Tiki Bars in Chicago

(Click on the names below to read the full review)

Moai flanking the stage at Tiki Terrace

Chicago Tiki Bars:

Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago – Three Dots and a Dash takes the state of tiki in Chicago to a new level with its serious mixology, good food, signature mugs and swizzle sticks, and impeccable decor that provides the perfect setting for a bit of tropical escapism. It’s also one of my Top Tiki Bars in the U.S.

Lost Lake – Mixologist Paul McGee hit a homerun with Three Dots and a Dash and has since moved on to establish a new tiki bar called Lost Lake. Imbibers can order Chinese food from Thank You takeout next door.

Tiki Terrace, Des Plaines – Suburban tiki bar with great decor, island-inspired food and a Polynesian dinner and show on the weekends.

Hala Kahiki, River Grove – The drinks may not be the best, but the ambience and tiki setting are superior at this classic tiki bar.

Chef Shangri-La, North Riverside – A Chinese restaurant opened in 1976 by Paul Fong, a chef with a tiki pedigree. This is a notable spot for its original cocktails and collection of Witco.

Tong’s Tiki Hut, Villa Park – For being a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, their dedication to the tiki theme is impressive. They have obscenely large egg rolls and obscenely cheap drinks served in tiki mugs.

Bob Chinn’s Crab House, Wheeling – This humongous seafood restaurant is not really tiki, but it serves Mai Tais in big Party City-esque plastic tiki cups.

The Breakers, Crystal Lake

Malahini Terrace, Willowbrook

Mai Tai at Wrigley Field
Mai Tai at Wrigley Field

Tiki-Related Things in Chicago:

Wrigley Field – Just as it’s silly to order beer at a tiki bar, so is it ridiculous to get a Mai Tai at a baseball game — but you can if you really want to.

Trump Turns Polynesian – For the summer of 2011, The Terrace at the Trump hotel in Chicago featured a menu of outrageously expensive tiki drinks. It was all worth it, though, for that view.

The bar of Trader Vic's Chicago
The bar at Trader Vic’s Chicago

Gone But Not Forgotten:

Trader Vic’s Chicago – The reincarnated Trader Vic’s at Newbury Plaza lasted only a couple years before closing in 2011.

Curio at Gilt Bar, Chicago – This subterranean speakeasy offered several very tasty tiki-inspired cocktails.


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