La Mariana Tiki Bar, Honolulu, Hawaii

One of the top things on my must-visit list in Honolulu is to visit a real-life Tiki Bar. Surprisingly, it’s more difficult than you might think. Most of the original tiki bars in Honolulu have been demolished to make room for resort hotels, ho-hum retail shops, and chain restaurants.

La Mariana Tiki Bar, Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo: Brent Petersen)

Tiki’s Grill & Bar in Waikiki is a modern take on the traditional tiki bar, but I’m looking for more of a dive tiki bar vibe. You know, dark wood carvings and rum drinks in tiki glasses.

La Mariana Tiki Bar checks all the boxes. They have been in Honolulu for over 60 years and the wonderfully kitchy decor looks like it hasn’t been updated in almost that long.

La Mariana Tiki Bar, Honolulu, Hawaii (photo: Brent Petersen)

Right on Keehi Lagoon, the bar opens to the water with a marina full of boats moored nearby. Dark wood pillars are carved in the tiki style and colorful lights surround the bar area.

Food is also served at La Mariana, but for me, the rum drinks in tiki glasses are the star of the show. I just wish they would sell me a glass, I’d buy a couple for my bar at home.

La Mariana Tiki Bar, Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo: Brent Petersen)

La Mariana has been allowed to slumber in a time warp because of its location. It’s not near any tourist spot, but instead off the beaten track on the Sand Island Access Road. You’ll need a car or an Uber to get there, but you might need a time machine to get back.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all podcast platforms.

Author: Brent