Makai Island Kitchen and Groggery Open in Santa Cruz

We have a new tiki bar opening, now that Makai is now open in Santa Cruz.

Initial reports are that this is a pretty good tiki bar, considering its touristy/general audience location. We’ve added it to our write-up of Tiki Travels: Central California.

Makai Island Kitchen & Groggery

Located on Santa Cruz’s picturesque wharf, Makai offers a good tiki experience while still appealing to a wide audience. The interior includes work from Bamboo Ben and the bar rotates. Food is family-friendly and reasonably priced, including Pupus, sandwiches,  bowls, and island-inspired entrees. Cocktails aren’t comparable to craft cocktail tiki bars, but are more than worthy considering the general-audience clientele. They serve a large variety of classic tiki drinks, including both a 1944 Mai Tai and an Island Mai Tai, along with a few originals.

Photo courtesy Alexis Antionio /

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