Best Of

Best Tiki Bar


It might be the only tiki bar in town, but still, it would be hard to top Otto’s Shrunken Head, which was founded in 2002 to combat the sad absence of places like Hawaii Kai and Trader Vic’s. But this isn’t an uptown tourist attraction, it’s a 14th Street hangout on a block filled with value stores. And it’s tiki’d upside down! From the giant tiki heads in the window to the Hawaiian record covers and fish-shaped light fixtures inside, the place is a quickie trip to the Pacific via Avenue B. Ten-dollar tiki drinks are served, including Wicked Willies, Stormy Skulls, Pang’s Punch (“radioactive rum punch,” named after co-owner Steve Pang), and, of course, your parents’ faves: Mai Tais and Singapore Slings. And at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday, they exclusively offer a Slice of Heaven, with “deep-fried bacon and a shot of your choice.” (By the way, you put down a $5 deposit for your drink, which you only get back if you return the tiki mug it’s in. There were too many walkaways.) Best of all, the atmosphere is pure party. Happy sounds emanate from the red patent-leather booths, whether there’s live music, comedy, spoken word, or an open mic or not. Go and get lei’d. 538 East 14th Street, 212-228-2240, (10009)

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