Two important facts you probably weren't aware of: 1) Ants stretch when they wake up in the morning, and 2) December 21st is the longest night of the year (we're talking 15hrs of straight darkness), which also makes it the perfect chance to celebrate what should be the "Best Night of Your Life", assuming you spend it hitting the city's best Thrillist-approved happy hour spots, cocktail bars, and dives, 'til the sun pops back up. Check out our picks for NYC's best party dinner spots below, and make sure to fully map out a perfect evening with our itinerary builder.
The Downtown location of this mega-resto features one of the most striking interiors in the city (two giant Buddhas!!!!), hand-pulled noodles, and private skyboxes where you could seriously blow-out your night.
From EMM Group and Chef Hung Huynh, this multi-level, Asian-influenced seafood spot sports a rooftop that's basically a club already -- it's perfect for a rowdy encounter with a crispy white snapper or king crab spaghetti.
With a partying option already built in downstairs and fortifying options like lobster pizza, this a great place to start or end a night. Also: if you don't order it, you'll probably be the only person there not drinking Champagne.
Venture into this subterranean joint and be prepared to be schooled in the ways of house-specialty pulque. Be sure to down flights of mescal, or make your way through their epic list of tequilas. Oh right, also, there's dinner.
Toro's lively without being over-the-top, marrying a "big communal" feel with truly next-level tapas -- the perfect ramp-up for the insanity that lurks nearby in the Meatpacking District.
With small plates and sushi abounding (lamb gyoza! Black edamame! Lobster rolls!), you can graze before filling up with more essential beverages later in the night. Bonus: they've got the in-house Stardust Lounge, where you can karaoke
"All I Want For Christmas Is You"! man songs.
Beauty & Essex
Lower East Side
Hidden behind an actual pawn shop, this consistently mobbed LES bi-level-er plies you with enough food/drink-fuel to match the energy levels it maintains. This's kinda the perfect staging area for heading elsewhere once you've had your fill.
Tadashi Ono's izakaya joint on Kenmare has karaoke and sushi -- which's one seriously good pairing.
Pulqueria provides the authentic Mexican atmosphere with blue and white tile floors, woven patterned ceilings, and traditional beverages from fermented agave sap (pulques). Alongside the cocktails, feast on a full menu of eats including eight types of tacos, stuffed masa pockets, and tuna ceviche toastadas.
LAVO is an Italian restaurant upstairs and nightclub downstairs. In this Midtown East hotspot, which comes to us from the creators of TAO Asian Bistro, the sky's the limit.
Catch 'em if you can (sorry, we had to). Catch has got fresh seafood, stellar cocktails, and just about the liveliest group of Midtowners you've ever seen in the WV.
TAO Downtown is an establishment meant to bring that grandeur you know and love so well, to the grit of downtown city blocks. Fancy cocktails, impressive finger-food fare as well as heartier meals float around the dressed-up and sparkling interior.
After establishing the first Toro in Boston, chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette brought their tapas operation to New York. Set in a warehouse-like space on the western edge of Chelsea, Toro serves shareable Spanish plates that revolve around meat and seafood. To experience the full menu, start with a house cocktail and a few pinchos before moving on to hot and cold tapas, like chorizo chickpea stew and Galician octopus with potatoes. Be sure to save room for the paella, made the traditional Valencia way with shrimp, mussels, clams, chorizo, and chicken.
Beauty & Essex is a multi-level clubby restaurant and bar from the folks behind LES brunch behemoth Stanton Social Club. The pawn shop facade opens into a glam dining room filled with a high-rolling clientele. The menu features trendy food like steak tartare, amped up avocado toast, and lobster tacos.