11 NYC Tiki Bars That Feel Like an Instant Tropical Vacation
You look like you could use a vacation…to a land of frosty drinks, kitschy wallpaper and blissed-out island vibes. Throw on your finest tropical prints—it’s tiki time.
Midtown drinking just got a serious upgrade with the opening of this spot from Major Food Group (the Pool, Carbone, Sadelle’s). Tiki apostle Brian Miller is behind drinks like the Reggae Bus (rum, Chartreuse, saffron and juice) and the bright-purple Commodore Daiquiri (made with rum, orgeat and ube extract), both ideal for sipping in the luxe interior or on the terrace.
400 W. 42nd St.; thepolynesiantiki.com
This recently opened rooftop oasis is already drawing long lines, but the patient will be rewarded with creative drinks like the Poppyseed Bagel Fizz and the Cocoa Puff Old Fashioned (both are exactly what they sound like… and delicious) and a space that feels like the Miami second home of our dreams—think mismatched chairs and rattan galore—designed by interior wizards Roman and Williams.
23 Lexington Ave.; freehandhotels.com
Mother of Pearl
Yep, this is the home of the majorly ’Grammable Shark Eye cocktail that went viral, but there’s much more to love—say, a gorgeous, breezy interior; a Polynesian vegan food menu; and creative drinks like the Spring Tea (gin, rhubarb, Aperol and matcha).
95 Ave. A; 212-614-6818 or motherofpearlnyc.com
The vibe at this Crown Heights spot can best be described as “Stranger Things goes on vacation.” (In other words, it’s dark and moody, but also tropical and festive… it's a vibe, OK?) Order the pulled pork nachos and a Painkiller cocktail served in a coconut—but be warned: It packs a punch.
722 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn; superpowerbrooklyn.com
The folks behind LES cocktail den Attaboy sure know the ingredients for a great bar: sleek, vaguely retro decor; string lights on the patio; and, of course, cocktails like the frozen Banana Hammock (rum, banana, lime, almond and “extra rum”).
1057 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn; diamondreefnyc.com
We’re not sure what’s in the addictive scorpion bowl at this Carroll Gardens mainstay—we just know it goes down easy, comes with extra-long straws for sharing and is best enjoyed on the spacious patio.
273 Smith St., Brooklyn; 718-875-3433
Board games, dollar oysters, a David Bowie mural and drinks served in mini inflatable flamingos. What’s not to like?
266 Irving Ave., Brooklyn; dromedarybar.com
The Rusty Knot
Who knew “nautical tiki dive” would be a formula for success? Bonus points for great people-watching and one of the best Dark & Stormies we’ve ever had.
425 West St.; 212-645-5668 or cargocollective.com/therustyknot
Normally, this Red Hook gem focuses on seasonal American fare, but Thursday nights it transforms into the Sunken Harbor Club, a celebration of all things tiki. Drinking a White Zombie out of a skull-shaped mug is a totally valid excuse to call in sick on Friday, right?
365 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn; 347-453-6672 or fortdefiancebrooklyn.com
Otto’s Shrunken Head
It’s rowdy, it’s kitschy…and it’s a New York institution.
538 E. 14th St.; 212-28-2240 or ottosshrunkenhead.com