classic

Kon Tiki Lounge

Tucson, AZ
Bar & Restaurant
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4625 East Broadway
Tucson, AZ
Opened in 1961
Mon-Thu 11am-1am
Fri-Sat 11am-2am
Sun 11am-midnight
(520) 323-7193

Critiki ratings

Kon Tiki Lounge

7.6

Overall

by 106 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.6
Drink Quality 6.1
Drink Selection 8
Food Quality 6.6
Food Selection 7.2
Mood 8.5
Music 5.5
Service 7.7
Tikiness 9.4
Tilt 8.3
Vibe 6.9

Upcoming Visits

Regulars & Visitors

View all 148 Kon Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors

Humuhumu’s description

The Kon Tiki Lounge (no relation to the Steven Crane Kon-Tiki chain) is a classic original tiki bar. Open since 1961, the Kon Tiki Lounge has seen modern-day Tucson grow up around it on all sides. It is tucked back a bit on its busy street, surrounded by strip malls and small office buildings. The small-looking building feels a bit out-of-place. There is an almost lush little garden area out front, with tikis and a small "water feature" -- Tucson's arid climate wouldn't easily support a pond, so a tiled mosaic pond is in its place, with a small walkable bridge over it. To the left of the building is a great old Milan Guanko tiki.
Inside, the restaurant is dark and mysterious, with no windows, and much of the original decor still in place. A former aviary behind the bar is a jarring flash of light -- it used to house parrots, then a lizard cage, now it is used as an outdoor patio space. Large bamboo, gorgeous light fixtures, and tikis aplenty are throughout. The room is structured with smaller sub-rooms encased by bamboo and thatch dividers, giving a feeling of coziness and mystery.
The menus are standard fare for an old tiki bar -- barbecue ribs & similar items for food, and lots of tropical drinks (though a bit on the sweet & sugary side).
Today, the Kon Tiki's future continues to look very bright. It has been kept open through the years with a never-ending supply of college kids who love the place and keep it packed on weekends. These people are who we have to thank for keeping the place alive, but it's a bit more enjoyable when visited earlier in the day or on a weeknight, when the music is more in keeping with the environs and the place isn't so packed with bodies that the decor can't be seen.
In recent years the management has been working on spiffing up the place, while keeping it classic. The Kon Tiki now has their own tiki mug, designed for the Milan Guanko tiki outside, and has undergone some sprucing up courtesy of Bamboo Ben. A new Bamboo Ben bar looks like it has always been there.

Comments

auntangi
auntangi has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
November 7, 2018, 7:16 AM
The decor is legit and really impressive, but the drinks, not so much. My husband had a Zombie (it was lukewarm, clearly not enough ice) and I ordered a Painkiller (not a Painkiller but tasty). The bartender was very friendly and accommodating but she really did not know how to make a tiki drink. This place has such a great history and look, I just wish they could make a decent drink.
TikiDre
TikiDre has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
October 6, 2018, 7:53 PM
Awesome decor. Food is great. Bartenders are super friendly. Would definitely recommend and return.
MelloMan
MelloMan is a semi-regular at Kon Tiki Lounge.
June 24, 2018, 12:07 PM
Kon Tiki has been in Tucson since 1961. My first visit was in the late 90s when I lived across the street. Now in 2018 it looks almost identical except for the aviary being turned into an outdoor patio area of the bar. The decor hasn't changed but has been maintained and kept fresh. It's a perfect tiki bar with dark side rooms, float lights, not an inch of undecorated area. The only downsides are sitting at the bar looking out through the former aviary window you now see the patio and at one spot the office building behind with florescent lights - they gotta plant a bamboo wall in front to keep from breaking the illusion. The night crowd is there to drink. A great spot.
View all 25 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
  • VOC
  • tucsontiki
  • VelvetTiki
  • RichB
  • tikitucson
  • AZTikiPhiles
  • vorpaltiki
  • Deviledhoney
  • Wild Man of Wongo
  • mrgrieves78
  • Tobin
  • atomic tucson
  • AmandaAnne
  • TikiMickey
  • Moxietregatti
  • AzMexFuji
View all 148 Kon Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors