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14 Karaoke Bars Worthy of a Night Out in NYC

From a divey rock dungeon to BYOB sing-alongs

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Karaoke is a frequently misunderstood art, especially in New York, where theater-obsessed friends sometimes try to one-up each other with their vocal capabilities. But at their core, great karaoke bars allow people to feel comfortable creatively expressing themselves around the people they love, even when a note falls flat. Over the years, New York’s options in the category have expanded to suit just about everyone. Here are the spots to check out, whether for punks, Asian pop enthusiasts, or BYOB-ers.

Note: This list is arranged geographically, north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pulse Karaoke Lounge and Suites

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135 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 278-0090
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This subterranean karaoke hideaway is a welcome diversion in the heart of Times Square for tourists and locals alike. Descend into the white-hued lounge with low tables and comfy benches to watch Broadway wannabes perform on a stage. The private rooms are pricey but worth it for the unlimited drink option, as everyone’s singing sounds better after a beer or seven.

2. Chorus Karaoke

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25 W 32nd St, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 967-2244
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A Koreatown standby since it opened in 2003, Chorus draws in-the-know regulars who hike up to its third-floor space, where they unabashedly butcher pop classics. The public bar area’s anything-goes atmosphere is ideal for people-watching or a raucous happy-hour excursion, but parties can also shuffle into a private room down a discofied hallway. Skip the cloyingly fruity cocktails and opt for Asian, European, and domestic beers available in pitchers.

3. Maru Karaoke Lounge

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11 West 32nd Street, 3 and 4 Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 273-3413
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Maru brings maximalist style to the Koreatown karaoke scene. The wacky, K-pop-meets-Blade Runner design includes a tunnellike bar space awash in neon purple. A range of rooms accommodates all party sizes, and the expansive food and drink menu includes surprisingly tasty Korean bites like bulgogi buns.

4. Gagopa Karaoke

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28 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 967-5353
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BYOB is a rarity in New York, but it’s an especially desirable option in a karaoke bar, which has helped develop the cult audience for Gagopa in Koreatown. For those who don’t plan head, there’s also a beer and wine menu. The focus here is on the entertainment, with only private rooms accessed by a hallway lit up like a Christmas tree. The nearby 32 Karaoke from the same owners is often less crowded.

5. Karaoke Cave

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11 E 13th St, (underneath Le Midi, same entrance)
New York, NY 10003
(646) 486-3225
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Speakeasy karaoke is indeed a thing. Sort of hidden underneath Greenwich Village’s Le Midi restaurant, Karaoke Cave has a refreshingly laid-back public space, where patrons can belt a first song for free by ordering a drink. Private rooms are also available.

6. Planet Rose

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219 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
(212) 353-9500
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Public singing is made slightly less terrifying at Planet Rose, thanks not only to its divey vibes and cheeky aesthetic, including zebra-print couches, but also wireless mics that allow performers to blend into the background.

7. SING SING St.Marks Karaoke NYC

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9 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003
(212) 387-7800
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It’s not an overstatement to say that karaoke in the East Village starts and ends with Sing Sing. The bar’s original St. Mark’s location invites all kinds, from the professionally capable to the drunk and exuberant, where someone may follow up a rendition of Fleetwood Mac with Marilyn Manson. Look out for notable New Yorkers like Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield jamming out in the infectiously fun public singing space. Meanwhile, things are toned down at the punky Alphabet City offshoot, which offers a number of private booths that live up to their high rates with an unbeatable songbook.

8. Arlene's Grocery

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95 Stanton St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 358-1633
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A gem from another era in the live music scene of the Lower East Side, this former bodega isn’t primarily a karaoke venue. But it’s famous for its Monday night public singing sessions, which encourage patrons to join a live band on the stage for rock-oriented tunes and get as wild as a 1990s frontman might have.

9. Mulberry Street Bar

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176 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-9345
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This vintage Little Italy hangout with Italian bar food is an unexpected karaoke oasis in the city. Both hardened loyalists and newcomers of this establishment, featured on The Sopranos, make peace by serenading each other with Frank Sinatra during Thursday night singing sessions. The tin ceiling and carved wood bar provide the backdrop for bygone hits.

10. Baby Grand

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161 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-8110
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Striving to bring the unique magic of Japanese karaoke to New York, Baby Grand is a diminutive bar with no private booths that still conjures an intimate atmosphere. Affordable beers and stiff cocktails are a welcome break from the usual karaoke offerings in the city, and each song costs $2. The place is packed on the weekends, but weeknights are pleasant and still energetic. There’s an additional Greenpoint location.

11. K-One Karaoke Bar

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97 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
(212) 925-1999
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The dramatic decor at K-One, featuring 3D artwork and illuminated floors, is coupled by a robust selection of Chinese songs and food options including fish balls and duck wings. Cash only.

12. Beats Karaoke Cafe

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219 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 302-3030
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While Williamsburg residents still mourn the loss of grungy rock-centric karaoke at the now-defunct Trash Bar, the sleeker Beats has ably filled a hole in the neighborhood. The multilevel space boasts private rooms of varying size and a competitive $9 per person, per hour rate. The song list isn’t up to Sing Sing standards, but with pitchers of Sapporo, that’s easy to forget.

13. The Cobra Club

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6 Wyckoff Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(917) 719-1138
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A quintessential divey Bushwick hangout, Cobra Club is a coffee shop and yoga studio during the day and a bar and performance space at night. Slip into the backroom on Fridays and Saturdays for the casual, cover-free Kings of Karaoke, where happily drunk patrons wait their turn to perform their spin on a favorite rock tune.

14. Insa

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Read Review |
328 Douglass St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 855-2620
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Karaoke bars are rarely remembered for their food, but Insa is a restaurant first, serving elevated versions of Korean barbecue like blood sausage mixed with cellophane noodles and bibimbap. Linger over the dishes while waiting for one of the private karaoke rooms in the back, all designed with a light, artfully funky touch.

Insa interior
Insa interior
Photo: Khushbu Shah

1. Pulse Karaoke Lounge and Suites

135 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036

This subterranean karaoke hideaway is a welcome diversion in the heart of Times Square for tourists and locals alike. Descend into the white-hued lounge with low tables and comfy benches to watch Broadway wannabes perform on a stage. The private rooms are pricey but worth it for the unlimited drink option, as everyone’s singing sounds better after a beer or seven.

135 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036

2. Chorus Karaoke

25 W 32nd St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001

A Koreatown standby since it opened in 2003, Chorus draws in-the-know regulars who hike up to its third-floor space, where they unabashedly butcher pop classics. The public bar area’s anything-goes atmosphere is ideal for people-watching or a raucous happy-hour excursion, but parties can also shuffle into a private room down a discofied hallway. Skip the cloyingly fruity cocktails and opt for Asian, European, and domestic beers available in pitchers.

25 W 32nd St, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001

3. Maru Karaoke Lounge

11 West 32nd Street, 3 and 4 Floor, New York, NY 10001

Maru brings maximalist style to the Koreatown karaoke scene. The wacky, K-pop-meets-Blade Runner design includes a tunnellike bar space awash in neon purple. A range of rooms accommodates all party sizes, and the expansive food and drink menu includes surprisingly tasty Korean bites like bulgogi buns.

11 West 32nd Street, 3 and 4 Floor
New York, NY 10001

4. Gagopa Karaoke

28 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

BYOB is a rarity in New York, but it’s an especially desirable option in a karaoke bar, which has helped develop the cult audience for Gagopa in Koreatown. For those who don’t plan head, there’s also a beer and wine menu. The focus here is on the entertainment, with only private rooms accessed by a hallway lit up like a Christmas tree. The nearby 32 Karaoke from the same owners is often less crowded.

28 W 32nd St
New York, NY 10001

5. Karaoke Cave

11 E 13th St, (underneath Le Midi, same entrance), New York, NY 10003

Speakeasy karaoke is indeed a thing. Sort of hidden underneath Greenwich Village’s Le Midi restaurant, Karaoke Cave has a refreshingly laid-back public space, where patrons can belt a first song for free by ordering a drink. Private rooms are also available.

11 E 13th St, (underneath Le Midi, same entrance)
New York, NY 10003

6. Planet Rose

219 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Public singing is made slightly less terrifying at Planet Rose, thanks not only to its divey vibes and cheeky aesthetic, including zebra-print couches, but also wireless mics that allow performers to blend into the background.

219 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009

7. SING SING St.Marks Karaoke NYC

9 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

It’s not an overstatement to say that karaoke in the East Village starts and ends with Sing Sing. The bar’s original St. Mark’s location invites all kinds, from the professionally capable to the drunk and exuberant, where someone may follow up a rendition of Fleetwood Mac with Marilyn Manson. Look out for notable New Yorkers like Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield jamming out in the infectiously fun public singing space. Meanwhile, things are toned down at the punky Alphabet City offshoot, which offers a number of private booths that live up to their high rates with an unbeatable songbook.

9 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

8. Arlene's Grocery

95 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

A gem from another era in the live music scene of the Lower East Side, this former bodega isn’t primarily a karaoke venue. But it’s famous for its Monday night public singing sessions, which encourage patrons to join a live band on the stage for rock-oriented tunes and get as wild as a 1990s frontman might have.

95 Stanton St
New York, NY 10002

9. Mulberry Street Bar

176 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

This vintage Little Italy hangout with Italian bar food is an unexpected karaoke oasis in the city. Both hardened loyalists and newcomers of this establishment, featured on The Sopranos, make peace by serenading each other with Frank Sinatra during Thursday night singing sessions. The tin ceiling and carved wood bar provide the backdrop for bygone hits.

176 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10013

10. Baby Grand

161 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

Striving to bring the unique magic of Japanese karaoke to New York, Baby Grand is a diminutive bar with no private booths that still conjures an intimate atmosphere. Affordable beers and stiff cocktails are a welcome break from the usual karaoke offerings in the city, and each song costs $2. The place is packed on the weekends, but weeknights are pleasant and still energetic. There’s an additional Greenpoint location.

161 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10013

11. K-One Karaoke Bar

97 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

The dramatic decor at K-One, featuring 3D artwork and illuminated floors, is coupled by a robust selection of Chinese songs and food options including fish balls and duck wings. Cash only.

97 Bowery
New York, NY 10002

12. Beats Karaoke Cafe

219 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

While Williamsburg residents still mourn the loss of grungy rock-centric karaoke at the now-defunct Trash Bar, the sleeker Beats has ably filled a hole in the neighborhood. The multilevel space boasts private rooms of varying size and a competitive $9 per person, per hour rate. The song list isn’t up to Sing Sing standards, but with pitchers of Sapporo, that’s easy to forget.

219 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

13. The Cobra Club

6 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

A quintessential divey Bushwick hangout, Cobra Club is a coffee shop and yoga studio during the day and a bar and performance space at night. Slip into the backroom on Fridays and Saturdays for the casual, cover-free Kings of Karaoke, where happily drunk patrons wait their turn to perform their spin on a favorite rock tune.

6 Wyckoff Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237

14. Insa

328 Douglass St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Read Review |
Insa interior
Insa interior
Photo: Khushbu Shah

Karaoke bars are rarely remembered for their food, but Insa is a restaurant first, serving elevated versions of Korean barbecue like blood sausage mixed with cellophane noodles and bibimbap. Linger over the dishes while waiting for one of the private karaoke rooms in the back, all designed with a light, artfully funky touch.

328 Douglass St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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