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Top 10 Best Hip Hop Clubs in NYC

New York City, the birthplace of hip-hop music and the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, has been Ground Zero of the rap/hip-hop musical genre for four decades and counting. Grandmaster Flash and SugarHill Gang in the 70s. Run-DMC and The Beastie Boys in the 80s. LL Cool J, Jay-Z , Notorious B.I.G., and Nas in the 90s & aughts. A$AP Rocky, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B in the twentyteens. With the turn of the Roaring 20’s Part Deux seeing electronic dance music tapering off slightly and hip-hop demonstrating a resurgence, it is no surprise that New York will continue to enjoy another decade as the shining lighthouse beacon for the freshest and hottest hip-hop nightclubs on the planet.

Without further adieu, here is our updated list of today’s top hip-hop venues – both the upscale and the ratchet ones – in the city that never sleeps.

1. Tao Downtown

Dance floor @ Tao Downtown New York City

Tucked away within the grandeur of the downtown location of Tao Group’s eponymous restaurant is a hidden nightlife gem and “in the know” oasis (not so surprisingly) called… Tao Downtown.  Separated from the restaurant, the 2500 square foot drinks-only nightlife space has steadily kept a low-key profile while attracting wealthy Manhattanites and celebrities for late night/wee-hour cocktails, music, and dancing. A lot of newbs don’t even know there is nightclub there, as it is tucked away in the corner of the huge Tao complex away from the larger dining area. The opulently decorated club room is located one staircase down, and the ambiance is so intimate and dark that the place almost feels like a speakeasy. For those in the know, Tao Downtown remains one of the Meatpacking hotspots these days – especially on Tuesday nights when the fashion models come out to play – and it is a grand undertaking to gain entry on weekends. It is important to note that dining at the restaurant does not guarantee entry into the club; only a VIP table reservation or a personal invitation from Tao Group’s management team will suffice.

Upcoming events at Tao Downtown

2. Avenue NYC

Dance floor @ Avenue Nightclub NYC

Tao Group has done it again. A trendy crowd, stunning tapestries and paintings, and of course luxurious no-expenses-spared VIP bottle service makes Avenue one of the most desirable nightclub/lounges in all of New York City.

Meet Avenue, its velvet rope, its guest list, and its polite but firm bouncers: it should feel like you’ve earned something when you make it past these burly gatekeepers. And give Avenue some credit: although it may not come off as inviting, it does make the door rigmarole worth it. The self-described gastro-lounge is festooned with wood paneling, aristocratic portraits, tarnished mirrors and other trappings. Guests sashay on the enormous dance floor downstairs while a DJ spins pop and Girl Talk-inspired remixes up top. There’s a surprising menu of eclectic comfort food—everything from waffle fries to Kung Pao Chicken Satay to Pretzel Dogs. It’s oddly homey for a place like this, but don’t let the menu fool you: although reservations aren’t required, signing up for bottle service makes it a lot easier to get in, you can book bottle service at Avenue NYC here.

Upcoming events at Avenue

3. Up & Down NYC

bottom floor @ Up & Down Nightclub NYC

Every floor of Up & Down is an adventure, night by night and room by room. The upstairs maintains a high energy club atmosphere, while the downstairs takes on the role of a chill lounge that has the ability to go from chill to wild in 0-60, creating a back alley club feel. Balance is key when programming the club so that both floors are both vibrant.

“The music upstairs provides the atmosphere of a modern day nightclub, a mixed format of current hits and surprise performances while the downstairs is more of a musical scavenger hunt, covering all spectrums, from classics’ to music that is just a bit ahead of the curve.” Make the night special and easily book VIP bottle service reservations at Up & Down.

Upcoming events at Up & Down

4. The Blond

The Blond Nightclub NYC

A lot of clubs in the Meatpacking District and downtown are full of college kids and tourists who want to get plastered. The Blond started as one of those cool, super-chill spots for locals and has blossomed into a hotspot for well-heeled regulars and celebrity sightings. It’s got a good-looking fashionista crowd and everyone dresses the part, and hip-hop is always on the record. The venue boasts modern décor with burnished mirrors, velvet couches and bronze sculptures of people wearing masks in homage to the iconic “Eyes Wide Shut” movie. Atop the long bar are mushroom-shaped lamps made of copper, and coasters are printed with portraits of famous blond celebs like Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman and Candice Swanepoel.

After 11:30pm, the lines to get into The Blond typically spill around the corner, overseen by a couple of intimidating but professional bouncers. Though there’s no official dress code, it’s typical NYC: guys will get turned away for wearing shorts and t-shirts, while pretty girls in skimpy dresses and tight ripped jeans can magically move to the front of the line. The crowd there is a common NYC sight well: younger well-dressed model types trying to make it in the concrete jungle against older well-dressed gentlemen throwing around money and on the hunt like they’ve already figured out the law of that same jungle. While other exclusive ultra lounge in NYC can feel super stuffy, packed, and claustrophobic, the Blond is refreshingly spacious and airy, and decorated in comfort-inducing exquisite tones and textures.

Upcoming events at The Blond

5. Jane Ballroom

The Jane Ballroom - New York City nightclub

The Jane Ballroom, with its grand and eclectic décor, has hosted countless events and film shoots. The Ballroom is versatile and can accommodate smaller events on the Mezzanine level or larger functions in the entire space. Fridays and Saturdays are lively and the line can be long, but Thursday nights here are one of the best nightlife scenes in Lower Manhattan. The stunning Hudson River views from the Roof are unparalleled, and the interior Roof Bar is ideal for a more intimate gathering or to take a break from the heat on the dance floor. VIP bottle service requests for Jane Ballroom can be submitted here.

Upcoming events at Jane Ballroom

6. 1 OAK NYC

1OAK Nightclub New York City

After passing through a coat-check anteroom where lines of cursive are engraved in the wall, patrons find themselves in an expansive room with a ceiling of raw oak slats and a zigzagging black-and-white floor that sets an El Morocco tone. It’s official, you’ve made it to 1 Oak. The room is divided by a central black lacquered bar doling out $20 mixed drinks, and, in one corner, a VIP-type area with a roaring fireplace and giant artwork by Roy Nachum (designer of Southern Hospitality and Saucy) of a sexy nude flanked by buffalo. Beyond that area is a cruise-y outdoor smoking lounge partially enclosed by mirrored walls. Ostrich-leather banquettes line under lit brick walls covered by metallic gold curtains, offsetting a bizarre centerpiece—another large artwork of a young blindfolded boy with two horses. In the front of the room there’s a D.J. podium outfitted with what looks and sounds like a very pricey sound system and in the back, risers for those happy to sit without silver Dom Pérignon buckets in front of them.  Be sure to make a VIP table reservation and book bottle service at 1 Oak NYC here.

Upcoming events at 1 OAK

7. Hotel Chantelle

Dance floor at Hotel Chantelle - New York City nightclub

Not actually a hotel, Ravi Patel’s LES spot is named after a French World War II safe house. Hotel Chantelle is retro in design as unmarked doors transport you into Patel’s version of 1940’s Paris. The room exudes warmth as dark mahogany wood panels blend with the black leather pin tucked banquettes under the glow of flickering exposed bulbs, candles, and a gold floral pattern that bounces off dark wallpaper. Cozy up in the banquettes or sit at the bar, where friendly bartenders are happy to explain the cocktail list, which features modern twists on old-school classics. They’ll lead you towards three concoctions: The Pineapple Express (jalapeño-infused tequila, pineapple, and pomegranate), Libertine (gin, cucumber, lime juice), and the Kir Yvette (sparkling rosé, lemon juice). Mix up your night with the attached rooftop restaurant or underground dance club. Be sure to book your VIP table and bottle service reservations at Hotel Chantelle here.

Upcoming events at Hotel Chantelle

8. Goldbar

Goldbar - New York City nightclub

For over a decade, Goldbar has been a top nightlife destination in New York City. Famous for it’s golden skulls, 12’ vaulted gold leaf ceilings and crystal chandeliers, Goldbar embodies sophistication. The standout team behind Goldbar is dedicated to offering an exceptional and genuine nightlife experience. The décor, fit for royalty, sets the mood for lavish indulgence. With an impressive cocktail menu, created by renowned mixologist Tim Cooper, Goldbar is devoted to innovative drinks, with only the freshest ingredients and top-notch spirits. You can book bottle service at Goldbar here.

Upcoming events at Goldbar

9. The DL

The DL Rooftop - New York City nightclub

The DL is one of the friendliest, least pretentious, and high-energy nightclubs not just in the Lower East Side, but across all of New York City. This bass-rattling multi-level venue is fully equipped with an outdoor rooftop wood deck patio with retractable roof where the main dance floor congregates around a DJ spinning popular open format tunes. 
Down below, the second level of the DL is a darker, grimier no-frills hip-hop sweatbox that has become the calling card for LES nightspots over the years; the entrance level first floor is an inviting bar/lounge with modern tunes playing in the background. Views of the New York City skyline, strong drinks, great music, and a younger crowd full of college students – mostly from NYU, Hunter, Baruch, & the Manhattan fashion schools – early twentysomething Tri-State area professionals looking to blow off steam, and visiting tourists gone wild make the DL a must-visit option for weekend fun.  Be sure to book this hot spot in advance, you can submit a bottle service request for The DL here.

Upcoming events at The DL

10. Sky Room

Sky Room Rooftop Nightclub - New York City

Occupying the 33rd and 34th floor of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Times Square by Marriott and the Four Points Times Square by Sheraton, the bi-level ultra lounge transports guests to a high energy oasis atop 40th Street. Sky Room offers five distinct spaces: the North Terrace with its retractable roof, the South Terrace with its private cabanas, the Times Square Lounge, the Cube Balcony, and the Candlelight Lounge. 

The North Terrace on the 34th floor provides a comfortable environment all year round with a fully retractable glass roof cover and panoramic glass walls, offering stunning views of the Times Square area. One standout highlight of the venue is the South Terrace on the top level, which features plush furniture and soothing ambient lighting amidst a lush landscape, set up to offer a luxurious space where guests can truly enjoy being in the heart of Manhattan, with views of the Hudson River and the Empire State Building. Enjoy sweeping city views and book bottle service at Sky Room here.

Upcoming events at Sky Room


Want to discover everything New York nightlife has to offer? See the latest clubs, events, and pricing in the Discotech Mobile App. Or you can call/text us at +1 (415) 735-6716 for help planning your party weekend in the Big Apple!

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  • We’ve been featured on BBC Travel and we are also highly reviewed on Yelp! and in both the App Store and Google Play.
  • 6+ years experience in the NYC nightlife game, we’ve also successfully serviced dozens of corporate entities and large groups of 50 or more clients.
  • What we know from our experience is this: like the Big Apple itself, party planning is NOT for the novice nor for the faint of heart.

Failure to plan ahead – even if it’s just days or hours ahead – is one of the biggest mistakes that we see countless NYC customers make on a weekly basis, and it inevitably results in financial and logistical headaches – and embarrassing moments at the velvet ropes of entry – that could easily have been avoided.

Mekka to Replace Pacha NYC?

Pacha NYC may soon be reborn in the form of a spanking new 36,000 square foot club Mekka! Well, maybe.

Club Mekka is the second proposed club as of this year planned to take over the legendary Hell’s Kitchen space where for 10 strong years Pacha NYC stood. In January 2016, after a decade of lineups that regularly sported some of the largest names in the world of dance music, Pacha NYC called it a day and closed it’s doors.

Earlier this year, the building that once housed one of New York’s most happening and most buzzing clubs at 618 W 46th, was proposed to be taken over by Club FREQ, a nightclub proposed by Space Ibiza’s co-owner Antonio Piacquadio. When this proposal fell through, another not so appealing one popped up about turning the space into an art gallery that hosted occasional acoustic events.

Let’s fast forward to as of a week ago, after all the plans for the space that fell through earlier in the year, nightlife entrepreneur Glenn Raymond has now proposed a 36,000 sq ft dance music ‘mecca’, in the form of club Mekka that combines plans from both failed proposals!

Speaking about the project, Raymond said: “My experience is as a fan of the music first and foremost… I have DJ’d and thrown parties… I guess you can say Mekka is owned by a fan who wants the fans to have fun.”

On Saturday nights the space would serve as a nightclub, but on other days it would serve as an art gallery and venue for acoustic performances and also play home to a ‘museum of nightlife’ and ‘dance music hall of fame.’

While they are proposing for the space to open in 2018, it is worth noting that at this point, still no permit has been issued and nor have any floor plans been submitted, but that said, the goal is for the club to open in 2018 with bookings geared being towards underground music.

Will Club Mekka, the five story club, geared towards sounds of the underground actually be a reality for New Yorkers in the coming year? Well, we will just have to wait and see how this plan pans out!

Cielo Nightclub to Close After 15 Year Run

NYC‘s historic nightlife scene may be hardly recognizable in a matter of years. Following a long list of closures of New York nightclubs, including Pacha NYC and Webster Hall, historic nightclub Cielo is reportedly shutting its doors at the end of the year.

In a post to his Facebook page, DJ Dove A.K.A. Capote Barbarito alleged that the club will permanently close its doors at the end of December to make way for real estate developments. “Great memories there whether it was hanging out dancing or playing some of my best sets DJing,” he wrote. “Cielo you’ll always have a special place in my heart thank you [sic].”

Cielo opened its doors to the public in 2003. The concept for the nightclub was hatched by Nicolas Matar, a DJ who got the idea for the club from playing Pacha Ibiza’s El Cielo, also called The Funky Room. Over the past 15 years his iconic club billed a talent pool diverse enough to include David Guetta, Luciano and Sven Väth.

Thanks for the memories.

 

Red Rabbit NYC is Meatpacking’s Latest Hot Spot

Amidst a busy schedule, within a frenetic workday, under the blinking eyes of a sleepless city, the elite, the few, like Alice, whose curiosity for adventure leads them down the rabbit hole, will venture to New York City’s Meatpacking District on October 6, 2018 for the opening of the exclusive Red Rabbit Club.

The 4500 square foot luxury NY nightlife venue will, ironically, fill the space once reserved for the Gilded Lily. But Red Rabbit Club will have no need to adorn itself unnecessarily. Hampton’s entrepreneur, Richie Hosein is launching the club that he hopes will, according to him, “elevate the standards for excellence for nightlife and create exceptional experiences for [its] guests.”

What makes the Red Rabbit Club unique is its exclusivity. Red Rabbit Club will offer just 17 tables, so intimacy is inherent in this subterranean and surreal venue. While other clubs focus on numbers, Red Rabbit is all about experience. The renovation plans intend to immerse the clientele in a multi-sensate experience through progressive technology and extravagant design elements.

Red Rabbit (not to be mistaken for Dead Rabbit, an Irish bar/restaurant in lower Manhattan) is only the latest in a series of successful projects for Hosein. In the summer of 2016, he launched AM Southampton, billed as Southampton’s #1 night life experience. Among the talent it attracted was Rap singer 50 Cent, who Hosein snagged again to host the opening of Red Rabbit.

Located at 408 15th Street, New York, NY, Red Rabbit is a short hop to Chelsea Market and a skip and a jump from The Tippler, another underground bar. These, and other, new, subterranean lounges are the  answers to the lofty insurgence of rooftop bars doting the city grid. With its “rabbit hole” staircase, sunken dance floor enveloped by red plush, velvet couches and booths, surround sound, smart lighting and LED screens on the walls and ceilings, Red Rabbit portrays the motif of mystery, clandestine meetings, and the joys of becoming enraptured in the realm of fantasy.

Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, wrote, “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” said Alice. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat. “We’re all mad here.” Perhaps the select few patrons of Red Rabbit will feel, just for a moment, as the traffic rumbles above their heads, and the lights and sounds of the happy madness envelops them, that this is an escape, a well-deserved and much needed hiatus from the norm.