New York City Nightlife

Home » New York City » New York City Nightlife


Being in New York is heady and lots of fantasy’s may appear and a friendliness may overwhelm your shyness.  This is the first caution when talking to strangers, even cute and hot ones.  Be prudent in sharing personal information and where you are staying, where you are from and where you plan to go.  You really do not know the ropes when it comes to people who prey off other people and caution is advised to limit your friendliness to casual speech, cite how wonderful the landmarks are and when asked where you are staying, make a clear statement to say you are staying with friends on Park Avenue or whatever comes to mind.  The name of the hotel is ok provided you don’t start verbally blogging your floor and room.  Short-n-sweet, don’t be stupid.   If you complain about how everything is expensive and you’re just on a shoestring you’re good as long as your audience is interested in your money, in their pocket.  If they have other plans in mind, it’s time to go.

New York’s bar and club scenes are as vibrant and varied as you can get anywhere – except that everything you could want is all in one metropolitan area, making it difficult to choose in just one visit! Although certain venues have become classics and have withstood the test of time, many more open, close and/or metamorphose at the drop of a hat. To find bars and clubs tailored to your own personal taste, please consider using one or more of these internet resources:

NYC Nightlife Resources

At the present time, the hottest area for a bar- and club-hopping is the Meatpacking District, located on the west side of Manhattan and sandwiched between Chelsea and the West Village. Once a low-key area home to warehouses and meatpacking plants, it also garnered an unsavory reputation as a preferred haunt for prostitutes. While remnants of the old neighborhood still exist, visitors who walk the district’s uneven cobblestone streets will now find it crowded with trendy upscale boutiques and restaurants as well as the latest cool night spots.

The Meatpacking District is now home to some of the city’s elite bars, clubs, and posh new hotels. Some of my favorites include

  • Hotel Gansevoort, 18 9th Avenue – This exclusive hotel features a 45-foot heated outdoor, glass-surrounded pool situated on the rooftop complete with underwater music! The space offers 360 degree panoramic views of Manhattan and is best during summer months. Guests staying at the hotel can avoid the long lines which inevitably form at the hotel by showing their key cards. Ono, the Japanese restaurant at the hotel is also a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
  • Spice Market , 403 W 13th Street – Since this place opened in 2004, it has been constantly packed. The space is large, yet romantic with pagodas, low golden lighting and a dramatic staircase carved into the center of the room. The food is sublime! Jean-Georges Vongerichten has hit a home run with this gem.
  • Pastis, 9 9th Avenue – Directly across from the Gansevoort, this restaurant is best for late night snacking and celebrity spotting. It’s a great place to duck into to grab some pomme fritters, mussels, or a steak sandwich before heading back out for another round of play.

Hipsters seeking nightlife should also be sure to check out the Lower East Side, another area that, while still retaining a gritty feel, is undergoing a similar transformation and is now a fashionable destination in which to eat, drink, shop and hang out after dark.

The following is just a minute sampling of of-the-moment hotspots:

  • Balthazar , ( website) 80 Spring Street,– sit at the bar for great people-watching at this perennial favorite SoHo French bistro
  • Bar Veloce , ( website) 175 2nd Avenue,  – pretty Chelsea wine bar serving light Italian fare.
  • Campbell Apartment , ( website) 15 Vanderbilt Avenue, Grand Central Terminal,  – located in Grand Central Terminal, this formal upscale bar, once the residence of industrialist John W. Campbell, harkens back to the roaring 20’s and is frequented by commuters and tourists alike.
  • Employees Only , 510 Hudson Street – if you can find this cozy hangout low-key entrance and actually get in, but you will be just rewarded by high-quality classic cocktails.
  • Schiller’s Liquor Bar , ( website) 131 Rivington Street,  – trendy self-described “low life bar and restaurant” that is part of the Lower East Side revival.
  • The Mean Fiddler NYC  46th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue, very popular Irish theme sports bar (opens for breakfast at 10am) with at least 12 large screens showing golf, all American sports plus, big soccer and rugby games, great bar food menu (authentic Mexican chefs), good waitress service, very crowded later on after 11pm and the DJ plays it loud till very very late 6am at the weekends, no cover charge getting in, the basement bar is quieter than the ground floor bar.

For those interested in partying with Manhattan’s elite and rubbing elbows with fashion models, celebrities, pro-athletes and musicians, look into one of the city’s exclusive nightclubs.  It can be difficult to get in to these places, but it is certainly not impossible- and it is perhaps your best chance to party like a celebrity.  Which places are currently hot seems to change on an almost weekly basis, check this website for information on which elite clubs and lounges are currently in fashion.  New Top NYC Clubs and Lounges.These are the most popular with the A-list crowd:

  • Provocateur – Located at the base of the Gansevoort hotel, this venue is a favorite of sophisticated international socialites and successful fashion models.  If you plan to come, make reservations in advance and expect to pay bigtime for the privilege of partying in such an exclusive club.
  • 1Oak – famous for its late night, high enery parties, 1Oak is a favorite of celebrities in the music and modeling industries, also frequented by professional atheletes.
  • Avenue – This small club hosts some of the most elite parties in the city,  I have personally seen many famous people here including Paris Hilton.  If Paris Hilton is there, you know that it is a good party.
  • SL (Simyone Lounge) – A similar crowd to Avenue and 1Oak, SL is famous for its 3 to 1 model to normal people ratio.