A guide to hotspots for under and over 21

Students come from all over the world to attend college in New York. It’s a city that’s loaded with a multitude of cultures, amazing food, trendy fashion and a non-stop nightlife scene. So, why aren’t you out and about? If you need ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a young adult or over the age of 21, there’s plenty to do. It is the city that never sleeps, after all!

Under 21

1. Nightclub – Webster Hall (https://www.websterhall.com)

This multi-faceted, hot spot serves as a concert venue, nightclub and lounge on various evenings. A 20-year-old Fordham student said, “The club I like most is Webster Hall. It’s a three story club with several rooms within each floor, and in each room there’s a different atmosphere that compliments the different genres [of music] that are played in those rooms.” It’s one of the longest-running nightclubs in New York City and often has a good-looking, young crowd and fresh new artists on the line-up for performances. Check the events calendar on their site for schedules and pricing, but tickets rarely breach the $25 mark. Keep in mind that Thursdays are always packed during their “Girls Night Out,” and Fridays are fun during their Club Nights. Everyone must be at least 19 years old to enter year-round.

2. Karaoke – Lemongrass Grille

If you’re looking to make your own music and fun, try this Thai restaurant and karaoke spot at 84 William Street. The karaoke lounge-area in front is small and riddled with suits that are looking to loosen up after a long day in the Financial District during the week, but it’s also home to local Pace students who frequent the place a little later in the evening. The dining area in back is large enough to host you and 30 of your friends, with mediocre Thai food at reasonable prices, but the real draw is the thrill of singing in front of strangers. Play it safe by ordering food in the karaoke area if there’s only a few in your group, and tip your waitress very well – they know their regulars and they’re extra nice if you return the favor.

3. Bull Riding – Johnny Utah’s restaurant (https://www.johnnyutahs.com)

If you want to pair your dinner with a little more thrill, try bull riding at Johnny Utah’s. The 300 pound bucking bull sits in the middle of the restaurant so all the patrons can see you try to attempt to tame the beast. Best part is, it’s free to anyone over the age of 18. Utah’s also has special events on a rotating basis, like celebrations for the SuperBowl or Cinco de Mayo, and they periodically have Professional Bull Riders frequent the spot and even karaoke on Wednesdays. The classic American and Southwestern food is delicious also.

4. Poetry Slam – Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe (https://www.nuyorican.org/index.php)

This artsy-jazzy venue has poetry slams and poetry performances about love, loss, society, hate, racism and countless other topics. Friday night Poetry Slams are highly entertaining with professional and novice poets using spoken word to excite, and sometimes shock, the crowd along with a hilarious host generating a hype-factor. Tickets are $10 and entry is 10 p.m. but seats (and the floor) fill up very quickly, so the suggested arrival time at 9:15 p.m. is even cutting it close.

5. Comedy Club – Comix (https://www.comixny.com)

Comedy shows at Comix have established a lot of well-known comedians, and it even boasts drop-ins by big names such as Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin and Cedric the Entertainer. Comix has shows every night of the week except Sunday, but Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular and busiest times. You must be 18 to be admitted, buying tickets in advance is highly recommended, and then once you’re there, there is a two drink minimum, even for the non-alcoholic variety.

6. Hookah – Luxor Restaurant, Lounge & Bar (https://luxorloungeny.com)

The vibe around the Greenwich Village area is the epitome of cool for college students, and it seeps into this small but laid-back hookah lounge on MacDougal Street. They have 30 flavors of hookah, which you can mix and match between you and a couple of friends. But keep the group you’re with to a minimum at this spot, there are only a handful of booths and tables to sit at.

Over 21

1. Nightclub – Marquee (https://www.marqueeny.com)

You can find something from every crowd at Marquee on any given night. The Euro crowd can enjoy the electronic and house music on Tuesday and Friday nights on the main floor, while hip hop is spun by the DJ upstairs. Thursdays are infamous for being the toughest night to gain admittance since it’s frequented by celebrities and models. If you’re having a birthday or you’ve got money to blow, invest in bottle service, which gets you the VIP treatment and a sweet hostess with sparklers shooting from your liquor of choice. Dress to impress here – doormen are very particular about the look they let in.

2. Bowling – Brooklyn Bowl (https://www.brooklynbowl.com)

Sure, you can go to your local alley, but do they have live performances onstage to the tune of big names lke Guestlove or Big Boi, a plate of smoked trout salad, or a shake with Nutella and a shot of bourbon, and the nicest staff around? Brooklyn Bowl uses a valet service that hand delivers your shoes, food, drinks, or socks even, right to your lane (including your check at the end of the night). This alley charges by the clock though, and not the game, so it’s best to know ahead of time how much you are looking to spend before you get carried away in the festivities.

3. Outside Party – Water Taxi Beach (https://www.watertaxibeach.com)

There are three locations including one in Long Island City, South Street Seaport and Governors Island. Each location is loaded with sand, bars, food and music at a venue that’s outdoors day and night. Music is usually pumping by a DJ spinning live or a concert on special occasions. Entrance is a mere $10 but the view of Manhattan from the LIC locale is priceless.

4. College Bar – Bar None (https://www.barnonenyc.com)

This spot is the quintessential college dive bar for local NYU students. It features a class Power Hour from 11 to midnight with $3 beer and mixed drinks, as well as various fish bowls and $3 shots on Tuesday nights. Friday and Saturday nights after 10 p.m. are the best nights to crawl down to Bar None if you’re looking to dance. There’s a larger room in the back where a DJ is posted up above a mostly NYU crowd dancing late into the night.

5. Good Food – Blockheads (https://www.blockheads.com)

Also known as Benny’s Burritos at one of its seven locations, this restaurant has delicious Mexican-style food and cheap margaritas. Their food comes in big portions and is made from lean meats and fresh vegetables. But their special go-to item is the $3 margarita, which can be infused with a variety of different flavors. Also delectable is the Black Flower drink, which is a hybrid of the margarita and sangria. There’s also an option to put a mini-sized beer upside down into your margarita so they fuse into one potent beverage as you sip.

6. Cheap Drinks – Bourbon St (https://www.bourbonstreetnyc.com)

No one does penny-pinching like Bourbon St. Every single Wednesday through Saturday night they have a classic session of Beat the Clock with 50 cent beer from 9-10 p.m., $1 beers from 10 p.m.- midnight $2 beers from midnight-1 a.m., 50 cent beers again from 1-2 a.m., and then $2 beers until close.

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