*This restaurant has closed. A similar venue can be found nearby called Cuckoo Coconuts.
Welcome to our new occasional series, Burgerology. I have repeatedly proclaimed my love of cheeseburgers, so I’m on the hunt to share with you the most awesome burgers on the island of Oahu.
Our first burger is from Tiki Town, which is tucked away in my favorite den of nostalgia in Waikiki, The International Marketplace. This joint is exactly as tacky as it’s name implies, which makes it deliciously fun. I don’t care how big their plastic volcano is, I’ll try anywhere that serves a $3.95 mai tai.
We’ve only been here during the day, but the atmosphere has always been fun and relaxed. The service is fast and accurate, considering the wait staff all have Japanese accents. They get it right the first time, and quickly. It’s the kind of place where you can laugh as loudly as you want, and no one will care.
The mai tai is potent and tastes good. It appears to come from a mix rather than freshly squeezed organic pineapple juice and other such nonsense, but for $3.95, I’m not complaining. I also love that they bring you peanut butter stuffed pretzels while you wait for your food, or just to snack on if you’re only having drinks. That’s one of my favorite snacks, so getting them for free is sweet. It’s especially awesome that they’re served to you in a coconut.
The burgers are cooked on essentially a big backyard gas grill, so they taste homemade. It’s a good size burger, and mine has always been cooked perfectly with gorgeous grill marks that lend the flavor of flame. I get the classic burger with cheese, and Geoff usually orders the volcano burger with plenty of hot sauce and jalapenos. My only complaint is that they use processed cheese, rather than the real thing. It’s not a big deal, I just prefer cheddar.
Another great feature is that they bring you a literal bucket of condiments with your food. I got to put mustard, ketchup, and mayo on my burger just the way I like it, and even better, there was a bottle of ranch dressing for my fries. Genius.
The price is about mid-range at around $9, cheap for Waikiki, and if you only order one round of drinks, you can definitely get out of there for less than $20 per person. It’s a great place to stop into for a midday drink or a quick lunch.
We’ve never been here for dinner or late night drinks, and it’s usually not that busy when we go in. It’s not gourmet. It’s a tacky tiki bar. They have good simple food and cheap drinks, so if you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you don’t take yourself to seriously, you’ll quite enjoy it. We’d definitely go back again.