Sing it Loud: Best Karaoke Bars in NYC

December 13, 2018 0 0

As the best karaoke bars in NYC underscore, every night is a perfect night to sing your heart out in New York City. Looking for a good excuse to get out and sing? It doesn’t have to be your birthday or your best friend’s bachelorette party for you to belt out your favorite tunes when you’re rocking and rolling through a city that has so many great desinations scattered across the five boroughs. When in Queens, Karaoke Shout is the way to go, but Karaoke One 7, Baby Grand, and Gagopa all run neck-and-neck for the top slot in Manhattan. Surprisingly enough, there’s even a hidden gem in Staten Island called Jimmie Steiny’s Pub, and a ton of other places throughout unexpected areas (hello, Astoria) to discover as well. Simply read on to find out more about where best karaoke bars in NYC are hiding – and remember to raise a toast to us in thanks the next time you visit.

Name Location Description
Gagopa 28 W 32nd St Even shy newcomers will feel comfortable at this Korean joint that offers two floors with separate rooms for guests; an option to BYOB if you don’t want any of the wine or sake on offer; and plenty of table room if you decide to bring in food from one of the many delicious options that surround it in Koreatown. You can make a reservation online, and a room costs $32 for parties of four or less, or, $8 per person for parties of five or more. It’s also open until 4AM, which gives you plenty of time to sift through an extensive collection of songs that ranges from Frank Sinatra to KPOP. There’s even a Spanish selection for those who are bilingual.
Baby Grand 161 Lafayette St Baby Grand doesn’t feature a ton of space, but it’s a great stopover for those seeking an authentic Japanese karaoke experience without hopping on a plane. You’ll find it’s a good spot for solo adventuring or a night out with a date or friend. It costs $2 (cash) per song, though you can use your credit card to buy a beer if you’d like to pick from a decent selection of bottles. But the best part of all is that the crowd here will always be full of energetic and supportive locals stand ready to cheer you on – regardless of whether you decide to sing along with Journey or Frank Ocean.
Arlene’s Grocery 95 Stanton St Those eager to give live-band karaoke a shot need to visit Arlene’s. It provides not the typical words-on-screen experience, but rather an opportunity to legitimately rock out in a room of people that understand you. A concert venue most days, Monday nights is when you’ll find the real action. Choose from classics like Aerosmith, Bowie, or the Rolling Stones, and enjoy the fact that this is one of the only spots in NYC where you can still grab a Tecate for $3. After two songs and a couple of drinks, you’ll definitely feel like a rockstar here.
Alligator Lounge 600 Metropolitan Ave Alligator Lounge pulls out all the stops to lure in customers: You’ll find a karaoke room in the back, affordable drinks, and even free pizza available. And for every drink you buy, whether it be a $4 shot of Fireball or a draft of Blue Point for $5, you get a ticket to redeem a mini pie (and even add toppings like pepperoni for an extra $1). Once you’re full, get ready to belt out “Return of the Mack” to patrons playing jenga or skeeball. Though karaoke is only available Thursdays through Sundays, you’ll also find other events like hip-hop bingo available here to keep you entertained.
Planet Rose 219 Avenue A Planet Rose offers a wireless mic option that was designed for those who suffer from stage fright. Still, there’s no doubt that you’ll glow amongst the backlight and neon decor, especially after you throw back a couple of $5 Goose Island IPAs or $8 Old Fashioneds. If you don’t plan on grabbing a drink, it’s $2 per song, and you can choose from oldies like “All Star” by Smash Mouth, “Africa” by Toto, or newer hits like “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. The vibe is intimate and friendly, so by your second visit here, you’ll probably know the bartender by name and he’ll know all your favorite songs.
Insa 328 Douglass St Insa is the place to be if you want to eat and belt out some serious tunes in the same spot. Not only are there private karaoke rooms on offer here that cost about $60 for two hours, but there’s also a menu packed with delicious KBBQ eats like Boisal, Kimchi Bokkeumbap, and fried chicken. Even better, you can grab specialty cocktails like the Jade Emperor with pisco and matcha to prep you for stage time. If you’re with a group, consider ordering a Scorpion Bowl (made with gin, dark rum, and Cognac) or a pitcher of Two Roads for some extra liquid confidence. Once you’re ready to get down, the Spice Girls, TLC, and Bruno Mars will be waiting for you.
Karaoke Shout 32-46 Steinway St There’s no better place to sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” than the borough that Cyndi Lauper grew up in. Shout is undoubtedly a place for locals to hang out, but if you ever find yourself in Astoria, you won’t regret coming here. The venue is sleek and modern and features both a public area up front for karaoke and about 10 private rooms in the back. There are also daily specials on drinks, like a bucket deal featuring six beers like Corona, Shock Top, and Stella for the price of 5, and $25 Rum Punch fishbowls. Song selections are available in English, Spanish, and Korean too, so instead of settling for just “Despacito,” you can expand your horizons.
Sid’s Gold Request Room 165 W 26th St Sid’s is one of the most welcoming piano karaoke bars in the city. Separated into two areas, the first is where you can snack on bites like deviled eggs and fries and load up on the Greentail IPAs and Old Fashioneds. In the back, there’s a separate area dedicated to the lovely baby grand piano and whoever is playing it that night. Remember to request a song, and tip the piano guy at the end of the daily rendition of “Rainbow Connection” at 1AM.
Jimmie Steiny’s Pub 3 Hyatt St Swing by Staten Island to visit Jimmie Steiny’s, the only karaoke bar that has patrons you’ll find singing as early as 11AM. For a divey pub, there’s a surprisingly extensive menu on-hand that spans beyond the average bar bites to offer roast beef heroes, corned beef burgers, chicken wings, and French onion soup, plus several beers on tap like the Flagship IPA that you have to try if you’re into craft brews.
Karaoke One 7 29 W 17th St Even the biggest music fanatics will be impressed by the 80,000 song collection available at Karaoke One 7. Tracks can also be enjoyed in 14 different languages, offering plenty of opportunities to show off your knowledge of French or Portuguese. There are also private rooms you can rent for $9 per person, per hour, and though it’s $2 per song,  the happy hour that goes on until 8PM will help you feel better about saving money. Order a King of Pop cocktail, and, in an ode to Michael Jackson, follow it up with a rousing rendition of “Beat It.”



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Tags: Entertainment, Top 10 Guides Categories: Entertainment, Top 10 Guides
Christina Elia

Assistant editor Christina Elia is currently pursuing her BA in Art History Communications at Fordham University, and writes about various topics ranging from arts and culture to practical tips and how-to advice. She has been published on online platforms such as The Odyssey. You can follow her on Twitter via @stinaelia

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