In September Critiki—the worldwide guide to tiki bars and Polynesian restaurants—will publish the yearly list of the top ten tiki bars in the world, based on the ratings of the members of Critiki. This isn’t a “who is popular right now” ranking, and it’s definitely not a “whose bar has the most devoted fans” contest (Critiki’s algorithms throw ballot-stuffing junk out). No, Critiki’s ranking comes from the ratings of thousands of devoted tiki bar fans, people who travel the world seeking the best Polynesian pop theming (…and the worst—we tend to be completists!). Critiki takes the long view, the slow and thoughtful view, not the instant gratification view.
The result is a top ten that isn’t my personal top ten, and that’s not just okay—that’s how it should be. I’m just one voice. Critiki’s top ten is the collective voice of a vast community of knowledgeable, curious and dedicated tikiphiles.
The 2017 list is a few months away, but if you want your ratings included, get started today! Register for an account on Critiki, and rate all of the tiki bars you’ve visited. Then look for more tiki bars, check them out, and rate those. Then go back and revise your ratings, once you’ve gained a bit of perspective, or if return visits to old haunts show that a place has changed.
Each location is rated on a variety of criteria, to capture a full sense of how a tiki bar is executing on the elements of the genre: How much work went into the decor? Is the music right? What is the mood like? How good are the drinks? Was the service friendly? Just how tiki is it, anyway?
If you’re already a Critiki member who has been rating tiki bars, now is a good time to review your ratings and make sure they are still an accurate reflection of your opinions. You can see all of your ratings on the Your Ratings page (you’ll find it in your upper-right menu on Critiki). Click the “Your Last Update” column heading to sort by date, so you can see which of your ratings may be due for a rethink. The Tonga Room in San Francisco and The Alibi in Portland are two examples of bars whose offerings have changed in the last few years… have you been recently? Have you updated your Critiki ratings?
(Nota bene: the map of places you’ve been, as seen on your profile page, is not connected to which locations you have rated. This is because Critiki’s ratings are anonymous. Rating a place, and marking a location as a place you have visited, are kept separate for this reason.)
So, spread the word. Tell your friends it’s time to make sure their voice is heard. Think of the people whose opinion you most trust when it comes to tiki bars, and let them know you want their voice in Critiki. It’s what makes Critiki a better resource, for all of us. Mahalo!