Anyone who has spent time in the Big Apple’s core can tell you that life in Manhattan is worth singing about. It’s no coincidence that it’s home to a number of karaoke bars, where New Yorkers belt out everything from today’s top 40 hits to Korean oldies. Start warming up those vocal chords—here’s our pick of the best bars around.
Sid Gold's Request Room
Bar, American, $$$
Technically a piano, not karaoke, bar, Sid Gold’s Request Room is a more mellow alternative to Manhattan’s standard sing-a-long spots. That isn’t to say Sid Gold’s isn’t fun, however—the live piano karaoke nights (often led by former The Psychedelic Furs keyboardist and Sid Gold’s co-owner Joe McGinty) are known to welcome professional musicians among its supportive crowd.
Singing karaoke at a BYOB bar in Koreatown is a quintessential New York City experience you won’t find in any tourist guidebook. Gagopa comes highly recommended (by locals, of course), thanks in part to its comfortable private rooms; 4am closing time; and more than 30,000 English, Spanish, Korean, and other foreign-language songs.
Due to popular demand, West Village spot Karaoke Boho recently opened a second Lower East Side location. Whichever address you visit, you’ll be welcomed with private rooms (Boho has 35 in total) where you can perform the latest hits by artists like Rihanna and Justin Timberlake in privacy.
While you can’t go wrong with either of Sing Sing’s East Village locations, seasoned (and sloshed) performers prefer the St. Marks outpost for its supportive public bar area. Come solo or with a group—either way you’re sure to bond with strangers over Sing Sing’s vast selection.
With three locations in and around Koreatown (Duet 35, Duet 48, and Duet 53), Karaoke Duet is Manhattan’s reigning karaoke empire. Considering the midtown chain’s features, which include a bring-your-own-food policy (you can even order takeout!), affordable drinks, and a song catalog of tunes your group knows and loves, it’s easy to understand why Karaoke Duet is so popular.
Bring the whole gang to Karaoke One 7, where an impressive selection of more than 80,000 songs in 14 different languages offers something for every singer. Time your visit—sorry, performance—for before 8pm to snag a room for yourselves for just $4 per person an hour.
An enormous neon sign hangs above the bar at Baby Grand
With its small main bar area where singers perform in front of everyone and its “Fortune Cookie-oke” (think: a karaoke version of Russian roulette), Baby Grand may seem too deep a dive for karaoke performers just getting their feet wet. However, enter the tiny Japanese-style bar, and you’ll find a laid-back crowd enjoying Pop Tarts, cocktails, and whatever song you decide to perform.