The Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill is home to the historic Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar, a haven of tropical drinks and 1950s kitsch. Open since 1945, the Tonga Room is a great place for dinner, drinks, and dancing. While a reservation is not required, it is highly recommended if you want start your night off with dinner.
There’s usually a wait for a table for drinks, but you won’t be disappointed when you arrive. The Tonga Room has all of the charm of a mid-century tiki bar. Lush palm fronds and flowers offset rich fuchsia and red colors, leopard accents, and bamboo tabletops. Special drinks served in coconuts and tiki tumblers largely feature rum to add to the tropical theme, but there is a full range of cocktails, beer, and wine available. Bar bites such as Hawaiian fried rice and Kung Pao prawns are a nice accompaniment to drinks.
The full menu features fare with Asian and Polynesian flair. The Royal Pupu platter features the best of the menu with spicy chicken wings, Dungeness crab Rangoon, and BBQ Kona pork ribs. The desserts are decadent and hold true to the tropical theme. The pineapple panacotta is not to be missed.
Dancing is the highlight of the Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar experience. The dancefloor is suspended over an in-door lagoon. A band floats out on a raft and plays danceable top 40 hits and oldies throughout the night. “Indoor” storms with rumbles of thunder, flashes of lighting, and rain drops down the walls give you the experience of a lush tropical storm.
The Tonga Room is a San Francisco landmark and has retained its charm throughout years of change in the City. It’s
a great place to celebrate a special occasion or to have a unique, memorable night out on the town. The Tonga Room is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner and drinks.
Kylie Hicks is a Bay Area native. She enjoys karaoke, trips to wine country, and discovering good eats in the City.