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Elsewhere
Photograph: Courtesy Luis Nieto Dickens Elsewhere

The best clubs in NYC

Get down at the best clubs in NYC, from buzzy newbies and underground faves to Brooklyn staples

By Collier Sutter, Myles Raymer and Ro S
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New York's club scene has come a long way, baby. With so many choices of late-night spots in this city that never sleeps, it's easy to get overwelcomed by all the disco ball spots beckoning you in. We danced at a lot to pick out the cream of the crop, here are the very best clubs in NYC which extend from Ridgewood to the Financial District. Looking for more places to get down that aren't only clubs? Check out the hands-down best places to dance in NYC.

Best clubs in NYC

Chris Lavado

1. Avant Gardner

Nightlife East Williamsburg

This raging East Williamsburg venue complex features the massive outdoor Brooklyn Mirage sanctuary and a pair of plush indoor rooms: a 15,000-square-foot Great Hall and cozier Kings Hall, that still has a 800 person capacity. You'll see some of the biggest artists in the electronic dance music scene in the open-air Brooklyn Mirage during the summer month, and then keep the party going all year round in the interior spaces which have also hosted heavy-hitters like Jamie Jones, Fisher, Gramatik and Aphex Twin. Don’t miss the immersive projection mapping visuals in both the indoor and outdoor areas.

Public Records
Time Out/Ali Garber

2. Public Records

Bars Lounges Gowanus

This hi-fi watering hole boasts three rooms: a lively space for mingling in big booths and listening to vinyl, an airy café with an all-plant-based menu and a back joint that feels like a hypnotic Berlin club for dancing the night away. The beverage program also centers on cocktails concocted from homemade, healthy tonics, and some are also nonalcoholic like the sauce-free blood-orange celery soda or the coconut-water chamomile. We love a nightlife option that leaves you feeling fresh the next day—especially if you don't arrive home until the early morning.

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Nowadays
Photograph: Robert Malmberg

3. Nowadays

Bars Beer bars Ridgewood

With its top-flight sound system, sophisticated menu and deeply chill vibes, Nowadays is a slice of Neverland for club kids. Opened by Mister Saturday Night cofounders Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, Nowadays’ ample outdoor space is the home of its day-party incarnation Mister Sunday and the Ridgewood Market as well as a regular slate of readings and discussions. A 5,000-square-foot indoor venue was unveiled earlier this year, so now DJs can spin harder stuff into the wee hours for those who still haven’t adopted grown-up schedules.

Elsewhere
Photograph: Luis Nieto-Dickens

4. Elsewhere

Music East Williamsburg

Megaclub scale meets Bushwick style in this sprawling entertainment complex tucked away in a burgeoning nightlife district off the Jefferson Avenue strip. The big room fits 700 peeps and boasts a sensory-overloading laser-and-LED light show. And the talent’s decidedly left of the dial, featuring indie-rockers and DJs with a foot still in the underground as well as all-nighters, such as the queer Latinx party Papi Juice. Elsewhere also features a smaller side room that offers its own programming, a second space for larger shindigs and a quiet cocktail lounge upstairs, plus a spacious rooftop deck.

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Photograph: Jeff Brown

5. The Sultan Room

Things to do Event spaces Bushwick

This Bushwick music venue features a state-of-the-art sound system, technicolored lighting, wall decals inspired by mosques and a sunken dance floor. It's a hotspot for both live shows and DJ sets, influenced by global sounds. Plus, it's attached to the kitschy Wisconsin supper club, Turk’s Inn, so you can grab a good meal before dancing all night. 

Black Flamingo
Photograph: Courtesy Julian Cassady / juliancassady.com

6. Black Flamingo

Nightlife Williamsburg

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. You won't find any overpriced cover, bottle service or obnoxious doorman here.

 

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Good Room
Photograph: Seze Devres

7. Good Room

Nightlife Greenpoint

Well, it’s a few rooms, actually. Designed with the DJs in mind, the main one has a perfectly placed booth, a solid sound system, an expansive dance floor and a small stage for performances. Another space has a massive square bar, while a smaller spot—the Bad Room—houses a wall of vinyl and another DJ setup for more tunes. Embraced by night owls over its four years in Greenpoint, the club is home to Joshua D. Houtkin and David R. Pianka’s FIXED affair, among other popular soirees.

8. Basement

Music Music venues Queens

Located below the already-massive Knockdown Center, Basement fashions a no-nonsense techno venue out of a network of brick tunnels once used to heat the glass-factory–cum–event-space. Self-described as an "industrial catacomb," the venue is accessible via a separate entrance from its above ground sister venue.

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China Chalet
Photograph: Serichai Traipoom

9. China Chalet

Restaurants Chinese Financial District

A spacious dining room and an anything-goes attitude have made this nondescript walkup dim- sum restaurant in the Financial District an unlikely destination for world-class DJs and fashion-forward clubbers for a decade. Pop-up parties there regularly bring in tastemaking talent like Total Freedom and Brooklyn’s Mixpak crew, but China Chalet has also been the incubator recurring events like the celeb-studded see-and-be-seen party GLAM and the diva-worshipping Heaven on Earth. 

Bossa Nova Civic Club
Photograph: Luis Nieto Dickens (Instagram: @nietodickens)

10. Bossa Nova Civic Club

Clubs Bushwick

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.

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C'Mon Everybody
Photograph: Courtesy C'Mon Everybody

11. C'mon Everybody

Bars Bedford-Stuyvesant

Decked out in surprisingly convincing ’70s decor, this Brooklyn lounge puts its sizeable performance space to a diverse number of uses: the eclectic calendar of live music and DJ sets ranges from groovy funk combos to blippy synth-pop acts, not to mention bingo and burlesque nights. Regardless of what you stumble upon, though, you’ll find plenty of dance space available for showcasing your latest moves. 

HEAVY
Photograph: ©H.Schwartz Photo 2015

12. Trans-Pecos

Music Music venues Ridgewood

Intrepid local booker Todd P, the granddaddy of the Brooklyn DIY scene, oversees this show space and community hub in the Silent Barn's former digs. Booking comes courtesy of various local tastemakers, including plenty of weekday parties in the basement. Expect eclectic music and laid-back friendly crowds. 

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House of Yes
Photograph: Maxine Nienow

13. House of Yes

Nightlife Clubs Bushwick

This wild Bushwick hotspot opened in 2016 and quickly established itself as a reliable way for Brooklyn revelers to wear insane costumes and lose their inhibitions just about every weekend. With exhibitionist parties like “House of Love” and the immersive “Little Cinema” film tributes, along with a panoply of aerialists, magicians and dancers on retainer, House of Yes is constantly inventing new ways to make a night out more than just drinks at the bar. Pro tip: Snag tickets in advance and get there early, as the entry line often runs the block.

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