If you are a true aficionado of Tiki Mugs, Tiki Cocktails and Tiki Culture, it may be time to overhaul your bucket-list to include the most epic Tiki Bars of all time. While the humble-yet-awesome Tiki Trend is still obscure enough to claim the title of genuine curiosity, it has also been around long enough to leave a pretty amazing legacy – and these watering holes are certainly part of that very legacy.
So, get your atlas out, pack a bag and experience the magic of Tiki in the most magical Tiki Bars around the world!
1.) Tiki-Ti in L.A.
This bar has been around since the 60s and has been doing steady business ever since. The original owner, Ray Buhen, was the unofficial apprentice of Don The Beachcomber, so this venue is the real deal. Better yet, it is a family business, no rum by Ray’s son and grandsons, and over the years has created no less than 94 signature drinks – including the Chief Lapu Lapu and the Uga Booga.
2.) Trailer Happiness in London
Tucked away in decidedly un-tropical Nottig Hill, Trailer Happiness offers a mini-vaca from the greyness of London and some properly delicious beverages to boot. Styled in a high-kitsch aesthetic verging on the psychedelic, this little gem has been serving rum-centric cocktails and mind-blowing dim-sums for the last decade.
3. Kahala Barcelona
Once upon a time, Barcelona was something of a Mecca for Tiki-lovers, with 14 active tiki bars across town – Kahala is the last man standing, so to speak. Since the 1970s, this bar has been hamming it up to a biblical level, we are talking a waterfall entrance, indoor fishponds and ambient bird song. Best of all, this venue has managed to combine its Catalan roots with their Polynesian favourites, making for a unique drinking experience to say the least.
4. Trader Vic’s Munich
Munich?! As in the home of beer, beer and more beer? Absolutely. During the height of the Tiki craze (ca. 1971) the Bavarians welcomed Trader Vic’s with open arms, granting them a prime space in the basement of the iconic ‘Bayrischer Hof’ hotel. Since then, this charming, bamboo-heavy location has remained unchanged-yet-well-maintained and is considered one of the most authentic European Tiki destinations.
5. Hala Kahiki in River Grove, Illinois
While Illinois might not seem like an obvious location for an outstanding Tiki Bar, the Hala Kahili has defied the odds and remained a stronghold of all things tropical since the 1950s. The original owners abandoned their funeral business to open this bar (yes, really) and the venue is still run by the same family. Known locally as the ‘Bamboo Rendezvous’, this is a must-see for any Tiki-fan worth their salt.