See and Be Seen at the Hottest Clubs in NYC

Sometimes all you really need is to lose yourself on the dance floor.

DJ booth at Outer Heaven on the Lower East Side
DJ booth at Outer Heaven on the Lower East Side | Photo courtesy of Outer Heaven
DJ booth at Outer Heaven on the Lower East Side | Photo courtesy of Outer Heaven

On any given night, New Yorkers can be found linking under disco balls, making memories (and/or a few mistakes) all in the name of a good time. And in a city as nightlife-centric as this, the Big Apple is certainly not short on both new and tried-and-true nightlife hotspots that provide everything from impressive DJ sets and “real post”-worthy photo opps to sultry make-out corners and lively dance floors. After a long week of cosplaying real-life adults with actual responsibilities, losing yourself in a steamy venue can basically make you new again. Here are the coolest clubs in NYC.

Interior of Laissez Faire in FiDi
Interior of Laissez Faire in FiDi | Photo courtesy of Laissez Faire

Clubs in Manhattan

Kips Bay
Pulling up to Georgia Room in the Freehand New York guarantees a wild night. Opened in 2021 and named after the iconic artist Georgia O’Keeffe, the 5,000-square-foot dance den offers a funky and lighthearted ambiance that attracts partygoers of all types. Kick the evening off early with a more casual cocktail in the adjacent Bar Calico before taking over the dance floor or attending one of its outrageously extra parties, like the upcoming New Year’s Eve bash that channels inspiration from opulent balls with a little rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic thrown in.

With a tagline of “only open if you are,” Jean’s is one of those “if you know, you know” hyper-NYC spots. Sharing the same space as its first-floor counterpart—a bistro also dubbed Jean’s—the basement club is open on select days of the week (although, you can usually count on Thursday–Saturday nights). With a wide range of music genres pumping from the speakers, we recommend checking out the IG account for what DJs and performers are slated for the weekend.

Financial District
Located below the Beekman Hotel, accessible by a cobblestone alley, and marked by a purple neon sign lies Laissez Faire. Opened at the end of this past summer, the recent addition to Manhattan’s nightlife crew has become a favorite for 20-somethings looking for a sexy, “who’s who” vibe. As the evening progresses, so does the space. At the top of the night, Laissez Faire is a sultry cocktail bar with light bites, further into the evening it transitions to a live music venue with jazz bands on stage, and finally as the night hits double digits the spot becomes a late-night club with DJs bumping house.

Lower East Side
Ronnie Flynn and Dylan Hales (the brains behind the buzzy The Flower Shop and Little Ways) revive the free-spirited energy of the early aughts with a massive disco ball chandelier, top tier set lists, cushy velvet banquettes, and gossip-worthy celebrity clientele. Located in the basement of the Moxy Lower East Side hotel, this spot is a reliable go-to when you want to dance (and maybe even pocket a phone number or two).

West Village
Specializing in stiff drinks, revelrous drag shows, and cabaret performances, plus seemingly endless hours of ‘80s disco jams, the basement of The Monster is the scene of many a late night for New York residents. First opened in 1970, the club has cemented itself as one of the great LGBTQIA+ nightlife institutions for its commitment to inclusivity, expression, and, of course, as a stellar spot to dance the night away. Open until 4 am every night of the week, pop by on a whim or snag a ticket to one of the upcoming shows.

Nebula certainly checks all the club essentials boxes. Within the expansive, multi-story space, there are LED panels hanging from the ceiling (that shift throughout the night based on the music), VIP tables, scattered banquettes, private party rooms, a 5,500-square-foot dance floor, and three bars. And, at the center of it all is a lifted DJ booth that has hosted some of the biggest music industry names.

Lower East Side
A self-professed microclub, Outer Heaven doubles as a sleek cocktail bar and heady music venue—depending on the time of night. Split into two sections, the bar area and the listening room, imbibers of the Lower East Side spot should expect a bustling crowd on the weekends with a rotation of house, techno, and disco music coming from the DJ box. Kick off your night early with an exploration through the club’s three beverage focuses: mezcal, sake, and orange wine.

Lower East Side
A concept from the Full:Life Hospitality Group (Creatures of All Kind, Make Believe), the 3,000-square-foot space features a state-of-the-art VOID sound system, infinity mirrors, a purple concrete bar, and a shag-carpeted “Boiler Room” for DJ sets. Sourcing talent from across the globe and known for playing a variety of deep house, disco, and more, check their website for upcoming events?

Avant Gardner in East Williamsburg
Avant Gardner in East Williamsburg | Photo courtesy of Avant Gardner

East Williamsburg
Since opening its doors in 2016, Avant Gardner has reigned supreme among NYC’s music venues. Simply put, the indoor/outdoor spot is massive, always packed, and a stellar spot for catching performances from artists who excel in genres from house music to electronic and dance. The courtyard space, Brooklyn Mirage, has shows from May through October, while indoor spaces The Kings Hall and The Great Hall are open year-round.

One thing Williamsburg residents can always count on is a warehouse-turned-dance club becoming a favorite spot. Ciao Ciao, a must-try, 1970s Rome-inspired cocktail bar and discoteca from the team behind Freehold Hospitality (Freehold Brooklyn, Freehold in the Park) features graffiti-covered brick walls, lounge areas, and a super-cool illuminated dance floor. Nightly DJ sets bump everything from disco to house, while the beverage program flaunts cocktails splashed with amaro and bitters, along with specialty Negronis.

East Williamsburg
Inspired to expand the number of Black-owned gay bars in New York City, spouses and business partners Charles Hughes and Richard Solomon started their nightlife portfolio with Lambda Lounge. Following the lounge’s success, the duo launched its sister concept, Club Lambda Brooklyn. The East Williamsburg nightclub welcomes visitors to experience safety, inclusivity, and unfiltered joy. Let loose within its dark and sleek space featuring pops of neon color and diverse DJ sets.

As far as Brooklyn clubs go, Elsewhere is undoubtedly a year-round staple. Embodying that free-spirited and underground energy of Bushwick, this three-story spot includes multiple stages, several dance floors, a rooftop bar (open during the warmer months), and an arts space. Among the regularly scheduled events, curated happenings thrown by local collectives and tons of DJ sets and live band performances round out the offerings. Become a member for discounts on tickets, coat check, merch, and more.

Priding itself on outlandish parties, wildly fun energy, and a beautifully inclusive nature, this institution in Brooklyn encourages revelers to celebrate their eccentricities and express themselves on the dance floor. Think aerialists hanging from above, bumping DJ sets, and themed nights that bring out everyone’s individuality. Pop in on a random night (show up early or you run the risk of being stuck in line!) or buy event tickets in advance.

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Izzy Baskette is the New York City Staff Writer for Thrillist. Talk to her at or find her on Instagram.