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 (, as does Urban Daddy ( 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).

Sort by: 12 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
  • 1. Brandy's Piano Bar

    Upper East Side | Piano Bars

    The singing waitstaff warm up the mixed crowd at this delightful and intimate uptown saloon and piano bar, getting everyone in the mood to belt...Read More

  • 2. Barracuda

    Chelsea | Bars/Pubs

    The drag shows and freewheeling, flirty dance nights are what lure a mostly male crowd to this cute, casual neighborhood hangout, far less...Read More

  • 3. Evolve Bar and Lounge

    Midtown East | Bars/Pubs

    Filling out a space that's long been the site of a gay establishment, Evolve is a go-to for mostly men to mingle after work and on weekends...Read More

  • 4. Gym Sports Bar

    Chelsea | Bars/Pubs

    At this gay sports bar, the plentiful flat-screen TVs and cheap Budweisers draw athletic enthusiasts of every stripe, from athlete to armchair...Read More

  • 5. Henrietta Hudson

    West Village | Bars/Pubs

    The nightly parties at this laid-back West Village HQ for the Sapphic set attract young professional women, out-of-towners, and longtime regulars...Read More

  • 6. Marie's Crisis

    West Village | Piano Bars

    Regardless of whatever "Marie's crisis" was or is (each employee seems to have a different story), all the customers here know all the words...Read More

  • 7. Posh

    Midtown West | Bars/Pubs

    Among Hell's Kitchen's gay lounges, Posh offers an array of special party nights and drag shows, ample room for flirting and dancing, plenty...Read More

  • 8. The Duplex

    West Village | Cabaret

    No matter who's performing, the big, gay audience hoots and hollers in support of the often kitschy performers at this music-scene staple on...Read More

  • 9. The Monster

    West Village | Bars/Pubs

    This "Monster" is a friendly one. This local-favorite gay bar has anchored its prime corner spot since 1970 and still serves as a lively piano...Read More

  • 10. Therapy

    Midtown West | Bars/Pubs

    With slate floors, wood-paneled walls, and a small stone-filled pond, the design at this spacious lounge in Hell's Kitchen is as upscale as...Read More

  • 11. Townhouse Bar

    Midtown East | Piano Bars

    It's the elegant yin to the casual yang of Evolve, which is just across the block at East 58th Street. Distinguished mature men from the Upper...Read More

  • 12. Eastern Bloc

    East Village | Dance Clubs

    Sweaty guys pack into this tiny, dingy hot spot to dance in scarlet light beneath hammer-and-sickle-theme decor. The scantily outfitted dervishes...Read More

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