- Historic Sites
A Top 10 Tiki Tour
A passionate connoisseur’s choice of the greatest survivors
August/September 2006 | Volume 57, Issue 4
The Alibi is a bit more divey than the rest of the bars on this list, but the amazing sign outside, the pre-tiki history of the place (dating from the nineteenth century), a great mural, and lots of tikis make this one great.
Forty-five minutes southeast of Nashville sits this lovingly maintained restaurant. Omni Hut has survived a fire, the lack of a liquor license (bringing your own is absolutely allowed), and proximity to pop-country music.
Located near the Olympic Village in Montreal, this massive restaurant is notable for its turtle pond, many gigantic tikis, and the two-story-high atrium in which you dine. The food is a lackluster Chinese buffet, but you won’t care. It’s all about the ambience.
San Francisco, California
Visually, the Tonga Room has no peer except the Mai-Kai. Every half hour an indoor rainstorm pours water into the lagoon in the middle of the restaurant, complete with recorded thunder and strobe-lightning. Beautiful woodwork and mushroom-shaped huts make this one a stunner, but the food and drink leave plenty to be desired. Nevertheless, here you revel in an atmosphere of complete escape and relaxation.
Dozens of new tiki bars have opened in the past decade. A few truly get it. Some of these: Forbidden Island, Alameda, California; Waikiki Wally’s, New York City; and Tiki Terrace, Prospect Heights, Illinois.