New York City Nightlife

New York nightlife is non-stop and highly addictive, from bustling neighbourhood bars to swank cocktail lounges and nightclubs. The East Village is famous for its local bars that stay open late and its small live music clubs. The Lower East Side offers a similar nightlife scene and vibe. Soho is the cool capital, with its small chic bars attracting models, poseurs and media types. The gay scene is headquartered in the bars of Chelsea, the West Village and Hells Kitchen. Gramercy, in the 20s on the east side, has a smaller selection of velvet-rope cocktail lounges. The city's best nightclub scene can be found around the Meatpacking District.

Normal club closing time is 0400, although many venues are open all night. An ever-changing crop of ‘after-hours' places offer entertainment until sunrise, however, alcohol cannot legally be served between 0400 and 0800 or after 2400 on Sunday. The minimum drinking age is 21.

Time Out New York ( is a good source of nightlife event information, published weekly. A good online nightlife and restaurant guide is Yelp (

Bars in New York City


This intimate wine bar in the West Village has a distinctive red-topped bar and is a popular spot to sample well-chosen wines from the top regions of the world. Sit at one of the vintage theatre seats at the front, or in cozy tables at the back, and pair a wine flight with French bistro fare such as cheese, truffle ravioli or chocolate tart.

22 W 8th Street, West Village, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10011, United States
Telephone: +1 212 533-2962.
Death and Company

Craft cocktails are big news in NYC, and Death & Co (the name is a nod to a saying about prohibition) is at the top of this game. Go early as it’s seating only. If not, you’ll give your name to the doorman, and be put down on his list. If you gain entry, prepare yourself for cocktails like you’ve never tasted.

433 East 6th Street, East Village, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10009, United States
Telephone: +1 212 388 0882.
McSorley’s Ale House

About as low-fi as it gets, both in terms of the spit and sawdust barroom and the drinks menu, which extends to ‘dark’ or ‘light’ beer. Choose one and sit back in a charmingly raucous atmosphere that has a hint of old New York about it.

15 East 7th Street, East Village, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10003, United States
Telephone: +1 212 473 9148.

Clubs in New York City


One of the longer lasting New York clubs in a town where venues open and close every week. Cielo runs a number of dance nights, encompassing electro, Latin beats, soul, house and disco classics. Its DJ roster is enviable, and boasts the seminal Louie Vega.

18 Little West 12th Street, Chelsea, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10014, United States
Telephone: +1 212 645 5700.

One of the best places for a night of dancing in the Lower East Side, Mehanata is a small multi-story club with a high-spirited dance floor and a wild soundtrack - a mix of Slavic bands and DJs spinning world grooves hold court. The upstairs lounge has a more laid-back vibe, where hookahs are available. For a bit of a lark, partygoers head down to the ice cave to don old Soviet army uniforms and chug vodka from ice-carved glasses.

113 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10002, United States
Telephone: +1 212 625 0981.
The Standard

The stylish Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District has several enticing drinking spots, including an outdoor beer garden (glass-enclosed in the winter) on the street level with classic German brews. On the rooftop, Le Bain is a top nightspot that attracts a largely Euro crowd. It has a buzzing dance floor and panoramic views over the city, and during the summer, party people hop into the spacious Jacuzzi (towels provided).

848 Washington Street, Chelsea, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10014, United States
Telephone: +1 212 645 4646.

Live Music in New York City

Bowery Ballroom

Outfitted in classy art deco style building, this three-level club is one of New York's best live music venues. It has a cosy downstairs lounge that isn’t overbearingly hipster-ish, and a 500-capacity concert hall that welcomes all kinds. It’s become a cool, mid-sized venue for indie-rock, and after the concert, you can stick around for drinks.

6 Delancey Street, Lower East Side, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10002, United States
Telephone: +1 212 533 2111.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

This massive, elegant performing arts complex is the seat of high profile opera, theatre, film and jazz in New York City. From the Metropolitan Opera ( with its iconic fountain in front, to the Film Society of Lincoln Center ( and Jazz at Lincoln Center (, you can take in world-class theatre, dance and music, as well as avant garde film.

10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Lincoln Square, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10023, United States
Telephone: +1 212 875 5456.
The Mercury Lounge

A trendy-as-you-like music venue in the Lower East Side, this building actually used to house the servants of the Astor family, but now caters more to slaves of fashion. Expect the odd secret gig here for big name bands – Radiohead and Lady Gaga have both graced the stage, playing to crowds of only 250 people.

217 East Houston Street, Lower East Side, New York City, Manhattan, NY 10002, United States
Telephone: +1 212 260 4700.
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