Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

Alameda, California, United States

Forbidden Island is a tiki bar on the island of Alameda just east of San Francisco. It opened April 22nd, 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 cocktailsa 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.

Alameda, California, United States
Permanently Closed?


  1. Trader Tom - 28 Dec 2006

    First time here visiting with Ilene and picked up one of their Tiki Diablo signature mugs during day 3 of our 4 day Tiki Spectacular Vacation.

  2. tabithablanken - Unknown

    The first tiki bar in my tour of the Bay Area. Although there were a few telltale tiki signs on the exterior, it was quite unassuming, and blended in with the neighborhood. It's the kind of place you could drive by for weeks before noticing that there's a secret inside, and there's definitely something to be said for that. We got seated in one of the hut booths, which gave us a nice view of all the cool floats, lights, and some giant pufferfish. The staff was cordial--not overly friendly or interested, but service was good and the drinks were well done. We also liked the special tots, which had sriracha mayo and hoisin sauce. I got the signature mug, which was currently in the chartreuse variant. The music was appropriate and nothing was too loud, so you could actually hold a conversation with those around you. A rare treat for a bar.

47 Tiki Mugs

  1. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Tenth Edition - Chartreuse

  2. Forbidden Island 12th Anniversary Tiki Mug In Bone White

  3. Tumuaki - by Benzart - for Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

  4. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Ninth Edition - Orange

  5. Forbidden Island 15th Anniversary Mug - Black Dress Glaze - by Tiki Shark - for Forbidden Island

  6. Forbidden Island 15th Anniversary Mug - Red Dress Glaze - by Tiki Shark - for Forbidden Island

  7. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Eighth Edition - Matte Turquoise

  8. Forbidden Sub - by Doug Horne for Forbidden Island

  9. Forbidden Island 20 Weeks of Tiki Drinks Coconut

  10. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug- Seventh Edition - Chocolate Brown

  11. Forbidden Island Tiki Bar Kill Devil 2.0 Mug Second Release

  12. Forbidden Island Diver Mug

  13. Forbidden Island 12th Anniversary Tiki Mug In Bluish Brown

  14. Forbidden Island 12th Anniversary Tiki Mug In Reddish Brown

  15. Forbidden Island 11th Anniversary Tiki Mug Green

  16. Forbidden Island 11th Anniversary Tiki Mug Brown

  17. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Fifth Edition - Red Wipe Away Glaze

  18. Forbidden Island 10th Anniversary Mai Tai Glass

  19. Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge Porthole Tiki Mug

  20. Forbidden Island 10th Anniversary Tiki Mug

  21. Ono Lono - Brown - for Forbidden Island

  22. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Sixth Edition - Glossy Dark Turquoise

  23. B-Rex Forbidden Island Mai Tai Glass

  24. Forbidden Island 13th Anniversary Mug

  25. Forbidden Island 11th Anniversary Tiki Mug Bone White

  26. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Third Edition - Light Matte Brown

  27. Forbidden Island Tiki Bar Kill Devil 2.0 Mug

  28. Nuku Nuku Brown For Forbidden Island

  29. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Fourth Edition - Delft Blue Wipe Away Glaze

  30. Forbidden Island Rum Barrel Bowl

  31. Tau'a in Caramel Brown For Forbidden Island

  32. Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge Octopus Rum Barrel Mug

  33. Forbidden Island Float Mug Blue

  34. Makalani Light Blue for Forbidden Island 5th Anniversary

  35. Forbidden Island Tiki Crate Mug

  36. Forbidden Island 5th Anniversary Mai Tai Glass

  37. Forbidden Island Volcano Bowl

  38. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug II Brown

  39. Kapulapu Forbidden Island Two Year Anniversary Edition

  40. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug II Limited Diablo Edition

  41. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - Second Edition - Glossy Green

  42. Forbidden Island Pusser's Rum Cup

  43. Forbidden Island One Year Anniversary Skull Mug

  44. Roberto Loco De La Isla Prohibida

  45. Forbidden Island Fugu

  46. The Forbidden Island Bad Liver

  47. Forbidden Island Tiki Mug - First Edition - Glossy Brown

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2020-04-23 08:09:01

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Date Created
23 Apr 2020
Date Updated
1 Jan 2023
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