New York City

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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  • 1. Casablanca Cocktail Lounge

    Bars/Pubs

    It's easy to see why seemingly the whole neighborhood has embraced this latest incarnation of Casablanca—there's been a bar with that name on...Read More

  • 2. Bed-Vyne Brew

    Bars/Pubs

    A corner bar with outdoor seating is rare in these parts, which makes Bed-Vyne’s deck a summertime favorite. Inside the cozy space, decorated...Read More

  • 3. Bedford Hall

    Bars/Pubs

    A loungy bar and restaurant with leather sofas, a billiards table and performance space in back, several flat-screen TVs, and a front room set...Read More

  • 4. Crown Inn

    Crown Heights | Bars/Pubs

    Any night of the week, a chill crowd convenes at this simple neighborhood bar with exposed brick walls for drink specials ($5 Kirin), cocktails...Read More

  • 5. Doris

    Bars/Pubs

    The unassuming yellow door is the first indication of the cheery vibe that is Doris. Southwestern-style accents, DJs spinning vinyl, and an...Read More

  • 6. Franklin Park (and Dutch Boy Burger)

    Crown Heights | Bars/Pubs

    This two-room bar and burger restaurant resides in a converted garage. Seasonal beers are on tap—including brews from Sixpoint and Smuttynose...Read More

  • 7. Beast of Bourbon

    Bars/Pubs

    There are more than 40 beers on tap and a 200-plus list of bourbons, whiskeys, and ryes–-not to mention live music four nights a week–-so it...Read More

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