Otto's Shrunken Head

538 East 14th Street
New York, New York, United States
Ph: (212) 228-2240 - Website
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Daily 2pm-4am
Opened in 2002
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
American Museum of Natural History, New York 3.6 mi
5.7 km
Zombie Hut, Brooklyn 3.3 mi
5.4 km
Brooklyn's Tiki Bar, Brooklyn 5.3 mi
8.5 km
Chan's Dragon Inn, Ridgefield 7.5 mi
12.0 km
King Yum, Flushing 10.1 mi
16.2 km
The bar at Otto's Shrunken Head in New York
November 2010, photo by Humuhumu
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Humuhumu’s description:

Otto's Shrunken Head is a tiki-meets-punk bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Live music acts play regularly in the back room. The music styles range from rock to metal to exotica, and it's often loud. The front entry of the bar has cases filled with tiki mugs and knick-knacks. Over the bar is a row of pufferfish lamps. There are carvings by Wayne Coombs and Crazy Al. Drinks are served in mugs that are available for sale, including a custom shrunken head mug.

In late 2010 a fire damaged the back room of Otto's, but repairs were able to be made swiftly.

How to find it:
Otto's is on E 14th, between Avenues A and B.
There are 10 comments.
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January 8, 2009, 2:52 PM
On a recent visit to NYC, the high Critiki rating made this one destination that I definitely had to visit.

It was a COMPLETE letdown.

I have no idea how it got such a high rating; perhaps this once was a tiki bar -- now it's filled with the death metal crowd.

They still have some tiki drinks and they do have some fun tiki mugs for sale; so it wasn't a complete wash.

I don't really know how to rate their tiki drinks. By California standards they were pretty bad; but those might be the best tiki drinks New York has to offer for all I know. (To be fair, I have Tiki Ti, Trader Vic's, Forbidden Island, et al that I'm comparing this place to.)

It's really too bad; New York could use a good tiki bar. Sadly, this is not it.
digitalmotion has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.

March 11, 2009, 7:38 AM
I ended one of many bar hopping evenings at otto's shrunken head, cool shack, though a bit crowded. get you drink and head for the back room if you need the space (unless theres a show going on, at which point your beat). cool atmosphere, expensive beer

May 18, 2009, 12:29 PM
This is a down and dirty loud rock & roll bar, with a tiki décor and drinks, just so you know. Live music in the back room (some good stuff; see their web page calendar) A couple of good bartenders (Pam!) but really bad ones who can't even mix a drink and don't even want to.
Olive Twist is a regular at Otto's Shrunken Head, and is usually there Last TH. of the mo. for SIT.

May 31, 2009, 10:38 AM
I'm not in love with the place, either. Although it has a tiki decor and cocktail menu, it's more of a loud rock venue attracting the death metal/punk crowd. Very friendly staff n' all, but it's not really a tiki bar. I've been many times and have never heard a note of tropical music. Last time I was there, they were playing Nine Inch Nails. A fun, lively venue (with live bands, too), but not for me. It's topical...but not tRopical, and a taste of exotica is what I look for in a tiki bar. I want to be transported to the South Seas; Otto's makes me feel firmly stuck in the East Village.
Amanda International is a semi-regular at Otto's Shrunken Head.

June 4, 2009, 3:12 AM
I actually admire the moxie of Otto's trying to expand the boundaries of Tiki just a bit with different styles of music (don't dwell on the punk or metal, they also feature great rockabilly, jazz and many other styles). And it's a cozy little room with a very fun vibe. Some "authentic" Tiki joints can be downright boring. Never a problem here. That said, the drinks need lots of work judging by my visits last year.
Hurricane Hayward has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.

July 16, 2009, 10:11 AM
I had a great time @ Otto's, but maybe it was just the booze. It is a very "Village-y" place, but parts remind me of some earlier places, more hangout/dive than theme park. And did you see that mug selection?!
pittsburgh paulie has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.

July 19, 2009, 6:56 PM
i <3 ottos and try to stop in every time i am in the city.
it is a rock & roll bar mostly, but if you go early or really late it is pretty quiet and chill. they have different music nights so you should check their website and see if it is something you are into. they have a huge selection of tiki drinks and a dozen that are served in mugs for a $5 deposit which you are welcome to keep.
they also have scorpion bowls. it's cash only and the tiki drinks are $10/$15 with the mug.
exquisitecorpse is a semi-regular at Otto's Shrunken Head.

September 4, 2009, 4:13 PM
Saturday afternoon in the East Village...NYC...Tiki the Big Apple style...old school NYC punk rock mixed by a true NewYorker DJ...drinking w the bartender...not so tiki but a great place to go...
Builtiki has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.

December 28, 2011, 8:40 AM
Ah, I wanted to like Otto's more than I did ... It just didn't get it done for me. To be fair, I went on a Saturday night in the wintertime, it was packed with people, and they were playing really loud hardcore music - so all of that made it difficult to appreciate the scene. I did like the look of the small back room, where a rockabilly band was playing, but there wasn't enough room for us to get in there. The decor is fairly sparse (though I liked the cloth wall hangings behind our table) and the drinks were totally average. I wouldn't mind going back at a less busy time - my opinion might change if I had a chance to visit with the bartenders and pay more attention to the surroundings. And good for them, I guess, that they're doing a booming business. Just not my favorite.
Wild Man of Wongo has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.

July 19, 2014, 5:33 AM
The Exotica quotient is up with Primativa in Hi-Fi doing every third Wednesday of the month.
tabuzak is a regular at Otto's Shrunken Head, and is usually there Third Wednesday of the month.

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