SAN DIEGO: The Best Tiki Bars In San Diego
TIKI BARS ARE HIP AGAIN
Perhaps “revitalized” isn’t the proper concept to use when talking about San Diego tiki bars. The establishments never went away unlike they had in most other California cities like in Los Angeles where the trend was allegedly born.
Allegedly is the right word here because there has been a long-time battle over who really invented the tiki bar concept.
Was it restaurateur Ernest Gannt, who drew inspiration from his travels in the South Pacific, or was it Victor Bergeron, who started the Trader Vic’s restaurant chain? Both men claim to have invented the Mai Tai, the tiki bar’s signature cocktail.
SAN DIEGO TIKI BAR CULTURE
While both Gannt’s and Bergeron’s Polynesian chain establishments are now shuttered, some of San Diego’s oldest tiki bars are still going. Given the city’s beachside location and abundance of palm trees, it may be the next best thing to Hawaii for many mainlanders. The city is the perfect place to imagine yourself on a tropical island sipping a tropical drink, and the local tiki bars do their part to fulfill the fantasy.
Bali Hai is one of San Diego’s best-known and oldest tiki bar. The spot has been open since 1952 and treats patrons to a sprawling view of the city and some of the strongest Mai Tai’s one can find.
Miss B’s Coconut Club is one of the newer venues, opening in 2016, offers a gorgeous open-air terrace, fusion cuisine and inventive cocktails.
False Idol is part of the reboot of tiki culture that’s going on across the country. It’s less about the tourists and more interested in creating an atmosphere for the hippest locals in the city’s happening Little Italy district.
If you’re looking for total immersion in to West Coast tiki culture, visit San Diego during the event called the Tiki Oasis. It’s an annual event that’s like Comic Con for sugary cocktail lovers. There’s an art show, a car show and even a Polynesian-inspired beauty pageant.
CHARTER A JET TO SAN DIEGO
There are dozens of reasons to visit San Diego beyond checking out a few tiki bars. However, you can really make the most of the experience with a tiki-themed vacation. Charter a jet to San Diego, loaded up with some friends and hit the beach running. Fuel up at one of the area’s many tiki bars and drift away into Mai Tai heaven. Email us or give us a call or text (480) 648-6129.
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