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Mai-Kai Restaurant Was Just Named The Best Tiki Bar In The World

One Fort Lauderdale tiki bar just earned a pretty big honor. 

Not only did Mai-Kai make the list of the 10 best tiki bars in the world, it took home the No. 1 spot.

The list was compiled by Critiki, a community for fans of mid-century American Polynesian pop culture. It was based on 50,000 ratings that more than 6,000 members have given different tiki spots all over the globe. Criteria included drink quality, decor, music and more.

Mai-Kai, which topped the list with a 9.8 Critiki rating, received praised for its decor and for being a family-run institution for 60 years. 

Take another glance at the list, however, and you’ll notice that the top-rated spots are all in the United States.

“Not surprising: this style of themed environment was born in California and is still heavily centered there,” Critiki founder Humuhumu Trott said. 

Some international spots—like Trader Vic’s in Munich and the Shameful Tiki Room in Vancouver—almost made the list, she explained, but “either had insufficient data or not-quite-there ratings.” 

Trott said she frequents Mai-Kai whenever she’s in Fort Lauderdale and continues to be amazed by what it has to offer.

“It's incredible, there is simply no other place like it, and we are lucky it is still here today,” she said. “It is, soup-to-nuts, a fully immersive experience. That's what sets it well apart from any other place on Earth. Nothing is close to the scale of the Mai-Kai.”

While she says her personal top 10 list would read a little differently, Trott said it’s “refreshing to have a list that resonates with people who know and love these places.”

“Even those who have a quibble or two about how a particular place landed in the listing seem to feel good about the overall list,” she said. 

Mai-Kai, which was also recently named one of the best places to order umbrella drinks, shared the news on Facebook with a simple response: “Mahalo.”

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