How best to spend a night in New York City? You’ve already seen the best movies in theaters. You’ve already wandered the streets of Brooklyn in search of quirky street art. You’ve already taste-tested the “best” pizza spots and beer halls in the city. So what’s left? Bet you didn’t think of trying out a piano bar! Some of the most fun you can have is singing along at the top of your lungs to your favorite tunes alongside a great piano player with a good drink in your hand – so here’s a list of the best places to do just that.
Brandy’s Piano Bar
235 E. 84th St.
New York, NY 10028
Brandy’s is an Upper East Side staple. If you live around here, you’ve heard of Brandy’s. As its website boasts, it’s “the place where incredible friendships begin” – and whether you’re singing along to a Billy Joel song or clinking glasses with the guy next to you, you’ll definitely be meeting new people and making friends. What better way to spend a night than with some quirky locals and a few beers around the piano?
Don’t Tell Mama
343 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
If Broadway is your thing, then you’ll want to stop by the Don’t Tell Mama restaurant, piano bar and cabaret. Filled with seasoned actors, singers and dancers, this bar will keep you entertained all night long. Every night, starting at 9 p.m., the bar is alive with rousing renditions of your favorite songs. If you’re feeling courageous enough, you’re more than welcome to stand in front of the audience and try your hand at leading the crowd.
61 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10014
One of the best dueling piano bars in town, this downtown spot has been around for over 60 years. Open every night of the year, Duplex boasts some pretty fantastic piano playing. It’s not every dinner that you get served by a waiter who can also hold a tune and crack a joke at the same time. Live music and open mic last all night from 9 p.m. until 4 a.m.
Marie’s Crisis Cafe
59 Grove St.
New York, NY 10014
Marie’s has been called a “special” place by many a visitor and there’s really no other word for it. If you’re into Broadway show tunes and love sing-alongs, this is the hangout you’ve been looking for. It’s a place where you can be comfortable showing up by yourself, knowing that you’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals who are just really into the piano and its tunes. The cafe is a tiny place and often referred to as a gay bar, but all are welcome in this favorite of Broadway bars.
at the Carlyle Hotel
35 E. 76th St.
New York, NY 10021
The Carlyle is one of those hotels that simply exudes class and wealth. When you walk into the bar and listen to the piano men, you’ll understand. Sounds of Gershwin, Ellington, Strayhorn and other American jazz greats drift from the bar on a regular basis. Unlike most piano bars, this one charges a cover, anywhere from $15 to $30 per person depending on the night. The piano bar attracts a mostly upper class group of older gentlemen, but if you’re in the mood for something more upscale than the typical booze-and-karaoke bar, you want to check out Bemelmans.
Jennifer is a writer, reader, crafter, traveler and New Yorker. She works in midtown New York City for non-profit organizations. Her degrees are in communication studies and art history.You can contact Jennifer at @egyptologist. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.