(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 took 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 Lost Lake. It has more of a neighborhood vibe (vs. the night-on-the-town feeling at Three Dots) and the cocktails are stellar, of course.
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.
Kahala Koa Tiki Bar, Arlington Heights
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.
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.