New York City Nightlife

New Yorkers are fond of the "work hard, play hard" maxim, but the truth is, Gothamites don't need much of an excuse to hit the town. Monday is the new Thursday, which replaced Friday and Saturday, but it doesn't matter: the bottom line is that there's always plenty to do in this 24-hour city. Whether it's raising a glass in a divey 1930's saloon, a gay sports bar, the latest dimly lit cocktail den,

or a swanky rooftop lounge; checking out the latest band, or laughing it up at a comedy show, it isn't hard for visitors to get a piece of the action.

The nightlife scene still resides largely downtown—in the dives of the East Village and Lower East Side, the classic jazz joints of the West Village, and the Meatpacking District's and Chelsea's "seeandbeseen" clubs. Midtown, especially around Hell's Kitchen, has developed a vibrant scene, too, and plenty of preppy hangouts dot the Upper East and Upper West sides. Brooklyn, especially Williamsburg, is the destination for hipsters.

Keep in mind that when you go is just as important as where you go. A club that is packed at 11 pm might empty out by midnight, and a bar that raged last night may be completely empty tonight. Paper magazine has a good list of roving parties. You can check their online nightlife guide, PM, via their website (www.papermag.com). Another streetwise mag, the L Magazine (www.thelmagazine.com), lists what's happening at many of the city's lounges and clubs, as well as dance and comedy performances. Scour industry-centric websites, too, like Eater and Grub Street, which catalog the comings and goings of many a nightlife impresario. The New York Times has listings of cabaret and jazz shows, most comprehensively in their Friday and Sunday Arts sections. Bear in mind that a venue's life span is often measured in months, not years. Phone ahead or check online to make sure your target hasn't closed or turned into a polka hall (although, you never know—that could be fun, too).

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Fodor's Choice

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Brooklyn 107

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Bay Ridge 3

Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights 7

Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill 5

Brighton Beach and Coney Island 1

Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn 2

Bushwick and East Williamsburg 8

Carroll Gardens 6

DUMBO 3

Ditmas Park and Midwood 3

Fort Greene and Clinton Hill 4

Gowanus 7

Greenpoint 11

Park Slope and Prospect Park 5

Prospect Heights 5

Red Hook and the Columbia Waterfront District 3

Sunset Park 1

Williamsburg 28

Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Heights, and South Slope 5

Midtown West 23

West Village 16

East Village 16

Greenwich Village 11

Lower East Side 10

Upper East Side 10

SoHo 8

Midtown East 8

Gramercy 6

Chelsea 6

Harlem 5

Flatiron District 4

Meatpacking District 3

Upper West Side 3

Queens 2

Murray Hill 2

NoHo 1

Union Square 1

NoLIta 1

Chinatown 1

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 163

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 8

Cabaret 4

Cafes–Nightlife 1

Comedy Clubs 7

Dance Clubs 7

Music Clubs 37

Piano Bars/ Lounges 11

Tapas Bars 1

Wine Bars–Nightlife 4

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Best For

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Business 4

Family 1

Gay and Lesbian 13

Historical 16

New 4

Pet Friendly 1

Romantic 27

Service 1

Trendy 28

Views 7

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New York City Nightlife

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Baby's All Right

  • Music Clubs

You'd be hard-pressed to categorize this eclectic place. With a diner up front, a '70s German disco–inspired music venue in the back,...

Barcade

  • Bars/Pubs

Stop reminiscing about your arcade-loving youth and start playing the more than 30 vintage video games (most cost a mere quarter) lining...

Bembe

  • Dance Clubs

This steamy, bilevel lounge is Williamsburg's answer to Miami clubbing, though decorated with salvaged items including an old redwood...

Black Bear Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This semi-divey, industrial-style 6,000-square-foot space has a long zinc bar, floors reclaimed from an auto-wrecking shop, and motorcycle...

Brooklyn Bowl

  • Bars/Pubs

A former ironworks foundry now houses a setup the original workers might have appreciated: 16 bowling lanes, a cocktail bar, a music...

Brooklyn Brewery

  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

When Brooklyn officially became part of New York City, in 1898, it had almost 50 active brewery operations producing a startling 10 percent...

Donna

  • Bars/Pubs

This cocktail bar bills itself as "an elegant space for dirty kids"–-i.e., just because you like nice things doesn't necessarily mean...

Dram

  • Bars/Pubs

The simplicity of Dram's wood-clad design belies the complexity of its cocktails. Guest bartenders from the city's best bars mix, shake,...

Hotel Delmano

  • Bars/Pubs

It's easy to miss the unmarked, gated entrance to this cocktail bar on Berry Street, but head around to the entrance on North 9th Street...

Ides Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Without a doubt the buzziest bar in Williamsburg, the Ides benefits from its privileged position on the Wythe Hotel's rooftop. Well-heeled...

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