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New York Nightlife and Clubs

NYC.com's guide to New York nightlife features expert reviews and recommendations for the top hot spots, dance clubs, jazz and live music venues, not to mention information on all types of bars, from dives and local hangouts to nightclubs and lounges in Manhattan and beyond. Also check out our guides for comedy fans, bar-hoppers, music lovers, the under-21 crowd, plus our all-new Best of New York Nightlife, packed with great features!

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National Sawdust

Live Music

2.9 Miles Williamsburg

National Sawdust, is an unparalleled, artist-led, nonprofit venue, is a place for exploration and discovery. A place where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike. In a city teeming with venues, National Sawdust is a singular space founded with an expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres a home in which they can flourish, a setting where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work.

Oak Bar

Hotel Bars

0.9 Miles Midtown

While the Oak Room itself is closed for the time being, the Oak Bar continues to serve well-crafted drinks with an even hand to an upscale clientele amidst the beauty and glamor of the historic space.

Apotheke

Lounge

2.9 Miles Chinatown

The lao wei are still aflutter over Chinatown's hottest cocktail den, one that has created possibly the most buzz south of Canal Street since Cab Calloway's Smokey Joe took Minnie the Moocher down to "kick the gong" in Chinatown. In truth, Austrian-born Albert Trummer has hit all the right notes with his Apotheke, perhaps the natural evolution and vast improvement on the former Barmacy theme that proved so successful on East 14th Street. Think mad scientist meets mixologist meets opium dispensary, full of fancy laboratory gear to emphasize the medicinal qualities of Trummer's nine types of cocktails: Health and Beauty Stress Relievers Pain Killers Stimulants Aphrodisiacs Pharmaceuticals Euphoric Enhancers Therapeutic Treatments House Remedies With "over 250 house cocktails and 500 bottles of liquor from around the world," this is indeed impressive. Just bear in mind that unfortunately today's Absinthe likely won't make you insane, though perhaps the price of cocktails here might. Nevertheless, at roughly $15 each we find the cocktails a fair value as their ingredients are carefully sourced, and mixing the various decoctions and concotions is done with great art and skill. Our favorite recipes are for the James Bond as well as a few we invented on the fly—we asked our mixologist to create a drink including three kinds of ginger, one drink using two kinds of anise and fennel, and another one we simply declared should be the "Chinatown Special". They were all superb. After enjoying about a dozen marvelous creations, we finally called it quits. Our advice: do not hesitate to simply declare what ingredients/flavors you might like in your drinks. Before you become completely blotto, however, do ensure you stumble around Doyers Street, the crookedest street in Manhattan. Over one hundred years ago in 1907, the New York Times reported that "In all New York City, there is not a more disreputable street than Pell Street nor a more forbidding cow-path than Doyers Street." Together, these lanes were "cesspools of immorality vile enough to bring a curse upon the entire community."

Red Hook Winery

Wine Bar

5.8 Miles Red Hook

Trading in cannonballs for vats, this Red Hook factory has become the Red Hook Winery, a new venture from owner Mark Snyder, winemaker Chris Nicolson, and Napa Valley native Bob Foley.

King Cole Bar

Hotel Bars

0.7 Miles Midtown

Enjoy an aperitif in this legendary society club where the Bloody Mary — here known as “Red Snapper” — first landed in America and was perfected. Maxfield Parrish’s masterpiece King Cole mural keeps watch on hotel guests and knowledgeable New Yorkers.

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Jazz

0.9 Miles Upper West Side

The classic jazz club reinvented, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola brings the music out of the basement with views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, great soul food and some of the best music to be found anywhere in the city, every night. The club hosts a variety of established acts and introduces young up-and-comers five nights a week in after-hours Late Night Sessions. An intimate setting designed to showcase this uniquely American art form, Dizzy’s is the latest addition to the historic list of New York’s great jazz venues. As Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis explains, “Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola is designed to entertain people in the spirit that Dizzy [Gillespie] had...very welcoming. We just want people to have a good time. We want the musicians to feel comfortable to play. We want people to come in and have a memorable experience. This whole facility is designed for international participation. This is a hall of integration...to bring everything together."

Bemelmans Bar

Hotel Bars

1.8 Miles Upper East Side

Best remembered as the creator of the classic Madeline books for children, Ludwig Bemelmans once joked he'd like his tombstone to read: "Tell Them It Was Wonderful." Well, wonderful it was, and still is, at Bemelmans Bar. Named in honor of the legendary artist, Bemelmans is a timeless New York watering hole that has drawn socialites, politicians, movie stars and moguls for more than five decades. Restored in 2002 by designer Thierry Despont, the bar maintains its Art Deco legacy with chocolate-brown leather banquettes, nickel-trimmed black glass tabletops, a dramatic black granite bar and a 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling. Featuring the only surviving Bemelmans' commission open to the public, the 75-seat bar combines wit and coziness in unique New York style. Long-time Bemelmans bartender Tommy Rowles recalls when a weary Harry S. Truman stopped in and ordered Old Grand-Dad bourbon on the rocks. When Rowles, a dedicated beer drinker, remarked that he could never drink an Old Grand-Dad, President Truman suggested he take a look out the window at the mob of reporters waiting and remarked, "If you had to walk 15 blocks with these guys following you, you'd drink this too."

SPACE IBIZA New York

Dance Club

0.9 Miles

Bringing the energy made famous by Mediteranian nightlife and electronic music hot spot, SPACE IBIZA North American beachhead brings top tier musical talent, a fantastic sound system and of course the lovely SPACE IBIZA dancers. Here you will find the hippest crowd, as models mingle and celebrities mingle with the in-the-know-crowd of NYC.

Knitting Factory

Live Music

3.3 Miles Williamsburg

Once a locus of experimental, envelope-pushing music in Tribeca which showcased styles ranging from rock to jazz to neo-classical to electronica, the Knitting Factory, after being harangued by neighbors, relocated itself unto the more vibrant and welcoming neighborhood of Williamsburg. Now living in the completely remodeled and renovated space that once housed Luna Lounge, the Knitting Factory is back in action as one of the best and most intimate spaces to see a concert in New York, with a capacity crowd of 300 people!

Cafe Carlyle

Cabaret & Revue

1.7 Miles Upper East Side

When famed composer Richard Rodgers moved in as The Carlyle's first tenant, music became an essential part of The Carlyle experience. A romantic and intimate venue, Café Carlyle continues the tradition of the 1930s supper club. It features original murals created by French artist Marcel Vertes, the Oscar-winning art director of the 1952 Moulin Rouge. The nightly scene recalls an old MGM classic, camera ready pure Manhattan backdrop and a soundtrack that is classic cabaret. Café Carlyle is known for headlining incredible talents, including Eartha Kitt, Ute Lemper and Woody Allen, who regularly appears to jam with the Eddy Davis New Orleans jazz band. For over 30 years, Café Carlyle was synonymous with the legendary Bobby Short, whose spirit will live on through the music at Café Carlyle. Seating up to 70 for dinner and 90 for a performance, the supper club offers a uniquely intimate space and is highlighted by music-themed murals by Vertes.

Up & Down

Dance Club

1.4 Miles

Split level Chelsea dance club from nightlife makers the Butter Group (1Oak). Different atmospheres on each level, with the upstairs booming, high energy dance floor, and the lower level having that downtown lounge feel, more relaxed, which is not to say things don't get a little wild when the energy is right. Crowd is eclectic as is the music which offers no attempt to appeal to lovers of a specific genre. Rather the goal is to bring together different people and scenes to create cross-pollination and a friendly, "it" vibe. Which, given the number of celebs that frequent the place, they may well have achieved.

Skinny Dennis

Bar

3.0 Miles Williamsburg

The folks behind Lucky Dog strike again with this uncle's-den-cum-dive-bar in Williamsburg, complete with a painting of Willie Nelson, patron saint of grizzle. Popular spot to grab a brew and check out some live music, which skews toward a gruff country style. Click to see upcoming acts.

KGB Bar

Bar

2.1 Miles East Village

In the decades since it opened in 1993, KGB has become something of a New York literary institution. Writers hooked up in the publishing world read here with pleasure and without pay to an adoring public over drinks almost every Sunday evening (fiction), Monday evening (poetry), and most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The crowd loves it. Admission is free, drinks are cheap and strong, and the level of excellence is such that KGB has been named best literary venue in New York City by New York Magazine, the Village Voice, and everyone else who bestows these awards of recognition.

House of Yes

Dance Club

4.7 Miles

Weird. Wild. Wonderful. A Performance fueled Night Club and Creative Venue programmed with eclectic events and fabulous dance parties. Everyone is Welcome. A space created as a temple of expression, dedicated to connection, creativity and celebrating life and a belief that performance, dance and art can inspire and heal us.

Paddy Reilly's

Local Hang Out

1.1 Miles Kips Bay

Paddy’s a great place to listen Irish rock from the likes of Black 47 and The Prodigals while drinking the ample Guinness provided on-tap—the bar is, after all, the "first and only" all-draught Guinness bar. Just stay away from the Budweiser and all of its variants if you want any respect.

Village Vanguard

Jazz

1.6 Miles West Village

The Village Vanguard is one of the coolest places to check out jazz in New York City. Always attracting top quality musicians like Geri Allen, the atmosphere is intimate. Check out their own weekly jazz orchestra on Mondays.

Rooftop Reds

Wine Bar

4.0 Miles

A real New York treat. Enter the Navy Yard at the Sand Street entrance, let the security officer know you are heading to Rooftop Reds, and they will give you directions to Building 275. Hike up the 4 flights of stairs and land in a kind of New York heaven. Huge rooftop with small bar where the proprietors serve up wine from around the state, and some of their own stuff. Grab a bottle find a table, and sit amongst the very grapes that will, in do time, be turned into wine! Great views, friendly service. Pack a picnic or buy one of the pre-made offerings.

Black Rabbit

Hot Spot

2.4 Miles Greenpoint

With 19th century floorboards and booths with saloon-style swinging doors, Black Rabbit takes a cue from the true spirit Prohibition-era bars: I'm here to drink, get out of my way. Upon entering here you feel like kicking back a few shots of whiskey, doffing your fedora to the barkeep, and sauntering off to punch Hemingway in the guts. It's a noble endeavor for a New York speakeasy in the new millennium to cast off the popular artifice of "hiding" the bar, as the Back Room does, say, or as modern speakeasies like PDT do. While the aesthetic is a decidedly American period piece, the menu comes off more like a London pub. Take, for example, the Welsh rarebit, a continental beer fondue. Or, more likely, don't. The menu also includes Black Angus mini-burgers, an Acme smoked trout plate, Bratwurst with German mustard, and other seasonal goodies that are the only anachronisms to be found in the joint.

Club Lust

Strip Club

7.4 Miles

Hang with the hip-hop scene at this boom bap'n busty booty club. Nestled in warehouse district of Sunset park, separated from the more gentile world of homes and families by the elevated BQE, Club Lust has emerged as the go to strip club / party joint of the Hip Hop scene.

The Manderley Bar

Lounge

1.0 Miles

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