Piano Bars

7 Bemelmans Bar
This Madison Avenue piano bar, named after an author of children's literature, attracts a more mature and well-heeled group of clientele than some of the Upper East Side's other nightspots do. Murals from Ludwig Bemelmans depict scenes from Madeline and a few of his other stories, adding nice contrast to the bar's "Old New York" atmosphere. Indeed, this place ranks among the city's classic piano bars — joints where you can enjoy a good drink, terrific company, and great music in relative peace. TRAIN: 6 to 77th St (212-744-1600)

6 Brandy's Piano Bar
Fortunately for its boisterous patrons, Brandy's stays open late. This popular piano bar is one part sing-along and two parts lounge. Expect to have a great time here and plan to participate with the staff and largely mixed clientele in the crooning. Regardless, there's something mysteriously elegant about this place. TRAIN: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St (212-744-4949)

5 Don't Tell Mama
If you are in the mood for a no-holds-barred eclectic mix, plan to go to Don't Tell Mama. This piano bar features live jazz, sing-alongs and cabaret rooms, which feature comedy groups, musicals, vocal groups and a variety of other acts. Unlike your typical quiet and cozy piano bar, this one rocks with laughter and conversation from a mix of patrons who would not normally be seen on the street with each other. TRAIN: A, C, E to 42nd St/Port Authority Bus Terminal; C, E to 50th St; N, R, S, 1, 2, 3, 7, 9 to 42nd St-Times Sq (212-757-0788)

4 Townhouse Bar of New York
The dress code is strictly enforced in this three-part gay club. In other words, don't bother going if you are dressed casually. You will see more suits than anything else, so look the part if you want to get in. The dark wood and lush fabrics found in these three rooms produce a feeling of quiet elegance. The large and lively piano bar is on the same floor with the front lounge, a casual bar with comfy sofas. Downstairs you will find a quiet atmosphere, better suited for conversation. Cash only policy. TRAIN: N, R to Lexington Ave; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St (212-754-4649)

3 Top of the Tower
Even native New Yorkers enjoy a stunning view of the city from this Art Deco lounge located 26 stories up. The late-night bar is open seven days a week. Open-air terraces wrap around the restaurant and bar area, inviting guests to enjoy a cocktail al fresco while enjoying the view. TRAIN: E, F to Lexington Ave; 6 to 51st St (212-980-4796, 212-355-7300)

2 Waldorf Cocktail Terrace
Since 1893, the Waldorf has been a landmark of success and elegance. The terrace cocktail lounge overlooks the elegantly restored lobby, where one might relax with a drink or afternoon tea while enjoying the strains of piano music. Mosaic floors and oil murals make up the fine décor that surrounds guests. TRAIN: 6 to 51st St (212-355-3000, 212-872-1275)

1 The Duplex
The legendary caberet performances staged at this West Villager bring in folks from all walks of life. Indeed, where else but here will you find a theatre whose illustrious alumni include Barbra Steisand, Woody Allen, Lovelady Powell, KT Sullivan and Lea Delaria? The Duplex's Piano Bar, meanwhile, gets kicking at 9pm, when the staff leads the place in a night-long celebration of drinking and open mic performances. TRAIN: 1 or 9 to Christopher St (212-255-5438)

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Maps and Directions

Bemelmans Bar 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Hotel Bar, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Brandy's Piano Bar 10Best List Arrow
Type: Late Night / After Hours, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Don't Tell Mama 10Best List Arrow
Type: Late Night / After Hours, Live Entertainment, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
Townhouse Bar of New York 10Best List Arrow
Type: Gay and Lesbian, Late Night / After Hours, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Top of the Tower 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Hotel Bar, Lounge
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Waldorf Cocktail Terrace 10Best List Arrow
Type: Hotel Bar, Live Music, Lounge
Neighborhood: Murray Hill
The Duplex 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Late Night / After Hours, Live Entertainment, Live Music
Neighborhood: West Village