There are so many intimate live music venues and karaoke bars in New York City, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones to go to. Well, we’re here to make your life easier – here are some top picks of where to chill out, dance and sing the night away in New York City!
Cafe Wha? is a legendary Manhattan hotspot and has been around since the 1950s. Artists like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Peter, Paul and Mary used to hang out here.
Monday nights at Cafe Wha? are filled with the sounds of Brazil. Chill out, dance or just tap your feet to Brazooka as they heat the place with samba and bossa nova rhythms.
Get down on Tuesdays to the sounds of Disfunktion – a roots R&B band blending funk, disco, soul and more.
Wednesday through Sunday The Cafe Wha? Band rocks the stage with an ‘anything goes’ approach to their set list. From reggae to rock and R&B to world beats, The Cafe Wha? Band is always a hit.
Cover charges vary from free to about $15, depending on the night.
115 Macdougal St. (between Bleecker St. and W 3rd St.)
New York, NY 10012
Looking for some karaoke fun in New York City? Check out Karaoke Duet!
If you’ve never been to a traditional karaoke establishment, here’s how it works: Private rooms are rented by the hour, patrons are charged per person, per hour and you and your friends can rock out into the wee hours of the morning in your own room.
As well as 18,000 English language songs, Karaoke Duet has a database of thousands of Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese, Spanish, Filipino and Vietnamese language songs.
To keep your stamina up as you sing away the night, beer, wine, cocktails, American and Japanese bar snacks are available for purchase.
Karaoke Duet is open 7 days a week and is open until 6 am Friday and Saturday nights and 4 am the rest of the week. Room rates vary from $4.00/hour to $8.50/hour, depending on the day and time.
Karaoke Duet has two locations:
53 W 35th St. 2F (between 5th & 6th Ave 304)
New York, NY 10001
E 48th St. (between 1st & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10017
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club
For all the jazz lovers out there, check out Smoke Jazz & Supper Club. They have live music all week long and offer all kinds of jazz music from groove and soul jazz to Afro-Cuban and big band.
Because the venue is also a supper club, you can have dinner and a show for some great prices. In fact, Smoke Jazz & Supper Club is an OpenTable.com Diner’s Choice winner of 2010.
Cover charges depend on the night and band playing. They do have some no-cover shows. Check their website for details.
New York, NY 10025
For an old fashioned supper club experience, check out Swing 46. You can swing the night away in style to the live, big band sounds of bands such as Felix and The Cats, Crescent City Maulers and George Gee Swing Orchestra.
Swing 46 offers a full drink and dinner menus as well as lunch and brunch menus. If you want to go to just listen to music and/or dance, there is a cover charge for the entertainment and dinner is optional.
Swing 46 is open every night of the week for dinner, live music and dancing.
349 W. 46th (between 8th & 9th Ave.)
New York, NY 10036
The Bitter End
The Bitter End has live music seven nights a week. On Sundays they host a singer/songwriter night with a cover charge of only $5. Artists must audition to play Sunday nights and the music is entirely acoustic.
A lot of well known artists have played The Bitter End such as Tori Amos, Bob Dylan, Indigo Girls, John Prine, Rusted Root and Lily Tomlin.
Fun fact: The Bitter End opened in 1961 and was home to a whole host of now legendary folk musicians and poets. The Bitter End is known as the birthplace of Bob Dylan’s ‘Rolling Thunder Review’ in the mid 70s.
147 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and LaGuardia)
New York City, NY 10012
Radio Star Karaoke
Radio Star Karaoke has everything you need to sing the night away – a 550 square foot bar with a stage as well as private rooms and great drink specials.
Happy hour at Radio Star starts at 3 pm and goes until 9 pm, except Mondays when it runs until 2 am. Happy hour specials include ½ off karaoke as well as drink specials.
3 W 35th St (between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10001