8 Best Karaoke Bars in NYC to Sing and Drink the Night Away

Baby Grand

New York’s karaoke scene can seem a bit intimidating—especially when an off-Broadway actress on her night off belts out a perfect rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You before you even up the nerve to put your name down on the list. But it’s worth exploring—even if you just go to watch. From dive bar gems to glittery Koreatown palaces, here are eight of NYC’s best karaoke bars.

Both East Village locations are dark, divey blasts. While there are larger, private rooms in the back that can be rented for $8 per person (complete with flatscreens and Saran-wrapped wireless mics), the best way to karaoke at either Sing Sing is in the main barroom. There, in the company of complete strangers, you can practice your best Ozzy Osbourne wail, Mick Jagger swagger or R&B siren call. Best of all, at just $2 a song you can save all your money for pints of Sapporo and sake shots.

This upscale Midtown karaoke bar has something for everyone—from drinks, to songs, to vintage stereo equipment. If you’re the type of karaoke rock star who travels alone, you can stroll into Radio Star for a couple of drinks at the bar where singing is a group activity. Or, if you’re the shy type who prefers to sing only in the company of your crew, there are nine different private rooms, which can accommodate up to 40 people. Best of all, Radio Star has one of the most ridiculously affordable open bars: The starting rate for an open bar featuring unlimited beer, well liquor and wine is only $20 per person, per hour. If that doesn’t encourage you to sing, we don’t know what will.

Identified only by its inconspicuous awning, this Chinatown den is one of our favorite secret spots to sing. One of the only karaoke bars in town where, depending on the night, you can spot either a 60-year-old Chinese man singing Cantonese classics or Greta Gerwig and her crew holding down the mic, Upstairs hosts a melange of artists, celebrities and neighborhood locals who come together in the name of karaoke. Whatever night you go, make sure to warm up your pipes with a winning combo of baijiu and Tsing Tao.

This spot is perfect for groups. For $8 per person, per hour, you can choose from 18 rooms where you can belt out your favorite jams in complete privacy. Our favorite time to go is during happy hour (7 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly) when room rates are half off and sake bombs are $5.  With an extensive list of contemporary hits, which are constantly being added to and updated (just check their website), you’ll never wonder if Karaoke Boho has the latest Drake track.

While “quaint” and “cute” are appropriate adjectives to describe this tiny karaoke bar, they barely scratch the surface of its charm. Regularly packed with novices and karaoke pros alike, Baby Grand offers a small but energetic experience. All songs cost $2 to sing, the cocktails are better than you’ll find at 99.9 percent of karaoke bars, beers are cheap and, best of all, there’s occasional live guitar accompaniment. Just make sure to get there early because this gem fills up quick.

It’s pretty much impossible to have a bad night at this Midtown Japanese karaoke lounge—unless, of course, you’re allergic to fun, hate karaoke or can’t stand sushi. While singing at the bar is an option, we prefer the luxurious private rooms and party packages. For only $45 a person you get two hours of karaoke bliss, well cocktails or sparkling wine, appetizers and a deluxe sushi platter. While liquor, raw fish, wild dancing and scream-singing seem like a dangerous combination, we assure you there’s no better way to spend a Friday night.

If B-Movie director John Waters owned a karaoke bar, Planet Rose would be it. Dark, divey and dirty, this sleaze-tastic bar even has zebra-print sofas. A night at this East Village karaoke den is a wild romp that makes you feel like you’re back in the glory days of the East Village. Beers and well liquor are cheap, and communal singing is the only option. We suggest you start the night with a sneering rendition of the Sex Pistol’s Anarchy in the UK. Just make sure you don’t break the couches bouncing around the room in sheer punk glee.

A “best of” NYC karaoke list would not be complete without this semi-secret bar in Koreatown. Packed with live DJs, giant flat screen TVs playing the latest K-pop music videos, and delicious lychee martinis to whet your singing voice, this this neon-washed lounge is a guaranteed good time. With daily specials like Monday night $7 Soju Bombs, $20 unlimited beer on Wednesday nights and free karaoke at the bar on Thursdays, it’s hard to stay away. To cap everything off, they even have regulation-sized, reservation-only competition beer pong tables. Did someone say dream bar?