Featured, Tiki

my tiki bucket list

Over the past few years, I’ve made it my mission to visit a tiki bar whenever I can while traveling. I’ve reviewed the bars I’ve explored both near and far, but there are still so many to see! My personal tiki bucket list is made up of a mix of classics and updated takes from modern-day tiki fiends. Are your favorites on my to-do list?

The TIki Bar Bucket List: the tropical bars still on my to-do list

Mai-Kai
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

There’s a reason Mai-Kai is regularly ranked the top tiki bar in the world. With tiki gardens, a full menu, and a floor show that holds the title of the longest-running Polynesian dance show in the continental US, it seems like the closest you can get to the grand ol’ days of tiki.

Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
San Francisco, California

Tragically, I only had time to visit one tiki bar when I was in San Francisco last year. Smuggler’s Cove was much more convenient to my hotel, but I wish I would have been able to fit in a trip to Tonga Room! I’ve been to tiki bars with low-key water features (a waterfall here or there), but I’m super swoon-y over this bar’s lagoon (complete with tropical storms)!

Lost Lake
Chicago, IL

This is one of the last bars on my Chicago-area tiki to-do list! I’ve heard great things about Lost Lake from friends, and you know that I gotta get my picture with that iconic neon sign.

Hale Pele
Portland, Oregon

Indoor thunderstorms? Yes please! Hale Pele has a reputation for being snug and intimate, with drinks that regularly earn it a spot on “best cocktail bars in Portland” list. Sounds like the perfect combination of kitsch and quality to me.

Frankie’s Tiki Room
Las Vegas, Nevada

Every time Viva Las Vegas rolls around, I watch with quiet yearning as my feed fills with photos of fabulous retro fun, including trips to Frankie’s Tiki Room. What’s not to like about a tiki bar that’s open 24 hours a day??

Latitude 29
New Orleans, Louisiana

I’ve never been to New Orleans (shock and horror, I know!), but when I finally make it there you know I’m making a beeline for Latitude 29.  Beachbum Berry is one of the luminaries of today’s tiki scene, and I’m dying to experience his take on the tiki bar!

Pagan Idol
San Francisco, California

I definitely like my tiki on the whimsical and kitschy side, and the fact that Pagan Idol has an erupting volcano would be enough to get it on my list! Luckily, I’ve also heard great things about the original tropical craft cocktails on the menu.

The Golden Tiki
Las Vegas, Nevada

This spot has been described to me as Sin City’s take on Trader Sam’s, which is all I need to hear. The Golden Tiki is another envy-worthy selfie spot (that clamshell loveseat!), and you know this Disney fiend is dying for a boozey Dole Whip!

I’m definitely happy to go to any tiki bar I come across, but these are the ones that I’m really dreaming of! Do you have any favorites I should add to my list? Let me know!

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