When you want to chill and unwind, Gainesville’s hookah lounges and bars will provide the perfect atmospheres. For the spots with the best vibes and flavors, check out the list below.
1. Kava Hookah Lounge
Kava has a vibrant and lively ambience, providing an awesome mixture of music for everyone to enjoy. The atmosphere at Kava is a bit more upbeat than at other hookah lounges, with the space transforming into a club as night falls. You can expect to see lots of people get up and dance as neon lights flash across the room. Weekends are especially busy, but if you’re looking for a more relaxing environment, try going on a weekday.
The staff is very attentive and is always happy to help you perfect your hookah. Kava also has an extensive selection of tasty, quirky flavors like the “Spongebob” and “Stephanie Special.” The place also serves drinks, including the titular “kava” drink, which is made with kava roots and is known to calm anxiety, stress, and restlessness. Omar, the owner, is very hospitable and is willing to answer any questions you may have. Kava is awesome to hang out or party, so feel free to hit it up for any occasion. Prices are reasonable and the vibe is always great.
2. Mystic Hookah Cafe & Smoke Shop
This family-owned lounge, located right on University Ave, offers a super chill environment with outdoor seating and VIP rooms. It’s a great place to come and study while enjoying a hookah and a cup of coffee or tea. In the evenings, it’s fun to gather a group of friends and ask for a private, VIP room, where you can set up your own music playlist and set the mood with cool black lights.
The staff doesn’t mind if you bring your own drinks, and there are also some satisfying snacks available for sale. You can purchase hookahs and different shisha there as well. Parking is a bit of an issue, since the only options are spaces on the side of the road with parking pay meters. The hours of operation are a little iffy sometimes, but you can usually expect the place to be open and active.
3. SPACE Ultralounge
SPACE is Gainesville’s newest late-night destination. It’s located just a few blocks away from all of Downtown’s hottest clubs, so when it’s 2AM and you’re not ready to go home, stumble over to SPACE. The lounge is open until 4AM and there’s a huge 500-square-foot dance floor for everyone who won’t stop partying.
When you’re ready to wind down, end the night with a calming hookah session. Whether you’re by yourself or with friends, SPACE has seating accommodations for solos, couples, and groups of up to 6 people. Hookah sessions start at $10 and there are over 30 flavors of shisha available. They even offer tobacco and nicotine-free options. Keep in mind that alcohol is not sold or allowed inside of SPACE. Seating is also very limited, so make sure to book a section ahead of time.