The whole world wishes it was in New York City for New Year’s Eve. In fact, the two are almost synonymous. While the Ball Drop and the madness of Times Square may seem like the greatest way to ring in 2016, what the over 20 million people watching from the comfort of their homes don’t realize is that it is cold, crowded and it’s hard to find a bathroom. To help you find another avenue of entertainment, we’ve compiled options for everyone for the best New Year’s Eve in NYC—whether you are out to have a good time by yourself, with your partner or your family, we’ve got you covered, from where to line your stomach pre-champagne popping to where you’ll head the morning after the party to sleep off the good times. Happy New Year!
What kind of New Year’s Eve are you looking for?
Where to Eat
Miss Lily’s is the perfect place to sweep away the cold-weather-NYC-New-Year’s-Blues with a jumpin’ atmosphere fueled by spicy and smoky Jamaican jerk chicken that will warm your soul. The Holy Trifecta of good food, the loud music of the next-door Miss Lily’s Variety Shop and a large juice from other neighbor Melvin’s Juice Box ( the kale/apple/lemon/celery Jamaican Green should set your immune system up to win the battle against the post NYE cold) makes it a night raring to be remembered already.
- Miss Lily’s – Greenwich Village – 132 West Houston Street
Make an early reservation now for New Year’s Eve dinner at The Spotted Pig. The West Village gastropub has been the word on everyone’s lips for the past couple of years with high merits going for both the food and the lively atmosphere. Their extensive wine list and an order of the ½ pound Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese and a side of Shoestring Fries is the perfect start to a wild night out on the town.
- The Spotted Pig – Greenwich Village – 314 West 11th Street
What to Do
If you’re looking for an unforgettable party night atmosphere, get thy self to TIME AND SPACE for the BangOn! NYC New Year’s Eve quest for midnight mischief at a secret massive warehouse. The event will feature several heavy hitters of the dance music scene like Justin Martin and Kill Frenzy that will guarantee your bum won’t stop shaking until the wee hours of the morning to the sounds of house and funk. Not only that, there will also be a rocket launch, a silent disco, lots of artsy light projects and tons of visual installations to keep your senses occupied.
- Time and Space – Brooklyn – Secret East Williamsburg/Bushwick Warehouse
Spend the night sweating it out to house music with extra long extended hours so the night doesn’t slip away from you at Verboten’s New Year’s Noir 2016 12 Hour Jam. Big name DJ’s like Lee Burridge, Andhim, Bedouin and Mike Khoury will be playing all night long in this very special space, complete with the requisite disco ball and crowd’s of fun-loving party goers who just want to dance the night away. Sounds like your kind of night? Get advanced tickets here.
- Verboten – Brooklyn – 54 North 11th Street
Where to Sleep
When you wander home at 8 a.m., make it the Nu Hotel Brooklyn. The cool atmosphere and walking distance to everything the Brooklyn party animal will get up to on NYE will make it the perfect place to slink back, grab a complimentary breakfast and sleep away New Year’s Day on a cozy bed with free Wi-Fi and in-room dinning options for dinner.
For more options, check out the Most Selfie-Worthy New York Hotels.
Where to Eat
Bring in 2016 with something a bit unexpected- blending African cuisine with Asian and American, The Cecil in Harlem is a hidden gem of exciting global flavors sure to have never previously grazed your palette. This is a culinary experience, bringing forward flavors like cinnamon, peanut and citrus to guinea hen, halibut and goat with beautiful presentations worthy of any foodie’s instagram account. This is the sort of restaurant that could be life-changing; invigorating your tongue for 2016.
- The Cecil – Harlem – 210 West 118th Street
Lure Fish Bar is always an excellent choice for a memorable goodbye to 2015 meal. Step down underneath the Mercer Street Prada store location and get in line for the oyster bar-Lure’s are so good even the sight of them is an aphrodisiac. The menu is sushi and fish heavy, but also features some impressive burgers and salads. Definitely get two orders of the Lure House Roll (shrimp tempura topped with spicy tuna) because you won’t want to share with your dining buddies.
- Lure Fish Bar – NOLITA – 142 Mercer Street
What To Do
Join the fashion crowd (if you are admitted at the door that is) to the steamy Standard Hotel nightclub that is Le Bain. Picture partying in the penthouse discotheque, stripping down for a swim in the dance floor plunge pool and dancing the night away on New Year’s Eve to the dance music master Tony Humphries. The aura of mystery and anything-goes is positively tantalizing and the view from the Meatpacking District can’t be beat. If you find you’ve danced off a few too many calories, refresh with a trip to the rooftop crêperie.
- Le Bain – Meatpacking District – 848 Washington Street
Handsome Devils: looking for something a bit more low key? Join band The Sons & Heirs for A Morrissey and The Smiths New Year’s Eve party and get ready to sing along with every word and dance on stage to the songs that saved your life. Held at littlefield NYC, the event promises to fill your heart with love. There’s a champagne toast at midnight and some secret guests will also grace the stage.
- littlefield – Brooklyn – 622 Degraw Street
Where to Sleep
When you’ve finished partying, stay in high style at The Soho Grand and rub shoulders with the rich, beautiful and famous. The Soho Grand does hip elegance better than any other — chic decor and a nightly party scene in the lounge have made this a staple among the cool set in NYC. Please be sure not to trip over the resident goldfish in each guest room as you stumble home, but enjoy their 100% Egyptian cotton linens and Frette robes and the eclectic cool style of their rooms as you dream away New Year’s day.
Where to Eat
Looking for an elegant dining option that isn’t stuffy nor overpriced? Book dinner for two at Bâtard in TriBeCa. With several options for prix fixe menus, there’s no doubt your dining experience here will be unforgettable with plate presentation meriting being framed and hung in your house. The duck breast is notably juicy and their cheese trolley selection runs on the very exotic and rare side and is curated by artisanal cheese expert John Winterman.
- Bâtard– TribBeCa- 239 W Broadway
Another romantic suggestion would be to eat at the NoMad Restaurant in the Flatiron district, part of the NoMad Hotel where you’ll be ending your evening. Make your reservation in advance and try your best to get a table in the central atrium — under the stars and amidst the velvet chairs, candles and polished tables. An ideal meal must include the whole-roasted chicken for two with foie gras, black truffle and smoked grits. We don’t recommend sharing a dessert — one bite of the Milk & Honey and you’ll end up arguing over who got the bigger bite.
What to Do
Start off 2016 with a trip to the Opera — is anything more romantic than an evening at the Met with Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Bizet’s opera of love, lust and longing in the Far East? Expect to see some beautiful costumes and prepare to fall in love with the story of a beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by legions of pearl divers competing for a chance at her heart. As you would expect, a performance like this at the Met brings some high caliber opera singers. Get dolled up to the nines- bring out the suits and the pearls (how appropriate for this particular kind of opera) and get ready for a truly New York New Year’s Eve.
Opera not quite your thing? A night of burlesque theater could provide you with a romantic spark for the evening which could very well set the tone for the rest of 2016. Get into the sexy spirit at the Slipper Room with their lavish New Year’s Eve in NYC show featuring striptease, aerialists, contortionists and, of course, champagne. A variety of shows will take place over the evening accented with beautiful costumes and talented entertainers.
Where to Sleep
Spend the night cuddling at The NoMad Hotel. Housed in a stunning Beaux-Arts building restored to its former glory with all the distinct New York sensibilities. The result is 168 well-curated rooms in rich tones and textures like reclaimed maple hardwood floors with cozy handmade vintage Heriz rugs unique to each room. A room here is guaranteed to make the night one to remember with many rooms featuring freestanding clawfoot bathtubs, custom linens and mahogany french writing desks to keep things interesting.
Where to Eat
Going solo on NYE has it’s upsides: slip past the groups waiting outside to inside Totto Ramen, where it should be relatively easy to get a table for one, and eagerly await your huge and hot bowl of the chicken or veg based, house-made noodle ramen. With only five options, the menu is short but exciting with lots of options for customization on top of the delicious bases: avocado, konbu nori and sake-soy marinated eggs come together in an aromatic bowl that will warm you to the core.
- Totto Ramen – Hell’s Kitchen – 464 W 51st Street
Sushi is almost best enjoyed when alone. Snag a bar seat at Ushiwakamaru and watch chef-owner Hideo Kuribara work his magic on a beautiful selection of fish that rivals other more famous spots in the city in terms of quality and variety of fish. The dinning experience involves delicacies you won’t see on many other menus, including live shrimp, and several species of Japanese freshwater fish have brought it a loyal following among the Japanese community of New York. Prices run quite decent as well so be adventurous and try something whose name you can’t pronounce.
- Ushiwakamaru – Chelsea – 362 West 23rd St.
What to Do
What you’ll be doing depends on whether you want to wallow in your own company or find fast friends: For the latter, start the night with a drink at Wilfie & Nell. Young, slightly bohemian, dark and just the right amount of sexy with a layout that is easy to mingle in (communal tables) and with an excellent selection of drinks. You’ll find a pal in no time.
Join a walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only will you catch the fire works from a fantastic location, but you’ll get acquainted with this incredible city on its best night of the year. The tour leaves from outside the McDonald’s Restaurant at 160 Broadway with registration beginning at 9:45 p.m. and multiple tours departing from 10:15-11:15 p.m. Pay $50 cash for the tour onsite, or pay $40 if you book online in advance.
Where To Stay
Indulge yourself and check-in to The Marlton. This very bohemian baby grand hotel has seen guests like fashion queen Daphne Guinness and in the past, beat writer Jack Kerouac and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Grab a book from their library, a drink and head to your aptly cozy room or hang in their wood panelled cocktail bar and enjoy a bespoke cocktail.
Take the family to the iconic Balthazar. Cozy, cramped, loud, but not only is the food delicious enough to write home about (get the french onion soup followed by Duck Shepard’s pie or the always perfect steak frites) but Balthazar loves babies! Spoil yourselves. It will be a night to remember if you start it with a dinner at Balthazar.
- Balthazar – SoHo – 80 Spring Street
With dining options sure to satisfy even the pickiest little eaters, Landmarc pleases parents and children alike with options like mussels in your choice of sauce, daily market catches and a tantalizing grilled cheese on whole wheat toast — so good you’ll want to steal a bite from the wee ones!. This bistro-style restaurant also has a fabulous wine list and attentive servers who dote on children making it an easy and accommodating New Year’s Eve experience.
- Landmarc – TriBe-Ca – 179 W. Broadway
What to Do
See the fireworks from the harbor on a New Years Eve Family Cruise! Pretty much everything from treats, snacks, complimentary champagne and a dinner buffet are included in your tickets. You can also watch the ball drop on the big screens from the comfort of a cozy room without worrying about when your next opportunity to use the bathroom will be.
Bring the family to Brooklyn for a more intimate firework session held at Prospect Park by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The best spot for viewing the annual show is at the Grand Army Plaza where you can join everyone for pre and post firework entertainment and hot refreshments to warm everyone up.
Where to Stay
Reserve the family suite at the James Hotel in trendy SoHo. You’ll still feel the downtown-cool vibe while relaxing comfortably with all the lil ones in tow. You won’t even have to fight over the TV– the suite has two flat screens as well as free Wi-Fi and separate (connected) rooms for when everyone needs their downtime. For breakfast, get ready for one of the most delicious family-friendly brunches in NYC at the onsite restaurant, the David Burke Kitchen!