New York's club scene has come a long way—from the early days of Danceteria to the growing popularity of afterhours parties in Bushwick, Brooklyn. With so many choices of late-night hangouts and dance clubs in NYC, it can quickly become overwhelming to pick out the best of the best; luckily for you, we've spared you the stress of having to do so. Our music editors contributed their picks for the best clubs in NYC, from Funktion One-armed Output to DIY spot Palisades—we guarantee you'll get nothing less than quality dance music from our recommendations.
RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to NYC nightlife
Best clubs in NYC, ranked
This “tropical fantasy dance club” is another staple in the thriving Bushwick scene—setting itself apart from its competitors with a legitimate sound system and consistently hot lineups of underground house and techno DJs manning the decks. The bar-meets-club has made a big name for itself since opening in 2012, curating its own stage at Sustain-Release and hosting numerous industry pioneers. Bossa's “DJ résumé” continues to impress—highlights include: Adam X, Ron Morelli, Heather Heart, Marcos Cabral, Reade Truth, Jamie xx, Henning Baer and Mike Simonetti.
Photograph: Luis Nieto Dickens (Instagram: @nietodickens)
Located in the home of former venue Club Europa, Good Room was redesigned by nightlife impressario Steve Lewis and opened in October 2014. The main room was designed with the DJ in mind with a perfectly placed booth, solid sound system, ample dance floor and small stage for performances. Another area houses their massive square bar with surprisingly reasonable drink prices, while a side smaller room—the Bad Room—houses a massive wall of vinyl and another DJ set-up for separate tunes. For people who don't want to deal with the hassle of Brooklyn's newer mega clubs, Good Room is the perfect club antidote.Read more
Amid the handful of both legit and underground DIY venues popping up (and vanishing just as quickly) in Brooklyn, Black Flamingo appears to be here to stay. The chill two-level location opened its doors quietly in 2015, but partiers quickly adopted the restaurant-bar-nightclub, and for good reason: David Shapiro and Etan Fraiman of Battery Harris, Eli Goldstein of Soul Clap, Philipp Jung of M.A.N.D.Y., Gadi Mizrahi of Wolf + Lamb and creative partner, Bryce David, are all scene veterans behind the venue, which serves food upstairs while hosting excellent DJs downstairs and go-to parties like Kaviar Disco Club in the warm, wood-crafted den.
Photograph: Daniel Leinweber for Razberry Photography
This multiroom dance club, located next to the Wythe Hotel in North Williamsburg, was hailed as the savior of NYC nightlife even before it opened. Enjoy its great sound system and firm commitment to the underground, both in its house- and techno-heavy booking policy and general lack of bottle-service inanity. While the lines can get quite long and the dancefloor a bit too crowded on busy Fridays and Saturdays, the pristine Funktion-Ones and excellent bookings usually make the hassle worthwhile.Read more
Like its DIY brethren Silent Barn and Market Hotel, the prominent underground music space Palisades sits right next to the Myrtle-Broadway JMZ—a noisy real estate situation which offers the venue some freedom with the volume dial. Alongside gauzy local indie outfits and hard-hitting rappers, you can expect no shortage of surprisingly big-name DJ's populating the venues eclectic calendar (lineups in the past have included everyone from PC Music to Chicago's Teklife collective).Read more
You’d never guess from the Heidi Montag wannabes hanging out in the neighborhood that the attitude at this club is close to zero, at least once you get past the bouncers guarding the door. On the sunken dance floor, hip to hip crowds gyrate to deep beats from top DJs, including NYC old-schoolers François K, Tedd Patterson and Louie Vega. Cielo, which features a crystal-clear sound system, has won a bevy of best club awards in its half a decade of existence—and it deserves them all.Read more
A brainchild of Brooklyn independent-music-venue magnate Todd P (see Trans-Pecos and former digs Death by Audio and 285 Kent), the venue that sits along the Bushwick–Bed-Stuy border first closed its doors back in 2010 after cops raided a Smith Westerns show. With the proper licensing now securing its institutional legitimacy, the newly revamped space fortunately retains all its original grungy-as-hell charm. While lineups typically consist of bands, promoters like the Bunker have already brought a handful of world-class DJs to the decks.Read more