The Tiki Chick’s Best Tiki Bars in America
My favorite tiki bars usually have both fantastic, immersive decor and topnotch cocktails. (Historical significance plays a factor, too, but a lot of the recent drinking destinations have really blown me away.)
Disclaimer: New tiki bars are joining the scene so often I can’t keep up! A few noteworthy ones I have still yet to visit (and thus can’t include on this list) are Latitude 29 in New Orleans, Hale Pele in Portland, Hidden Harbor in Pittsburgh, TikiCat in Kansas City, Max’s South Seas Hideaway in Grand Rapids….the list goes on!
1. Mai Kai – Fort Lauderdale, FL
With a luau-style floor show, lush garden full of tikis and waterfalls, very potent potables and a bar that looks like the inside of a pirate ship — the Mai Kai was more than I could have dreamed of. (Read the full review.)
2. Tiki-Ti – Los Angeles, CA
3. Smuggler’s Cove – San Francisco, CA
Rum expert and master mixologist Martin Cate opened Smuggler’s Cove in late 2009 and the accolades just kept coming in for its topnotch cocktails and captivating nautical decor. (Read the full review.)
4. The Undertow – Phoenix, AZ
The Undertow in Phoenix takes the transportive experience of tiki to a new level with its ever-evolving narrative of traveling to the South Seas and beyond in the belly of a ship. To top it all off, the drinks are some of the best I’ve ever had.
5. The Golden Tiki – Las Vegas, NV
With its rum-spiked Dole Whip and pottymouth animatronic parrots, The Golden Tiki in Las Vegas is like Disneyland just for adults. And the fun never stops as it’s open 24 hours a day. (Read the full review.)
6. Zombie Village – San Francisco, CA
Zombie Village in San Francisco had me spellbound with its interesting libations and jaw-dropping decor from an all-star team of tiki artists. (Read the full review.)
7. Three Dots and a Dash – Chicago, IL
Three Dots and a Dash elevated the state of tiki in Chicago with its serious mixology, good food, signature mugs and swizzle sticks, and impeccable decor that provides the perfect setting for a bit of tropical escapism. (Read the full review.)
8. Trader Vic’s – Emeryville, CA
This is the flagship (though not the original) location of the Polynesian-inspired chain founded by “Trader Vic” Bergeron. It boasts great decor and gorgeous waterfront views.
9. Tonga Hut – Palm Springs, CA
10. Psycho Suzi’s – Minneapolis, MN
If you’re in Minneapolis, forget the Mall of America and check out Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge for its atomic-inflected tiki decor, fun food, decent drinks and pet-friendly riverfront patio. They also have three additional tiki bars upstairs and a gift shop with signature Tiki Farm mugs. (Read the full review.)
11. Tonga Room – San Francisco, CA
12. Frankie’s Tiki Room – Las Vegas, NV