Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

Alameda, CA
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1304 Lincoln Ave.
Alameda, CA
Opened in 2006
Mon-Thu 5pm-midnight
Fri-Sat 5pm-2am
Sun 3pm-10pm
(510) 749-0332

Critiki ratings

Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge



by 254 people



Everyone You
Decor 9.4
Drink Quality 9.2
Drink Selection 9.5
Mood 9.4
Music 9.2
Service 9
Tikiness 9.5
Tilt 9.2
Vibe 9

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 408 Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors

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
The Conga Lounge
Oakland, CA
Bar & Restaurant
. In early 2009, Cate left the Forbidden Island partnership, and opened his own Smuggler's Cove
Smuggler's Cove
San Francisco, CA
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 at the Pago-Pago in Tucson, Koa wood tabletops and large pieces 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.


ch47dmechanic is a regular at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, and is usually there Usually Tuesday nights.
March 26, 2018, 5:33 PM
No matter how many bars are considered "nicer" over in SF, we just can't get enough of Forbidden Island. Every time we go in, it just feels like home. Especially on the weeknights when it's not so crowded. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable and just fun to be around! You simply can't go wrong going to Forbidden Island...even if you're not looking for a tiki-themed beverage!
PineappleWhip has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.
November 21, 2017, 9:27 AM
I finally got to Forbidden Island last Saturday after hearing so many good comments. Everyone was right. This place is AMAZING. The waitress, bartenders, guests, everyone were friendly, and the bartenders really know their stuff !! The drinks are delicious and presented well. I had a Forbidden Island and a China Clipper. Both were delicious, but, out of the two the China Clipper was the perfect balance of spice, rum, tart, and sweet. A new favorite for me. The food, (although a simple menu) was perfect for a little snack. I really hope they get the crab rangoons back !! A big factor for a tiki bar for me is the music, and they did not disappoint me. It was an eclectic mix with Martin Denny, Jimmy Norman, Frank Sinatra, etc. I loved it. I will definitely be back when in the area, and wish I could have spent more time.
Cactus1932 has visited Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.
October 11, 2017, 4:10 PM
Was really stoked to check this place out. Arrived Sunday night. Unfriendly waitstaff, mot much knowledge. A bunch of bartenders working but only one making the drinks caused me to watch my delicious cocktails sit on a counter for upwards of 5-10 mins while I watch from a distance my ice melt. Gave it another try the following day and the different staff made up for it!
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Upcoming Visits
Tiki Lindy
visiting on
Sunday, April 22, 2018
3 pm-5 pm for the anniversary party :)
Tiki Lindy
visiting on
Sunday, April 22, 2018
3 pm-5 pm for the anniversary party :)
visiting on
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
for the first time
Regulars & Visitors
  • The Jab
  • chiwito
  • PeleNani
  • Chad & Jenny
  • Tiki Kim
  • TKaimuki
  • ecubersax
  • Zombie Mike
  • skillbilly
  • TikiDoll
  • not_carlos
  • kurtiki
  • thejab
  • Apocryphanow
  • BrianRex
  • Katstiki
View all 408 Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors