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New York City Nightlife Guide

Updated on July 21, 2016

In its earliest days iconoclast and writers remarked that New York City was a dysfunctional playground for ambitious adults and today little has changed. The New York art scene, club scene, and its general nightlife culture is ever changing. If you are looking for something to do when the sun goes down, New York can appeal to whatever kind of diversion tickles your imagination. Every borough of the city has its own set of maze like streets, a particular culture, and place where you can have a respectable party with people you work with or get lost in the night.



The SoHo art and style scene has become a shifting chimera of experimental restaurants, stores, galleries and clubs. Even though the neighborhood is known for shopping and fashion and bustling daylight hours, it's nightlife thrives. A Place like 150 Lafayette also known as Mister H is a rare bar/club with a 1930’s Shanghai aesthetic and some delicious cocktails that are about the level of bar you would find in one of the world’s most expensive cities. When it comes to art try the Peter Lik gallery a place that challenges the sense and inspire the imagination with colorful enchanting images. For a meal the Dutch Regional offers American fare, including their lauded oysters and wholesome fried chicken. The décor is evocative of class and is perfect place to feel like you have had a real American experience.


Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen has become a whole different animal since the 90s. The views from the penthouses have changed and though the neighborhood is much calmer, the nightlife is still lively. It’s a great place to head to if Time Square is too much for you. But if you want stay out one of the most popular bars in the area is the Attic a roof top bar. This place seems to get more popular every summer, they have craft cocktail to go with the great view and interesting décor. If you are in the mood for intellectual stimulation then the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery is a great choice. The exhibit works like the 80’s collaboration Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, painted depictions of powerful Russian brown bears. For a meal try the inquisitively named Cinnamon an Indian/British fusion establishment known for its fish and masala chips, in modern decor.



Midtown means money but you can get away with having brunch change in your pocket and still partying every day if you’re smart. One of the most interesting and laid back places to start a night off drinking is the classy Cutting Room. This place is also a concert venue so you can catch a show. If you are looking for a feast for the eyes the Gagosian Art Gallery offers pieces from the modern masters as well as up and coming artists yearn around rotating shows. If you want to start the night off with a meal that typifies NY and the French experience. This is the La Grenouille, a place where the food is superb and the delicacies on the table match the beautiful flower-arrangements.


Alphabet City

This area is the closely kept secret of its locals but there is plenty to do here. The scene here is slightly college oriented with university housing and relatively inexpensive apartments being not too far away, but the culture is still deeply ingrained and bustling. One of the more popular club venues in the area is the No Malice Palace. This place has thumping vibes that last all night and pretty good cocktails and drinks. For more germane recreation you should check out the Dorian Grey Gallery. This place reveals the face of New York by showcasing the city’s master artists and new upcoming artists. For an all American bite to eat one of the most popular eateries in Alphabet City to eat is the American style upscale restaurant known simply as Virginia’s. The food is fresh the menu is seasonal and the beer and cocktails are popular.


Little Italy

This area is known for having streets fit for a restaurant or a parade. Located right near the edge of Chinatown this area is filled with more restaurants than you can count and not just Italian establishments. Though the place is strongly steeped in the history of Italian immigrants it has become a haven for culinary experimentation of all kinds. One example of the old and the new mingling into one is the Gold Bar. This is a polished prohibition era speakeasy type of establishment that is popular as the heart of club land in Little Italy with gold skulls and gold leaf on the wall. One of the most noteworthy places to grab a memorable meal among the many restaurants in the area, is the Emporio a Roman-inspired place where you can enjoy Neapolitan-style, thin crust pizzas, and fresh made homemade pastas. Places like Clic a gallery and bookstore surround the neighborhood and you can find inspired work by unique local artists.


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