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. Tørst

    Greenpoint | Bars/Pubs

    Beer aficionados adore Tørst, a craft-beer bar that takes its design cues from Denmark. A marble bar and several hues of wood come together...Read More

  • 2. Alameda

    Greenpoint | Bars/Pubs

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

  • 3. Bar Matchless

    Greenpoint | 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 at this...Read More

  • 4. Saint Vitus

    Greenpoint | Music Clubs

    Hidden behind an unmarked black door, this warehouse music venue named for a Black Sabbath song has a Gothic design, with red votive candles...Read More

  • 5. Spritzenhaus 33 Bierhall

    Greenpoint | Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

    There are 25 taps worth of excellent craft and imported beers, as well as wines served by the carafe, at this massive, lively beer hall. Seating...Read More

  • 6. The Diamond

    Greenpoint | Bars/Pubs

    The regulars come to this unpretentious bar for two reasons: beer and shuffleboard. You can order wine if you must, but the well-curated beer...Read More

  • 7. The Good Room

    Greenpoint | Dance Clubs

    DJs spin tunes while a cool crowd dances under the disco ball at this happening nightclub, which made a cameo on Aziz Ansari's hit Netflix series...Read More

  • 8. The Gutter

    Greenpoint | Bars/Pubs

    Dark and spacious, with rock music, pitchers of beer, and happy hour specials, this is the perfect dive bar/bowling alley. You can play pool...Read More

  • 9. Manhattan Inn

    Bars/Pubs

    One of Greenpoint’s mainstays, Manhattan Inn sees different crowds come and go over the course of an average night. Early on, couples and families...Read More

  • 10. Nights & Weekends

    Bars/Pubs

    This triangular bar/restaurant serves excellent margaritas and frozen drinks. Grab a table if you want tacos and ceviche, or hang out at the...Read More

  • 11. No Name Bar

    Bars/Pubs

    The only entrance-marker for this unnamed bar is a big bronze door-knocker shaped like a Chinese dragon—the first clue that you’re about to...Read More

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