The Best Areas for Nightlife in New York City
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 Yes, Trans-Pecos, and Bossa Nova Civic Club are just a few of the dance party destinations in this hip Brooklyn neighborhood.
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.
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.
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 Bar, The Ten Bells, Katz’s Deli, and Mission Chinese Food are all great picks to start or end your evening.
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 Bar, Dutch Kills, or The Standing Room, you may want to make Long Island City your new night-out norm.
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.
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.
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 Downtown, Le Bain, and the Boom Boom Room.
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.