Sure, it’s September, but fall doesn’t officially start until the 22nd. So we’re still holding on to sweet summer, and trying to squeeze the most out of it. What better way to do so than by saying cheers at a local tiki hotspot? We hit up our friends over at Yelp for the best tiki bars across the country, measured by their very own algorithm that considers the reviews and star ratings of each place. Figured we’d share some, so hurry over—the clocks tickin’.
Frankie’s Tiki Room, Las Vegas, NV: Sip on a “Lava Letch,” a “Bearded Clam” or a “Tiki Bandit” in this bar built by Bamboo Ben, the world’s foremost tiki bar designer and grandson of Eli Hedley—remembered as the original beachcomber who designed Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
Lost Lake, Chicago, IL: Hawaiian shirts abound in this tiki-bedecked bar. The menu pays homage to 80-plus years of exotic tropical cocktails with original recipes including everything from a "Some Days Last a Long Time” to “A Lonely Island Lost in the Middle of a Foggy Sea,” all decked out in some serious tiki garnish.
Lei Low, Houston, TX: Escape to this tropical oasis in the heart of Houston. Customers rave about the Mai Tai, which is described as “kickass.”
Tiki Tabu, New York, NY: The only thing New Yorkers love more than a rooftop with a view is a rooftop with a view and an atmosphere that takes their minds out of the concrete jungle and into a tropical jungle.
South Shore Tiki Lounge, Kihei, HI: If you’re looking to dance with some rum confidence and then stuff your face with pizza (aren’t we all?), head over to this indoor-outdoor space. DJs and live musicians curate entertainment every single night of the week and there’s all-day happy hour from 11 am to 6 pm. Sold.
Mike’s Tiki Bar, East Burke, VT: If you Google Map this place, it looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere. Sorta because it is. But if you’re a mountain biker, this tiki-laden spot engulfed in the rolling green hills of Vermont will offer you a hot shower, a number of local micro brews on tap and a food truck.
Tiki Tolteca, New Orleans, LA: Think: Latin American exotica. That’s exactly the vibe of this tiki lounge in NOLA’s French quarter, whether you’re there for one of its vinyl dance parties, cocktail seminars or a tasting event.
Kreepy Tiki Bar & Lounge, Fort Lauderdale, FL: Quench your thirst with a “Kill Mama Mule” or a classic “Painkiller” and kick back to live jazz, punk rock, Americana and more. Or come on a comedy or game night if you’re feeling just so young, wild and free.
Taha’s Twisted Tiki, Saint Louis, MO: The food menu isn’t very expansive, but there’s nothing better than fish tacos and deep-fried Oreos around a fire pit, with a flaming cocktail in hand. Amirite?
Tonga Hut Tiki Lounge, North Hollywood, CA: Let one of the experienced mixologists over at LA’s oldest tiki bar still in operation pour you a cold one. The dimly lit, California-casual hut has been serving Cantonese cuisine and stiff rum cocktails since 1958.
Trader Vic’s, Emeryville, CA: Vic “The Trader” Bergeron himself opened his first Cali bar Hinkey Dinks back in 1934 before moving to Cuba to hone his skills. When he returned, Hinkey Dinks became Trader Vic’s, which soon multiplied around the world. Check out this tiki haven and try one of his signature Mai Tai cocktails.
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