The Best Rum, Tropical and Tiki Bars in NYC

Who needs a literal island paradise when you have these 18 getaways right in the city?

June 25, 2024 7:12 am
Interior shot of Paradise Lost's bar, with different-colored lights and bar stools decorated in a tiki theme
It's 5 o'clock somewhere...
Noah Fecks

It’s hot outside, and what better way to spend a day than with a fruity summer cocktail? We’ll even do you one better: a summer cocktail with rum, the perfect drink to sip on in the sweltering heat. Today, we’re taking you through the best bars in New York City for this particular type of boozy escape, separated into three different categories: tropical hideaways, immersive tiki bars and classic rum bars. Channel your inner Don the Beachcomber and visit these NYC hotspots. 

Tropical Hideaways 

Close-up of a bar with people sitting at it with drinks and there's a 3D purple rhinoceros face behind the bar.
Ra-Ra Rhino
Nick Johnson

Ra-Ra Rhino

Head to Bushwick, find Dromedary Doughnuts, walk through the photo booth curtains and you’ll stumble upon Ra-Ra Rhino, a tucked-away tropical speakeasy. You’ll know when you’ve made it: the main room’s most eye-catching feature is a sparkly purple and yellow rhinoceros head that shoots fog from its nose. Be sure to order their 34 Yr Old Zombie, which comes in a large, chalice-like golden cup shaped like an owl. And don’t miss out on ordering an app (or two) — the staff here came from Eleven Madison Park and One If By Land, Two If By Sea, so regardless of what you decide to order, it’s going to be good. 

1329 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn

Super Power

With colorful string lights, palm-tree wallpaper and an outdoor seating area decked out with plants and flowers, Super Power is the perfect spot for a chill day of tropical drinking. Their cocktail list has a creative selection of rum, tequila and mezcal cocktails, like their Mezcal Mai Tai and John the Beachcomber, which features several different rum blends. If you only have one frozen drink while on your tiki tour, make this your spot to go all-in. Their frozen Painkiller is soft-serve consistency and indeed tastes like boozy ice cream. I don’t want to admit how many I was tempted to have in one sitting. 

722 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn

Zig Zag

Zig Zag is nestled on the corner of Hancock and Marcus Garvey in Bed-Stuy. The space itself is lively with a modern approach to the tropical theme: bamboo lines the bar and walls, greenery is found in hanging planters as well as on the wallpaper. The menu offers a list of sophisticated and strong rum drinks that come in vibrant tiki mugs, including a skull, a lucky cat with its paw in the air and a shark head that looks like it’s breaching. Their happy hour runs until 8 p.m. on weekdays, and they also offer outdoor seating.

382 Marcus Garvey Blvd, Brooklyn

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Las’ Lap

Tucked away in the East Village is Las’ Lap, a bar covered in greenery with flowers sprinkled across the walls. If you look up toward the top of the bar, you’ll even see large pink flamingos perched on a ledge. Though they serve a huge list of cocktails with fruity, tropical flavors, you can’t go wrong with their house punch (that they also serve frozen) or their Las’ Lap cocktail made with aged rum, Luxardo Maraschino, yellow chartreuse and fresh lime. Their small bites deliver Caribbean flavors, like their sweet chili wings with a deliciously crunchy fried skin. 

74 Orchard St, New York

Zombie Hut

For a relaxed spot with outdoor seating and major tiki commitment, head to Zombie Hut. They offer a selection of sweet and seriously bright drinks — looking at you Blue Hawaiian and Frozen Zombie — made with an assortment of rums and fruit juices. Go for that Frozen Zombie if you’re in the mood for a juicy, refreshing and strong frozen cocktail, or if you’ve got a willing group, you can’t go wrong with the Scorpion Bowl, a rum and brandy cocktail that served in a massive bowl with four straws. 

273 Smith St #4739, Brooklyn

Bartender straining a daiquiri from a cocktail shaker into a coup glass.
Daiquiri pour from Lolita
Shannon Sturgis


Inside Lolita you’ll find a vibrant space designed with bright pops of color and intricate designs along the walls and floor. They offer an extensive selection of cocktails that either fall under their “tropical” or “savory” category, providing a wide range of flavors and pairings suitable for anyone’s palette or preferences. Order the Tropical Negroni for a refreshing, spiced take on the classic, or the Mariposa Memoir for something frozen and more out there. The beverage program here stands out because Lolita offers a collection of additive-free agaves and shines a spotlight terroir, so it’s not all about the Instagrammable glassware and fluorescent colors. Don’t pass on ordering food, either.

45 W 45th St, New York

Tiki Bars

Cocktail in a lowball glass on fire next to a small shot with a plastic figurine inside of it.
Noah Fecks
Paradise Lost’s Demerara Dry Float with Martinique and Guyanese r(h)ums, maraschino and passionfruit

Paradise Lost 

From the moment you walk into Paradise Lost, you’re immediately transported from the streets of NYC to a tropical escape. Walk down a long hallway covered in leaves and plants until you reach the bright neon sign, open the door and take in the sights and sounds: a kaleidoscope of colored lights, bamboo galore, thumping music and jungle sound effects that don’t feel at all out of place. The design is so immersive you might just forget you’re in the East Village. The cocktail menu is the size of a small book, and the drinks come in creative tiki mugs and offer different sensory experiences: some dabble in fire, some fully catch on fire, some you get to pour yourself — you’ll just have to order one and find out.

100 2nd Ave, New York

Tiki Chick

Trek to the UWS for the ultimate tiki experience at Tiki Chick. Their menu offers a wide selection of sweet, strong and creative cocktails that come in all kinds of festive tiki mugs, like their Peel Me a Banana — basically a rum Old Fashioned, using rum infused with banana peels — that’s served in a banana-shaped mug. If that’s not enough, it’s paired with three banana slices that get lit on fire in front of you, adding a smoky, caramelized flavor to the drink. The P-O-G Punch is their signature rum punch and tastes like summer in a glass. Do yourself a favor and have one of their $5 fried chicken sandwiches — they’re outstanding, and may secretly be the best deal in the city.

517 Amsterdam Ave, New York

The Friki Tiki

A perfect example of a classic tiki spot, the Friki Tiki will transport you to a tropical oasis. But unlike the others bars on this list, front and center is a white piano on a small stage for live music every Tuesday to Sunday at 9 p.m. The menu offers a perfect arrangement of super sweet, subtly sweet and spicy cocktails — no matter your preference, you’re bound to find something you like. You can’t go wrong with their Frozen Paloma or Zombie, which are just how we like them: sweet and strong.

357 W 44th St, New York

Cellar 335

For this treasure of a spot, you’re gonna have to hop on the PATH and head to Jersey City. Trust us, it’s worth it. The space itself has a sleek, exotic feel — black and red furniture, plenty of plants, wood and brick accents with endless tiki decorations. Between the vast selection of global small plates — from their Korean-style wings to tikka masala meatballs to loaded french fries — and bright cocktails served in vivacious mugs, you’ll be spoiled for choice, and glad you crossed the river.

335 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ

Sunken Harbor Club

You’ll find Sunken Harbor Club located above Gage & Tollner. Enter through a door in the restaurant, and be sure to get there early if you want to guarantee a table — they don’t take reservations and the wait times get real long, real fast. That’s because visiting Sunken Harbor is an experience in itself — as soon as you walk through the doors, you’re immediately immersed in what feels like the cabin of an old ship. The beauty is in the details, from fishing rods and ropes, to leather furniture and old-fashioned photo frames. It’s a small space, making it all the more intimate and realistic. The cocktails themselves are also eccentric and range from an arrangement of classic tropical drinks to house originals, and they’re all categorized by how boozy they are. Hang out late and see what happens when you “sail” past the Bermuda triangle and toward the Twilight Zone. 

372 Fulton St 2nd Floor, Brooklyn

Otto’s Shrunken Head

For the ultimate tiki dive experience, check out Otto’s Shrunken Head in the East Village, where pufferfish lights and zebra-print barstools give you an immediate idea of what to expect. Their cocktail menu includes house originals, rum classics and a variety of frozen options, and they all come served in decorative tiki mugs — that you can keep if you forfeit a $7 deposit. They almost always have live events going on — whether it be live bands, DJs, open mics or poetry readings — making it the ultimate spot for a chill vibe and a good time. 

538 E 14th St, New York

Rum Bars

Four cocktails on a table
The Rum House
Alex Staniloff

The Rum House

An absolute gem in the heart of Midtown, the Rum House is a lavish and lively bar perfect for a legitimately classy cocktail in Times Square. We promise it’s worth the trek out there. With nightly live jazz and a huge cocktail selection, it’s a hidden oasis. They offer all the classic rum cocktails and pours as well as a long list of house originals. We recommend the Star F**cker, their take on an Espresso Martini using dark rum, Mr Black, apricot liqueur, grapefruit, demerara and egg white. If I could start my mornings with one of these every day, I would. 

228 W 47th St, New York


Cuba in Greenwich Village offers a polished menu of rum cocktails, as well as plenty others. The Old Cuban, made with Zacapa 23, muddled limes, Grand Marnier, mint and cava, and served with a sugarcane stick, is tasteful and balanced. Meanwhile, their Rum Old Fashioned is made using Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva (one of my personal favorites), and they also offer six different Mojito flavor options. Cuba also has a $26 rum tasting, where you can taste any three spirits from their long list of internationally sourced rums.

222 Thompson St, New York

Bar area at Kokomo, with dim lighting and a wall lined in bamboo and disco bal light fixtures


Located in Williamsburg, Kokomo offers a stunning selection of rum cocktails and sophisticated Caribbean eats. It has a welcoming ambiance, and the drinks even come with immersive experiences. Order the Plantini, their take on a Martini with Bacardi 4, roasted plantain puree and demerara syrup, if you want to watch them light your drink on fire. Their Rude Gyal is actually two cocktails in one, as it completely changes color and flavor the more you drink it. And don’t stress if you get hungry — they have plenty of delicious Caribbean dishes.

65 Kent Ave, Brooklyn

Havana Cafe

Head to the Bronx to experience Havana Cafe, a restaurant serving a large variety of Cuban fare. While the food is delicious and authentic itself, they have a great cocktail list full of rum drinks — and another separate menu just for their Mojito selection. Their aged rum list would be intimidatingly long, if it weren’t for the tasting notes they’ve included for each. Plus, they have four rum flights available if you don’t know where to start: Caribbean, Premium, Super Premium and Owner’s Favorites.

3151 E Tremont Ave, Bronx

The Rum Bar

This space in Crown Heights is small, well-decorated and an incredibly fun time. With large, colorful wall paintings and a lively outdoor backyard patio area, it makes for a friendly and welcoming environment to sip on a plethora of their house rum cocktails. They offer the classics like the Mojito, Dark ‘n’ Stormy and Daiquiri variations, as well as three different kinds of flights using rums sourced from various countries: Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Guatemala and Spain. You can also try a pour from one of the 100 rums on their “Rum Cabinet” list and try some of their Caribbean light bites. 

733 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn

Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe

For a vast and tasty rum selection and specialized Jamaican fare, Miss Lily’s is the spot. Grab a table or sit at the bar and order their house rum punch for a sip of tropical delight. They have their own versions of classic rum cocktails like their Mad Chill Mai Tai, which uses Bacardi Mango-Chile and Ocho, Santa Teresa, Martini Rossi Fiero, orgeat and lime. It’s also the perfect spot to dabble in various rum pours — their list has over 60 selections across categories like Strong & Overproof, Mellow Rums & Sweet Feelings and Rare & Limited.

109 Avenue A, New York


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