Best Nightlife

Out of all the clubs and bars in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore Long Island nightlife on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Long Island Best Nightlife list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.

7 Maxwell and Dunne's
Maxwell and Dunne's features one of Plainview's top happy hours, complete with great prices on beer, wine, and mixed drinks and tasty appetizers like baked stuffed ciabatta and sweet coconut shrimp. The speakeasy-style setting recollects a Fitzgerald novel, much to the delight of the well-dressed 30-something clientele. Cigar smokers find safe haven in Churchill's cigar store and lounge, which features cozy seating, plasma screen TVs, and plenty of premium cigars. A great place to enjoy cocktails and a bite to eat before or after testing your luck at Race Palace, an OTB facility in what was once the Vanderbilt concert hall. (516-694-6200)

6 Stephen Talkhouse
This place doesn't stake its claim as one of the top live music venues in the Hamptons because it can accommodate big crowds or throw raucous parties. The Talkhouse is far too intimate for that. What sets the place apart are the acts that take its stage — folks like Todd Rundgren, Suzanne Vega, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, and Billy Joel, who have been known to plug in their amps and mics from time to time. Other nights, the lineup leans toward blues and jazz acts, as well as non-mainstream rock. (631-267-3117)

5 Croxley Ales
Boasting nearly six dozen on-tap brews (including regional microbrews and hard-to-find international ales and lagers), not to mention some of the tastiest pub grub on Long Island, Croxley is one of the area's most popular gathering spots. Terrific food and drink specials ensure that the place is always packed, and clear sight lines to 15 TVs strategically arranged throughout the seating area make Croxley a terrific game day destination. An impressive lineup of single malt scotches is also available. (516-326-9542)

4 B.K. Sweeney's Pub
Dark wood paneling, dim lighting, a beautiful 40-foot bar, and neighborly service — this charming pub most assuredly lives up to its motto, "Life's a little sweeter at a B.K. Sweeney's." Part of a family of watering holes/restaurants, the Garden City edition attracts large crowds most every night, whether folks are coming in for a cold pint and a bit of grub, to catch a game on one of the 26 satellite TVs, or to meet up with friends and catch up on the day's news. A word to the wise: not trying one of their legendary Sweenburgers is not a good move! (516-328-8326)

3 White House Nightclub
The inn housing this summertime hotspot dates from the 1750s and has long been a haven for folks wanting to escape big-city worries. Now one of the largest nightclubs on Long Island with some 30,000 square feet, the aptly-named White House hosts awesome dance parties and great live music all season. The good times fire up in May and last until the fall, compelling hot locals and fashionable tourists to rub shoulders on the patio, bump and grind on the dance floor, or kick back in the lounge. Big names that have played and/or hosted parties here include the Blackeyed Peas Fergie and Kevin Dillon of Entourage fame. (631-728-4121, 631-979-0400)

2 Port Jazz
Looking for a cool, groovy place to sip martinis and listen to live music? This Port Jefferson nightspot may be right up your alley. A bar serves as the room's focal point (as it should be) and is surrounded by a stylish interior that includes sponge-painted walls, pendant lighting, and comfortable pieces of furniture. Fridays and Saturdays feature everything from traditional jazz and blues performers to folks specializing in old school R&B and funk. Expect a fashionable, mixed crowd. (631-476-7600)

1 Rare Olive Lounge
With its dark-stained hardwood floors and bar, mustard-hued walls, and velvet-covered barstools, this trendy, Big Apple-style cocktail lounge has become a popular place for young professionals to gather after work. Martinis are the drinks of choice, and a quick scan of the menu reveals that the bar staff can make them any number of ways. Upstairs, a suave lounge is furnished with upholstered furniture, animal-print fabrics, and large pillows. Dress in your most stylish threads, and be 25 or older to enter. (631-423-3444)


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Maps and Directions

1
Maxwell and Dunne's 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Lounge
Neighborhood: PLAINVIEW
2
Stephen Talkhouse 10Best List Arrow
Type: Late Night / After Hours, Live Music
3
Croxley Ales 10Best List Arrow
Type: Late Night / After Hours, Pub
Neighborhood: FRANKLIN SQUARE
4
B.K. Sweeney's Pub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Pub
Neighborhood: GARDEN CITY
5
White House Nightclub 10Best List Arrow
Type: Dance Club, Late Night / After Hours, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: HAMPTON BAYS
6
Port Jazz 10Best List Arrow
Type: Late Night / After Hours, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: PORT JEFFERSON
7
Rare Olive Lounge 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Gay and Lesbian, Late Night / After Hours, Lounge
Neighborhood: HUNTINGTON
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