The Hawaii Admirer
Best Bars for Cocktails in Waikiki
Oahu Drinks

Best Bars for Cocktails in Waikiki

If you’re looking to indulge in cocktails while visiting the Aloha state these ten Waikiki bars are a great place to start.

No matter what Hawaii restaurant or bar you find yourself in, inevitably the drinks menu features a list of irresistible liquid works-of-art.

Classic cocktails like the Mai Tai, Blue Hawaii and Lava Flow are offered up, alongside tantalising modern concoctions usually flavoured with coconut, guava, pineapple or lilikoi (passionfruit).

With drink titles such as Endless Summer, Hawaiian Love Affair and Tropical Sensation you won’t be able to resist a bevvy… or three. So pull-up-a-seat at any one of these great Waikiki bars and let the Hawaii cocktails and dreams flow.

01. RumFire Waikiki
02. SKY Waikiki
03. Duke’s Barefoot Bar
04. Tiki’s Grill & Bar
05. Mai Tai Bar (Waikiki)
06. Mai Tai Bar (Ala Moana)
07. The Study Lounge
08. Waiolu Ocean View Lounge
09. Kani Ka Pila Grille
10. Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

01. RumFire Waikiki

2255 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
Find it in Sheraton Waikiki
Hours Sun-Thurs 11:30am-Midnight; Fri-Sat Noon-1:30am

RumFire Waikiki, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

RumFire Waikiki

RumFire Waikiki is the perfect go-to bar in central Waikiki, especially for sunset drinks. RumFire combines epic oceanfront views with liquid aloha cocktails, carafes of sangria and local beers. They also offer an impressive list of Cruzan Single Barrel Rum cocktails.

Makes a good Blue Hawaii
Happy Hour daily 3:00-5:00pm (excluding holidays)
Live music every evening 5:00-8:00pm

Tip: Take “High Tea” to the next level with “Spiked Tea” served daily from 1:00-4:00pm. It includes 1 spiked tea cocktail, 2 sliders, 1 dried fruit and cream cheese scone served with jam and butter, and a dessert of your choice.

02. SKY Waikiki

2270 Kalakaua Avenue, 19th Floor, Honolulu
Find it on top of Waikiki Business Plaza
Hours Sun, Tue, Wed, Thurs 5:00pm-11pm; Fri & Sat 5:00pm-9:00pm; 10:00pm-1:00am

SKY Waikiki, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

SKY Waikiki

SKY Waikiki serves signature cocktails with a panoramic view of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean. Visit at sunset for a social bite to eat, try the Perfect Cheeseburgers and Deep Fried Oreos dessert. Go late on a Friday or Saturday night for the nightclub experience.

Makes a good Lighthouse Mule
Happy Hour Tue-Sun 5:00-7:00pm at the bar only
Live music daily, hours vary

Tip: To avoid disappointment pre-book Dinner Reservations and add your name to the nightclub Guest List ahead of time.

03. Duke’s Barefoot Bar

2335 Kalakaua Avenue #116, Honolulu
Find it at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
Hours daily 11:00am-Midnight

Duke's Waikiki, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Duke’s Waikiki

Duke’s Barefoot Bar is a must-visit Hawaii beach bar named in honour of the Native Hawaiian surf legend Duke Kahanamoku. They make a strong Mai Tai, the Tropical Itch comes with its own back scratcher and the Hula Pie dessert is chocolate, cookie and macadamia nut heaven.

Makes a good Lava Flow
Happy Hour daily 3:00-5:00pm
Live music every evening 4:00-6:00pm and 9:30pm-Midnight

Tip: Join Henry Kapono, an award winning and Grammy nominated singer and songwriter, for the “Duke’s on Sunday” session 4:00-6:00pm.

04. Tiki’s Grill & Bar

2570 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu
Find it at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel
Hours daily 7:00am-Midnight

Tiki's Grill & Bar, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Tiki’s Grill & Bar @party_mom_

Tiki’s Grill & Bar is situated on a beautiful lanai (balcony) at the east end of Waikiki. This tiki-themed establishment has a laidback vibe, tasty bar food including Tiki’s famous coconut shrimp and super-fun cocktails like the hibisKISS and Shark Bait.

Makes a good Pina Colada served in a souvenir coconut
Happy Hour daily 2:00-5:00pm
Live music every evening, check schedule

Tip: Get 1/2 off wine by the bottle or glass every “Wine Down Wednesdays” from 5:00pm-Midnight. 

05. Mai Tai Bar (Waikiki)

2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu
Find it at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
Hours daily 10:00am-11:30pm

Mai Tai Bar (Waikiki), Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Mai Tai Bar (Waikiki) @royal_hawaiian

Mai Tai Bar is the place to find Hawaii’s most meaningful Mai Tai, right on the sands edge of Waikiki. The original Mai Tai is said to have been created by “Trader Vic” Bergeron in 1944 and brought to Hawaii in 1953 where it was first served here at The Royal Hawaiian.

Makes a good Royal Mai Tai using the original “Trader Vic” recipe
Happy Hour daily
Live music every evening at sunset

Tip: Ask for your tropical cocktail to be served in a freshly cut Maui Gold pineapple! Also, look closely at the cocktail prices, once I ordered two Ali’i (King) Mai Tais without realising (until the bill came) that they were US$35 each!

06. Mai Tai Bar (Ala Moana)

1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu
Find it at Ala Moana Center
Hours Sun-Sat 11:00am-1:ooam

Mai Tai Bar (Ala Moana), Ala Moana Center, Oahu, Hawaii

Mai Tai Bar (Ala Moana)

Mai Tai Bar is located on the Ho’okipa Terrace at Ala Moana Center, a nightlife epicenter. Island residents gravitate to this open-air bar for pau hana (after work) drinks. It’s a great venue to enjoy Hawaii cocktails while sampling a “locals” atmosphere.

Makes a good Icy Mai Tai (slushie)
Happy Hour daily 4:00-7:00pm; Late Night Happy Hour daily 8:00-11:00pm
Live music every evening, check schedule

Tip: Key Lime Pie dessert = US$5

07. The Study Lounge

1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu
Find it at The Modern Honolulu
Hours Mon-Wed 6:00pm-Midnight; Thu-Sun 6:00pm-2:00am

The Study Lounge, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

The Study Lounge

The Study Lounge is one of the most sophisticated bars in Waikiki hidden behind a bookshelf in the lobby of The Modern Honolulu hotel. It has a chill atmosphere where you can sink into lounges, sip on specialty cocktails and listen to fantastic local artists.

Makes a good Champagne Haze
Happy Hour daily 6:00-8:00pm
Live music Wed-Sun 8:00-10:30pm

Tip: You can enjoy cocktails onsite at The Modern Honolulu at two other venues, poolside at Passageway + The Grove and Addiction nightclub.

08. Wailolu Ocean View Lounge

223 Saratoga Road, Honolulu
Find it at Trump International Hotel Waikiki
Hours daily 11:00am-11:00pm

Waiolu Ocean View Lounge, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Waiolu Ocean View Lounge @trumpwaikiki

Waiolu Ocean View Lounge is somewhat of a “secret” open-air bar found on the first floor of the Trump International Hotel Waikiki overlooking Fort DeRussy Park. Unwind over tapas and handmade specialty drinks including the Worlds Best Mai Tai (as voted in 2011).

Makes a good Waiolu Martini
Sunset Happy Hour daily 3:00-6:00pm; Late Night Happy Hour daily 9:00-11:00pm
Live music every Thu, Fri and Sat evenings

Tip: On a Friday night you’ll get uninterrupted views of the free fireworks show here at 7:45pm, they launch from the nearby lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

09. Kani Ka Pila Grille

2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu
Find it at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
Hours daily 11:00am-10:00pm

Kani Ka Pila Grille, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Kani Ka Pila Grille @jrepodal

Kani Ka Pila Grille is a casual poolside bar famous for live Hawaiian music. If you like the sound of kicking back with a delicious cocktail in hand, sampling island-inspired fare and enjoying Hawaii’s most legendary musicians, then this is the place to go.

Makes a good Lava Flow
Happy Hour daily 3:00-5:00pm
Live music poolside every evening 6:00-9:00pm

Tip: Get your Mai Tais for only US$5 during Happy Hour!

10. Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

298 Beach Walk, Honolulu
Find it on the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Beach Walk
Hours daily 11:00am-11:00pm

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar @hawaiiadmirer

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar consists of a ground floor retail store, second-story dining room and third-story rooftop bar with a beachy cocktail area complete with actual sand, coastal decor and fire pits. A top spot to hang-out and socialise over cocktails.

Makes a good Classic Mojito
Happy Hour daily 2:00-5:00pm
Live music every evening 6:00-9:00pm

Tip: This is a spacious restaurant and bar making it a good choice for group reservations.

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  • You have to be over 21 years old to drink alcohol in Hawaii. An Australian standard drink is 10 grams of alcohol, whereas an American standard drink is around 14 grams of alcohol. Hawaii bartenders use the free pour method, the amount of alcohol they add to each drink is based on their own judgment rather than a measuring tool. I’ve found this equates to much stronger drinks in Hawaii than Australia. Drinks are also very inexpensive in comparison, the average price of a Hawaii cocktail is US$10/AU$13 (much less during Happy Hour). My warning to all visitors, Hawaii cocktails are half the price and double the strength so please be careful 🙂

Cocktails, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

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