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 there's always plenty to do in this 24-hour city. Whether it's raising a glass in a divey 1930s 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 "see-and-be-seen" 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 its online nightlife guide, PM, via its website (www.papermag.com). 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 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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Fodor's Choice

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Brooklyn 111

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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 7

DUMBO 4

Ditmas Park and Midwood 3

Fort Greene and Clinton Hill 4

Gowanus 7

Greenpoint 11

Park Slope and Prospect Park 7

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 27

East Village 23

West Village 17

Lower East Side 15

Midtown East 13

SoHo 12

Greenwich Village 12

Upper East Side 12

Chelsea 11

Meatpacking District 9

Upper West Side 8

Gramercy 6

Harlem 5

Flatiron District 4

TriBeCa 3

Queens 2

NoHo 1

Union Square 1

NoLIta 1

Murray Hill 1

Chinatown 1

Lower Manhattan 1

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 202

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 8

Cabaret 5

Comedy Clubs 8

Dance Clubs 15

Music Clubs 42

Piano Bars/ Lounges 11

Tapas Bars 1

Wine Bars–Nightlife 4

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Best For

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Business 5

Family 1

Gay and Lesbian 17

Historical 20

New 5

Pet Friendly 1

Romantic 31

Service 10

Trendy 36

Views 8

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New York City Nightlife

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Caroline's on Broadway

  • Comedy Clubs

This high-gloss club presents established names as well as comedians on the edge of stardom. Janeane Garofalo, David Alan Grier, Colin...

Chicago City Limits

  • Comedy Clubs

This crew tout themselves as performing in the longest-running improv show in the city. Heavy on audience participation, the improv shows...

Comedy Cellar

  • Comedy Clubs

Laughter fills this exposed brick, subterranean space nightly beneath the writer-friendly Olive Tree Café. The bill features a range...

Dangerfield's

  • Comedy Clubs

Since 1969 this has been an important showcase for prime comic talent like Jay Leno and Jim Carrey. The decor is standard, but prices...

Gotham Comedy Club

  • Comedy Clubs

This 10,000-square-foot club—complete with a chandelier and roomy downstairs lounge—showcases popular headliners such as Johnny Walker...

The Comic Strip

  • Comedy Clubs

The atmosphere here is strictly corner bar, belying its storied history: Eddie Murphy is said to have discovered Chris Rock here, for...

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

  • Comedy Clubs

Raucous sketch comedy, audience-initiated improv, and classic stand-up take turns onstage here at the city's absolute capital for alternative...

Comix

  • Comedy Clubs

With big-name comics in its main room and up-and-comers in the smaller Ochi's Lounge, Comix brings comedy to the Meatpacking District...

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