classic

Trad'r Sam

San Francisco, CA
Bar
35
pictures
Articles in Critiki News
I want to go!
Plan your visit:
Save
Get there
Share
I have been!
Report back to Critiki:
Visited?
Rate
Comment
Add Pics
6150 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA
Opened in 1937
Daily 10:30am-2am
(415) 221-0773

Critiki ratings

Trad'r Sam

5.7

Overall

by 69 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 6.9
Drink Quality 4.5
Drink Selection 6.9
Mood 5.9
Music 3.6
Service 7
Tikiness 5.6
Tilt 6.1
Vibe 4.1

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 156 Trad'r Sam regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

Trad'r Sam is the oldest, longest-operating tiki bar in the world. Trad'r Sam opened in 1937, and as originally owned by Sam Baylon. This small and very old bar actually pre-dates the appearance of actual tikis in tiki bars, and is an extremely rare example of the bamboo bars that were in some cities in the '30s. The bar has a series of seating areas around the perimeter of the bar which are each named after islands, and are framed in rattan. The bar itself is a large, horseshoe-shaped structure, also encrusted in rattan. There are tropical drinks available, but this bar is now more of a loveable dive than anything.
Cocktail enthusiasts shouldn't miss the world famous tequila destination bar across the street just a block and a half away, Tommy's Mexican Restaurant.

Comments

KevinCrossman
KevinCrossman has visited Trad'r Sam.
June 17, 2017, 3:10 PM
My wife and I popped in for a quick visit in the early afternoon on a Saturday in June when the nearby Ocean beach was bustling. Upon entering we saw the run-down displays outside the bar and the sign that is impressive despite being decades old. There was nobody in the bar except the bartender who was having a rather heated conversation on the phone. That said, she was friendly and gladly handed us drink menus upon request. I ordered a Mai Tai and my wife declined a drink, since she was driving (and also quite a bit more spooked by the bar than I was). The bartender was friendly about asking if she wanted a water or a soda a couple times, which was nice.

I ordered a Mai Tai, which is my default. Sadly it wasn't much more than just-okay rum with lots of ice and splash of juice served in a hurricane glass. The bar clearly had good bones but really needs a facelift. I don't mind the neon beer signs or the TV as long as the signs and TV are showing the local team (the SF Giants). The fact that this is a neighborhood dive bar gives it a pass on these elements. But I wish the Polynesian ones were in better shape. The outside displays wouldn't take much time to spruce up and while the interior seating would require more investment it could turn this place into something mainstream folks might be willing to visit.

The completely inebriated guy who came in after us didn't help my wife's mood and we left shortly thereafter. Glad I visited but considering there are tons of better options in just SF alone it'll be a while before we return.
May 11, 2017, 4:46 PM
Tradír Sam is located in San Francisco and it is the oldest and still operating Tiki bar in the world! It opened in 1937. It could be considered more of a bamboo bar than a Tiki bar because there arenít any Tikis. However, that doesnít mean the place isnít cool. Here is my full write up...

http://www.tikiwithray.com/tiki-bar-review-31-tradr-sam-san-francisco-ca/
PuaKeiki
PuaKeiki has visited Trad'r Sam.
May 2, 2017, 12:35 PM
Trad'r Sams is not closed. I was there with family on April 17 in the early afternoon. There where no other patrons when we arrived so we had the bartender to ourselves( by the time we left there was a few tourists and a local, all enjoying themselves). Yes, it's a dive bar, a wonderful, historic, fun place that has unfortunately seen better days. If you look closely the former glory still shows through. While checking out the tropical drink menu(mostly all sweet) the bartender said he could alter any drink to suit our tastes. After settling in with our yummy drinks we heard stories of the old Trad'r Sams from our bartender. At one point he went into the back of the room and brought back really old pictures of the place. The pictures showed a wonderland of the bar when it was fairly new. The staff was attired in safari clothes complete with pith helmets, quite posh. We throughly enjoyed our afternoon at Trad'r Sams.
View all 9 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • Tikizilla
  • Dr. Tiki
  • googuse
  • Raider Rich
  • BuzDeadwax
  • spindriftsuz
  • Apocryphanow
  • TikiLilVintage
  • Humuhumu
  • Tiki-Kate
  • Slacks Ferret
  • virani
  • Tiare
  • wayne-tiki-tiki
  • Eme
  • Tikitastic
View all 156 Trad'r Sam regulars & visitors