Tiki and beachy bars

Beach balls and rum drinks await at these laid-back tropical lairs.

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  • Cienfuegos

  • Cienfuegos

  • Otto's Shrunken Head

  • Otto's Shrunken Head

  • Painkiller

  • Painkiller

  • The Rusty Knot

  • The Rusty Knot

  • Surf Bar

  • Surf Bar

Cienfuegos

Beer Island
We wouldn't mind finding ourselves stranded for the afternoon at one of Beer Island's white plastic picnic tables: The sand-covered spot just off the Coney Island boardwalk boasts 20 rotating taps. Gulp down chilly mugs of Moretti ($5) and Rodenberger ($5) as you watch local characters stroll by in their Speedos. 3070 Stillwell Ave at Surf Ave, Coney Island, Brooklyn (347-844-5496, beerislandconeyisland.com)

Cienfuegos
This rum punch-centric lounge from Ravi DeRossi (co-owner of Mayahuel and Death & Co.) is bright enough to evoke an island getaway, and its simple yet citrusy daiquiris ($13) made with Scarlet Ibis rum add to the illusion. The gigantic, 40-ounce Isle of Pines Punch ($114) will thrust you and five of your guayabera-wearing friends into drunken stupor—its spicy concoction of chocolate bitters, Cynar, Haitian rum and fresh orange juice makes it well worth the splurge. 95 Ave A at Sixth St (212-614-6818, cienfuegosny.com)

Jade Island
A Kmart parking lot isn't the first place you'd think to go for an island reverie, but it's where you'll find this '70s-era Polynesian eatery and bar. Jade Island, complete with Hawaiian-shirt-clad waiters and garish statues, proudly carries the tiki torch without so much as a pineapple chunk of irony. And it works! Somehow, cloying cocktails like the Navy Grog (rum, pimento dram and pineapple juice; $7.25) have managed to charm everyone from firemen to Anthony Bourdain. Be sure to request a bamboo booth, where you can sip beneath dangling taxidermied blowfish. 2845 Richmond Ave at Yukon Ave, Staten Island (718-761-8080)

Otto's Shrunken Head
Your own noggin might feel a bit shriveledafter tossing back too many Stormy Skulls (dark rum, coconut and ginger; $10) at this kitschy dive, where the ramshackle decor of tiger-stripe chairs and carved tiki heads blows away all pretension in a tropical breeze. 538 E 14th St between Aves A and B (212-228-2240, ottosshrunkenhead.com)

PKNY
Tiki bars around town have Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richie Boccato, owners of Dutch Kills, to thank for lending serious cocktail cred to a once laughable trend. Only the purest ingredients (fresh juices, house-made syrups) are used in drinks like the flaming Cradle of Life (rum, lemon, orange and lime juices, orgeat syrup, Angostura bitters and Green Chartreuse; $16). 49 Essex St between Grand and Hester Sts (212-777-8454)

The Rusty Knot
The nautical-themed party spot from Ken Friedman (the Spotted Pig) and Taavo Somer (Freemans) has everything you'd want from a beach bar: tiki cocktails like the namesake Rusty Knot (Flor de Caa rum, homemade sour mix, simple syrup, fresh mint; $8), pints of Busch ($3) and some sweet '70s tunes on the juke—may we recommend cranking up Elvis's Aloha from Hawaii? Bonus: The new menu from Sue Torres (chef and owner of Sueos) means you can scarf al pastor tacos (pork with pineapple salsa, three for $9) or some house-made chips and made-to-order guacamole ($6) while watching the sun go down. 425 West St at 11th St (212-645-5668)

The Suffolk
This petite urban beach—with its trucked-in sand and patio abutting a parking lot—feels more like Long Island's Suffolk County than the LES street for which it's named. The backyard's blue-and-white striped chaises, blow-up beach balls, and sangria filled with Granny Smith apple cubes, blueberries and strawberries (glass $5, pitcher $40) complete the transformation. Adding to the portable-cooler vibe, it's beer, wine and champagne drinks only. 107 Suffolk St between Delancey and Rivington Sts (212-982-5008)

Surf Bar
Old surfboards propped up on bamboo poles and a hodgepodge of buoys, straw hats and kooky surfer dolls set the Baja scene at this popular haunt for urban shredders. On sticky summer nights, cool off with a mint-packed mojito ($9) or a frozen daiquiri made with mango puree ($10) in the backyard, which has plenty of sand to get stuck in your sneakers. 139 North 6th St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-302-4441, brooklynsurfbar.com)

One Last Shag
Save the chalkboard inside, there's no sign to tip you off to one of Bed-Stuy's coolest hangs, where classic soul, rock and dub step tunes flow from the speakers. The beachy back patio—strung with multicolored lights above the bamboo bar—fills up with a tattooed, melting-pot crowd of people who recline in worn-out chairs. 348 Franklin Ave between Greene and Lexington Aves, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (718-398-2472)

Zombie Hut
Zombie Hut goes to great pains to exude a South Pacific feel, with thatched bamboo walls and Polynesian masks and statuettes. Chase away evil spirits over a potent pink Singapore Sling ($5), which comes with a matching fuchsia plastic mermaid swizzle stick. 273 Smith St between DeGraw and Sackett Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-875-3433)

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