Hot summer days conjure up images of rum drinks poured over crushed ice and maraschino cherries mixed with tropical flavors. In other words, tiki drinks!
Lucky for us, Phoenix has some of the best tiki bars, and I have put together some of my favorites. Enjoy and drop me a line if there are any I missed! xoM
Across The Pond
Across The Pond (ATP), of Born & Raised Hospitality, is housed inside the old Central Wine space. It is located just across the way from sister property, Clever Koi’s Phoenix location. ATP serves an ever-changing menu of 8 different tiki drinks, plus an innovative menu of fresh, hand-rolled sushi. They also have craft beer and wine, and are particularly known for their extensive selection of Japanese whisky. It’s served in the traditional Japanese highball style, with the soda water artfully poured down a spoon.
The Bikini Lounge
The Bikini Lounge in central Phoenix is a hip, late-night dive bar that has been around since 1947. That would have to make it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, bars in town. The Bikini Lounge has no windows, creating a dark and intimate experience.
The tiki-themed bar attracts a younger crowd who have dropped in after a night out. Additionally, it brings in older Phoenix natives with a soft spot for retro tiki decor. The bar is small and the service is speedy. A small dance floor adds to the ambiance.
Bitter & Twisted
Founded in 2014, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour (B&T) is an award-winning cocktail bar in the historic 1920s-era Luhrs City Center. The soaring, stylish space ironically used to house Arizona’s Prohibition Department. Settle into a red leather booth and let the cocktail menu by barman and owner, Ross Simon, be your guide.
Every detail is exquisite, from the five types of house-made ice to the house-infused spirits and syrups. They are all made with fresh ingredients such as grilled pineapple or pure vanilla bean.
Born and Raised Hospitality’s Clever Koi is an Asian kitchen & craft cocktail bar with locations in Central Phoenix and historic downtown Gilbert. Owners Nick Campisano and Josh James have designed beautiful bright, and airy spaces. the Gilbert location has a dog-friendly outdoor patio.
We tried their famous ramen dishes, voted by USA Today as the best in Arizona. They have a nice variety from Pork to Lemon Pepper Chicken to the Cashew Vegan. Don’t miss the daily happy hour offered at the stylish craft tiki-inspired cocktail bar. It features an eclectic beer, wine & sake list, which includes the Arizona Junmai Ginzo from Holbrook, AZ.
The Drunk Munk
The Drunk Munk is located in Old Town Scottsdale, in the former Cowboy Ciao space. This popular tiki bar and restaurant serves Polynesian-themed food and drinks including mai tais, pupu platters and sushi rolls. Owned by Greg Donnally, The Drunk Munk serves dinner seven days a week and offers weekend brunch and lunch. The dinner menu offers everything from potstickers to Mexican street corn. However, most dishes take a tropical approach, such as Coconut Shrimp and Kahuna Steak.
Hula’s Modern Tiki & The Captain’s Cabin
HULA’S Modern Tiki is a modern, urban twist on the classic tiki bars and restaurants of the ’50s & ’60s. Locally owned and operated, HULA’S has three valley locations, each with a different vibe. All of them serve classic tropical cocktails alongside a menu of island flavors.
The Uptown location features a spacious indoor-outdoor dining patio plus a private dining space called The Captain’s Cabin, an intimate 28-seat bar hidden behind a door with a single porthole next to Hula’s main entrance. The Old Town Scottsdale location has a lively bar scene set around communal tables. The North Scottsdale location takes advantage of an outdoor deck complete with fire pits and a misting system for hot days.
Lylo Swim Club
This Swim Club is a sleek poolside bar and restaurant at the Rise Uptown Hotel. Lylo, an English slang word for “pool float,” offers a playful menu of Japanese and Hawaiian bites. These are paired with inventive tiki drinks designed by acclaimed cocktail guru, Ross Simon, of B&T Cocktail Parlour and Little Rituals.
The bar is open 7 days a week. It is located in an intimate, lush pool setting that disguises the noise and traffic from Camelback Road. Lylo is a refreshing escape that is delightfully far away from the bachelorette parties of Old Town Scottsdale.
One of the best tiki bars in Phoenix, Undertow, gets its name from its original location in an oil bay that was part of the (former) auto garage that Sip on Indian School Rd. currently occupies. Undertow recently moved across the parking lot to the Century Grand building. It is one of the three featured cocktail “experiences” offered by Jason Asher and Rich Furnari of Barter & Shake Hospitality.
The décor is reminiscent of the belly of a classic clipper ship. The bar interior portholes that run a series of maritime experiences, with footage playing on LCD screens. The scenes includes sailing along calm seas, running into the occasional rainstorms and docking in exotic ports. Check out my full experience of this tiki speakeasy bar here.
Honorable mention as it is closed due to COVID, but want to try: The Breadfruit and Rum Bar.