Greenwich Village clubs and nightlife: Jazz and comedy venues

Discover the best places for a night out in Greenwich Village, including storied jazz club the Blue Note, the famed Comedy Cellar, Le Poission Rouge and more.

Greenwich Village may be small, but it offers a wealth of New York nightlife options. Find some of New York's best live-music venues the Blue Note and Le Poisson Rouge, as well as the Comedy Cellar—a great place to catch a suprise appearance by a big-name comedian in an intimate setting.

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Le Poisson Rouge

Critics' pick

Situated in the basement of the long-gone Village Gate—a legendary performance space that hosted everyone from Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix—Le Poisson Rouge was opened in 2008 by a group of young music enthusiasts with ties to both the classical and indie-rock worlds. In addition to their adult offerings, the club also regularly hosts the popular Baby Loves Disco dance party.

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Blue Note

Critics' pick

The Blue Note prides itself on being "the jazz capital of the world." Bona fide musical titans (Cecil Taylor, Charlie Haden) rub against hot young talents (the Bad Plus), while the close-set tables in the club get patrons rubbing up against each other. The Late Night Groove series and the Sunday brunches are the best bargain bets.

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Comedy Cellar

Critics' pick

Claustrophobes, beware: It gets crowded down here, especially on weekends, thanks to the immense popularity of this Village standby. Big names from Louis CK to Aziz Ansari will just drop by for a set and on any given night, you can expect to see other local greats whose acts are more X-rated than at other clubs (and who will distract you from your bachelorette-partying neighbors).

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Greenwich Village

Madame X

She to he: “If you’re married, we can try the back room.” Everything is bordello red, including the velvet trim on the bar. Drinks have names like Pussy Galore (Malibu, crème de banana liqueur, mango nectar, sour mix and OJ). Smooth R&B beats add fuel to the flame. Just another night at Madame X.

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Greenwich Village Comedy Club

Al Martin, the longtime owner of both the New York Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club, follows the same basic tenets of those ventures in his new room—an intimate basement space below an Indian restaurant. Though a few pillars in the 60-seat venue interfere with sight lines, the pub grub, extensive cocktail selection and long list of stars who just might do a spot while passing through town are drawing crowds every night. Regulars include staples Christian Finnegan, Marina Franklin and Tom Shillue.

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Sullivan Room

Critics' pick

Where’s the party? It’s right here in this unmarked subterranean space, which hosts some of the best deep-house, tech-house and breaks bashes the city has to offer. It’s an utterly unpretentious place, but hell, all you really need are some thumpin’ beats and a place to move your feet, right? Keep a special lookout for the nights hosted by local stalwarts Sleepy & Boo.

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Café Wha?

Somehow, the place is still open, running on the fumes of its illustrious past as a ’60s beatnik-and-incipient-hippie hangout. Ginsberg and Dylan lingered, Hendrix and Havens played, and what remains is history—and tourists. The decent house band cranks out live rock, funk and R&B for an enthusiastic bunch (Wednesday to Sunday, after 9pm). And if you’re hungry, Mamoun’s Falafel is right next door.

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Favela Cubana

The sounds and flavors of Brazil and Cuba unite at this recent Greenwich Village addition. Diners can perch on repurposed conga drums at the bar, and sip from an extensive menu of caipirinhas and mojitos—one version swaps orange and basil for the traditional lime and mint combination. Dig into binational dishes such as ropa vieja (braised beef with olives, onions and peppers). A small stage in the back hosts live musicians playing in styles such as forró and pagode.

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Greenwich Village

Love

Critics' pick

The focus here is squarely on the music (ranging from techno and electro to deep house and hip hop) and building a scene. It’s hardly a revolutionary concept, but in today’s nightlife world of going for the quick buck, Love stands out from the crowd. The main room is a sparsely furnished box, but the DJ lineup is pretty impressive—the likes of the seminal Chicago house DJ Derrick Carter and Body & Soul’s Joe Claussell have graced the decks. The sound system is stunning.

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Sullivan Hall

Formerly the middling rock club the Lion's Den, this West Village space has carved out a more distinctive identity for itself in its present Sullivan Hall incarnation. The club is currently something of a haven for the jam-band scene, hosting up-and-coming talent in that vein, as well as after-parties and impromptu jams featuring some of the community's luminaries.

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Ido Sushi

This intimate West Village sushi joint provides live music and entertainment to go with your rolls.

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Ace of Clubs

All this shoebox of a space needed was a booker with some taste. Ask and ye shall receive: a few years ago, it morphed from the old Under Acme into Ace of Clubs, bringing in a diverse mix of mostly local rock, blues and roots music. The location is as central as they come, and if you need a bite, the restaurant Acme should satisfy your soul-food cravings.

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Pink Elephant

This international nightclub chainlet—which first opened in the Meatpacking district in 2004—returns to New York with a 4,000-square-foot Greenwich Village space. The cocktail-bar-cum-dance-club is divided into three hyperstylized areas: a cabaret lounge with black velvet-tufted walls, a rose-mirrored cocktail bar, and a trippy "infinity" room decked out with black-mirrored walls and LED lights. Sip on cocktails like Peyote Smoke (lime juice, agave, mescal, tequila), while live DJs spin house music.

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