Defining nightlife venues in New York City can get a little cloudy. Restaurants turn into dance clubs, dance clubs turn into brunches and eventually, attempting to categorize a nighttime destination becomes a lost cause. However, we’ve done our best to compile a list of the top lounges in NYC – the places that are just the right mix of drinks, dancing and seating, that aren’t too big, aren’t too dive-y, and won’t require a gas mask to get through the fog on the dancefloor.
Top Lounge in NYC: Jane Hotel
113 Jane Street, New York, NY 10014
Some call it a bar, others call it a lounge, we call it one of the must-visit nightlife attractions that New York City has to offer. Located in NYC's popular Meatpacking District, the Jane Hotel boasts a phenomenal watering hole that brings in the trendy and chic crowd that prefers to relax on plush, regal furniture, while taste-makers supply the latest remixes at a volume that won't interrupt your conversation. Popular nightlife venues in New York City are all about their location and maintaining the unique aesthetics that keep them relevant in the scene - the Jane Hotel executes this with ease.
Top Lounge in NYC: Ella
9 Avenue A, New York, NY 10002
Hollywood glamour and the roaring 20s are transposed into modern times at this bi-level speakeasy from the folks behind Gallery Bar and Plan B. There’s nothing snooty about this lounge, and we can applaud a space that maintains their “cool” factor without turning down all those who don’t meet their standards. Start off with some drinks at the upstairs cocktail lounge, but don’t forget to make your way down to the piano/performance space where shows are held nightly.
Top Lounge in NYC: PS 450
450 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
What we enjoy most about PS 450 is the layout. Upon walking in on any given Friday night, the crowd is thick, with folks either starting their night at PS 450 before heading out to their final destination, or guests who opt to stay there the entire night - enjoying signature cocktails, and dancing (sometimes on tables). The vibe isn't pretentious, the drink's aren't too pricey, and it still manages to create a great atmosphere without having a tough door. Best part is, if you're not feeling the party, the Gansevoort Rooftop (Plunge) is just around the corner.
Top Lounge in NYC: 230 Fifth
230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Plush, flamboyant pink and purple seating and fluorescent lights fill the 8,000-square-foot space on the 20th floor of 230 Fifth Avenue, but it isn’t this part of the lounge that earns the venue a spot on our list. The roof deck and garden lounge are perfect for summer, and attract a serious amount of partygoers once the weather gets warm. The vibe is fun and if it weren’t for the sights of the Empire State Building and the Met, it wouldn’t feel so much like New York City. We’re going to go ahead and blame the palm trees. You'll have to wait until things heat up in the city for this one, though.
Top Lounge in NYC: Apothéke
9 Doyers Street, New York, NY 10013
There's only one aspect of Apothéke that we aren't too fond of - the place is NOT easy to find. On the other hand, it's nice to know that one of the best lounges in New York City also serves as a hideaway. If you're into unique cocktails, this is the place. Their in-house mixologists don lab coats, and rightly so. Each one of their science experiments is delicious and surprising to the palate. Word of advice - if you're looking to impress a date, this lounge serves as a nice surprise.
Top Lounge in NYC: The Boom Boom Room
848 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014
Getting into the Boom Boom Room will get you a view from the top (and I’m talking about both the top of the Standard, and the social ladder). André Balzas’ chi chi room is one of the hottest places to see a ridiculous view of the city outside as well as a ridiculous view of actors and heirs inside, which is why the door is one of the toughest in the city. But although getting in may be a challenge, the beautiful décor, A-list clientele and overall appeal to in-the-know New Yorkers make this one of the top lounges in NYC.
Top Lounge in NYC: GoldBar
389 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
The catacomb-like walls adorned with gold-dipped skulls, and the giant crystal chandeliers spanning nearly the whole ceiling of the venue, make GoldBar one of the coolest looking venues in New York City. The music is hit or miss, depending on what night you show up, but the crowd is always well-dressed and down to have a good time. The space is small, intimate and a great place to spend your night if you’re looking for the perfect compromise of low-key and wild.