I’m Freaky For Tiki #7: Tiki in New Orleans–Aunt Tiki’s, Beachbum Barry’s Latitude 29, Tiki Tolteca

In my never-ending desire to promote tiki and share my tiki adventures, here is a (hopefully) quick post to discuss the tiki bars of New Orleans. Although Pat O’Brien’s is supposed to have been the birthplace of tiki cocktail favorite The Hurricane, who would ever think of tiki bars in New Orleans? Not what you’d expect, I know. But amazingly, there are three of them…

AUNT TIKI’S:

According to the name on the sign, Aunt Tiki’s is a tiki bar. From the photos below, you’d guess they were taken right before or after Halloween, right? Wrong. These were snapped in April of 2015, six months from Halloween.

Halloween bar may be a better description, if such a thing exists. I had read about this place, not on Critiki, but on another blog called Tiki Chick (the link to the Tiki Chick page about Aunt Tiki’s is below). I’m glad I did see it as I would have otherwise missed this place. As a tiki bar, it gets a sub par rating. As a Halloween bar—since it appears to be the only one in the world— it wins by default. As a neighborhood dive bar, though…wow! You can’t get much dive-ier than this place. It was almost scary. EEEK! If you were a local looking for a beer, it’d be a nice place to hang out. If you are looking for a tiki drink, let them serve you up a quick Hurricane in a to-go cup and get out of there fast. That’s what I ended up doing anyway.

The only nod to tiki I could see was this large Hawaiian print.

Aunt Tiki’s
1207 Decatur Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
(504) 680-8454
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Aunt-Tikis-Group-208893095793585/
Tiki Chick page (WAY better photos there): https://thetikichick.com/2013/09/23/aunt-tikis-new-orleans-la/

BEACHBUM BARRY’S LATITUDE 29:
I was expecting great things from Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29. After all, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is a tikiphile in his own right who tirelessly sought out and preserved (through publication in variuous books) classic tiki cocktail recipes from long-gone Polynesian restaurants and tiki bars.

However, I found the bar to be too nouveau tiki, too sterile and manicured. (It’s kind of how I felt about the recently closed Longitude in Oakland.) It was “nice” but I certainly did not think it deserved the amazing 9.2 rating it has on Critiki and certainly not the inclusion on the list of World’s Best tiki Bars in 2016 which you can see HERE). Still, I was glad I got to see it and I did visit it twice (once for dinner as well). But it never did “spark” with me.

Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29
321 N. Peters Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 609–3811
Website: http://latitude29nola.com/
Critiki page: https://www.critiki.com/location/beachbum-berrys-latitude-29-new-orleans-847/

TIKI TOLTECA:

My favorite tiki bar in New Orleans is, by far, Tiki Tolteca. Situated on a second floor over a taqueria, Tiki Tolteca is a hidden gem. It’s small and intimate and, the few times I was there, the place seems to be largely unknown and was virtually deserted. That is unfortunate—but I loved it not being so crowded and almost private.

While Tiki Tolteka may lack a lot of the cool yet kitchy decor associated with tiki bars, it’s low-key vibe helps one relax and enjoy.

The bar is smaller, made of bamboo and palm fronds. The drinks were good, one of which came with a “buzz button” that sort of gave your mouth it’s own spaced out high. Weird. Of course, that was then (2015). A quick look at their menu today (via their website. The link is below) shows that the drink menu has been beefed up to include many classics as well as a few originals. The “buzz buttons” seem to be a casualty of the transition, but they now feature a new signature mug that can be purchased. Yowza! I want one.

The new mug is nicer than the one I got two years ago…  You can check the new mug out on their website. I’ll be trying to find one on eBay soon… Unless I can get back to New Orleans, that is.

Size isn’t everything. While Tiki Tolteca is small, it is charming and very inviting.

Tiki Tolteka
301 N. Peters Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(On the 2nd floor above the taqueria)
(504) 288-8226
Website: https://tikitolteca.com/
Critiki page: https://www.critiki.com/location/tiki-tolteca-new-orleans-846/

If all of this sounds like a big deja vu, it is.  All of this was already more or less covered in Part 2 of my blog about my trip to New Orleans and can be seen HERE. I just thought it would be appropriate to cover them again under the “I’m Freaky For Tiki” subheading.

CHEERS!

(This post was originally published 11/8/17 HERE.)

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