Go Out / It's Culture / It's Fare

A Complete Guide to Houston Tiki Bars

Houston has some amazing tiki bars — did you know?

Confession: I LOVE TIKI DRINKS! Usually, I stick to wine or beer. And when it’s a night out, I want the gin and tonics or the vodka sodas. So, when I go to a place for some tiki time… it actually feels like vacation.

Did you know you actually have a few options in Houston to indulge your sweet drinks and snag some vacay vibes right here in the city?! Seriously, like a few years ago we just got back to back new bars with tiki options. I’ve actually been wanting to do this guide for over a year but… COVID and my own procrastination held it up. Now, I bring you… the TIKI TOUR OF HOUSTON!

I tried out four spots with Megha McSwain — you might know her as @HotPinkHouston — for her podcast Sip and Savor. Stay tuned for our episode to go live today!

I learned a lot about the tiki drink scene in Houston, and we evaluated each spot based on a few things:

  • Ambiance and vibe — the decor, the patio, etc.
  • Drinks — most places had fresh juice and original recipes with are both musts!
  • Food, if there was food!

I really learned that each of these spots had something special about it and a certain reason for recommending.

Without further adieu, let’s go on vacay, y’all!

Lei Low (Heights)

I’d definitely consider Lei Low the OG when it comes to Houston Tiki Bars, so let’s start here! Known as a bit of a dive bar — seriously, you’ll drive right past it — it’s located in a little shopping center next to a smoke shop. It all feels really wrong until you walk into the bar — likely into near darkness (compared to the Houston sun) and also likely into a crowd of people. Seriously, unless you go right at 4pm when they open like we did you will find a crowd at Lei Low.

The menu is HUGE and has all the makings of a solid Tiki experience — both the classic and creative drinks served in punch bowls and cutesy glassware alike. Pro tip: Go on Tuesday for Mai Tai Tuesdays where you can choose from three different mai tais for $6 all night!

GO FOR: The ultimate Tiki experience.

Toasted Coconut (Montrose)

Now, let’s talk FOOD. The Toasted Coconut wins all the extra points from having some of the absolute best food on this Tiki tour. (It’s actually the only place we ate!) The spot is brought to you by the team behind Nobies, so yeah, the food is amazing. We had the pork dumplings (incredible) and the brussel sprouts (drooling), and the menu rotates regularly!

The drink menu is known for its well-balanced Tiki drinks, so you don’t have to worry about the drinks being too sweet — you might have to worry about them being too boozy if you, for instance, get the Zombie, which is set on fire.

HELLO THERE IS HAPPY HOUR! Tuesday-Friday 4-6 pm.

GO FOR: A nice dinner or date night.

Tikila’s (Heights)

Calling all patio lovers — Tikila’s might have the GOAT of all of the Houston Tiki bars! There is SO much space all around the bar — from picnic tables to swings! It’s seriously such a vibe. And I know what you’re thinking — it’s summer… in Houston. Ain’t nobody wants patio time. But, what if I told you you can have a scrumptious frozen tiki drink in your hand while you sweltered? I bet you’re at least 15% happier.

Seriously obsessed with the frozens at Tikila’s — the ocean water is a spin on a pina colada and the frozen mojito is just crisp enough to cool ya down.

GO FOR: Weekend day drinking on the patio.

High and Dry (downtown)

I think one of the top reviews of High and Dry is like, “This is not a tiki bar,” which really makes me chuckle. They aren’t completely wrong. You won’t find anything tiki in H&D’s decor, and the overall ambiance (which includes a DJ and dance floor on the weekends) will not fulfill your tiki bar dreams. BUT, this drink menu is absolutely amazing. The Ginger Flame, true to its name, is set on fire and it’s an absolute spectacle. Do not skip it.

And, breaking news! They have a food menu now! When we hit them on our tour, they were doing a soft open on the food so by the time you’re reading this, it’ll be ready for ya! A PSA for downtown workers: This happy hour SLAPS! It’s every day from 4 to 7 and includes $6 cocktails — like all of the $10-$12 cocktails are just $6!!

GO FOR: A night out.

So, who wins the tiki tour for Natalie and Megha?!

You’ll just have to listen to (or watch!) the podcast to find out… 😉

One thought on “A Complete Guide to Houston Tiki Bars

  1. Wow, I absolutely love how you talked about tiki bars in this article with all these vibrant photos of the drinks you had. I’ve always dreamt of having a Tiki Bachelor Party Boat Ride. I’m sure my boyfriend would also love the ideas since he love voyages and all the likes.

Leave a Reply