In a world that can often feel overwhelmingly serious and self important, there’s something refreshingly kitschy about walking into a tiki bar. In fact, the whole concept of the tiki bar was created during the Great Depression as a form of welcomed escapism. Amidst a time when most people couldn’t dream of affording a tropical getaway, a man named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt was inspired to create a spirited oasis where people could forget their troubles and relax in the fantasies of their imagination.
Filled with nautical and tropical tchotchkes, floral leis, rattan furniture, bamboo decor and lots of rum, Don’s Beachcomber Cafe opened its doors in Hollywood in 1933 as the very first tiki bar in the United States, igniting a tiki bar craze that spread across the entire country. The original location closed its doors in 1985, but the legacy of Don’s Beachcomber Cafe lives on in every tiki bar in Los Angeles (the famous Zombie cocktail that graces the cocktail menu of almost every tiki bar was first crafted at the Beachcomber Cafe). If you’re looking for a boozy and light-hearted respite from your day-to-day routine, keep reading for 10 of our favorite tiki bars in Los Angeles.
Situated on the stretch of Sunset Boulevard where Silver Lake becomes Los Feliz lies the city’s greatest tiki bar: Tiki-Ti. This legendary family-owned bar has been open since 1961 and was founded by Ray Buhen, who was born in the Philippines in 1909 and immigrated to Los Angeles in 1930. Over time Buhen slowly became somewhat of a tiki mixologist master within the service industry, having worked at the legendary Don the Beachcomber, the Seven Seas, Sugie’s Tropics and The Luau. After decades gaining knowledge and experience behind the bar, he opened Tiki-Ti and never looked back.
The spirit of tradition and home-grown roots are alive and well at this cozy local favorite, where the coveted 12 bar stools will most likely be taken by loyal regulars. With delicious (and deceptively strong) cocktails, a haven of historic tiki memorabilia and a deep sense of community — this really feels like the truest and most authentic tiki bar, far from the tone-deaf mimicry that plagues many tiki-themed establishments.
Don’t be alarmed if you find the whole bar breaking out in a synchronized chant of “OOGA BOOGA!” or “TORO, TORO, TORO!”— a time-honored tradition where patrons yell if a certain drink is ordered. When it comes to tiki bars in Los Angeles, there’s a reason why Tiki-Ti is a cult favorite.
📍 Los Feliz • 4427 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
2. The Bamboo Club
Located in the historic Zafaria District of Long Beach you’ll find The Bamboo Club, a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood spot that’s helmed by the duo Erick Verduzco-Vega and Brett Gallo. Filled with vibrant tropical decor and delicious Polynesian-inspired and Asian-style eats, this tiki bar is the perfect place for post-work drinks. Plus: every Tuesday they feature a lineup of DJs who spin vinyl tracks from Caribbean and Latin American artists. Whether you’re a Long Beach local or you’re just looking to experience somewhere new, put The Bamboo Club on your list of bars to visit.
📍 Long Beach • 3522 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804
3. Tiki No
If you happen to find yourself at this laid-back North Hollywood tiki bar, order the Scorpion Bowl. The behemoth of tiki drinks, this tasty concoction consists of three different rums (Aged Jamaican Rum, Gold Rum and Silver Rum), falernum (a syrup liqueur from the Caribbean that has hints of ginger, lime and almond), passion fruit, lime juice, grapefruit juice, cinnamon syrup, pineapple juice and angostura bitters — served with a raging flame. It’s as every bit sweet, sour and stiff as it sounds. Tiki No is popular with both locals and tiki-loving tourists alike, but the ambiance leans more towards a casual neighborhood locale.
📍 North Hollywood • 4657 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602
4. Damon’s Steak House
This historic Glendale steak house has been serving up prime rib, filet mignon and tropical cocktails since 1937 — a huge feat for the notoriously transient city of Los Angeles. With its casual and unpretentious atmosphere, Damon’s manages to recreate the distinct feeling of being on vacation right in the middle of Glendale. Per its name, this is a restaurant first and bar second, so we recommend visiting Damon’s when you’re in the mood for a full sit-down meal. As for drinks, keep it classic with Damon’s Famous Mai Tai — a deliciously simple mix of rum, orange and pineapple juice.
📍 Glendale • 317 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
5. Tonga Hut
Any tiki bar can throw up tropical decor, mandate their bartenders to wear Hawaiian-shirts and recreate the classic tiki cocktails from the ’50s, but the mark of a true tiki bar is having a quirky sense of tradition and a commitment to loyal patrons. As L.A.’s oldest tiki bar (not counting Damon’s above, which is considered a restaurant), Tonga Hut passes the true tiki bar test. Case in point: the bartenders place a dedicated “reserved” sign on a very specific bar seat every happy hour for a woman named Dottie, a staunchly loyal customer who frequented Tonga Hut every week for 50 straight years.
Another Tonga Hut tradition we love: their infamous Loyal Order of the Drooling Bastard, a coveted and elite society that grants admission to only the most devoted souls who can drink their way through 78 special cocktails within one calendar year. Up for the challenge?
📍 North Hollywood • 12808 Victory Blvd, Valley Glen, CA 91606
6. Purple Orchid
If you’re looking for a place to sip on a Singapore Sling and listen to live music, Purple Orchid in El Segundo is your place. The atmosphere here is always loud and lively, with two pool tables that beckon amateurs and pros alike. Compared to the other spots on this list, Purple Orchid feels like the most dive-y tiki bar in town.
📍 El Segundo • 221 Richmond St, El Segundo, CA 90245
7. Pacific Seas
For those in the mood for glitz, glamour and a polished dose of tropical decor, Pacific Seas located in the grandiose Clifton’s in Downtown Los Angeles should be at the top of your list. Walking into Pacific Seas feels like you’ve stumbled into an Alice in Wonderland-like tropical paradise, with its fishnet light fixtures, thatched roofs, sleek wooden countertops, hidden nooks and romantic lighting.
The mood is definitely elevated here in comparison to the other tiki bars on the list, so we recommend this as a perfect date night spot or a fun, dressy outing with friends. Marvel at the whimsical and enchanting decor and order the Trade Winds cocktail, a tasty mash-up of Ron Abuelo Añejo Panamanian rum, Nankai Japanese shochu “rum”, apricot, coconut cream, lemon, orange and nutmeg.
📍 Downtown Los Angeles • 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
8. Kahuna Tiki
North Hollywood solidifies its status as the tiki capital of Los Angeles with Kahuna Tiki, a sushi restaurant and a tiki-inspired bar that slings sake alongside a long list of tiki drinks. They’ve got the classics — mai tais, navy grogs, zombies and the like, alongside more inventive modern tiki drinks. Kahuna Tiki is perfect for a casual dinner with friends or happy hour libations.
📍 North Hollywood • 11026 Magnolia Blvd North Hollywood 91601
9. Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar
Leave it to Disneyland to create the most fantastical (and yes, enchanting) tiki bar in the city. With tiki memorabilia adorning every inch of this space, it’s easy to get swept up and imagine yourself smack dab in the middle of Oceania. Order the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, a delectable cocktail made with Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, cream of coconut, orange and pineapple juices and dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg that tastes as fun as it is to say.
📍Anaheim • 1150 Magic Way, Anaheim, CA 92802
10. Luau Larry’s
Real island vibes abound at Luau Larry’s — a legendary tiki bar located on the one and only Catalina Island. You’ll get the full island experience by first hopping on the Catalina Express, an-hour long ferry ride that takes you from Long Beach to the cute and quaint town of Avalon. We know, we know — it’s not technically Los Angeles, but we couldn’t leave out an actual island bar from the list.
With beautiful harbor views and a warm and friendly atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Luau Larry’s is everyone’s favorite hang-out on Catalina. Order their famous Wiki Wacker cocktail — a tropical blend of Cruzan aged light rum, Parrott brandy, pineapple and orange juice and grenadine — while you plan your next adventure to Hawai’i. Bottoms up!
📍 Catalina Island • 509 Crescent Ave, Avalon, CA 90704