How to Celebrate New Year's Eve in NYC Without Spending a Ton of Money

Published On 12/27/2016 Published On 12/27/2016
Sara Norris/Thrillist
Courtesy of Chumley's
Evan Sung
Guang Xu
Left Bank
Joey Wehner
Jon Bilous/shutterstock
DW labs Incorporated/shutterstock
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1. Sunday In Brooklyn 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

It just may be possible to spend an entire Sunday in Brooklyn at this three-story Williamsburg culinary complex housed in the former Isa space. From veterans of Eleven Madison Park, Catch, and Sadelle's, Sunday in Brooklyn combines a market, bar, coffeehouse, and sit-down restaurant into one all-day spot. Chef Jaime Young (Atera) helms the kitchen of the second-floor dining room, where the modern American menu follows a no-waste principle and focuses on smoked fish, fermented vegetables, and freshly baked bread. In the first-floor marketplace, you'll find many of the unconventional ingredients from the chef's pantry for sale.

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2. Videology 308 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Williamsburg's Videology is a gathering place for film buffs and drinkers to commingle in a non-traditional movie theater format. With a full bar in the front that leads to a 40-seat screening room -- filled with tables, chairs, and shelves lined with VHS tapes -- Videology is the kind of place you go to drink a pint and watch a film from the Hollywood canon (no of-the-moment blockbusters here). The packed programming schedule includes everything from Lord of the Rings marathons and screenings with live scorings to Twin Peaks and Wes Anderson bingo.

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3. Chumley's 86 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

The beloved West Village speakeasy, known for its literary following since 1922, is in its second incarnation after being felled in 2007 by a fallen chimney. Don’t expect a clone though: restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone of Sushi Nakazawa turned it into a full-scale restaurant with an upscale edge that's most obvious in the food and drink. The menu features elegant takes on American classics, like a burger made with bone marrow and fried chicken with cognac consommé. There are hints of the past in the decor, though, with black-and-white photos of the writerly cats who frequented the old joint, like F. Scott Fitzgerald, and book jackets from their famous novels.

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4. Gun Hill Tavern 780 E 133rd St, Bronx, NY 10454

At Gun Hill Tavern, a celebrated Bronx brewer and distiller fulfills its highest purpose: providing a space of its own for people to eat and drink… and drink some more. The industrial-feeling tavern is larger and better equipped than the taproom at Gun Hill's Williamsbridge production house, and is augmented by beers from nearby partner, Port Miller Distillery. A horseshoe-shaped bar is outfitted with 20 draft lines, 14 of which pour the brewer's own labels. The food and drink go hand-in-hand: weekend brunches are beer-filled, and the brand's whiskey is used to spice up bowls of ice cream -- how else would a distiller do dessert?

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5. Hail Mary 68 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

From husband and wife culinary duo Hisham and Sohla Wel-Waylly, this Greenpoint restaurant is reimagining the classic American diner in an upscale but laid-back way. Aside from classics like bacon and eggs, an American cheese-topped burger, and a turkey club, the menu features more experimental dishes like duck hearts and spaghetti with uni butter. The 74-seat space includes an old-school soda fountain area up front. You'll know you're in the right place when you see the painting of two Virgin Marys wearing diner hats at the entrance.

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6. The Cannibal 113 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

This cozy, low-key spot is tiny on the inside, with only wooden stools and metal counters for seating, but opens up to a heated patio with an additional 40 seats. The meat-heavy menu focuses on tapas-style plates and charcuterie with remarkable exceptions like an entire pig's head. The beer and wine menu is extensive and includes a broad range of both domestic and European options. Refrigerators full of beer bottles line one wall, and patrons are invited to pluck their choices right out. This is a great date spot as long as neither of you are into the whole veggie-only thing.

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7. Bessou 5 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012

Japanese comfort food gets the New York treatment at Bessou, which translates roughly to "second home" in Japanese. After working for contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, owner Maiko Kyogoku was inspired to share her own love of Japan's culture with food, instead of art, as her medium. The menu is a conglomeration of Kyogoku's Upper West Side upbringing as a child of first-generation immigrants, and much of the recipes are influenced by her mother's cooking. Expect homestyle fusion dishes like scallion pancakes with tofu aioli, cold udon noodles with an assortment of tempura, and Japanese fried chicken.

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8. Left Bank 117 Perry St, New York, NY 10014

It’s appropriate that this pan-European bistro from the team behind The Mermaid Inn and The Red Cat bears the name of Paris' Left Bank neighborhood: its West Village locale has the same once-bohemian, now-upscale air as the artsy, gallery-laden streets near the Seine. This isn't strict brasserie food though -- Italian and French flavors mingle in dishes like bacon-tossed scallops, Bolognese tagliatelle, and a burger with fontina cheese and caramelized onions. The calm neighborhood atmosphere and a rotating collection of modern artworks (curated by a friend of the owners) beg you to linger as you slowly sip your wine.

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9. Sweet Afton 30-09 34th St, Astoria, NY 11103

Sweet Afton steps into the neighborhood bar role on Astoria's 34th Street with an old-turned-new feel accentuated by mismatched chairs, recycled tables, and a bar made out of shipping crates. Local beers and whiskeys please locals who come by in the evenings, as does a menu of reliable comfort foods like mac & cheese, deep-fried Brooklyn pickles, and Pat LaFrieda burgers with state-made bacon. Sweet Afton rises above simple beer bar status with a buzzy cocktail line-up, among which the spicy The Monarch (with tequila mezcal, pineapple, and lime) is a standout.

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10. Brooklyn Night Bazaar 165 Banker St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

It's impossible not to find something you're into at Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a flea market/restaurant/concert venue mash-up housed in a 15,000sqft space right off the Manhattan Ave G stop in Greenpoint. Once a Polish catering hall, the three-floor building now has an Art Deco sensibility with multiple performance spaces, wacky carpeting, and mirror-plated walls. An onsite bar and restaurant churns out fried chicken and cocktails, sating shoppers on the hunt for vintage goods and local crafts. Don't come without a trip to the basement where karaoke, arcade games, ping-pong, and mini-golf complete the funhouse experience.

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11. Carnegie Deli 854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Carnegie Deli is a city food landmark in Midtown West that can get a little clogged with tourists (and New Yorkers, if we're being honest), but is still well worth your time. Pick up the half-pastrami, half-corned beef Woody Allen, which was named in the director's honor after he featured the deli as the backdrop in Broadway Danny Rose. Pair your sandwich (on rye, always on rye) with pickles and matzoh ball soup and you're golden... and incredibly full.

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12. iPic Theaters at Fulton Market 11 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038

iPic Theaters offers one of the most over-the-top indulgent movie-going experiences in New York. The deluxe megaplex features eight screening rooms, where premium seats are synonymous with La-Z-Boy recliners and lobster rolls, filet mignon sliders, and unlimited popcorn replace king-size bags of M&Ms and the slightly stale, artificially colored popcorn of traditional movie theaters. Wines-by-the-glass and entire shakers of cocktails round out of the beverages, and all food and drink is served to your seat by discrete staffers throughout the flick. That's only if you opt for first-class seating though -- less prime seats are available and though they're still cushy, you'll have to buy your own snacks at the concession counter (an unimaginable burden).