classic

Trad'r Sam

San Francisco, CA
Bar
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6150 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA
Opened in 1937
Daily 10:30am-2am
(415) 221-0773

Critiki ratings

Trad'r Sam

5.2

Overall

by 83 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 6.4
Drink Quality 4
Drink Selection 6.5
Mood 5.5
Music 3
Service 6.9
Tikiness 5.1
Tilt 5.4
Vibe 3.9

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 205 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

Monster A GoGo
Monster A GoGo has visited Trad'r Sam.
February 1, 2019, 1:30 PM
I had not been to Trad'r Sam's in nearly 20 years when I made my most recent visit. The place had been a dive bar then--and still is today. At least the tiki aspect looks to have had some care done since my earlier visit---when the rattan in the perimeter seating areas was really torn up,

Still it knows its tiki origins and it does serve tiki drinks for those brave tiki tourists who brave an experience in this dive. I was thrilled to be back. It was smaller than I remembered---and more crowded. But it had its own vibe and was cool.

You can read more about my adventure there (as well as other tiki adventures around San Francisco) in my blog. There are a LOT of photos as well. The link is here:

https://monsterago-go.blogspot.com/2018/01/im-freaky-for-tiki-10-great-san.html

CHEERS!
Suffering Bastard
Suffering Bastard is a semi-regular at Trad'r Sam.
November 3, 2017, 12:29 AM
You need to prepare yourself for Trad'r Sam's. It's like finding the Prince of Wales working in a coal mine.

Trad'r Sam's is the oldest tiki bar in the world. You'd think that would make it a national treasure but no, it's actually a local dive that would rather not be reminded of it's' noble heritage, thank you very much. The rattan decor that speaks of ancient ports of call is left to rot (op. cit. the "LADIFS" room), while a central TV blares out Giants games and the regulars nurse Bud Lights. It wants to become the diviest of dives, and it is well on it's way.

That said: it's glorious. If you can find a bartender who's willing to hand out the tropical menu and fire up the blender (this is not always a given), you're partaking of tiki history. Honestly, it needs people like you and me to nudge it back onto its heritage , so by all means make a visit there part of your time in San Francisco. Just arrive with the understanding that this is ancient, ancient juju, that needs to be respectfully revived.
Suffering Bastard
Suffering Bastard is a semi-regular at Trad'r Sam.
November 3, 2017, 12:29 AM
You need to prepare yourself for Trad'r Sam's. It's like finding the Prince of Wales working in a coal mine.

Trad'r Sam's is the oldest tiki bar in the world. You'd think that would make it a national treasure but no, it's actually a local dive that would rather not be reminded of it's' noble heritage, thank you very much. The rattan decor that speaks of ancient ports of call is left to rot (op. cit. the "LADIFS" room), while a central TV blares out Giants games and the regulars nurse Bud Lights. It wants to become the diviest of dives, and it is well on it's way.

That said: it's glorious. If you can find a bartender who's willing to hand out the tropical menu and fire up the blender (this is not always a given), you're partaking of tiki history. Honestly, it needs people like you and me to nudge it back onto its heritage , so by all means make a visit there part of your time in San Francisco. Just arrive with the understanding that this is ancient, ancient juju, that needs to be respectfully revived.
View all 12 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • Tikizilla
  • Dr. Tiki
  • googuse
  • Raider Rich
  • BuzDeadwax
  • spindriftsuz
  • Apocryphanow
  • hatefrown
  • TikiLilVintage
  • Suffering Bastard
  • Cc3po
  • missmobtown
  • Squeegee
  • Jennka
  • MonroviaDamon
  • Humuhumu
View all 205 Trad'r Sam regulars & visitors