We’ve all had those late nights screaming, “don’t stop believing” into a microphone in front of tens of total strangers. Karaoke is an an unusual and incredible night out no matter how shy the person. As it should be expected, the home of Broadway, referenced in songs by Sinatra and Jay-Z, has plenty of choices when it comes to karaoke. But what are the best karaoke bars in New York City?
1. Arlene’s Grocery : Arlene’s World Famous Live Rock ’n’ Roll Karaoke
Address: 95 Stanton St
Hours: Daily, 6pm-4am
A bright red, clay building outside, a grungy music venue inside, everything about Arlene’s Grocery is cool, especially its unique karaoke night. Channel your inner rock ‘n’ roll god every Monday at 10pm and Friday at midnight in this live-music karaoke bar. It’s free on Mondays, but they charge a $10 cover on Friday nights.
2. Iggy’s Karaoke Lounge and Grill
Address: 1452 2nd Ave
Hours: Daily, 12pm-4am (karaoke daily, 8pm-late)
A crowd with half-drunk beers in their hands, fill a dimly-lit bar singing along to the brave soul on the mic: the exact scene you would expect to see when you stumble into a bar in Ireland. Iggy’s is just a really good karaoke bar with no pretense or specific clientele other than people who are in the mood for a drink and a laugh. They even host Iggy Idol, their own version of American Idol, with the best karaoke singers of the week. Your night out could win you $750.
Address: 9 East 38th St
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 12pm-3am; Friday, 12pm-4am; Saturday, 4pm-4am; Sunday, 4pm-2am
You almost feel like you’ve stumbled into a 90s TV show or sound studio when you walk into Japas38. It will prepare you to be in the limelight. With 12 private party rooms and over 100,000 songs to choose from, in five different languages, you can say Japas38 takes their karaoke seriously.
4. Winnie’s Bar and Restaurant
Address: 104 Bayard St
Hours: Daily, 12pm-4am
Frequented by hipsters and Chinatown locals alike, this no-frills dive bar lives on pure appreciation of karaoke and a lethal Hawaiian Punch that will have even the shyest of people singing in no time. Don’t expect the latest songs or good sound, but you will feel part of the family on your visit, even Winnie herself frequents the bar.
5. Karaoke Boho (Orchard)
Address: 196 Orchard St
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 1pm-4am; Friday-Saturday, 1pm-4:30am; Sunday, 1pm-4am
Karaoke Boho has private rooms and a public area allowing people to decide what sort of night they want. Though this bar attracts big crowds, including Scarlett Johansson – known for her karaoke performance in Lost in Translation –, it always seems to have space to squeeze in a few more karaoke lovers. It’s the ideal place to spend special occasions or nights out with friends. Check to see what deals they have at the moment, including BYOB specials. They also have a location in the West Village.
6. Planet Rose
Address: 212 Avenue A
Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 8pm-2am; Thursday, 8pm-4am; Friday and Saturday, 7pm-4am; Sunday, 5pm-2am
Red walls, zebra-print sofas and cheap drinks, Planet Rose screams 80s rock glam. But it’s not the decor or song choice that makes this a great karaoke bar, it’s the staff. Singing karaoke themselves, they’ll keep you entertained at the bar or on stage while you wait your turn.
7. Alligator Lounge
Address: 600 Metropolitan Ave
Hours: Monday-Friday, 3pm-4am; Saturday-Sunday, 1pm-4am
Free pizza with every drink from 6pm-2am? Why aren’t you on your way already? On top of free food, this hip Williamsburg joint has loads of other fun things to lure customers in, including a photo booth, pool, skee ball, trivia night and of course, karaoke every Friday at 10pm.
8. Gagopa Karaoke
Address: 28 West 32nd Street (3rd floor)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 6pm-6am; Friday-Sunday, 6pm-8am
Open till the early morning, this karaoke bar is a complete party. Located in Koreatown, it’s a more traditional karaoke experience. The smoky and 80s-inspired lounge isn’t the sort most New Yorkers would regular, but it’s definitely worth a visit with friends.
9. Baby Grand
Address: 161 Lafayette St
Hours: Monday-Tuesday, 6pm-1am; Wednesday-Thursday, 6pm-2am; Friday, 6pm-4am; Saturday, 7pm-4am
This karaoke bar and gallery may be tiny, their song and drink selection is not. With over 20,000 songs to choose from and an eclectic drink list, the chic Baby Grand offers a welcoming feeling for first-time performers.
10. Stout NYC
Address: 133 W. 33rd St.
Hours: Daily, 11am-4am
Your typical sport and neighborhood bar, Stout NYC has an extensive selection of beers and even good food, not a common trait among karaoke bars. This 16,000 square-foot, three-level Irish bar is the sort of larger-than-life place you’d expect in the Big Apple. They offer karaoke every Saturday at 10pm in the cellar.