Click through for the 29 coolest NYC hot spots—and what to wear to each of 'em.
When you're looking to dazzle visiting guests (or, ahem, Instagram followers), here's your opportunity to show them bright lights, big city without heading for the chaos of Times Square. Show these venues you can hold your own with a bold patterned pant, a tee from your favorite band, and a killer pair of heels.
Feeling the sand beneath your winter boots is a strangely awesome feeling, but so is everything else in this Williamsburg surf shrine. The food is amazing, the drinks come in tiki glasses, and vintage surf videos play via the bar's projector.
Surf Bar, 139 North 6th Street (at Bedford Avenue); Brooklyn; 718-302-4441.
If the bright lights and sometimes-cheesy decorations aren't enough to reel you into this Chinatown dive, the cheap drinks will. Their menu is as diverse as the crowd, with everything (literally) from a cheeseburger to pork dumplings.
Tropical 128,128 Elizabeth Street (between Broome and Grand streets) 212-925-8219.
The Christmas light decorations and perfect Indian food make this BYOB staple the ultimate wacky go-to for visiting guests (not to mention an Instagram photo sesh waiting to happen).
Royal Bangladesh, 93 1st Avenue (at 6th Street); 212-674-6209.
Mix it up for a later date with a tough take on a pretty look. Add some edge to a flirty dress with a babelicious leather jacket and a great pair of booties.
Nice and Easy
We get it — it's getting cold out there and sometimes you just can't bring yourself to dress up. Feeling under the weather, tired, or just really don't care? Go for a look that's cute and comfortable with a great beanie and a cute pair of sneaks. Pants are hard to put on anyway, so you might as well make them the focal point of the outfit.
This newly-opened extension of Candle Cafe East serves an environmentally-conscious customer with eco-cocktails and organic fair. Order one of their "Farmacy" drinks like the Flu and Cold Fighter for a stuffy nose and make yourself at home.
Candle Cafe West, 2427 Broadway (between 89th and 90th streets); 212-472-0970.
The Ear Inn
Housed in an 1817 Federal townhouse, this bar reminds us of our crazy aunt's living room in the best way possible. The friendly staff, generous drinks, and makeshift outdoors area make this spot one of our faves on the West side. Just remember to leave your iPhone behind —the Ear is a cell-free zone.
The Ear Inn, 236 Spring Street (between Greenwich and Washington streets); 212-226-9060.
Show off your adventurous side with one of these nightclub alternatives. Let your outfit reflect your boldness with a quirky accessory and colored leather pants.
Do or Dine
Their inventive menu (which includes their now-infamous foie gras donuts) brought them attention, but Do or Dine has maintained its street cred through consistently good food and service. Careful not to miss this gem, the sign can be a tough one to spot.
Do or Dine, 1108 Bedford Avenue (between Gates and Lexington avenues); Brooklyn; 718-684-2290.
Nicholas Kirkwood Feather Boot, $1,390, available at
Elizabeth Charles. Marc by Marc Jacobs Goodbye Columbus Top Handle Bag, $548, available at Shopbop.
Girls Night Din
Where to go with the girls... when you're looking for guys. Go big or go home in a bright feminine dress, funky pumps, and a dainty bag that won't weigh you down.
While we never need an excuse to visit Miss Lily's, nothing gets us ready for a night out quite like the record-covered walls. You won't be disappointed with anything you order, but take our suggestion and try the tropical sangria if you're feeling choosey.
Miss Lily's, 132 West Houston Street (at Sullivan Street); 646-588-5375.
Never say never in this West Village mainstay. Loud and packed, this dive has all the makings for an epic girls' night out.
Automatic Slim's, 733 Washington Street (at Bank Street); 214-645-8660.
This semi-triangular area of Greenpoint houses Enid's, Matchless, and Manhattan Inn — all fun places to dance and all swarming with (definitely sweaty, probably skater) dudes. Matchless plays host to a more subdued group of drinkers and a healthy menu of unhealthy bar snacks while Manhattan Inn and Enid's have a slightly more club-like atmosphere full of patrons ready to dance the night away.
Enids, 560 Manhattan Avenue (at Driggs Avenue); Brooklyn; no phone. Matchless, 557 Manhattan Avenue (at Driggs Avenue); Brooklyn; 718-383-5333; Manhattan Inn, 632 Manhattan Avenue (at Nassau Avenue); Brooklyn; 718-383-0885.
Tribeca Grand Hotel
While Tribeca Grand is no stranger to hosting parties, lately it's been hosting an impressive DJ lineup. Grab a snack (a lobster slider snack, that is) in the hotel lounge and move to the Church Bar where the party really starts.
Tribeca Grand Hotel, 2 Sixth Avenue (at Walker Street); 212-519-6600.