tiki bars: wauwatiki

tiki bars: wauwatiki

How about a new tiki bar review to start the weekend off right?

You may be surprised to find tiki establishments in my often chilly and not in the least bit tropical home state of Wisconsin, but I would argue that we need them more than most! Wauwatiki Bar & Grill is the new tiki kid on the block in my neck of the woods, so of course I had to make the trek to check it out. But first! Let’s talk about what I wore.


Top: Target | Cardigan: Kohl’s | Skirt: The Oblong Box Shop | Earrings: Femme de Bloom | Pin: Greenwich Letterpress | Necklace: Local maker | Lipstick: MAC’s Lickable

It’s hard to imagine a better skirt for tiki adventures than the Sneaky Tiki from The Oblong Box Shop (except, perhaps, her new tiki drinks skirt…I might be yearning after that one…) Paired with a tiki enamel pin and some lovely earrings from Femme de Bloom’s new mermaid collection, I felt ready for some South Seas-inspired fun!


Wauwatiki is quite small inside and very long and skinny. When you enter, there’s the bar to your left and some booths to your right. Past the bar, there are more over-sized booths and a few tables. There’s also a garage door that was open to let in the lovely warm breeze. I would say it has more of a general island/beach bar feel than a traditional dark, kitschy tiki bar. There’s the grass over the bar and tiki face stencils on the wall, but it’s not the overstuffed bonanza of nautical/tiki swag that I’m used to seeing. And there is a big screen TV mounted on the wall, which I know is anathema to the tiki bar to many aficionados.


The cocktail menu features all sorts of lovely illustrations of the drinks…the biggest drink on the menu is the Shiver Me Timbers bowl, which costs a whopping $225 and includes an entire bottle of champagne. Wow! They’ve also recently started offering food, but we were focusing on the drinks this time around.


I started off with my very favorite tiki drink (and the namesake inspiration for this blog!), the Singapore Sling! The drinks here are definitely on the pricier side, but you’ll see throughout the photos that they come with some great garnishes and really lovely presentation.


How fun is this guy?? (This is the Baka’s Brew, which was sweet and tasty, definitely my style.) Unfortunately, Wauwatiki doesn’t currently offer any mugs to take home, but our server told me they’re planning to introduce a custom mug and Mai Tai glasses, which would awesome! I do love collecting mugs, and it gets a little tiring to see the same standard mass-produced mugs at all the bars.


The Banana Daiquiri comes with this adorable banana dolphin, which was hands down the coolest garnish of the night. It was only slightly beat out in coolness points by…


The Island Smoke, which comes in a real hollowed out pineapple!! This mezcal-based drink didn’t end up being exactly to my tastes, but it was still worth it for the experience of sipping out of this big ol’ pineapple.

Service was pleasant and attentive. The bar wasn’t exactly packed, but there was a good crowd there for a weeknight. It had a nice convivial atmosphere that I appreciated. I’d definitely like to return to try some of the food (I saw another group that was cooking some kind of meat skewer on a tiny little grill at the table!), and once there are mugs to be had, you know I’ll be back.

The Verdict (Out of 4 possible tiki torches)

Ambiance: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Drinks: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Mugs: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview(I have to deduct a torch for not letting me keep any!)
Service: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Food: TBD!


2 thoughts on “tiki bars: wauwatiki

  1. Those garnishes really are super creative! I just showed my little sister the banana dolphin, and she was impressed despite not liking bananas. Also, ‘banana dolphin’ definitely sounds like it’s a euphemism for something I don’t much want to contemplate…

    This place looks awesome!


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