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A Cantiki Bar is a fusion tropical mexican and polynesian exotic–themed drinking establishment that serves fancy cocktails, especially rum and tequila based mixed drinks such as the mai tai or the margarita. Cantiki bars are often defined by tropical mexican décor which can include "tiki god" and Mayan masks and carvings; tapa cloth and tropical fabrics; torches, palm tree motifs, and live or decorative chihuahuas and parrots. Beverages are usually served in fanciful ceramic vessels or large "margarita style" glasses often garnished with fresh fruit, paper cocktail umbrellas, live flowers or plastic animals.

Food, when served, can consist of hand-held items such as
chips and salsa; pizza bagels; pigs in a blanket; meatballs on a stick, taquitos with sweet and sour sauce; and sopapillas.

Muted colors, natural exotic materials, real and/or artificial plants and low-wattage year-round "christmas" lighting add to the exotic ambiance of a cantiki bar. Some feature indoor fountains and cliff-divers, bamboo fixtures, beach flotsam, woven grass wall-coverings, and panoramic South Pacific murals. Some cantiki bars have an entertainment stage for live exotica bands or Polynesian and/or Mariachi shows, or for hipper establishments - dance music.
When I was in the valley, there was this great Cantiki bar where we sat ouside in the warm night air.
by MarkyT November 27, 2009
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