Most New Yorkers can attest to the fact that a successful night out on the town depends heavily on the planning beforehand—whether that means hosting a proper pre-game, bartering with promoters or buying tickets for an event so you're not stuck waiting (read: freezing) outside. Those factors are even more crucial on New Year's Eve, a night where many have been finalizing plans for dinners, parties and shows several weeks in advance. But if you've waited until the last minute, fear not: for procrastinators looking to ring in the new year in style, here are five solid options that won't require advance tickets or reservations.
Bar Goto: Seats at cocktail master Kenta Goto's tiny Lower East Side gem can be tough to nab, but the wait may be a tad shorter on a holiday night. The bar will be open, business as usual, with its stellar cocktails—including a yuzu-infused hot toddy and a cherry blossom martini—and a menu of grade-A grub (miso-glazed wings, okonomiyaki pancakes) to soak it all up.
Genuine Liquorette: There's something inherently festive about Eben Freeman's bodega-inspired basement bar, what with all its neon lights, self-serve fridges and playful airplane bottles dunked into soda cans. Where else would you be able to raise a can of Sprite to ring in 2016 at midnight? And before those healthy-eating resolutions kick in, order burgers and fried-chicken sandwiches from Genuine Superette upstairs to pad your belly.
Standard Biergarten: While you do have to buy tickets to get into the parties at the Standard High Line's Le Bain or its East Village penthouse, the hotel's more laidback beer-garden arm will host a Marie Antoinette's Masquerade Bingo in lieu of their usual bingo night. Bingo, bubbly—we're in.
The Third Man: The Viennese cocktail bar from the Edi & the Wolf team will fete the night with a Very Gatsby New Year's Eve party featuring a live DJ, dancing and 1920's-inspired drinks—including a Harlequin with rye, chai sweet vermouth and angostura bitters, and a gin-based Green Light Martini with vermouth, basil and fresh cracked white pepper. The party kicks off at 10pm and your $35-at-the-door ticket includes a glass of champagne.
Yours Sincerely: Brooklynites can simultaneously celebrate the arrival of 2016 and the grand opening of this neighborhood newcomer from the team behind Dear Bushwick. On the opening menu are more than 20 pre-made cocktails served on tap, including four-buck shots. At midnight, everyone will get a free draft shot and the bar will have its own miniature ball drop.