The 20 Best Tiki Bars In The US

Uniquely American and rooted in tropical escapism, tiki bars hold a distinct space in the pantheon of cocktail lore. With origins dating back to the 19th century, when Americans began chasing interests in the South Pacific and adventure tales by the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson (via Smithsonian Magazine), tiki culture has seen more ebbs and flows than the tide. Remember, most tiki bars are not accurate depictions of South Pacific culture; they're more of a vessel for escapism from corporate America and the mundane aspects of life. Whereas once realms of nautical kitsch, popularized at pioneering spots like Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber, according to Men's Journal, the past several years have seen a slew of innovative novelties, with inventive variations popping up in cities and towns across the U.S.

Nowadays, the tiki trend has proven evergreen, constantly adapting to the times and bracing for modern resurgences, per Bespoke Post. They're temples of rum, bastions of escapism, and places that innately feel like a vacation. They're bars where classic American cocktails, like the Mai Tai, share menu space with exciting novelties and whimsical riffs on Polynesian fare. Whether clad in hot pink or shrouded in speakeasy-like darkness, they also come in all colors, aesthetics, and experiences, making tiki bars one of the most dynamic potable genres in the world. From an immersive underground oasis in Phoenix to a veritable pizza paradise on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, these are the best tiki bars in the U.S.

The S.O.S. Tiki Bar in Decatur, Georgia

With its flaming cocktails, palms, flamingos, and pineapples aplenty, you might think The S.O.S. Tiki Bar was on the outskirts of the Lost City of Atlantis, rather than in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Nestled behind Victory Sandwich Bar in the heart of the charming city of Decatur, it's a bar that personifies the notion of escape and vacation vibes that tiki has come to exemplify. And it helps that it also serves some of the best contemporary tiki cocktails in the nation.

Follow the tiki torches to the alleyway entrance, then mosey up to the softly glowing bar or sit by a mermaid lamp and prepare for a spree of rum-soaked originals as tasty as they are inventive. Known for the self-described "Unsinkable Spirits," the menu offers bracing classics like Mai Tais and Zombies, along with fresh novelties like the Kiwi Cruise, a quenching blend of Cachaca, rhum agricole, kiwi, coconut water, and lemon, and the Yellow Submarine, made with Jamaican rums, pineapple, banana, cacao, lemon, and cane sugar. Don't sleep on the snacks either — courtesy of Mushi Ni, Asian-American street food like Korean-style nuggets, soup dumplings, and longanisa skewers are the perfect counter to all that rum.

Lagoon in Durham

It bodes well that there's a tiki-inspired bar located above a barbecue restaurant that just so happens to serve one of the best frozen cocktails in America. Indeed, Lagoon is a self-described tropical "leisure bar" perched upstairs from Lawrence BBQ in Durham's Boxyard RTP, a hip shipping container park populated by eateries and cafes. Inspired by the mid-century modern vibe and Americana of the barbecue restaurant, owner Jake Wood and beverage director Zack Thomas have created a lush and sunny haven that felt — and tasted — innately like a leisurely vacation.

With its sprawling patio and refreshing beverages, its leisure aesthetic is a mission accomplished. Up here, guests can order a variety of tropical tipples, like gin & mandarin sours and umbrella-clad mezcal palomas, along with beers, micheladas, dark & stormies, and other classic drinks.

Latitude 29 in New Orleans

In a cocktail-loving city like New Orleans, where local staples are more in the realm of Sazeracs and Vieux Carres, it takes a special tiki bar to stand out amidst the boozy fray. And stand out Latitude 29 does, all thanks to head honcho Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. Right up there with Don the Beachcomber and Martin Cate, the latter of which is credited as a progenitor of the tiki revival, per Wine and Spirits, the bar owner is one of the foremost pioneers of the modern-day tiki movement in America, and he's holding it down from one of the most unique watering holes in the French Quarter.

Pouring years worth of research and exploration into the genre, Berry put in the legwork to discover and recreate tiki traditions and put his stamp on the pastime in a cavernous space filled with totems and a huge map of the globe highlighting important areas in tiki lore. Staples like the Suffering Bastard and Zombie are present and accounted for, alongside neoteric sips like the Pontchartrain Pearl Diver, a kind of iced buttered rum with honey-butter spice mix, passion fruit, lime, and Jamaican rum. The Polynesian-style food is just as tempting, from sticky-sweet pork ribs and mushroom rangoon to chickpea curry and fried chicken with pandan waffles and lemongrass syrup.

UnderTow in Phoenix, Arizona

Getting entangled in a pirate ship battle at sea is not typically part of the itinerary in a desert city like Phoenix, but that's all part of the allure at UnderTow. A tiny speakeasy-style bar hidden underneath Sip Coffee and Beer Garage (via a basement-looking staircase in the middle of the cafe), this is one of the most surprising and delightfully immersive tiki experiences in the country, with an atmosphere that immediately makes guests feel like they're in the hull of a vintage ship.

Dark and cozy, the bar is decorated with faux portholes that peer out to the "sea," with periodic pirate battles that really round out the transportive ambiance. Don't be too distracted from the menu, though, because it's massive and meticulous. Presented in an intricately designed and illustrated book, the menu runs the gamut from perfectly balanced classics to dazzling inventions — some of which, like the El Robusta billowing with cinnamon "fog" — are just as theatrical as the pirate showdowns.

High Roller Tiki Lounge in Solvang, California

Finally, a tiki bar for oenophiles. Nestled in the quaint, Danish-influenced town of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley, High Roller Tiki Lounge is a one-of-a-kind tiki bar that eschews rum — and any kind of liquor whatsoever — entirely. Instead, this funky and eclectic haunt makes all of its colorful cocktails with wine and wine-based spirits. This is wine country on the central coast, after all.

Despite the fact that all drinks taste impressively tropical and downright rum-like, everything is purely wine-based, including Zombie variations and Inland Tsunamis, the latter of which is made with makeshift "rum," basil syrup, lime, lemongrass syrup, and coconut cream. It's all made all the tastier by the fact that the bar feels like a cute beach shack, conveniently nestled in the middle of one of the valley's cutest communities.

Mai Tai Bar in Honolulu

Typified by chic umbrellas, surf culture, crystal-blue waters, and sandy shores as far as the eye can see, Hawaii is the quintessential destination for tropical bars and tiki drinks. And although the Mai Tai wasn't actually invented at the aptly dubbed Mai Tai Bar in Honolulu (that honor belongs to Trader Vic in Sa Francisco, per the Ultimate Mai Tai), you'd be hard-pressed to find a more picture-perfect setting for one.

Located at the Royal Hawaiian hotel on the edge of Waikiki Beach, the oceanfront spot is loaded with outdoor tables shaded by pretty-in-pink umbrellas, and cocktails adorned with their own tiny umbrellas. The Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai is a requisite blend of fresh pineapple and orange juices, orange Curacao, orgeat, and rums from Maui's Old Lahaina distillery. This is joined by a bevy of other options, including the bourbon-based Okolemaluna Itch, the guava-splashed Pink Casa, and the Hawaii 78 with vodka, St-Germaine Elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and rosé. Pair it all with some ahi tuna poké, Thai beef salad, and pan-roasted Mahi, and you've got a match made in Hawaiian heaven.

Water Witch in Savannah, Georgia

Tiki bars lend themselves well to tales of fa-flung lore and nautical exploration and inspiration. It's a sentiment that's on full display at Water Witch, a sleek oasis of a bar in Savannah's Starland District, where the whole ethos of the place tells the tale of a bygone ship from the 1800s. The USS Water Witch was set aflame off the coast of Georgia in 1864, a casualty of the Civil War that was long known for its misfortunes and ill fate at sea. Nowadays, the only sinking taking place here involves plunging into a comfy lounge chair and diving headfirst into a menu of fun cocktails.

Frozen drinks and mocktails are on-hand, along with a curated selection of tiki drinks. While many tiki bars boast book-sized menus, Water Witch keeps things concise with a few originals, like the Fun & Fancy Free with bourbon, Swedish Punsch, blackstrap rum, lime, grapefruit, honey, and tiki bitters, or the Tradewinds with vodka, apricot liqueur, lemon, and coconut cream. There are also a few masterful stirred drinks, which lend their own tropical tastes through the likes of Haitian Divorce, with black rum, mezcal, sherry, and Angostura bitters.

Archipelago in Washington, D.C.

Brimming with bamboo, tiki idols, palms, mermaid lamps, and shark-shaped mugs, Archipelago is a splashy bar that feels like an island getaway on U Street. Massive in scope, the bi-level bar pulses with Hawaiian music and vintage beachy movies projected onto the wall, with a vibrant drink list loaded with shareable punches, minty garnishes, and pineapples filled with rum and "secrets," as with the Pineapple of Hospitality.

Among the bar's most playful potables are the Papa Oom Mow Mow, a medley of dark rum and Oaxacan rum, amaro, hibiscus, lime, and orange juice served in a gaping shark mug, as well as the Misunderstood Vitamin Swizzle, with its curious combo of Trinidadian rum, pandan, lime, and Malört, a wormwood-based spirit that originated in Chicago. Food-wise, look for quirky riffs on Chinese-American food, like deviled Chinese tea eggs, sausage fried rice, and Sichuan pork nachos. Adding to the overall immersion of it all is The Lost Island Room. Open only on Fridays and Saturdays, it's an intimate bamboo-clad nook decorated with thatched roofs and huge tiki totems.

Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco

Smuggler's Cove deserves top billing on any tiki bucket list. With its laundry list of nationwide awards to its name, including one of the World's 50 Best Bars and one of the 13 Most Influential Bars of the 21st Century, this is home turf for Martin Cate, an esteemed barkeep heralded as a primary authority on tiki culture in America. Then, there's the mere fact that this wildly popular bar is pure fun, with some of the most unique drinks.

It all starts with a staircase down to a dark, subterranean lair of a bar, complete with water features and various cave-like nooks and crannies. A far cry from your standard Mai Tais and Blue Hawaiians, the bar employs a staggering array of vintage rums to serve drinks that tell the spirited history of tiki over the past few centuries. This stuff is the real deal, from the house-made syrups and fresh citrus juices to rums so rare they're found nowhere else, all stirred and shaken together for drinks inspired by the likes of Prohibition-era Havana, timeworn Caribbean creations, and colonial taverns. Unsurprisingly, the menu is dizzyingly large, divvied into categories like familiar classics, the Caribbean, "rum through the ages," and even some favorites from regular customers. For something truly singular, try a vintage recipe like the Batida, with Cachaca, condensed milk, coconut milk, and passion fruit nectar, or Millionaire Cocktail No. 1 with rum, sloe gin, fresh lime, house-made grenadine, and apricot liqueur.

Tiki Tatsu-ya in Austin

The folks behind Ramen Tatsu-ya, a mini-empire of buzzy noodle joints in Austin and Houston, branched out in a big way with one of the more immersive and creative tiki bars in Texas — and well beyond. Situated discreetly behind the South Lamar location of Ramen Tatsu-ya, with an entrance found in the back of the building (don't worry, the inevitable line makes it easy to spot), Tiki Tatsu-ya is an in-demand watering hole has the look and feel of a dark sea cave, complete with sea grasses strung from the ceiling, huge wooden totems, thatched chairs, and old-timey lanterns that look like they were pillaged from a pirate ship.

The space is mesmerizing on its own, but the drinks and food are just as captivating. The menu pays homage to vintage tiki recipes like a Suffering Bastard riff called the Slurping Bastard, and the gin- and shochu-based Strip 'N Go Naked, inspired by a drink invented at Kon-Tiki in Tucson. Some of the most dazzling drinks here are those made for couples or groups, like the flaming Rum Barrel, or the epic Skeleton Cruise, a mix of Japanese whisky, rum, chartreuse, guava, lemon, pineapple, and pomegranate served in a ship. The food is just as fun, from the crispy taro tots with fermented coconut ranch and the mango on the half shell to the foie gras musubi with honey umeboshi (aka pickled plums).

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge in Minneapolis

Anyplace that bills itself as a "retro tiki bar and pizza paradise," with a sprawling patio and multiple decks on the shore of the mighty Mississippi River, is bound to be a singular experience. Indeed, the eccentrically named Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge is a haven of over-the-top kitsch, epic pu-pu platters, whimsical art, and one-of-a-kind furnishings that range from elaborate leopard print decor to faux wood carpeting.

Classic-inspired recipes are the menu mainstays, like the Evil Headhunter with dark rum, pineapple, fresh lime, and almonds, and the Siren's Call with dark Jamaican rum, ginger syrup, lime, and pineapple. Then there's the Psycho Zombie, a frozen slushy made with rum-soaked cherry, cola, and lime, which is refreshing no matter the Minneapolis forecast. For food, hand-tossed pizzas are the crowd-pleasing fixtures (try the Thailand Island with roasted chicken, pineapple, basil, scallions, green pepper, Thai chili, pickled carrots, and spicy peanut sauce), along with snacks like bacon-wrapped smoke sausages, crispy chicken sliders, and duck wontons. All of the tiki mugs are available for purchase as well, and there's even an on-site tiki mug vending machine.

Adrift in Denver, Collorado

It's a taste of the Caribbean in the Mile High City at Adrift, a tiki haunt whose modest facade belies a transportive realm of far-flung libations, party-starting shots, group-friendly punch bowls, and some seriously exciting bar food.

Inside, the Polynesian and Caribbean enclave feels like a beachside alcove, decked out with dimly lit nooks, pufferfish lamps, bamboo walls, and eccentric add-ons like disco balls and a canoe hanging from the ceiling. Then there's the ornate, lustrous bar, lined with custom-made tiki mugs and stocked with robust punches, frozen cocktails, and reimagined classics, like a Mai Tai infused with house-made orgeat (some say it's the new bitters!), and a Singapore Sling with house-made grenadine and rose water. Other cool picks include tropical limoncello shots, and the hulking Jolly Ranch Water punch bowl, brimming with Mexican rum, blanco tequila, watermelon seltzer, lemon juice, guava, grenadine, and Demerara sugar. The food is also exemplary, with Caribbean-inspired snacks like jerk chicken plates, coconut shrimp, and key lime mousse with passion fruit puree and toasted coconut.

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto in Walt Disney World, Orlando

Solid proof that dining and drinking in Disney World aren't all Mickey-shaped waffles and Dole Whips, Trader Sam's Grog Grotto is a tiki bar that is well worth the inevitable wait down the hall in Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. One of the best bars in Disney World, it's a bar that adheres to Disney's world-famous proclivity for theming, storytelling, and meticulous detail. With a Jungle Cruise theme inspired by the ride in nearby Magic Kingdom, the bar is named after the attraction's Trader Sam, with a dark interior bar that's overloaded with knickknacks and nautical ephemera.

Once inside this no-reservations bar, guests are treated to an interactive drinking experience that includes fake storms and spray bottles that bartenders use to squirt customers when they order certain drinks. Cocktails are served in ornate mugs and vessels, and each one is surprisingly strong, like the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum with, you guessed it, rum — plus cream of coconut, pineapple juice, orange juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The Nautilus amps up the tropical fruit flavor with two kinds of rum, peach liqueur, tropical juices, and Falernum, while Spikey Pineapple is a drinkable dessert that blends Barbancourt Pango Rhum with pineapple soft-serve. There are also mocktails and a few snacks, like pan-fried dumplings and tuna sushi rolls.

Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago

If it weren't for the row of flickering tiki torches lining the way down a back alley in River North, you'd never know that one of Chicago's most popular bars is just underneath your feet. Hidden behind — and underneath — Bub City, Three Dots and a Dash reigns as a true pioneer of the tiki revival on a national scale, commanding huge in-the-know crowds since its debut in 2013. Nearly a decade in, it's still just as enduring and influential, with top-tier cocktails to back it up.

Once past the torches and through a discreet door, guests wander down a hallway lined with glowing skulls, before entering a vast cavern-like room glowing with soft lights, lined with bamboo, and bumping with beachy tunes. An homage to the classic Three Dots and a Dash drink, the namesake cocktail is a masterful mix of aged Martinique rhum agricole, aged Guyana rum, lime, orange, Falernum, and allspice, while other originals include the Lower Wacker (bonded bourbon, Guyana rum, Maraschino, red vermouth, honey, lime, and grapefruit), and Get Rich Quick (London dry gin, Armagnac, vermouth, lemon, and horchata orgeat). There are also a few Mai Tai riffs, group-friendly drinks like a series of rum-based Shotstapus shots served in tentacles, and crowd-pleasing Polynesian plates like pu-pu platters, spring rolls, and crab rangoon. Added bonus: The Bamboo Room is an offshoot bar-inside-a-bar, offering a quieter alcove for sipping drinks made with rare, high-end spirits.

Chopper in Nashville

Tiki culture and robot lore combine for a truly singular experience at Chopper, a self-described "robot-fueled tiki bar" in East Nashville. The funky, colorful, and quasi-clubby bar is a depiction of Island X, a fictional tropical island ruled by strange robot technology, and a bar that doubles as a cheeky "lab" to study the land. While that mythos may be just imaginative storytelling, the vibe at Chopper is as playful as you'd imagine, with drinks to match.

In addition to staple sips like the Tequila Hurricane, the Mezcal Passionfruit Margarita, and the Chopper Daiquiri, most of the drinks rotate seasonally here, and employ some atypical libations like Japanese plum wine, coconut rice milk, and apple brandy. On any given visit, the roster may include the likes of Honeydew List, with Oaxacan rum, melon- and cucumber-infused gin, aloe, lime, pineapple, and absinthe, or Big Time Grog with overproof rum, lime, grapefruit, Tawny port, maple, and orgeat. For snacks, guests can pick up Mexican food from the Maiz de la Vida truck parked permanently just outside.

Flamingo TIKI in Oklahoma City

The folks behind beloved neighborhood cornerstones like Picasso Cafe, OSO Paseo, and FRIDA Southwest have stretched their wings with yet another crowd-pleasing hit in the Paseo Arts District — a beautiful boozy oasis called Flamingo TIKI.

Perched just above OSO Paseo, the bar stands out with its entirely hot-pink facade, which gives way to a sultry room draped with velvety curtains, lush plants, flamingos strung from the ceiling, and royal-green stools surrounding a gilded central bar. The illustrated drink list is huge, with a handful of original creations adjoined by a miscellany of classics, from the Three Dots and a Dash to a bracing Zombie. Some drinks come frozen, some come ablaze, but all are vibrant, fun, and layered with tropical flavors. Sip your way through the menu while watching Gilligan's Island on the TV behind the bar, and lean into the vibe.

Wusong Road Tiki Bar in Boston

Chinese-American dining and drinking traditions are popular fodder for tiki lore, as exemplified with perfectly whimsical precision at Wusong Road Tiki Bar in Cambridge. An immersive escape to Wusong, China, this Chinese-American restaurant and tiki bar is a lush love letter to chef Jason Doo's hometown, complete with a hand-built Peking duck oven and a litany of original tiki cocktails in an extravagant plant-filled bi-level space.

The whole concept is an ode to the overlap between Asian-American cuisine and tiki culture, and how Chinese-American restaurants were some of the earliest progenitors of the tiki craze in the 1960s, popularizing items like Scorpion Bowls and Zombies. Harkening to that era, the bar is a blast from the past with things like neoteric Scorpion Bowls, Jungle Birds, and Mai Tais loaded up with three kinds of rum, orange Curacao, house-made orgeat, and fresh lime juice. It's all paired with Doo's take on Chinese-American comfort food, like summer corn rangoon, coconut-glazed spare ribs, scallion pancake rolls, and burger sliders stuffed heaped with Swiss cheese, pineapple, lettuce, Sambal ketchup, and pineapple.

Tiki Ti in Los Angeles

One of the original pioneering tiki bars in the heyday of America's tiki renaissance, Tiki Ti is still going strong in Los Angeles. Seemingly preserved in time, this kitschy oasis still looks the way it did when it opened in 1961, with the vibe of a frills-free windowless beach shack, filled to the brim with palms, pufferfish, quirky mugs, and ships strung up along the ceiling.

While most of the O.G. tiki bars have long since closed, Tiki Ti is a beloved relic of yesteryear, still clamoring with thirsty barflies and tiki connoisseurs who come from near and far to sample the boozy wares. With most drinks served in standard, modest glassware, the emphasis is on the pithy atmosphere — and the intoxicating tipples, like the Pain Killer, made with Navy rum, coconut, pineapple, orange, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and Ray's Mistake, a drink named after the bar's founder, Ray Buhen, featuring a punch of passion fruit, lime, gin, dar Jamaican rum, and vanilla.

Super Power in Brooklyn

A sunny and chic departure from dimly lit tiki bar norms, Super Power has an aesthetic more akin to a modern diner, filled with poppy colors, light-blue stools, and an expansive tucked-away patio bursting with plants and flowers.

The menu is small but mighty, featuring a handful of heavy hitters, classic-inspired creations, and refreshing novelties. The Mezcal Mai Tai is a smoky spin on a tiki standard, while the Super Fashioned is like a tropical Old Fashioned made with Spanish rum, bourbon, angostura bitters, orange bitters, grapefruit, and cinnamon. There are a couple of frozen drinks too, including a chilled Painkiller, and a seasonal sangria on tap. Food options, meanwhile, include a Banh Mi Dog and nachos that heap nixtamal chips with queso and black beans.

Hale Pele in Portland, Oregon

From the pufferfish mugs to the pufferfish lamps, every element of the bar is diligently and whimsically tended to at Portland's hallowed Hale Pele. The perfect blend of kitsch and class, this is the kind of bar that's overloaded with Polynesian paraphernalia in a luminous space anchored by huge totems, barrels, and colorful lamps strung up by ropes. Amping up the vibe, the bar also occasionally sets off thunderstorm and volcano effects, so guests can feel like they're sailing the South Seas whilst imbibing.

And much imbibing will be done, considering the drink list is 50 cocktails deep, spotlighting timeworn staples like Swizzles, Jet Pilots, and Suffering Bastards. Considering the bar's name means "House of the Volcano Goddess," the group-sized Volcano Bowl is a must-order — a flaming medley of rum, citrus, pineapple, and tropical spices. There are also several Polynesian-flavored small plates, like lumpia spring rolls, Kalbi short ribs, buttered and grilled Hawaiian bread, and mini pineapple upside-down cakes.