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 169 people



Everyone You
Decor 9.5
Drink Quality 9.5
Drink Selection 9.7
Mood 9.6
Music 9.1
Service 9.3
Tikiness 9.5
Tilt 9.5
Vibe 9.4

Regulars & Visitors

View all 198 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.

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.


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.


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Regulars & Visitors
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View all 198 Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors
KevinCrossman is a semi-regular at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge.
January 10, 2016, 5:31 PM
It's really small, so can get crowded during prime time. But it's such a great place. I love their whole decor, and the free-plays on the jukebox. Too much non-Exotica/Surf for my taste, but plenty of good tiki music options to load up and make sure there isn't any junk playing.

Drinks were tasty and service was within acceptable limits. They show tiki inspired movies on a TV by the bar and that's a nice touch.
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.
forgotten tikiman
forgotten tikiman 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.
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