There’s a very good reason why New York keeps getting voted the number one city in the world for evening shenanigans. Whilst in Europe you’d have to go to London for an epic pub crawl, Barcelona for an evening of flamenco, Paris for a quality cabaret show, and Venice for cocktails with a view, in New York you can do any and all of those things, even on the same night! The city that has it all, in terms of shopping, sightseeing and dining, does not disappoint when it comes to evening entertainment. Whatever it is you fancy, you’ll find a place which will deliver…every night of the year.
Following is just a taste of what this effervescent night owl has to offer.
New York Nightlife – Best New York Rooftop Bar
If you’re traveling here in summer, you may want to hit two birds with one French Martini (shaken of course), and head to one of the city’s trendiest rooftop bars to enjoy a refreshing cocktail and marvelous city views. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more idyllic spot than The Press Lounge, one of NYC’s more casual yet infinitely beautiful sundowner spots. The crowd is unpretentious (probably because the bar is too), the cocktails are spot on thirst-quenching and the views uninterrupted. Considering there are many bars in NYC which charge an entry fee, (seriously), and that this one is one of the hottest new ones around, we’d say get here pronto before the crowd catch onto the trend.
Best Jazz club
We should start this by saying that there’s no such thing as the ‘best’ Jazz club in New York. Performers move around from club to club constantly, and there are so many different types of Jazz clubs in this city (from small, underground smoking holes to large, almost industrialised Jazz bars), that the only thing which will help you decide will be your mood.
If you’re in the mood for classic tunes, an elegant setting and a good, relaxed meal, then head to Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, if you want to catch a performance by the latest up-and-coming talent then book your table at Jazz Standard, and if you want some historically jazzy funk, don’t miss spending an evening in Village Vanguard one of the oldest and most respected clubs in New York.
Best cabaret shows
Much like Jazz clubs, cabaret bars are also aplenty on Broadway; yet there are a few which have maintained a cult following over the decades, so they are definitely worth a mention. To see the best of the Broadway talent, head downstairs from Studio 54 into the surprisingly named 54 Below, a bar which manages to deliver an intimate cabaret experience irrespective of its mega-stardom. Woody Allen fans can see the master perform with his band at the equally famous, yet slightly more commercial Cafe Carlysle. Old-school sentimental fools will do well to visit the Metropolitan Room renowned for its 1940s rat-pack revival nights; so if it’s a little Sinatra or Dean Martin you fancy you may not want to miss this one.
Best New York Nightclubs
We don’t mean to come across as lazy, but we refuse to even complete this list, on the grounds of it being totally useless. Sorry. Whatever recommendations we may suggest now, will more than likely no longer exist by the time you get to New York. In this city, dance clubs open and close so fast they never even make it to the white pages listing, and that’s a true story. If we were forced to mention at least one, it would have to be LAVO, an Italian restaurant-cum-nightclub which turns some pretty wicked tunes from 10pm onwards, and is the hottest name on everyone’s lips right now. It attracts famous Hollywood heavyweights, Supermodels, trendy college students and everything in between. Just don’t be surprised if it has seriously closed down by the time your plane lands.
Insider tip: to find out what the latest dance club is we suggest you stalk a group of trendy young New Yorkers on a Saturday evening to see where they end up going dancing or, alternatively, you could simply just ask them for recommendations. This could be a much safer, and saner option.
Aoifemac via Flickr
SoulStealer via Flickr