Every time I have visitors in town, I get the same question:

Where is the best place to get a mai tai on Oahu?

I was embarrassed to not really have a good answer to this, so I picked my two favorite beachside escapes and set out to determine which produced the best mai tai experience — Duke’s Barefoot Bar or RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki?

These on-the-sand cantinas are neighbors and located in the heart of Waikiki, right off Kalakaua Avenue, so if you’re in the market to do your own taste testing, I might suggest the Ohana East Hotel (validated self-parking) or the Sheraton (validated valet).

First up? Duke’s World Famous Mai Tai.

I saddled right up to the Barefoot Bar and got served immediately. The bartender was friendly, helpful and excited to see what I thought about his concoction. On first sip, I could tell the juices were fresh (love that!), but for a beverage with two types of rum and orange curacao, I could barely taste the alcohol, which was a little bit disappointing. When I mentioned this to the bartender, he apologized and re-made my drink. I was so impressed with this level of service.

As soon as I finished my drink at Duke’s, I walked down to RumFire.

RumFire has got relaxing outdoor seating with a beautiful view of Diamond Head, but when I went, it was standing room only. For the bar being packed, my waitress was still quick, happy and willing to go through their happy hour specials. RumFire’s mai tai, while not served with the tropical drink umbrella like at Duke’s, was an absolute flavor sensation. The perfect mix of rum and fruit juices had me begging for a second.

The bottom line? You can’t go wrong with either establishment. Spectacular beach views create the perfect backdrop for tourists and locals alike to kick back and enjoy a tropical drink as the sun sets on another beautiful day.

Can’t make it into town to enjoy a mai tai? The Point at Turtle Bay and Monkeypod at Ko Olina serve up mean mai tais seven days a week.