If jet-setting off to the tropics every weekend doesn’t quite factor into your summer budget (if it does, please take us with you), then sun-soaked, city-central alternatives are key. Enter the tiki bar. Tiki translates to “a wood or stone image of a Polynesian supernatural power.” And through the decades lounges inspired by these potent talisman, and the island culture they hail from, have popped up around the country. Tiki bars have become the vibey locales we flock to for sipping tropically-themed spirits and escaping (without the pricey plane fare).
So if you’re looking to escape from a certain city this summer without dropping major $$ or vacation time, then check out eight of the best tiki bars ahead. We’ve rounded up the island-inspired oases of your vacation dreams, from Minneapolis to Denver and even Houston. Hit a spot near you or plan a road trip to sip them all!
Lost Lake Tiki, Chicago
Lost Lake in Chi-Town has plenty of thatched-wicker and palm decor to go around — plus tiki drinks you’ve only dreamed about Instagramming.
Lost Lake Tiki, 3154 W Diversey Avenue (at N. Kedzie Avenue), Chicago; 773-293-6048.
The SOS Tiki Bar, Atlanta
SOS bar in Atlanta offers a chic retro take on the tiki scene — that being said, you can still sip a rum drink straight from the pineapple.
The SOS Tiki Bar, 340 Church Street (at Sycamore Street), Atlanta; 404-377-9308.
Tradition, San Francisco
Tradition, although not a dedicated tiki bar, has quite the dedicated tiki cocktail menu. Located in downtown San Fran, this snug joint pumps out some good old school vibes.
Tradition, 441 Jones Street (at O’Farrell Street); 415-474-2284.
Mother Of Pearl, New York
MOP in Manhattan’s Alphabet City is a tropical drink dream — on top of flaming hot tiki cocktails, this spot also serves up a pretty convincing shark eye sipper (complete with maraschino “blood”).
Mother of Pearl, 95 Avenue A (at E. 6th Street); 212-614-6818.
Colorado does tiki-time justice with Adrift’s trendy tropical decor, Polynesian-inspired eats, and dozens of damn good drinks (go for the shareable Baker Fire Bowl).
Adrift, 218 S Broadway (at E. Cedar Avenue); 303-778-8454.
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, Minneapolis
This Minnesotan tiki lounge sits right on the Mississippi River — stop by for rowdy tropical vibes and a round of Mai Tais (or “Crummy Scoundrels”).
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, 1900 Marshall St NE (between 22nd and 18th Avenue NE); 612-788-9069.
Lei Low Bar, Houston
This Texan tiki bar specializes in rum drinks and kitschy-chic decor — stop by to sit/sway and sip on a round of Blue Hawaiians.
Lei Low Bar, 6412 N Main Street (at E. 25th Street); 713-380-2968.
The Rum Line, Miami
The Rum Line on Miami’s South Beach sets a 1940’s throwback mood with retro outdoor furniture, luminous hanging lights, and a full tropical menu.
The Rum Line, 1601 Collins Avenue (at 16th Street); 305-695-0110.
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