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. Any day of the week could easily be mistaken for a Friday or Saturday; the bottom line is that when the the mood strikes, there are always plenty of choices in this 24-hour city. Whether it's raising a glass in a historic saloon, a 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 and speakeasies of the East Village and Lower East Side, the classic jazz joints and piano bars of the West Village, and the Meatpacking District's and Chelsea's "see-and-be-seen" clubs. Midtown, especially around Hell's Kitchen, has developed a vibrant scene, too, and plenty of upscale hangouts dot the Upper East and Upper West Sides. Brooklyn and Harlem are go-to destinations for in-the-know locals.

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. Time Out New York magazine has a good list of roving parties (www.timeout.com/newyork), as does Urban Daddy (www.urbandaddy.com/new-york). Scour industry-centric websites, too, like Eater and Grub Street, which catalog the comings and goings of many a nightlife impresario. New York magazine and the New York Times have listings of cabaret and jazz shows, the latter mainly in its 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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New York City Nightlife

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61 Local

  • Bars/Pubs

A pleasant place to linger with a glass of wine or a craft beer, this low-lit bar with exposed-brick walls and a high ceiling has an...

68 Jay Street Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Friendly regulars and weekday happy hours (5 to 7 pm) make this casual, unpretentious bar in the former Grand Union Tea Company building...

Alameda

  • Bars/Pubs

Sophisticates perch on stools at the striking U-shaped bar for creative yet approachable cocktails like the Little Red Book, which blends...

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,...

Bait and Tackle

  • Bars/Pubs

A former social club and bait shop for local fishermen, Bait and Tackle’s most recent incarnation, as a laid-back neighborhood bar,...

Bar Chord

  • Bars/Pubs

A rotating selection of craft beers and numerous small-batch spirits, nightly live music (never a cover charge), a stellar jukebox, and...

Bar Great Harry

  • Bars/Pubs

Though it's named after a small cocktail bar in the Chinatown area of Yokohama, Japan, it feels like a college town hangout and the 24...

Bar Matchless

  • Bars/Pubs

Friends and strangers belt it out at karaoke; crack up at comedy shows; play pool, foosball, or darts; listen to live music; and dance...

Barbès

  • Music Clubs

Outstanding regulars like the Django Reinhardt mantle-bearer Stephane Wrembel, western-swingers Brain Cloud, and Slavic Soul Party spin...

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...

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