The 10 Best Karaoke Places in NYC!
The 10 Best Karaoke Places in NYC!
“Karaoke is the great equalizer.” – Aisha Tyler
Although karaoke originated in Japan (karaoke being a Japanese word meaning “empty orchestra”), over the years New York City has helped transformed this wildly popular form of interactive entertainment into a true art form! In fact, whether you are seeking anything from a glitzy karaoke club to a real dive bar karaoke experience, you will find the ideal karaoke spot in the Big Apple to offer the world a personalized rendition of your favorite song. It doesn’t matter if you are a rock star wannabe, budding Broadway diva, Lady Gaga impersonator, Tony Bennett-style crooner or imitation Johnny Rotten, just get up there on a NYC karaoke stage, grab the microphone and do your own thing! Here are the 10 best karaoke places in New York City:
1 | Arlene’s Grocery | A former Puerto Rican bodega/grocery store and a Lower East Side landmark, Arlene’s Grocery hosts its “World Famous Rock and Roll Karaoke” every Monday night, while featuring up-and-coming live bands the rest of the week. With a live band backing you, it’s the perfect NYC karaoke locale to let your inner rock star loose with a scintillating air guitar version of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” or simply fall all over the stage like a demented Iggy Pop. Express yourself!
WHERE: 95 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002 | WHO: (212) 358-1633
2 | Planet Rose | This laid-back Alphabet City hangout, which features red walls, zebra couches and wireless mics, is the ideal karaoke bar “for drinkers who sing and singers who drink,” according to the official Planet Rose website. Karaoke is available all the time at Planet Rose, which offers a daily 2 for 1 Happy Hour, providing “plenty of liquid courage” for those patrons needing to overcome their karaoke stage fright.
WHERE: 219 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 | WHO: (212) 353-9500
3 | Sing Sing Karaoke | With two East Village locations (the other being at 81 Avenue A), Sing Sing Karaoke boasts a 120,000-song list and offers both a large open karaoke bar area and private karaoke rooms for those who want to hone their karaoke skills without the pressure of a live audience. According to The Village Voice, Sing Sing Karaoke is “a legendary place to practice the art of late-night drunk-singing.” By the way, this Alphabet City institution figures prominently in Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield’s critically acclaimed 2014 book, Turn Around Bright Eyes: A Karaoke Journey of Starting Over, Falling in Love and Finding Your Voice.
WHERE: 9 St. Marks Place, New York, NY 10003 | WHO: (212) 387-7800
4 | Baby Grand | Billed as “the first and only boutique karaoke bar in NYC,” Baby Grand offers a small and intimate but lively atmosphere (there are no private rooms), along with occasional theme nights such as Fortune Cookie-oke (aka “Karaoke Russian Roulette”), where patrons blindly choose among 30 of the most popular karaoke songs. In addition, Baby Grand features live acoustic guitar accompaniment on occasion. For “a more chill experience,” drop by on a weekday when the karaoke bar is considerably less crowded than on weekends. By the way, Grub Street, the food blog of New York Magazine, has referred to Baby Grand as “The Absolute Best Karaoke Bar in New York.”
WHERE: 161 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013 | WHO: (212) 219-8110
5 | Sid Gold’s Request Room | A classy piano bar that opened in 2015, Sid Gold’s Request Room offers a relaxed, intimate environment and “live piano karaoke” every night of the week. However, don’t except to hear Frank Sinatra standards all night – you are just as likely to experience the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” or the Smiths’ “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” at this eclectic NYC karaoke joint. Sid’s is co-owned by musician Joe McGinty, who served a five-year stint as keyboardist for the Psychedelic Furs (“Love My Way”). Various celebrities such as Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Billy Crudup, Parker Posey, Rob Schneider and others have been known to drop by Sid’s on occasion. Crowd singalongs are common at Sid’s, which offers a full food and drink menu.
WHERE: 165 W. 26th Street, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: (212) 229-1948
6 | Karaoke Boho | A veritable karaoke lover’s paradise, Karaoke Boho boasts a main karaoke bar and 17 private and spacious karaoke rooms – the perfect locale to hang out and jam to your favorite songs with family and friends (party packages are available). The extensive list of contemporary hits available at this energetic karaoke bar is second to none. If you can’t decide which song to choose, just heed the advice of actor Aaron Paul (best known for his portrayal of “Jesse Pinkman” in Breaking Bad), who once answered “anything by Journey” when asked for his go-to karaoke song: “You feel like you’re really a part of a movement when you’re singing Journey at a karaoke bar.” A second Karaoke Boho location can be found at 152 Orchard Street.
WHERE: 186 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014 | WHO: (212) 255-0011
7 | Up Stairs | Yes, you will have to climb a set of stairs in a rather nondescript Chinatown apartment building to reach this immensely popular, divey karaoke bar – but it’s definitely worth the effort to enjoy “one of the most charmingly weird karaoke experiences in New York,” according to Grub Street. As you might expect, karaoke songbooks are available at Up Stairs for both English and Chinese songs.
WHERE: 59 Canal Street, New York, NY 10002 | WHO: (917) 608-6978
8 | Iggy’s | Disguised as a laid-back Irish pub, Iggy’s doubles as a karaoke den with an extensive songbook and even hosts Rockband Contests every Wednesday and Sunday evening. Billed as “New York City’s Best Karaoke Bar,” Iggy’s is located on the Upper East Side and features something for everyone – including a 100-foot-long bar, dance floor, flat-screen TVs and nightly drink specials.
WHERE: 1452 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10021 | WHO: (212) 327-3043
9 | Gagopa Karaoke | If you really can’t stand the idea of singing karaoke in front of a crowd of strangers, Gagopa Karaoke in Koreatown is the place for you (if you can find it)! A favorite among karaoke enthusiasts (and just two blocks over from the best place to see Manhattanhenge in NYC), Gagopa offers private karaoke rooms amid a retro 1980’s décor that includes red leather sofas and has a BYOB policy (wine, beer and champagne are available). Karaoke songs are available at Gagopa in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and several other languages.
WHERE: 28 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: (212) 967-5353
10 | Radio Star Karaoke | A trendy New York City karaoke lounge, Radio Star Karaoke is the real deal with its open bar area, variety of private karaoke rooms, extensive songbook, beer and cocktails, appetizers, and colorful steampunk décor that features vintage radios and microphones. Private karaoke rooms at Radio Star Karaoke include The Duet Room, The Marilyn Room, The Beatles Room, The Vintage Room, The Playboy Room, The LP Room, The Elvis Room, The Interstates Room, The Radio Room and The Bar. It’s the perfect locale if you’re seeking a more upscale NYC karaoke experience. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” anyone?
WHERE: 3 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: (212) 564-2520
BONUS NYC KARAOKE BAR! | Turntable LP Bar | Where do Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) and signature cocktails hangout together under the pretense of staying sober while making a ‘happy wind’? If you guessed Turntable LP Bar at Midtown, you’d be on the right track,… literally, you’d be picking the right track to sing along to! And with all the trappings of retro-modernica neatly fleshed out in what we might call a vinyl-hardwood-clad speakeasy, this joint is anything but ordinary! Vintage turntables play original LP records in the background as you enjoy world-class gastronomy and crafty croonings from your fellow fried chicken feasters.
WHERE: 34-36 W 32nd St. 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001 | WHO: (212) 594-4344
One More Note on Karaoke Bars in NYC
Whether you're into the best Japanese karaoke NYC has to offer, cheap karaoke with your friends, or you're just trolling about for the best karaoke room in New York City, the karaoke bar manhattan scene is literally brimming with new and emerging karaoke places to visit every month. Bookmark this article on karaok spots in NYC and check back often as we'll be updating it and further categorizing some of the different karaoke types, so you can get your sing on, just the way you like it! Some of the NYC karaoke classifications we plan on bringing together for you (in future updates) are:
Japanese karaoke in NYC
Cheap karaoke in NYC
Private karaoke rooms in NYC
Karaoke lounges in NYC
Family karaoke places in NYC
Karaoke clubs in NYC
A list of karaoke nights in NYC
Karaoke in the lower east side in NYC
Karaoke in the upper east side in NYC
Karaoke in east village in NYC
So stay tuned (both in your pitch and to this blog) for more information on the best karaoke places in Manhattan! You won't want to miss out!
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