Welcome fellow Mai Tai enthusiasts!
During my last vacation in Waikiki with my boyfriend, we made it our mission to find the best Mai Tais on the island. Believe me; it was not an easy task. But after sipping and sampling our way through countless bars, we’ve narrowed down the top five spots that you should visit for an unforgettable Mai Tai experience.
With years of travel under my belt and a love for trying out new flavors, I know what makes a great Mai Tai stand out from the rest. Each bar mentioned in this article offers their unique take on this timeless cocktail – from those who prefer their drink strong enough to make your hair stand up straight (you know who you are) to those looking for something fruity or even a virgin version.
Warning: After visiting these spots, you may never want to leave Hawaii – but hey, who can blame you?
As a self-taught cocktail enthusiast and travel lover like yourself, I understand how important it is to discover hidden gems while exploring new destinations. So trust me when I say that these picks won’t disappoint anyone craving that delicious tropical concoction amid paradise vibes.
Now sit back, relax, and let’s dive into some tantalizing tiki fun already!
Duke’s Waikiki – Famous Strong Mai Tais and Scenic Sunset Views
Imagine sipping a delightful Mai Tai from a tiki glass as you bask in the glow of a breathtaking Hawaiian sunset. Duke’s Waikiki brings this dream to life with its renowned strong Mai Tais served in classic tiki-inspired glasses, making it an essential stop on your island getaway.
Nestled amidst an idyllic open-air setting, Duke’s enchanting ambiance is effortlessly captivating. It’s no wonder this spot is so popular, aside from their delectable drinks. To ensure a memorable experience, make sure to book a reservation ahead of time; we didn’t know about reservations but were fortunate enough to snag an outdoor table on a bustling day.
While the potent Mai Tais are undoubtedly Duke’s main attraction, don’t miss out on sampling their mouth-watering appetizers too. We tried the Hula Pie and highly recommend giving it a taste.
Best features at Duke’s Waikiki:
- The legendary strong Mai Tais in charming tiki glasses
- Gorgeous open-air atmosphere perfect for soaking up sunsets
- Reservations accepted for hassle-free planning
- Delectable dishes like the unforgettable Hula Pie
- A must-have experience while visiting Waikiki
Hula Grill – Savor Fruity Mai Tais in a Tranquil Oceanside Atmosphere
If you’re craving an oasis of fruity drinks and laid-back vibes, Hula Grill is your destination. Situated just above Duke’s, this serene venue lets you relish tropical fruit-infused beverages with the majestic ocean as your backdrop.
Hula Grill’s signature Mai Tais offer a refreshing twist, combining Hawaiian pineapple, guava, orange, and passion fruit juices with orgeat, orange curacao, and two types of rum. The result is an irresistible elixir perfect for epitomizing that island getaway feeling.
While their delightful fruity Mai Tais steal the show at Hula Grill, there are plenty more beverage options to explore. Sample other classic concoctions like the Lava Flow or indulge in beers and wines by the glass.
Key highlights at Hula Grill:
- Unique fruity Mai Tais bursting with tropical flavors
- An inviting oceanside setting for relaxing afternoons or evenings
- A wide variety of drink options spanning from classics to local favorites
Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai – A Legendary Bar Serving Exquisite Old World Mai Tais
When a bar has thrived for over 70 years, it’s clearly doing something extraordinary. The Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian has earned its iconic status among Hawaii’s landmarks by consistently delivering exceptional Mai Tais and an unforgettable experience.
Standing out with its signature pink building, Royal Hawaiian is home to the classic Trader Vic-inspired Mai Tai recipe. This time-honored concoction blends fresh pineapple and orange juice with orange curacao, orgeat, and local rums to create a drink that defines the essence of tropical paradise.
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, this historic establishment should be on every traveler’s must-visit list. The entertainment doesn’t stop at their remarkable drinks; indulge in live music, cultural performances, and delectable dining options as you revel in a fun-filled day or unwind into a lively night.
Top reasons to visit Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai:
- Enjoy their famous old world-style Mai Tais crafted from Trader Vic’s original recipe
- Immerse yourself in stunning views of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head
- Experience live music and local entertainment while sipping on glorious beverages
- Dine-in style with delicious culinary offerings for a well-rounded visit
House Without a Key – Unique Mai Tais with Unmatched Presentation and Flavor
For a truly distinct Mai Tai experience, House Without a Key should be your go-to destination. Home to the famed Halekulani Mai Tai, their remarkable version dates back to 1983 and was crafted by bartender Wing Liu using a secret recipe blending three different rums with fresh lime juice.
The exquisite drink is not only delightful on the palate but also visually striking. Its array of sunset-inspired hues makes it perfect for enjoying during that magical hour as the sun meets the horizon. The garnishes—an orchid, sprig of mint, and sugarcane stick—add an elegant touch that enhances its aesthetic appeal.
An intriguing aspect of their Mai Tai is how it contrasts with Duke’s strong and bold flavors; House Without a Key presents a noticeably sweeter beverage while maintaining potency in its alcohol content.
If you’re seeking an alcohol-free option or prefer fruitier indulgences, they serve an impressive non-alcoholic version made with refreshing fruit juices. With beautiful surroundings complementing extraordinary beverages, House Without a Key remains unrivaled when it comes to virgin Mai Tais.
Key attractions at House Without a Key:
- Exclusive Halekulani Mai Tai with unparalleled presentation and flavor
- A secret rum blend dating back to 1983
- Bewitching sunsets creating idyllic moments for sipping this unique concoction
- Scrumptious non-alcoholic option catered to those seeking lighter alternatives
Tiki’s Grill & Bar – Best Happy Hour Mai Tai in Waikiki
Tiki’s Grill & Bar is well known for delectable lunches, but there’s more to this lively spot than just tasty meals. Their unique take on the classic Mai Tai is an experience you don’t want to miss.
With a nod to the 1944 recipe, Tiki’s Grill puts its twist on this timeless cocktail by blending light and dark rum flavors and topping it off with exquisite passion fruit foam. The highlight, however, lies in their presentation—the captivating tiki-faced glass doubles as a charming souvenir.
To make the most of your visit, stop by during happy hour for enticing deals on these signature Mai Tais. With an affordable price tag and unforgettable flavors, you’ll create lasting memories at Tiki’s Grill & Bar.
Reasons to check out Tiki’s Grill & Bar:
- A fresh spin on the iconic 1944 Mai Tai recipe
- Signature tiki-faced glasses that serve as delightful keepsakes
- Unbeatable happy hour deals for budget-friendly indulgence
- Exuberant atmosphere complementing extraordinary beverages
Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by Brigitte