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New York City nightlife

When a man is tired of New York he is tired of work. And thought. And cheesecake.
- David Frost

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Photo courtesy of The Dead Rabbit.

169 Bar

  • Chinatown, Bar, $$$$ $
  • 169 E. Broadway
  • NYC, 10002
  • +1-646-833-7199

A terrific old dive with all the gritty trappings you're looking for: kitschy decor, cheap shots, real characters. In a city that's becoming more and more polished, 169 has retained its edge and 100-year-old patina. Not to mention a leopard-print pool table, loud music, and fake palm trees.

Angel's Share

  • East Village, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 8 Stuyvesant St., at Third Ave.
  • New York, 10003
  • +1-212-777-5415
  • |

There's a strict door policy (no party larger than four) at this cocktail bar, which you access by walking through a second floor Japanese restaurant in the East Village. Low-key and well-lit, it's a great place for a date, or early evening catch-up with old friends.


  • Lower East Side , Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 134 Eldridge St.
  • NYC, 10002
  • no phone

This discreet bar on a residential street was once the speakeasy responsible for the 21st-century classic cocktail craze. The bar has moved on, but two key bartenders have stayed behind, and now craft cocktails with the same whiz-bang precision, but without the secrecy and reservation system. Mixology to the max.

Bemelman's Bar

  • Upper East Side, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 35 E. 76th St.
  • New York, 10021
  • +1-212-744-1600

Live piano music entertains the upper-crust. Order a champagne (or a Bloody Mary, as that's what they're known for) and take out your camera: pictures of you, with gold-leaf ceilings and whimiscal murals in the background, will impress your Facebook friends.

Ginny's Supper Club

  • Harlem, Music, $$$$ $$$
  • 310 Malcolm X Blvd.
  • NYC, 10027
  • +1-212-421-3821

Dress to impress at this subterranean jazz venue and restaurant. The room looks good, the crowd looks good, and the music sounds good. It's that kind of Manhattan experience you picture yourself having before ever visiting the city. Upstairs is Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster, a hot destination for fashionable Harlemites. The bar scene up there is on point too.

Joe's Pub & The Public Theater

  • East Village, Music, $$$$ $$
  • 425 Lafayette St.
  • New York, 10003
  • +1-212-539-8500
  • | Email

A cabaret space with early and late shows (music, comedy, performance art) next door to The Public's lucky stages (their contemporary productions usually lead to stints on Broadway).

King Cole Bar

  • Midtown East, Bar, $$$$ $$$
  • The St. Regis New York, 2 E. 55th St.
  • New York, 10022
  • +1-212-339-6857
  • |

You will pay dearly for your stiff drink, but it's worth it for a little taste of a bygone era. The legendary watering hole is the best place to impress a guest and keep it classy.


  • East Village, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 113 St. Marks Pl.
  • New York, 10003
  • +1-212-614-0386

Not-so-secret bar accessible via telephone booth from within grease-coated Crif Dogs. Satisfy drunken cravings with buttered popcorn rum and a deep-fried dog of your choice.

Smith & Mills

  • Tribeca, Bar, $$$$ $$
  • 71 N. Moore
  • NYC, 10013
  • +1-212-226-2515

The kind of bar you wish could be your local. A former stable has been turned into a quirky little gem of a watering hole — drinkers elbow to elbow, downing cocktails in coup glasses and reaching for another oyster. The bartender probably has a handlebar mustache, but this place is proto-hipster: small-batch, crafted with care, and focused on the details.

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