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New York Nightlife and New York Bars and Clubs

NYC.com's New York nightlife guide features expert reviews and recommendations for top hot spots, dance clubs, jazz and live music venues as well as information on all types of sports bars, dive bars and local hangouts in Manhattan and beyond. Also check out our guides for comedy fans, barhoppers, music lovers, the under 21 crowd, plus our all-new Best of New York Nightlife guide packed with great features!

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Best Bars in NYC

New York accommodates every taste, but sheer number of choices can be overwhelming, so we put together a guide that covers every aspect of the city's nightlife. Whether you're looking for a place to play pool, a dive bar with a great jukebox, or local favorites, our guide features expert reviews and recommendations in every one of the five boroughs. They don't call it the "city that never sleeps" for nothing.

Although quite a number of brunch locales in New York City offer all-you-can-drink brunches, given the ever-changing breakfasting environment and brunch menu offerings, we can provide the list below with a caveat: Brunchers beware, and call in advance to determine whether these fine locales are still offering the all-you-can-drink option.
There are no two things New Yorkers love more than eating and drinking, so the recent spate of beer gardens that have spring up in the city shouldn't really be that much of a surprise.
New York City will always been a first-run destination in all levels of the movie industry, from indie features to animated shorts to all-out blockbusters. As the place where American cinema began—and only in second place because the early days benefited from the near-constant sunshine of Los Angeles—every aspect of the movie experience can be found here, whether it's writers hunkered down at their laptops in the city's coffee shops, actors prepping lines and going on auditions, set designers and location scouts canvassing the city to bend it to their artistic will, or producers and directors commanding their film forces through the streets, parks, and buildings of the five boroughs, you can't get much more cinematic than New York City. And when New Yorkers want to watch the latest independent features and the most groundbreaking new films, these are the art houses that cater to their panoramic needs:
A number of bars still exist in Manhattan where smokers can light up without any consequences. Despite a citywide ban on smoking inside restaurants, cafés, bars and night clubs, some establishments qualified as exceptions under the original legislation, most notably through what's referred to as the cigar bar loophole. NYC.com leads you to places for smokers, where you'll find it great to puff.
Depending on how you look at it, St. Patrick's Day is either the greatest bar holiday of the year or yet another Amateur Night. But both those who celebrate year-round and those who turn Irish only on March 17th will enjoy these authentic pubs!
New York is a global city, and it's no difficult feat to find a bar where the world's most beloved game is being broadcast. From the Premiership to Serie A to the FIFA World Cup, here are our favorite watering holes for watching football, er... soccer.
Ah, the Bloody Mary, that sweet elixir that offers both the day drinker to get a buzz going and the night drinker to even out their hangover with a bit of the hair of the dog. But for such a simple drink, it's notoriously easy to screw up—just picking the wrong tomato juice can botch the entire operation—so here are the most reliable Bloody Marys in New York City for the hungover and the soon-to-be drunk!
Our list of bowling alleys features a number of fine places that combine the bowling alley, restraurant, and recreational experiences all wrapped up into one. Partly due to their popularity among celebrities and professional athletes, going to a bowling alley for a fun night out is regarded as a relatively hip thing to do. There are still dozens of bowling alleys in New York City, perhaps because many New Yorkers really enjoy throwing a ball down a lane and hitting pins. It's also an enjoyable social activity to do with friends. You can drink beers, eat wings, and play all at the same time.
Sometimes, the beer won't get here fast enough, and some New Yorkers take it upon themselves to ensure that they're always in good supply. These pubs brew some of the best bitters, ales, and beers in the city.
Burlesque entertainment is a growing phenomenon in New York City, with a handful of establishements hosting traveling Burlesque troupes for bawdy, fun-filled nights of dance, music, and song. Since scheduling of these evenings often happens on the fly, it's a good idea to check in advance to make sure the burlesque event you're interested in is actually taking place.
A select few restaurants come with the ultimate pleasure: bringing your own beer/booze (or wine, really). We've done the research, pounded the pavements, and found the best restaurants to match your favorite wine to your favorite cuisine!
Singers, pianos, dancers and the like all await you at New York's best cabaret clubs!
Cigar smoking is all about comfort and giving a relaxed attention to the little niceties of life, which isn't as easy to do in the comfort of a freezing park or a hotel bathroom. That's why New York City is home to some of the best cigar lounges in the world, with truly deep selections of the finest cigars and accoutrements. Whether you're purchasing in-house or bringing your own (beware cutting fees!), these are the best places in the five boroughs to enjoy a leisurely smoke in fine fettle.
NYC.com, the New York City experts, offer a list of best clubs and lounges because the ever-changing landscape of New York nightlife ensures a new set of hot bars, clubs, and lounges are on everyone's A-list every few months. Find out what clubs are hot right now, check out our list!
When a beer or glass of wine just won't suffice, perhaps turn to a well-crafted martini or maybe some exotic cocktail or fancy beverage you've never heard of. NYC.com leads you to some terrific places that feature the right mixologists to fill your glass.
As with most New Yorkers, college students need a drink now and then. After all, New York is a true college town, with lots of universities and colleges scattered throughout its five boroughs. Given the landscape, you'll find many places catering to the student crowd. NYC.com leads you there.
There's a world of difference between the same staid regular sports bars and those with an appetite for collegiate competition.
From the underground to Broadway, you can be sure to find the current or next big thing in comedy right here in New York. Calling New York a breeding ground for comedy is a dangerous understatement, as most stand-up comics cut their teeth here. NYC.com leads you to the pre-shows, open mic nights, stand up comedy and New York comedy clubs with our great list of places to see comedy performances.
New York is home to the hottest dance clubs, and NYC.com guides you to them. There's no better city in the world for a night at a dance club than New York, with a generous collection of offerings that range from hip-hop to house to punk.

by Henry Patch

April 26th, 2013

New York's many dive bars have lately become trendy and desirable because they are a bit dark, danker, and grittier than the bar area at TGI Fridays. Enjoy cheaper drinks and seedier surroundings at these joints. After all, they have character, an air, and a shabbiness that people find highly appealing—perhaps it just comes down to what drinking mood you're in on a particular night.
How do you pull off a memorable first date? Whether you want a drink before a dinner date, a night for two on Broadway, or just to settle those first date jitters, here's a list of NYC.com's most romantic and memorable places to grab a beer or a cocktail and get the night going!
You'd be hard-pressed to find a city with more gay pride than New York City, and since the MTA doesn't yet offer service to San Francisco, your best bets on the entire East Coast are all in the five boroughs!
Many bars in New York City feature happy hour, a time period when drinks are sold at a discounted price. Some places offer two-for one drinks for a period of time. Others might invite the ladies in for discount drinks on a particular evening. The establishments on our list also make a point of emphasizing their happy hour specials, hoping that bar patrons will come early and rev things up sooner rather than later at their particular locales.
In New York City, some bars are so exclusive that only a branded passkey will get you past the bouncer. But with other bars, the only difficult part of getting in is finding the hidden or underground bar in the first place. Luckily, we've been there and offer you a list of great places that not everyone's heard about.
Here's where the truly hip hang from first to last call. Assimilating into the hipster scene isn't as simple as wandering the streets of Williamsburg or the Lower East Side looking for a bar, so NYC.com guides you to the places beloved by hipsters.
Most top-rated New York hotels maintain exclusive bars and refined lounges on their main floor, rooftop, and/or lower level and rightfully take a great deal of pride in them. Since most are open to the public, you'll have the opportunity to sample one or more of these hotel bars that have a colorful history spanning several decades. Not to mention interesting stories of various celebrity entertainers, politicians, and captains of industry known to frequent them.
Do you know where to find the tried-and-true Irish pubs in New York? We've put together a list that'll keep you away from the postured, pre-fabricated imposters and in the shamrock glow. For the best dark, heavy-wood bar counters, frosted mirrors, at least two Guinness taps, check out our list!
Since its beginnings, jazz music has had a strong connection with the culture and people of New York City. As the time jazz moved from New Orleans to the cities of the West and the Northeast, arguably some of the most important evolutions occurred in New York City, the jazz capital of the world. Our guide to New York's best jazz venues reminds you that it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
While the digital age has brought the convenience of the internet-enabled jukebox, here are the bars with classic jukebox selections that will keep the conversation flowing. After all, nothing can ruin a night out quite as quickly as a slew of bad songs cutting through your conversation.
If you know where to go, a night of New York karaoke can trump a night out at almost any other bar. Stay in the know with the NYC experts, and check out our list of karaoke bars. Because after a few drinks, nothing seems like a better idea than getting on stage and belting out a few classic tunes.
Whether you're looking for a comfy spot to read, a good place to write, or somewhere to wax philosophical about the dueling merits of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, New York City has some of the best literary bars in the world. You may even end up having a pint next to a published author (and you'll definitely be within thirty feet of forty aspiring authors).
The city that brought you the Ramones, the Strokes, the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, and many others is still the best place in the country to discover new music. There's no feeling quite like getting in on the ground floor of some groundbreaking music, and we've collected the best live music venues for that purpose.
Open mic nights are notoriously bad if you don't know where to go for a good show, but fear not: New York is notorious for its live music and its emerging music scene. And where does it all start? It starts with an open mic full of the city's most talented musicians at one of these great venues.
Champagne isn't just for New Year's or festive events; it's the world's most luxurious sparkling wine suitable for nearly every occasion. Enjoy it in style at these fine New York establishments.
There are a zillion places where you can play billiards in New York City—hotels, bars, clubs, etc. Our NYC.com list of top billiard halls includes those places where they feature and respect the game of billiards, and not those that simply have a spare table in the back of the establishment for bored patrons.
Having a drink is great, but a beautiful view is so much more intoxicating.
For the most part showing you the way to the next whiskey bar can be done with one simple suggestion— go to a New York steakouse and you'll usually find high quality whiskeys and scotch behind the bar. Here is a small selection of Scotch and Whiskey bars in New York City that are a cut above the rest.
With a population nearly into the eight-figure range, it makes sense than New York harbors a teeming population of single men and women, and yet it seems like everyone you meet is taken. So where are all of these mythical single New Yorkers hiding?
Judging from how many throwbacks to the roaring 20s dotting the New York cityscape, you'd think people were almost sad that Prohibition isn't around anymore! NYC.com's guide to the best speakeasies will ensure you find yourself ensconced in the boozy milieu of that by-gone era; just make sure you don't end up doing the jakewalk home!
New Yorkers love their sports bars and the number of them has been steadily on the rise recently, boosted by the rising popularity of flat screen TVs. Some of the sports listed below base their entire brand identity on the theme of sports, such Mickey Mantle's Restaurant, while others are fairly conventional bars that happen have enough flat screen TVs and sports fans stopping in for drinks that they are categorized as sports bars not by intention but almost by default. Keep in mind, depending on which one you go to, some of these sports bars have a specific fan base of loyal followers of a particular professional team— not everyone in New York is a Yankee fan.
New Yorkers like to think they know it all—or at least most of it. And there's no end of bars offering trivia and quiz nights to settle the contest of who knows the most, often times with prizes for the winners! Here are our favorite places to stretch our gray matter:
No riff-raff will be allowed to wander in with their video spun suspiciously to the side in these high-class establishments, but the trade-off is a higher tab for your high octane-drinks and swanky accommodations.
With a growing number of wineries in the five boroughs, a correlating rise in the number of wine bars is expected. There are the tried-and-true favorites, but which newer establishment is worth the grapes it's built on? We'll help you sift through the corked and the quaint of New York's burgeoning wine industry.
New Yorkers know the East Village as the birthplace and historical home of Bohemian artist movements, counterculture protests, and punk rock madness. But when they think of this artsy neighborhood they also think cheap. There are plenty of great cheap bars that are a real slice of New York life.
New York is one of the best places in the world to find truly timeless, classic drinking establishments that run the gamut from neighborhood institutions to true historic landmarks.
While you can't sit around and smoke at the locales featured in Mad Men, you can have a strong cocktail and drink in the same atmosphere and aesthetic that has dominated the show and captured the minds of the audience! Here are our favorite contenders for places to drink like mad:
New York has always been known as an epic-center of emerging musical superstars, from Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan to the Velvet Underground and the Ramones. It makes sense, then, that massive festivals of all genres—blues, jazz, rock 'n roll, hiphop—all go on without our area. Whether you're looking for All Points West, The Bamboozle, or the JVC Jazz Festival, these are the best of the best.
Every September, as fall waxes and October approaches, the raucous German celebration known as Oktoberfest comes to New York City, with more lederhosen and schnitzel than you can shake eine kleben at!
With scores of blocks to choose from along 12th Avenue's main viewing area—and a conservative estimate of thousands of other possible vistas—it's not easy finding the best spot to spectate the annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks. That is, it wasn't easy until you found this page! Here are the best spots to celebrate Independence Day: