Where To Dance in New York City
It's something that is dependent not just on how well the bartender can make a drink (and for what price), but whether the DJ is playing music that makes it impossible to stand still, who else is in the crowd, and the obviously-very-scientific measurement of what kind of "energy" a place has. Reading online reviews is reliable enough when it comes to scouting a good bar, but the same cannot be said for clubs. Nightlife changes too quickly for Yelp to keep up, and it's difficult to gauge what kind of scene or crowd you are committing to over the internet. As it turns out, dance floors and disco balls are still best located the old school way: by word-of-mouth. As someone who wants to bust a move in as many places in New York that a person possibly can, I asked passersby for their party-til-the-sun-comes-up recommendations, and have been dancing my way to permanently blistered feet ever since. Read on below to find the spot to get down at this weekend.
Baby's All Right / Williamsburg
Recommended by haley nahman, Kelsey Rae Garcia, Rachel Cabitt, Abby Bencie, Jenna Rosenberg and Lexi Cunningham
With reasonably priced drinks and even more reasonably priced concert tickets, Baby’s All Right is a Williamsburg mainstay for a reason. The chic yet casual vibe of this music venue, as well as the wide range of their almost nightly shows, caters to all tastes. As a bonus, some of their shows are open to all ages, if you’re an under 21 looking to dance the night away.
Visit Baby's All Right
Beverly’s / LES
Recommended by haley nahman, jo Rosenthal, Anastasia Patellis, lauren nikrooz and sam giordano
A dark (and decidedly hip) bar on the LES, the only light at Beverly’s comes from the glow of its neon signage. The walls of this watering hole are lined with artwork by local artists, but only those whose art has previously been exhibited in galleries. The drinks are cheap and the music is good, and the vibes are perfect for hanging out, chatting, and maybe even getting drunk enough to start a dance party.
Kinfolk 94 / Williamsburg
Recommended by Sara Radin, Kelsey Rae Garcia, Steph Krasnoff and Syvan Mandel
This self-described “multidisciplinary space” is part of Kinfolk’s Williamsburg compound which also houses their Kinfolk Store. Known for its distinctive wooden geodesic design, Kinfolk 94 is both a cocktail bar, performance venue and event space.
El Cortez / Bushwick
Recommended by Dasha Faires, Zan Goodman, Emily Theobald and aretha Sack
If you’re looking for dinner & drinks to turn into drinks & dance, this Tex-Mex serving 70’s themed bar is the place. With a large selection of Tiki drinks and frequent events including weekly “safari room” karaoke, this place is at its livest from 9-11pm, making it the perfect place to start your night.
Vist El Cortez
The Pyramid Club / East Village
Recommended by Allie Berman, Tamara Santibanez, kavi moltz and lyz olko
In a landscape of clubs that all play virtually the same EDM or hip hop music, The Pyramid Club is unique in its choice of soundtrack. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, The Pyramid is open from 8pm-4am for an 80s Dance Party on their main floor that is totally punk rock. Downstairs on the lower level, they switch it up with themes ranging from “Back to the 90s” to “Let’s Dance David Bowie.” It’s also way kinder to your budget than most clubs—the drink specials are pretty much the best you can do in New York.
Visit The Pyramid Club
Lovers Rock / Bedstuy
recommended by Kaye Blegvad, Soraya Ahoubim, Mina Alyeshmerni and ana giraldo wingler
Lovers Rock, named for the style of Reggae music frequently performed there, is a funky tiki-style bar with a spacious outdoor patio and $11 drink specials. Their cool and casual status is cemented by their online presence, in the form of a Tumblr in lieu of a website and a private instagram account with a follower account in the thousands.
Visit Lovers Rock
Bossa Nova Civic Club / Bushwick
Recommended by Jenna Rosenberg, Sandy Heyaime and Katie Garcia
For those tired of the overpriced and overcrowded nightclubs typical of New York City, this hole-in-the-wall Bushwick hangout is the perfect cure. Known for cheap, unpretentious drinks and a steady rotation of techno and house dj’s, Bossa Nova Civic Club is the place to go if you’re looking for a night at maximum volume on a dark dance floor.
Visit Bossa Nova Civic Club
Good Room BK / Greenpoint
Recommended by Sara Radin and Zan Goodman
With its sprawling interior, the Good Room is the perfect antidote to too-close-for-comfort dance floors. A full roster of live shows in both their “Good Room” and “Bad Room” makes this lusciously decorated club a music lovers paradise. The perfect low-key yet buzzy alternative to other large Brooklyn nightclubs. Expect to get sweaty, in a good way.
Friends and Lovers / Crown Heights
Recommended by Anna Deutsch and Holly Mitchell
This crown heights hangout is bar in the front (room) and party in the back (room). Undeniably aptly named, it’s perfect either for a dancey night with friends or an intimate date night. They also host regular comedy shows as a perfect pre-dance pregame. The suggested dress code? No flip flops (“they're bad on dance floors”
Visit Friends and Lovers
Words by Mathilde Nielsen