While some enjoy dancing the night away, others prefer to sing. Fortunately, there are many excellent karaoke bars in New York – from pop to punk – where singers can unleash their spirit and pretend they’re anywhere from a small speakeasy to the stage at Madison Square Garden. Plus, when there’s excellent food to be had, a night out for karaoke can take on a life of its own. Here are some of the top places to belt out your favorite songs and indulge in some fine dining.
28 West 32nd Street, Koreatown
If Koreatown is the heart of karaoke in New York City, then Gapoga is its pulse. Two floors of private rooms tell you the focus is on entertainment. Beer, wine, and sake are available, but Gapoga also is BYOB in case you have something different in mind. More than 20,000 songs in English, plus another 10,000 in other languages, ensures you’ll have plenty to do before the 4 a.m. closing time.
11 East 13th Street, Union Square
Located inside Midi Restaurant, the Karaoke Cave is most notable for its crowd of regulars and the laid-back, speakeasy vibe. Want to perform your first song for free? No problem, just order a drink!
161 Lafayette Street, SoHo
Although the space is small and there are no private rooms, Baby Grand creates the intimacy that is typical of the community karaoke bars you’d find scattered throughout Tokyo. The atmosphere is supportive and the drinks are reasonably priced.
328 Douglass Street, Gowanus
Insa is prominent in the karaoke scene for a few reasons – it brings the “Koreatown” vibe to Brooklyn, features a sophisticated food menu, and creatively designed private rooms. Go early to enjoy bibimbap and (share) a Scorpion Bowl!
95 Stanton Street, Lower East Side
Formerly a bodega, Arlene’s offers one of the truly rare karaoke experiences in New York – karaoke with a live band! Arlene’s appeals to more of a hard rock/metal crowd, but the chance to channel your inner rock star is too much to pass up.
9 St. Marks Place, East Village
The mecca of karaoke in the East Village, Sing Sing attracts regulars and newbies, plays everything from hard rock to soft jazz, and often is visited by New York celebrities.
K-One Karaoke Bar
97 Bowery, Lower East Side
The eclectic and arty décor separates K-One from most karaoke restaurants – an important distinction as K-One features both a small menu and an overwhelming selection of drinks. Three different private room sizes are available as are special deals, such as 50 percent off rooms from Sunday to Thursday.