Death & Co.’s Flaming Zombie Punch Is Still an Essential NYC Cocktail
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1. Three Dots and a Dash435 N Clark St, Chicago
2. Chef Shangri-La7930 W 26th St North Riverside, Chicago
3. Lost Lake3154 W Diversey Ave, Chicago
4. The Orbit Room2959 N California Ave, Chicago
5. The Tiki Terrace1591 Lee St, Des Plaines
6. Trader Todd's3216 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago
7. Kona Kai Tiki Lounge334 Georgetown Square, Wood Dale
8. Tong's Tiki Hut100 E Roosevelt Rd #18, Villa Park
9. Won Kow2237 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago
10. Paradise Club7068 W Belmont Ave, Chicago
11. Malahini Terrace321 75th St, Willowbrook
12. Island Party Boat400 East Monroe, Chicago
13. Island Party Hut355 East Riverwalk South, Chicago
14. Hala Kahiki Lounge2834 River Rd, Grove
Three Dots and a Dash is a tiki-themed speakeasy in the back of Bub City that's pouring out crazy tropical cocktails in vessels like glass skulls and treasure chests.
This 70’s style Tiki venue has Asian fusion specialities and popular island favorites like coconut fried shrimp po’ boy sliders, plus the super cheap tropical drinks you’ve been looking for. Elvis impersonators, Aloha Chicago’s hula dancers, and fire throwing performers put on shows here monthly, making it a festive atmosphere for swilling fruity drinks like the mysterious, neon green Dr. Fong.
Chicago Tiki mogul Paul McGee (of Three Dots and a Dash) is behind Lost Lake, a temple to all things Polynesian in Logan Square. The cocktail bar serves rum-soaked classics and originals, including daily daiquiri specials and group punches, in tiki mugs and volcano bowls. Decorated like the original Don's Beachcomber Cafe, Lost Lake is decked out with banana leaf wallpaper and thatched bamboo but doesn't have the kitschy vibe of many tiki bars.
Relax in the stunning outside patio or survey the extensive cocktail list at the retro bar inside—you can’t go wrong at The Orbit Room. A surprisingly upscale bar for the neighborhood, the prices are reasonable and the décor is updated ‘70s tiki style. If you like strong drinks that come complete with tiny umbrellas, this is the place for you.
Amid the oversized palm fronds and totally Tiki kitsch, you won’t even remember you’re in a Des Plaines strip mall. Every Friday and Saturday night, their luau show, Echoes of Polynesia, features hula dancers and warrior chants from a variety of islands. Turns out, this is an awesome way to embarrass someone on stage for their birthday or anniversary.
At Trader Todd's you can sing karaoke, drink in a beer garden setting and make a fool of yourself all in one place. Grab a mic and a tiki-tropical drink and start singing.
In Tahitian, the name of the quintessential Tiki cocktail “Mai Tai” apparently means “out of this world.” This Tiki lounge puts its own twist on Trader Vic’s original recipe from 1944, and they challenge you to find a better one. You could do that...or just stick around for any number of their live performances from iconic bands and vocalist groups, like The Drifters, and board the “Love Train” instead.
It can be difficult to sustain a Tiki-themed establishment for very long, but this mom-and-pop “hut” has been around for over 30 years. With a giant Easter Island Tiki head at its core, storefront windows, and doors covered entirely by bamboo, hanging decor like lobsters, “Tiki god” masks, woven fish traps, and large murals dedicated to the motif, the restaurant/bar caters to the dine-in and take-out crowd boasting the “best egg rolls” in town. And the piña colada might just have the creamiest coconut and rum blend you’ve ever tasted.
All those Tiki cocktails can add up quickly, but this traditional Chinese abode has beverages that can easily accommodate two rum-guzzlers for the price of a single drink at other fine establishments in the city. Load up on some damn good dim sum while imbibing in giant, communal “volcano bowls” that include raised reservoirs filled with blazing 151 proof rum for $14 each.
You’ll find a line-up of middle-aged men noshing on house sausages and potato chips while intently watching the Blackhawks at this quiet 60+ year old Polish dive with a Tiki flair. If you’re lucky, some patrons might take a break to tell you about the time they drank too many of the owner/bartender’s deadly Zombie Punches and saw Tarzan swinging in the Blue Lagoon painting. With most of the lights used to illuminate a few fish tanks in the place, you won’t exactly be able to see what you’re drinking, but you should be enjoying it with your eyes closed anyway. And, if you didn’t know it before you walked in, the lit sign by the bar will tell you, “This is a classy joint. Act respectable.”
This Tiki joint with whimsical island decor has a mix of Chinese and Polynesian themed cuisine with tropical drinks and a lunch buffet for less than $7 each. Check out the Zodiac signs of various celebrities (did you know Sigmund Freud was a Dragon?) as well as your own while guzzling strong, fruity punches.
Tiki-philes can take their festivities to the next level via a waterslide-equipped Polynesian party barge out of Monroe Harbor. Seafaring groups of up to 36 people (and even their pooches) can cruise Lake Michigan and the river on one of eight vessels in the fleet, including the 50-foot Big Kahuna or smaller Polynesian. Once you’ve downed a few fruity margaritas, continue the party at their new Tiki hut on the Chicago Riverwalk, where they have a full bar and live music on Saturdays, not to mention the "Kahuna Burger" with fresh pineapple chutney.
Located on the Chicago Riverwalk, this Tiki hut features a full bar, live music on Sundays, and a menu featuring tropical eats like its highly touted Kahuna Burger.
Named after a pineapple plantation in Hawaii, this lounge nobly sets a high torch for Tiki enthusiasts. Replete with soft glowing hula girl lamps, blowfish-turned-light fixtures, wooden statues, and an outdoor oasis, it’s a shrine to all things Tiki. Choosing from the pages of their extensive beverage menu is an adventure. Should you opt for the impressive Hala Kahiki in a frozen pineapple (and you should), it’ll be hard to pace yourself before you hit the bottom. But then you can ask for a spoon to finish it off as a rum-drenched slushie.