South Florida's Most Unique Dining Experience With Award-Winning Cuisine

 email  954.563.3272

The Mai-Kai Restaurant & Polynesian Show

To our loyal customers and supporters,

We’re grateful and excited to share some big news about the future of the Mai-Kai. Yes…the Mai-Kai will reopen! After considering numerous interested parties, the Thornton family is thrilled to announce our new joint venture with the Barlington Group, a South Florida-based real estate investment and development company focused on growing unique and eclectic legacy businesses that give their communities character, and Mad Room Hospitality, the proprietors of iconic establishments such as Ball and Chain, Los Altos and Taquerias El Mexicano. Our search came to an end when we met their team and recognized the passion they share for honoring and preserving the legacy of the Mai-Kai.

Most importantly, we want to thank you, our devoted fans and guests, for your continued support even while our doors have been closed. You are a part of the Mai-Kai story, and we’re humbled by the outpouring of love and concern we’ve received. Rest assured, we are doing all we can to restore this beloved local institution — our family’s three-generation legacy — to its former splendor and beyond.

We’re looking forward to working closely with the Barlington Group and Mad Room Hospitality to sustain the Mai-Kai the world has come to know and love. We can’t wait to welcome you back to South Florida’s iconic Mai-Kai Restaurant and Polynesian Show, but until then, please stay tuned for updates on the restoration and repairs. We’ll be announcing a reopening date once the renovation is complete.

We’re excited to bring back the Mai-Kai better than ever before — and for you to be a special part of it!

Aloha and see you soon,
The Thornton family
For all updates, please visit our announcements page.

Aloha and Welcome to the
Mai-Kai Restaurant & Polynesian Show

Escape to one of the most unique dining and entertainment places in all of South Florida.

From the moment you drive over the wooden plank bridge entrance, you will feel as though you’ve journeyed to the South Seas. Since 1956, we have captivated people with our warmth and magical aura. The Mai-Kai brings Polynesia to you, complete with a thatch roof and ancient museum quality artifacts.

About The Mai‑Kai Experience

Our diverse menu offers something for everyone. Our unique Chinese oven is the key to preparing our USDA prime steaks, ducks, and rack of lamb. We also serve fresh seafood and exotic Asian cuisine that will satisfy the most discriminating palate. The award winning cuisine includes specialties like Peking Duck, Crispy Whole Snapper and Lobster Bora Bora. A vegetarian menu and children’s menu is also available.

The Mai-Kai boosts 8 dining rooms. Each reflects a different region of Polynesia. Have a special evening planned? Enjoy our award winning menu without the show in our secluded dining rooms of Tahiti, Samoa and Lanai overlooking lagoons and waterfalls. A perfect venue for intimate dining.

Or for a truly romantic evening, request a table in Lanai, our outdoor dining area.

When you enter the Molokai Bar you will instantly be transported to a historical nautical vessel in the eye of a hurricane. Complete with antique artifacts, decorations, and water cascading down the windows, this is the perfect setting to enjoy an appetizer while sipping on one of over 50 specialty tropical drinks, your favorite cocktail or fine wine from our extensive wine list served by our sarong clad maidens. Happy hour Tuesday – Sunday from opening – 7 pm. Nightly drink specials are also available.

The Mai-Kai is proud to be the home of the longest running Polynesian Show in the United States (including Hawaii). We seat you for dinner before the show begins to give you ample time to order from our award winning cuisine. The roaring drums sound the beginning of the exciting Mai-Kai Islanders Revue. You will be enticed by the romantic Hawaiian wedding song and the thrilling Samoan fire knife dance performed by our native Polynesian dancers.  The revue is a favorite of all ages. Our very popular Kid’s Islanders Revue runs every Sunday from June until November, children from family members of the Mai-Kai owners, friends and employees, join the professional dance troupe in the fast-paced show.

No visit to Mai-Kai is complete without a tour of the gardens. Stroll by giant hand carved tiki sculptures standing guard over a dwindling walkway amidst flaming tiki torches, lush foliage, orchids, waterfalls and lagoons.

Our Mai-Kai trading post and gift shop give you a chance to bring home your favorite memories of the Mai-Kai. With Hawaiian shirts, Polynesian jewelry, your favorite tiki mugs and everything in between, you’ll find your treasure here.

Since the Mai-Kai opened in 1956 the restaurant has received considerable acclaim including Best Dining Entertainment, Best Unique Dining Experience and recognized by Restaurants and Institutions as one of Americas Top 100 Independent Restaurants. In November of 2014 Mai-Kai was added to the National Register of Historic Places. We also received National attention a few years ago when we were nominated in Cintas Americas best restroom contest and placed on the top 10 list.

We offer the following packages:
Dinner and Show packages for up to 300
Luncheons and Daytime Receptions
Private Cocktail & Appetizer Parties
Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Birthday parties,  Special Occasions
Off Premise Catering with or without the show.

Throughout the years the Mai-Kai has received considerable acclaim:


Molokai Bar voted Best Bar in Broward

by New Times Magazine

Voted Best Kid Friendly Restaurant

by New Times and South Florida Parenting

Voted #1 Tiki Bar/Restaurant in the world


Voted Best Tiki Bar in USA

by Coastal Living Magazine

Listed on Best Tiki Bars in the US

by Islands Magazine

Listed on USA TODAYS Best of List: 10 best Tiki Bars around the USA

Five Star Diamond Award

American Academy of Hospitality Sciences

Funniest Dinner Place

South Florida Parenting

Travel/Holiday Fine Dining Award

Official Mai-Kai Day

by the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Commissioners

Travel Holiday Dining Distinction Award

Epicurean Rendezvous Award

Restaurant Hospitality Top 500 Restaurants in U.S.

Small Business of the year in Fort Lauderdale

Best of the Best - Five Star Diamond Award

Top 200 Restaurants in Florida

Florida Trend

Broward Magazine Fine Dining Award

Florida Trends Golden Spoon Award

Americas Top 100 Independent Restaurants

Restaurant & Institutions

Best Happy Hour in South Florida Award

South Florida Magazine

Best Happy Hour

City Link

Designated an official Florida State Attraction

Best of Boca and Beyond

Boca Raton Magazine

South Florida Readers Choice Award

Best of Fort Lauderdale Award


Best Restaurants, Most Entertaining Meal

by Gold Coast Magazine

500 Best Places To Dine

Florida Trend

Diner’s Choice #1 Top 10 Special Occasion Restaurant

Open Table

Top Décor

Top Rooms Zagat

In 2014 Mai-Kai was added to the National Register of Historic Places

In November of 2013 City Of Oakland Park presented the Mai-Kai with a Certificate Of Historic Resource Designation

5 Stars

Upcoming Events at The Mai-Kai



Don’t miss the one-day only Tiki Marketplace, in the Mai-Kai parking lot, featuring all kinds of exotic artworks and wonderful tiki-inspired gifts, clothing, glassware and so much more… WHEN ARRIVING: PLEASE ENTER FROM US 1 MEET OUR SPONSORS AND VENDORS! The...

Historic Photo - Molokai

Our Story

Mai-Kai History

The Mai-Kai was created by Bob and Jack Thornton. The brothers visited Don the Beachcomber’s in Chicago, as children, and even at that young age said they wanted to open a similar place.

Their original design cost 300 thousand dollars; it was the most expensive restaurant built in 1956. In its first year it earned over one million dollars, becoming one of the most successful restaurants of its time and for many years it sold more rum than any location in the United States.

Mai-Kai in The News

#2 in Fort Lauderdale’s 12 Best Happy Hour Spots

#2 in Fort Lauderdale’s 12 Best Happy Hour Spots

This Polynesian-themed landmark has been serving up tropical tiki drinks since 1956. The Molokai Bar, outfitted to look like a turn-of-the-century seaport saloon, features 51 specialty drinks, wine and beer, all served to patrons by lovely maidens. There’s a daily...