It’s hot. It’s humid. We all need a break and D.C.’s finest tiki bars are here to make that happen. Whether you want to kick it in a basement all night or you want to soak up the sun on a rooftop, we’ve got all the options you need. So sit back, order a Pain Killer and relax. You’re on island time now.
With its multicolored island murals and thatched hut details, Archipelago is the only bar in the city that is all tiki all the time. For some people, sipping on a Piña Colada in the middle of the winter sounds bonkers, but for the true tiki obsessives, there’s nothing than taking a sip of a Mai Tai and pretending like it’s 90 degrees. Luckily, we don’t have to pretend it’s 90 degrees, because it’s actually is. So head on over to Archipelago to get your brain freeze on, or better yet, catch them at our Smithsonian American Art Museum after hours this Friday!
Every summer Jack Rose transforms its vaguely hidden back rooftop bar into a tiki destination and this summer they’ve kicked it up a notch by serving up the funkiest, booziest and wildest drinks we’ve seen in a while. If you’re looking to take a break from the classics and dive get a little weird, look no further. Our favorite drink here is the Saturn with its combination of Ford’s Gin, passion fruit syrup, a homemade 151 and falernum mixture, orgeat and lemon. It’s crisp, it’s cool, it’s lovely. Need something with a little more bite? Go for the Feelin’ Groggy with white rum, black rum, cachaca, a homemade Bacardi 151 and falernum combination, triple sec, a splash of coconut rooibos syrup, a dash of grapefruit, a sprinkle of almond and a squeeze of lime. Just make sure to go during their Thursday happy hour when drinks are half price.
Barrel has cleared the whiskey out of its basement bar and made way for a summery tiki spot that will help get you drunk and shield you from the humidity. All three of the political themed drinks are killer and if you’re looking for a parting gift, you can purchase one of their exclusive tiki glasses (I’m personally a fan of the Bannon one because he kind of looks like Frankenstein). Just make sure you don’t leave without getting a Painkiller. It’s one of the cheapest and most delicious tiki drinks in the city.
This certainly isn’t traditionally tiki, but walking into Coco Beach definitely makes you feel like your on island time. The rooftop bar is decked out in all the tiki gear you can get at Party City and the bartenders serve up classics like Blue Hawaiians, Suffering Bastards and Piña Coladas, but their true passion is their crushes. Grab a traditional orange / grapefruit crush or go wild and get their mezcal crush with lime Thai basil and birds eye chili.
You could post up at the bar at Bar Charley and spend your night drinking Manhattans and over classic cocktails, but why would you when their Totally Tiki menu is calling your name? The Suffering Bastard and Mai Tai are always cheap (for D.C.) and always on tap, but there are also scorpion bowls (if you’re looking to unleash your inner Drake), Rum Runners, Zombies and so much more. Stay awhile and order some food to go with it. Their burger doesn’t disappoint.
Okay, so Colada Shop isn’t a tiki bar whatsoever, but they are in the middle of their first ever Piña Colada festival. Between July 10 – 22, head on over to try one of their four Piña Colada variations. Wash them all down with a delicious Cuban sandwich and you’re all set.