There are thousands of reasons to visit New York City, and many come to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife. After you’ve gone on one of our New York tours during the day, you’ll need something equally fun to do in the evening. So, we’ve put together a short guide to the best places to experience New York’s nightlife, covering nightclubs and cocktail bars.
Note: as New York is a truly huge city, any nightlife guide should be seen as a mere introduction, so we encourage you to go out and explore the city yourself. Who knows what wonders you’ll find…
New York has too many nightclubs to count, but we’ve distilled our list to two venues where you’re guaranteed to have a good time:
If you’re eager to sample New York’s nightclubs, you might like to start with Electric Room, in Chelsea, on Manhattan’s West Side. Electric Room is often lauded for its incredible sound system, its friendly atmosphere, and for booking amazing DJs. Many also like Electric Room because it’s not too big and because it offers a New York club experience without the huge New York crowds.
For a slightly different club experience, head to Up&Down, which is also situated in Chelsea. Downstairs, you can enjoy some craft beer and hipster décor, and then you can head upstairs for a much classier nightclub experience. Up&Down doesn’t open until 11:00pm, and it stays open until very late! Don’t be surprised if you see one or two celebrities on the dancefloor…
Just so that you don’t think all of the best clubs are in Chelsea, you should definitely visit Lavo in New York’s Midtown East area, between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue. Lavo books great DJs and is full of trendy clientele. Although it can be a little tough to get into, some might say that this is an integral part of the New York clubbing scene!
If a few drinks and great conversation is more your style, you may like to visit one of New York’s countless cocktail bars. Many of the world’s favorite cocktails were actually invented right here in New York (you can read more about that in our blog on 10 Signature Cocktails Invented in New York), so it’s a great idea to try a few iconic cocktails straight from the source!
Situated in Greenwich Village, Pegu Club is owned by New York cocktail master Audrey Saunders, the inventor of the now-famous Gin-Gin Mule. This cocktail is a sweet concoction of lime, mint, gin, and ginger beer. You can find the Gin-Gin Mule in many bars around the world, but nobody does it better than Pegu Club! Pegu Club is a vibrant bar with an incredible atmosphere, and its cocktail menu extends far beyond the Gin-Gin Mule!
The Waldorf Astoria hotel on Park Avenue, Manhattan is (at the time of writing this article) closed temporarily for redecoration. It is due to reopen shortly, however. Fans of an Old Fashion cocktail will properly source its provenance to Louisville, Kentucky, but they might not know that the creator of this vibrant whiskey cocktail moved to New York and worked in the Waldorf Astoria, making it the first bar in New York to serve an Old Fashioned. The Waldorf Astoria was also the originator of the lesser know Bronx cocktail (a variant of a dry martini). The cocktail menu in the Waldorf Astoria is extensive and its décor is stunning — and it will probably be even better after their renovations!
The Attaboy cocktail bar is on Elridge St. is the home of the Penicillin cocktail. This cocktail was invented by Sam Ross and it is famous for its characteristic bright yellow color and ever-so-slight medicinal taste. Attaboy is a modern cocktail bar with a clever menu and wonderful atmosphere. If you’re looking for a cocktail bar that you could only find in New York and in no other city, then Attaboy is exactly what you’re looking for.
There is so much more to New York’s nightlife than nightclubs and cocktail bars, but we think they’re a pretty great place to start. We hope you’ve found this blog useful and that you have an amazing night out in the City that never sleeps. If you have any questions about City Tales Sightseeing tours, or other New York-specific questions, please get in touch. Plan your next big adventure today!
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