Nightlife is inextricably linked to New York’s identity. Truly, the “city that never sleeps” boasts something for all sorts after dark.
Not sure where to start? These spots have something to match your mood.
A rough and tumble Chelsea watering hole, dark, dirt-cheap Billymark’s West (332 Ninth Ave., New York, 347-986-3866) is a Champagne of Beers and generous-pour sort of joint. Beckoning passersby from its mailbox-hued facade, the wee-hours taproom features the requisites: a jukebox, pool table, neon signs and posters of old westerns.
Finding elegant drinkery Angel’s Share (8 Stuyvesant St., 212-777-5415) isn’t easy — though it is an “open secret” in East Village. Find the unmarked access through second-story Japanese izakaya Village Yokocho. Adding to its air of exclusivity, there’s a no-standing policy and group-size-limit of four. Once inside the date-friendly space, crisply attired bartenders proffer rare spirits and Japanese takes on Prohibition cocktails, like the yuzu and shiso-laced Flirtibird. Nearby, you’ll find a speakeasy sibling upstairs sib at Sharaku, 14 Stuyvesant Street as well.
Much like the Miami original, whimsical, handcrafted libations reign at Broken Shaker (23 Lexington Ave., New York, 212-475-1920, freehandhotels.com/new-york/broken-shaker). Perched on the 18th-floor terrace of the Freehand New York, the rooftop oasis offers sweeping city views. Enjoy them over tropically tinged bites and creative bevs, like the Cocoa Puff Old Fashion and papaya-peppercorn spiked Jake the Snake.
Set in Bushwick, cavernous, 24,000 square-foot Elsewhere (599 Johnson Ave., Brooklyn, elsewherebrooklyn.com) is equal parts live music venue, nightclub and courtyard art gallery. Featuring multiple performance spaces, a rooftop bar with a stage, and a loft-like lounge, it hosts everything from dance parties to cook-outs, film screenings and drawing parties.
Offering one of the best mixology programs in NYC, Dead Rabbit (30 Water St., New York, 646-422-7906, deadrabbitnyc.com) features a downstairs taproom and low-lit lounge upstairs. Start with a perfectly poured pint on the lower level, later ascending to the upper-level parlor, where peerless sips include the Sherry Cobbler and the Smokin’ AppleJack Hot Toddy. There’s also live jazz weekly.
Ludwig Bemelmans— author of the classic Madeline children’s book series — festoonedn Lenox Hill’s Bemelmans Bar (35 E. 76th St., New York, 212-744-1600, rosewoodhotels.com) with Madeline murals in exchange for 1 ½ years'-worth of onsite board. The austere bar and live music venue stands as a testament to that exchange, with chocolate leather banquettes, a gold leaf ceiling, resident pianist and address within The Carlysle luxury residential hotel. As for the cocktails, expect the classics, done right.
A minimalist, modernist space for sipping suds, Greenpoint’s Tørst (615 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, 718-389-6034, torstnyc.com) — Danish for “thirst”— features two-dozen oft-rotating, temperature-regulated taps. Owned by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, the guy behind Danish gypsy brewery Evil Twin, it serves no wine and no spirits, leaving it to curate a selection of rare and cult-favorite brews.
They’re all solid choices, to be sure. Odds are, though, you’d like to explore more. Check out our blog for more after-hours ideas.