Regulars have their preference on whether they'd like to sit upstairs or down, but it really comes down to what you're drinking. The Taproom (downstairs) is more informal, with a long list of whiskeys from around the world. The Parlor (upstairs) is a nod to the 19th century, with bartenders on hand to mix one of 72 cocktails from the menu. Dead Rabbit has won more cocktail awards than we can count, including best bar in the world. Like all places worth going, you'll battle the crowds during prime hours, but it'll all be worth it once you take your first sip.
What is there to say about Bar 169 that hasn't already been said? A dive in the truest sense of the word, this Chinatown haunt practically beckons you in off the streets to make bad decisions â" tequila shots and oysters, anyone? A leopard print pool table stands proud under swinging fringed lights, while patrons watch the occasional solo burlesque dancer sway her hips and shake her ta-tas for dollar bills. Vaguely reminiscent of your strange uncle's basement, but with enough 90s grunge to keep you flying high all night, Bar 169 is where you go when you want to blend in while still feeling supremely in-the-know and weird, all at once. Unsurprisingly, it's the perfect place to end your evening.
Terra Blues sits between LaGuardia and Thompson, right in the heart of the West Village. This small 20-year-old blues lounge attracts a more well-heeled crowd than most of its counterparts, which is due in part to its romantic, almost adult atmosphere. Enjoy the soulful sounds of traditional blues performers and some of the best singers and performers in the world. Doors open at 6:30pm with solo acoustic acts performing nightly from 7 to 9:30pm. After 10, the band plugs in, and plays until the wee hours of the morning. Indulge in a well-aged scotch or bourbon and savor the chord progression that is characteristic of an amazing blues session.
At The 40/40 Club, the bottles pop all night long. Open until 4AM, this is where people with expensive taste in clothes and cognac (Read: A-listers) gather and indulge. Not surprisingly, 40/40 attracts plenty of big names - after all, Jay-Z is a co-owner. But make no mistake: the DJs keep the crowd here bumping until the sun comes up. The best move? Come here for a big game and then stay to party well into the night. During the day, 40/40 rocks 15 LCD and 8 plasma-screen TVs, so it's also one of the best places in town to catch the action.
With prime positioning in the club-concentrated Meatpacking District, Provoc, as it's lovely called by regulars, is where to go when you want to see and be seen. Packed to the rafters with models, financial powerhouses, actors and trust fund babies, the room is split into two: Provocateur Cafe; and Provocateur Nightclub. For ear-splitting beats and prime dancing, stay on the Nightclub side but venture to the Cafe; when you're ready for late-night people-watching. And if you think you'll get past the door rocking a beanie and sneakers, think again. Dress to the nines or to get booted to the back of the line...if they let you stay at all.
Output is one of the few clubs in Brooklyn to hold its own against Manhattan's heavy hitters. The club is armed with a Funktion One, one of the best sound systems in the city, making it powerful against the big guys in more ways than one. You'll find more plaid-clad hipsters than stilleto'd models here, but that doesn't mean you won't have to wait if you show up late. Once inside, the main room bumps with high-quality electronic talent, the adjoining Panther Room offers a more intimate listening experience and the rooftop gives you a place to cool down before heading back in for more.
It's no secret that the majority of New York bars can barely fit the clientele in without inducing mild-to-severe claustrophobia in half of the patrons. The overabundance of these teeny tiny watering holes makes the ones with space even more desirable - especially when they're able to cram in a couple of Skee-ball lanes, pool tables, dart boards and video games. If you're into gaming while drinking, allow us to introduce you to Ace Bar in Alphabet City. Along with all the funsies, the bar also boasts one of the best jukeboxes in New York City. And of course, it's open late every night of the week so you can set your bets until 4AM.
Late night food can be hit or miss and L'Express is most definitely a hit. A New York staple, this 24-hour French diner is a haven for drunk humans not interested in pounding back a dollar slice. Is this the best French food you'll ever eat in NYC? No. Is this the best French food you'll eat at 4:30AM after a solid night of drinking? Without question. And lest you think you only get a handful of options, you should know that their "Overnight" menu is anything but wimpy and includes everything from breakfast faves like omelettes and French toast to burgers, salmon scallopini and steak frites. Oui oui!
Extra Fancy is known for their brunch, but what people sometimes forget is that it's a great late night joint as well. They're open until 4AM and the kitchen turns out late night eats like $2 oysters, poutine and lobster rolls until 2AM. Cocktails include gems like Honey, I Spiced the Kids, a mezcal, tequila, grapefruit, lime and jalapeño honey situation. If you're in the mood for something a little less fancy, opt for the Ultimate Hipster Girlfriend: a glass of rose and a shot of bourbon, otherwise known as, "Yep, I'm definitely, absolutely in Williamsburg." Extra Fancy is fun, doesn't take itself too seriously and is fairly close to the train. Wins all around.
Daddy-O might be filled with banker types or a Food Network star when you get there, but that's part of the charm of this neighborhood gem. This spot is a New York institution that can turn out a perfectly crafted martini alongside a smash hit burger. Try to visit during the week - it's always open until 4AM - and it'll give you a chance to grill the bartender on some of the rare liquors they stock behind the bar. This is exactly what you want a neighborhood watering hole to be: open all the time, 'til late, with above average drinks and food. An A+ all around.