The Perfect Night Out in NYC

As cliche as it sounds, New York's nickname as the City that Never Sleeps is no exaggeration. NYC is always buzzing, but it truly comes alive after dark, with enough restaurants, bars, lounges and clubs to take you into the wee hours. So how to decide where to go? From happy hour to late-night dancing, here’s our itinerary for a perfect night out in NYC.

An avid Italophile, Laura is always on the hunt for the next great travel trends, luxury hotels, best places to eat and drink, and hidden gems. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications. She also co-wrote "New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants," an award-winning guide to the city's speakeasy scene.

See recent posts by Laura Itzkowitz

Bemelman’s Bar
Bemelman’s Bar
Bemelman’s Bar

5:30 pm

It’s time to clock out and walk out. Kick off the evening with a classy start at Bemelman’s Bar. A favorite of celebs like Bill Murray and George Clooney, this old school Upper East Side haunt inside the Carlyle Hotel is just the place to people watch. On any given night, you’ll see a cross-section of New York society—young and old—seated at the tables along the walls covered in whimsical murals by Ludwig Bemelmans (author of the Madeline children’s books). You can bet the bartenders here make a killer Martini.

Frenchette food and wine

7:30 pm

From Uptown to Downtown. Hail a cab and catch a ride to Frenchette, the new hotspot by Balthazar alums Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr. Make sure you book a table in advance because this place is packed every night of the week. You’re gonna want to settle into the cushy leather booths and splurge on decadent French fare like duck frites, soft scrambled eggs with garlic butter-laced escargot, and the rotisserie lobster with curry butter. Wash it all down with one of the natural wines hand-picked by the restaurant’s excellent bar team and be sure to leave room for dessert. 


9:30 pm

Time for a little rooftop bar-hopping. Make your way across the East River to Brooklyn, where the options are nearly endless. On the sky-high side of things, Westlight, the swanky lounge by renowned chef Andrew Carmellini on the 22ndfloor of the William Vale Hotel charges a premium for its drinks but has the best views around. We’re super excited about the arrival of the Hoxton Williamsburg, which just opened with a breezy seaside-inspired rooftop bar. Just across the street, the Ides Bar at the Wythe is a Williamsburg mainstay with great cocktails, fantastic views, and an artsy vibe.

RELATED: The Best Hotels in Brooklyn 


Diamond Lil
Diamond Lil
Diamond Lil
Diamond Lil

10:30 pm

The night’s just getting started over at Output, Williamburg’s biggest nightclub in a converted warehouse. On big nights with headlining DJs, the line stretches around the block. If you’re not feeling the vibe, you could always catch a live show and go bowling at Brooklyn Bowl across the street or make your way north to Greenpoint to play some pool at Goldie’s, which always seems to be packed with hip locals who come for the divey ‘70s vibes and the solid selection of craft beer. More into a civilized nightcap? Diamond Lil—just up the street—serves awesome cocktails at very reasonable prices in a beautiful 1920s-inspired space replete with tin ceilings, forest green wallpaper, and cushy booths.

Book Hotels in NYC
Paulie Gee’s pizza
at Paulie Gee’s new slice shop

12:00 am

Hungry again? Grab a late-night slice at Paulie Gee’s new slice shop. The man is a Greenpoint institution with a dedicated following. His highly-anticipated slice shop serves classic and vegan pizza until 2am on weekends.

What to Wear on a Night Out in NYC

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