A Top 10 Tiki Tour

PrintPrintEmailEmail The Alibi Portland, Oregon

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.

Omni Hut

Smyrna, Tennessee

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.

Jardin Tiki

Montreal, Quebec

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.

Tonga Room

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.

Tiki Revival: Everywhere!

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.

James Teitelbaum has been writing about tiki since 1994.