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Nylon Nights

10 New York City Clubs To Know Right Now

With insider tips on how to get in and who you’ll see.

by Tim Latterner

There’s always a party to go to in New York, but not all venues are created equal. I’m told, for example, that there are clubs in Midtown that are full of people. (I won’t be going to check.) There are also the Meatpacking warehouses full of strobe lights and “oontz oontz,” which, yes, also still exist. 

But after a certain age or amount of time living in the city, some of us decamp to downtown lounges that become disco-ball-adorned standing rooms at the stroke of midnight because they offer more of the right stuff: The right music, the right ambiance, the right drinks, and the right other people in the club all coalesce to make a nightclub worth being at. Otherwise, you’re just standing in a loud, crowded room with a $21 vodka soda, and nobody wants that.

For this list of the 10 hottest nightclubs in New York City right now, we kept it to the ones you’ll want to go to for the most fun and the best crowd. Whether you’re looking to spend the night dancing, be taken in by the cool kids, hook up, or be in the right spot to hitch a ride to the rowdiest afters, make sure you’re on the list at one of these spots.

Gospël has one rule to get in: Be interesting. The club is designed to launch guests into sensory overload, so it’s a bit like if you tried to contain Burning Man into just one building on Lafayette Street. The other defining factor is that Gospël emphasizes its music prowess — it was founded by a team of music-industry execs and continues to bring in top-tier DJs like Diplo and Black Coffee.

On the westernmost end of Spring Street, lines run all the way up the block to get into what’s colloquially called “Casa.” Paul’s Casablanca, one of Paul Sevigny’s clubs, routinely draws a crowd of cool kids and fashion insiders. The interior is in three sections: a bar and lounge in the front, a main room where guests stand on booths dancing to DJs under a disco ball, and a back room where a few more tables and a smaller bar act as an overflow area.

“I consider Paul’s a classic,” says Cameron, who’s run the door at Paul’s Casablanca for the last three years. “As many times as I hop around town looking for something new, I always end up returning on my nights off instead of the next best thing.” To curate the right group, Cameron has a keen eye on for those who are “generous in one of the following ways: through your spirit, humor, beauty, or wallet,” he says. “Each are of value, and with the right mix, creates the best room in New York.”

Another longtime favorite for the fashion crowd is Paul’s Baby Grand. Located in the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca, Sevigny’s other downtown club has hosted afterparties for galas, fashion shows, and more. It’s also brought in DJs from Rhett Bixler to Ty Sunderland. Note that there are no tricks to getting in through the restaurant above — Baby Grand’s bar is isolated from the rest of the building, so you’ll have to try your luck being extra polite to the doorman.

Zeph Colombatto Photography

The latest player in the downtown scene is the Mulberry. It opened in late 2023 and has been drawing a crowd looking for a mellower, lounge-like approach. (The bar is really easy to miss — it’s nestled between a few retail shops on Mulberry Street — which is partially what makes it such a hidden gem.) Inside, the bar looks like a darker Bemelmans, with large murals on the walls and guests mingling around the velvet banquettes.

Acme is perhaps the most fun of all — for a younger crowd. The clientele tends to be a lot of 24- or 25-year-olds, with DJs like Harkness Granger and Jenny Albright bringing disco hits back in vogue here. Upstairs, The Nines reflects a more mature, posh, cocktail-drinking group, but the party remains in the basement at Acme.

“The vibe at Acme is more of a young professionals crowd, people that just graduated from college and are living the New York ‘dream life.’ It’s a cool mix,” says Marilu Cancel, the gatekeeper at the underground club. To get in, Cancel has a few tips: “Be creative, be classy, be chic, be fun. Just don’t wear the typical finance bro vest and jacket.”

Courtesy of Laissez Faire

Lots of clubs in the city come with a big marquee out front; Laissez Faire goes another way. While the club is located in the Beekman Hotel, one of the nicest in the city, the entry point is down an alley along the side of the building, marked by just a purple neon sign. Frankie Carattini, a veteran of the nightlife scene in the city, has brought his host of regulars with him to the bar after taking over the door last year.

“Dare to be different,” Carattini says. “Get a table, be patient, be polite, and you’ll get in.” He also offers a few easy ways to get a “Not tonight, ladies.” “Don’t ask me how long the wait is. Don’t come with a large group unless you’re looking to buy a table. Don’t come in work clothes, and don’t act entitled.”

The Box

This list couldn’t not include The Box. And yet, The Box is almost beyond a nightclub. It’s part club, part performance-art space, part sheer debauchery. When it opened in 2007, it became a magnet for every avant-garde partier in the city. (Owner Simon Hammerstein was once even called “The Impresario of Smut.”) Today, The Box is still always full, with tight security and an even tighter guest list. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely something everyone wants to see.

Maegan Gindi

Last year, Jean’s emerged onto the scene at just the right time. Staff shake-ups at some other local hot spots created a window where regulars were looking for a new place, and Jean’s was here to fill the void. Beneath the restaurant on Lafayette Street, Jean’s serves cocktails to those in the know and has regular DJ sets in a space big enough to give guests some breathing room while they dance. Try sending a DM to someone in the know as a way to get on the list faster.

Le Dive (Downstairs)

Following the success of The Nines and Acme, Golden Age Hospitality opened Le Dive with a special section downstairs. While the upstairs area is an open, airy cocktail and natural wine bar, at night, guests are welcomed below ground for parties operated by rotating hosts. The result is a nuanced twist on a nightclub atmosphere that feels fun and funky without the pressure of strobe lights and lines down the block. The favorite party to check out there is run by Ryder Kramer through Soma Discoteca.

Davey Hiles

“I think the best thing that makes Make Believe different is that our day party is just as fun, too,” says Allie Redmond, the woman running the door at the rooftop bar. Make Believe sits atop the Sixty LES Hotel and makes the most of its outdoor environs. But don’t think about coming in early and staying late to beat the door — Redmond’s heard all the tricks. “Don’t say ‘All my friends are upstairs’ when I say no. Nine times out of 10, if you’re just patient and let us do our jobs, you’ll get in,” she says. “Nobody’s trying to be an *sshole for no reason.”