothers "Conga Mike" and Manny Thanos, who are part-owners of the nearby Conga Lounge. In early 2009, Cate left the Forbidden Island partnership, and opened his own Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco.

Forbidden Island has a commitment to quality, with only fresh-squeezed juices and premium spirits used. The drink menu features dozens of tropical cocktails—a mix of classics such as the Sidewinder's Fang and the Zombie, and new creations like the China Clipper and the Fugu for Two. There is also an extensive list of premium rums.

The decor is filled with many layered details, and was crafted primarily by Bamboo Ben and Martin Cate. There is an abundance of bamboo and thatch, and the walls are lined with wood, giving the appearance of the inside of a ship. There are several artifacts from tiki lounges of the past, including a war club from the Kahiki in Columbus, floats from Eli Hedley's Island Trade ship, which were used tat he Pago-Pago in Tucson, Koa wood tabletops and large peices of bamboo from the Lanai in San Mateo, and several carved pieces including two large carved poles by Ken Pleasant that were used at the Kahiki Moon in Burlington, Vermont. The logo tiki was carved by Tiki Diablo, and presides over a water feature in a cozy corner. There are three hut-like booths, and a long bar with comfortable seating. A rear patio is open until 9p.m. (after 9 it closes to minimize noise for the surrounding residential neighborhood).

Music on the jukebox is predominantly pre-1964, and was specially selected to fit in the vintage lounge environment, with no shortage of Exotica available. A small selection of snack food is available.

Some parking is available in back, and there is plenty of free parking on the street. Alameda has a speed limit of 25 MPH throughout the whole island, and it's strictly enforced.

How to find it:
Forbidden Island occupies a brown, one-story, flat-front building on the south-west side of the street. The closest cross-street is Sherman St. Look for the hanging sign with "Forbidden Island" in white letters.
Parking:
Forbidden Island has a small parking lot with room for about eight cars behind the building (the entry is just to the left of the building). If the lot is full, it isn't hard to find free parking on the street.
There are 14 comments.
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November 4, 2008, 1:29 PM
How can there possibly be no comments about this gem. Since October 08 I have had the honor of having been to F.I four times. Martin is great as are the whole staff. I recntly dragged my oldest son, (on leave from the Navy), in for a drink. He was totally impressed. Nothing impresses him. No matter where you are now. Get to F.I.

November 11, 2008, 9:42 AM
Absolutely my favorite Tiki bar. They squeeze fresh juice and make their own flavorings. About twenty feet of fine rums on the shelf behind the bar. Lovely, intimate decor. If you go on Friday or the weekend, there is usually a line before opening time!

June 18, 2009, 11:05 PM
My third favorite tiki bar...after Tiki Ti and the Mai Kai. Go now.

June 29, 2009, 2:53 PM
I'm still trying to make my way thru the drink menu, but then they whip out the seasonal specials. It's a never ending journey. The drinks are always tasty, fresh and made with care. Not one bad drink in the house. They even have Tahitian and Hawaiian beers. Remember, liquor before beer you're in the clear.
The decor is pretty rockin.
The waitresses are smokin.
And the music is right on.
If you have not been here, enjoy Tiki with your drinking, you're missing out.


Kukuthi is a semi-regular at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

July 27, 2009, 12:11 PM
Ah, loved it . . . great bar-side manner, great atmosphere, yummy drinks, vaguely remember snackies as hot and enjoyable.
Kenapele has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

January 25, 2010, 7:16 PM
Have been here a few times and have loved it each time. The Zombie is amazing. And I like the little strength chart next to the drinks on the menu...
Dalisair has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

September 22, 2010, 12:57 AM
Forbidden Island, you have forever stolen my rum and pineapple washed heart. I am proud to have introduced many of my friends to the joys of tiki under these thatch-roofed booths while savoring one of their truly magnificent Pirate's Grogs. I have yet to find another bamboo and dollar-bill covered bar with such a friendly and welcoming feel paired with such an enjoyable drink menu. I have been here many times over and will be back many times more.
Devin is a semi-regular at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

June 3, 2011, 12:20 PM
I was able to stop in here last June prior to having surgery in San Francisco. The bar staff was excellent, helped my friend select a drink off the menu (some people just aren't happy with a mai tai) and the atmosphere was fantastic. The drinks were awesome, I was quite sad that I had to stop after one. I definitely give this place a 10.
Iscah has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

February 20, 2012, 10:15 PM
Got there early and camped out at the bar. Glad we did, cuzit got pretty busy. Loved how they had an old tiki-ish Batman episode playing on the tv behind the bar. Awesome! Most drinks were really tasty. Some a little on the sweet side for my taste though. Can't wait to go back. Did you know Forbidden Island is featured as a location in a new Tiki themed book called "It Came from Hangar 18"? Kinda cool.
Tiki Kiki has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

March 17, 2012, 4:53 PM
Love this place. MUST go if you're in the East Bay!
Tiki Finky has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

May 4, 2012, 1:14 AM
amazing and worth the trip to the east bay by itself.
exquisitecorpse has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

September 22, 2012, 9:36 PM
F'King amazing! well worth the trip! awesome decor! awesome drinks! friendly staff! AND you keep the mug! a true Tiki bar experience! go there!
TikiKolin has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

February 18, 2013, 11:00 AM
I love Forbidden Island. Its a incredible Tiki bar. Drinks, music, ambience are all top notch. Another Tiki gem for the revival.
forgotten tikiman has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.

July 5, 2013, 10:58 PM
Forbidden Island has the combination of friendly staff, excellent drinks, great tiki decor and no smoking. My other haunts are the Tiki Ti and Frankie's Tiki Room (Las Vegas) but the smoking kills me. Here the warm caring staff make me feel comfortable and relaxed.

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