classic

Kon Tiki Lounge

Tucson, AZ
Bar & Restaurant
45
pictures
Articles in Critiki News
Visited?
Rate
Comment
Add Pics
4625 East Broadway
Tucson, AZ
Opened in 1961
Mon-Thu 11am-1am
Fri-Sat 10am-2am
Sun 10am-midnight
(520) 323-7193

Critiki ratings

Kon Tiki Lounge

7.8

Overall

by 67 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 9.7
Drink Quality 6.5
Drink Selection 8.1
Food Quality 6.4
Food Selection 7.6
Mood 8.9
Music 5.8
Service 7.9
Tikiness 9.5
Tilt 8.7
Vibe 7

Regulars & Visitors

View all 61 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.

How to find it

5
It's easy to miss it, as it is set back from the street a fair bit, and shielded by palm trees. The iconic sign is also set back, but keep your eyes peeled for it.

Parking

The Kon Tiki Lounge is fronted by a large shared parking lot.

Comments

View all 15 comments

Articles in Critiki News

Regulars & Visitors
  • Regular
  • Regular
  • Regular
  • Semi-Regular
  • Semi-Regular
  • Semi-Regular
  • Semi-Regular
  • Semi-Regular
View all 61 Kon Tiki Lounge regulars & visitors
Comments
wayne-tiki-tiki
wayne-tiki-tiki has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
April 20, 2016, 2:25 PM
I've been four times across two years, and in my opinion, the historic vibe and décor is the only reason to go. While the menu may use authentic names for the drinks (Nui Nui, etc.) the recipes most definitely are not. Light rum = Malibu. I cannot recommend any of the drinks on the menu, which may explain why almost all of the other patrons I've seen are drinking beer. The food is hit and miss-- mostly miss from my experience. If you find yourself in Tucson and decide to give it a try, keep your expectations low. I feel the Critiki rating is misleadingly high.
The Porkchop Express
The Porkchop Express has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
April 3, 2016, 11:42 PM
I've been twice, once on a busy weekend night and once during a slow weekday. I can say that the drinks were far worse during the weekday. The bartender even had to look up the ingredients! Which is odd since the menu pretty much lists everything as "Sailor Jerry and Juices." Not tiki drinks at all. However, without the weekend rough crowd, I could actually look around and enjoy myself. It's cool I'm there!
tikitabby
tikitabby has visited Kon Tiki Lounge.
May 18, 2015, 9:01 PM
Drove 300 miles to get here and had the worst drinks and service ever. The decor is quite good but other than that the ratings here are much too kind.
View all 15 comments