Hey, gidday mates! We’ve run through where to get the best food and where to snap the best photos, so for my final set of NYC #notatourist travel tips in collaboration with Visa, let’s talk nightlife. First things first, here in America, you’re obliged to tip for service. Good or bad. The standard rule of thumb is $1 per drink if it’s something simple, and 20% if it’s something more complicated like a cocktail. And guys, it’s always safer to run around with a card than cash, because if you lose your card along the way, Visa will replace it wherever you are. Now without further ado, here’s where to go:
1. Black Market (on the corner of 7th Street and Avenue A, East Village): If you’re looking for a bar that you can sit around in for hours on end and hang with friends, listen to The Cure and The Smiths and The Rolling Stones and eat oysters and the best cheeseburger in town, Black Market is your spot. No but seriously, get the cheeseburger.
2. Miss Lily’s (on the opposite corner of 7th Street and Avenue A, East Village): Cool reggae, sexy reggaton and statuesque (aka six foot tall) waitresses delivering you pitchers of whatever your heart desires, plus delicious Jamaican jerk chicken and a dip that looks like guacamole except it’s white and very spicy. This place is perfect if you’re looking for an upbeat (read: loud) spot to pregame before you head out for the evening.
3. Cienfuegos (just a few doors south on the corner of 6th Street and Avenue A): Walk upstairs and you’ll find a Cuban bar complete with giant punch bowls + mismatched tea cups; tall wing-backed lounge chairs; and a cocktail named the Zombie that’s reportedly so strong that you’re only allowed to order one of them. You get your check in a vintage cigar box, then you can go on your merry way.
5. Up&Down (14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues): In my opinion, Up&Down is the best club in Manhattan. Hands down. You’re guaranteed to hear the latest, greatest hip hop, the crowd is extremely attractive, and you will definitely see at least one celebrity. I promise. Getting in can be a bit iffy, just FYI, unless you’re willing to throw down some $$$.
7. Handy Liquor Bar (Broome Street at Avenue of the Americas, Soho): I’ve never seen the inside of a pirate ship, but I imagine it would look quite a lot like this place. Think: Lots of wood panelling; all sorts of nooks and crannies with little chests that actually open up and have fun things inside (so far I’ve found a chess set, a plastic ring and a love letter); and a giant piano that isn’t used as a piano, but it used to house the DJ equipment. Jenny and I play here on a Saturday night, but on a Tuesday night they do karaoke. And I love karaoke!!
8. Bedlam (Avenue C between 3rd and 4th Streets next to the Citibank): From the outside, you might not even know this place exists; it’s just a simple black door with a bouncer standing out the front. But on a Friday night, it’s a whirling extravaganza of Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Ja Rule, with lasers, the biggest moose head you’ve ever seen, and towering drag queens. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Visa – money you can’t lose*. For more #notatourist inspiration and tips from around the globe click here.
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