Houston's Best Tiki Bars*

Postcard from Houston's Trader Vic's.
Houston is finally set to get a true 21st century tiki bar next month, when Lei Low finally opens. Though it won't be the city's first tiki bar. The long-gone Shamrock Hilton was once the site of a Trader Vic's. There was a tiki bar out on the west side when I first moved to town. And who could forget Hula Mama's? (Answer: a lot of people could forget it. It closed without fanfare.) There's even a HAIF thread about tiki in Houston over the years.

But you don't have to wait until Lei Low opens to get a taste of the Polynesian/Caribbean fusion that is tiki cocktails. Here are five places in Houston that pass for decent tiki bars *until we get a dedicated one.

Flickr user Houston Entree
Tiki Tuesdays at Anvil

5. Grand Prize
There's a reason Lei Low chose Grand Prize as the spot for its two pop-up nights earlier this summer. The bar has an excellent selection of rums and a few classic and tiki drinks on the menu, and often sports frozen and on-tap cocktails with a tiki flair. Plus, while there's no carvings or bamboo, the dark, divey atmosphere does feel a bit like a getaway.

4. Beaver's
Bobby Heugel cut his teeth here with weekly tiki night long before Anvil ever opened. Beaver's still offers the occasional tiki cocktail -- the Lanai Luau and Whorechata are both favorites. They also regularly feature a house punch and spins on the frozen daiquiri.

3. Anvil
The original home of Tiki Tuesday. Each week Anvil's bartenders dress in Aloha wear and conspire to create a cocktail menu based off different specifics themes, like flaming drinks or "summer harvest." But if weeknights don't work for you, never fear. Anvil can still make a mean modern daiquiri, and their new menu even includes a play on the Dark and Stormy.

Location Info


Grand Prize Bar

1010 Banks, Houston, TX

Category: Music


2310 Decatur St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Under The Volcano

2349 Bissonnet, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Anvil Bar & Refuge

1424 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails

3622 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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@LooperLouie Jeez - I happen to like these lists, are you this critical with your friends and family?  If you don't like it don't read it!


The measure of a true tiki bar is if it can make an original Mai Tai, a Scorpion and Tropical Itch with the back scratcher. Martin Denny has to be playing in the background, ceiling fans have to have thatched blades and the pina coladas and daiquiris have to be served in real coconut shells.

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