The Best Areas for Nightlife in New York City

By Julia Goicochea for theculturetrip on Jan 05, 2018

Everyone knows New York is the city that never sleeps. What they may not know is where native night owls hang when the rest of the world is in bed. From club hubs to trendy destinations, here are the best areas for nightlife in New York City.


Some of the top clubs in New York City call Bushwick home, and you should too if DJ concerts, unique live performances, and good vibes are what you’re looking for after dark. House of YesTrans-Pecos, and Bossa Nova Civic Club are just a few of the dance party destinations in this hip Brooklyn neighborhood.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, USA


East Village

Bordered by the Bowery and FDR Drive and extending from East 14th Street to East Houston Street, Manhattan’s East Village has always been one of the city’s top nightlife neighborhoods. Known for its old-school dive bars and unpretentious gourmet eateries, such as Veselka and Prune, this Manhattan mainstay attracts night owls of all ages.

East Village, New York, NY, USA


Discover the next global trend in your own backyard in Williamsburg. This uber-trendy Brooklyn neighborhood hosts some of New York’s hottest bars, restaurants, and clubs. From rooftop bars boasting sweeping city views to pretension-free clubs where music is the focus to dives serving cocktails with fried chicken chasers, the only thing Williamsburg’s diverse establishments have in common is that everyone will be talking about them six months from now.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Lower East Side

Think of Manhattan’s Lower East Side as the East Village’s older, more sophisticated sister. Plenty of restaurants and bars call the area between the Bowery and FDR Drive and East Houston Street and FDR Drive home, making the LES the best area for enjoying a classic nightlife combo—dinner and drinks. 169 BarThe Ten BellsKatz’s Deli, and Mission Chinese Food are all great picks to start or end your evening.

Lower East Side, New York, NY, USA

Long Island City

When you want to go where everybody knows your name, Long Island City is the only area worth saying “cheers” to. While the Queens-based ‘hood is gaining popularity, for now, it’s home to a “locals only” vibe that drinkers from every borough can enjoy. After one visit to spots like LIC BarDutch Kills, or The Standing Room, you may want to make Long Island City your new night-out norm.

Long Island City, Queens, NY, USA


Greenwich Village

This area has always been a favorite amongst New York artists, and you can feel like one yourself at one of its many live music venues. Creative (and spiked) juices are sure to flow at Greenwich Village destinations Cafe Wha?Smalls Jazz Club, and Village Vanguard.

Greenwich Village, New York, NY, USA


For a chill night out (think of a bar where you can actually hear your companion speaking), head to Astoria, Queens, where outdoor drinking and unpretentious menus are what’s on offer. At Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden and Sunswick 35/35, craft beers and hearty platters of sausage make for ideal fuel for great conversation and even better vibes.

Astoria, Queens, NY, USA


Meatpacking District

If you’re more interested in glitz than grit, Manhattan’s Meatpacking District may be for you. Pricier than other areas, this neighborhood mainly attracts professionals and celeb clientele with energy (and money!) to spend. Rub elbows with them all at popular local hangouts TAO DowntownLe Bain, and the Boom Boom Room.

Meatpacking District, New York, NY, USA



Stylish city slickers choose Chelsea as their P.M. pick. In this former gallery hub, drinking is the new art form, and local craft cocktail creators are today’s masterpiece-makers. For drinkable works of art, the neighborhood’s Raines Law Room and Rye House can’t be beat.

Chelsea, New York, NY, USA