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Ward III
Photograph: Hannah Mattix Ward III

The best late-night bars in NYC

If you're out during the wee hours, these are the bars you absolutely need to hit

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo
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From gritty dives to bougie cocktail clubs, night owls have plenty of boozing options in the city that never sleeps. But the best New York bars to go to during the wee hours are the late-night lounges boasting the best jazz in New York, the karaoke bars letting wanna-be rockers sing their hearts out after hours, and the watering holes serving full-fledged dinner menus instead of bar food and snacks

Best late-night bars

The Duplex
Photograph: Courtesy The Duplex

The Duplex

Theater Off-Off Broadway West Village

Lying in bed, staring at the ceiling with a catchy song you can’t get out of your head? The best way to exorcise that demon is to throw on clothes, head to the West Village and perform it in front of a crowd of complete strangers. And why settle for a simple backing track when you can have your own personal piano accompaniment? You’re able to get just that every night until 4am at The Duplex, where the talented ivory ticklers accept requests (usually of the show-tune variety) from anyone.

The Slipper Room
Photograph: Filip Wolak

The Slipper Room

Nightlife Nightlife Lower East Side

Something about dancing the night away alongside burlesque performers harks back to the glamorous days of Prohibition-era New York. Luckily, you don’t have to invent a time machine to get those Gypsy-style thrills now. The Slipper Room, one of the main venues that helped kick off the neoburlesque craze 15 years ago, hosts midnight shows every Friday and Saturday, followed by go-go dancing and live DJs until 3:30am.

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The Gutter

Bars Lounges Greenpoint

Williamsburg bar/music venue/bowling alley/playland The Gutter has a retro, chill, dare we even say Midwestern vibe about it, with a woodsy and Dad’s-basement-in-the-’70s decor. And the lanes stay open until 4am, which means you can down a wide range of American craft beer while demolishing that 7-10 split.

Blue Note

Music Greenwich Village

The Blue Note prides itself on being "the jazz capital of the world." While bona fide musical titans (Cecil Taylor, Charlie Haden) rub shoulders with hot young talent (the Bad Plus), the close-set tables in the club have patrons practically rubbing up against each other. The Late Night Groove series begins at 12:30am on Friday and Saturday nights and often runs through 3am, with appetizers accompanying the fully stocked bar until last call.

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LIC Bar

Bars Beer bars Long Island City

LIC’s owners inherited the previous bar’s brick, wood and tin-ceiling fixtures, then brought in a laid-back attitude all their own—and a much more extensive drink selection. They also added an outdoor patio where you can smoke, tie up the dog and even order delivery from nearby restaurants. LIC is a convenient keep-the-party-going pit stop for music fans who migrate down the block after P.S. 1’s Warm Up evenings and stay sprawled out until lock-up at 4am.

The Penrose

Bars Gastropubs Upper East Side

While its food menu—featuring thick, juicy Pat LaFrieda burgers and beer-battered McClure's pickles—might only be available until 1am, drinks are free-flowing until 4am every night, including pints of local and Emerald Isle craft brews (Kelso, Murphy's), plus drams of Irish whiskey.

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Photograph: Beth Levendis

Planet Rose

Bars Lounges East Village

On weekends, patrons of this Alphabet City joint have been known to let the spirit of rock & roll take over by jumping onto the bar while belting out tunes until 4am. But during the week, you can catch glimpses of more subdued insanity, when the tunes play through 2am. Planet Rose's song list covers the popular bases, ranging from Broadway hits (My Fair LadyThe Phantom of the Opera) to ’70s classics ("Band on the Run," "You're So Vain").

schillersliquorbar3
Michael Kirby Smith

Schiller’s Liquor Bar

Restaurants American Lower East Side

Keith McNally's popular hangout caters to a night-owl crowd, serving top-notch eats during the "late supper" Monday through Thursday until 1am, and Friday and Saturday nights until 3am. Satiate your late-night hankerings with the celebutoque's decadent brisket patty melts, moules frites and seared ahi tuna salad.

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Photograph: Noah Devereaux

Taproom No. 307

Bars Beer bars Kips Bay

There's more going on at this Murray Hill pub than the boisterous, singles-heavy crowd implies, including elevated plates like arugula-topped brick-oven pizzas and crocks of chicken-liver mousse that you can order through 2am and follow up with 40 craft drafts until 4am.

terra blues club
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Steven Severinghaus

Terra Blues

Music Music venues Greenwich Village

The Blues series on PBS may have helped fill the seats, but the classic eight-bar has been the star of this austere, laid-back place all along. Both local musicians and marquee names play late-night sets from 10pm to 2am, including Little Milton, Edgar Winter, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland and the Holmes Brothers; bigger names draw a bigger cover charge, which is never too stiff. If you want stiff, there’s an extensive bourbon and scotch collection, including Lagavulin and Bunnahabhain.

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