NYC Piano Bars

Sing your heart out or just listen at these New York City bars with pianos

From raucous to refined, New York City has bars all over town where music-lovers can spend an evening singing and celebrating. I put this article together after a reader emailed me:

"I will be visiting a friend in Manhattan and wondered if you could recommend some good piano bars? I am a professional pianist/vocalist and would like to see some of the better spots for that type of entertainment in N.Y. Straight and Gay scenes are fine with me."

One of my personal favorites, Bill's Gay Nineties closed several years ago, but there are still many great piano bars to check out! Each has it's own vibe and clientele, so check out the complete list to find the best one for your visit to NYC.

  • 01 of 06
    The Duplex
    ••• The Duplex. Photo used with permission of The Duplex

    There is open mic nightly at this West Village piano bar, but what's great about The Duplex is that you can also take a break in the game room and or check out some more professional performances in the cabaret theater. Not restricted to musical theater and cabaret, song birds interested in pop tunes are also welcome to participate in the open mic at the Duplex.
    Address: 61 Christopher Street (at 7th Ave.)
    Info and reservations: 212-255-5438
    Website: http://www.theduplex.com

  • 02 of 06

    Don't Tell Mama

    Piano Bar at Don't Tell Mama
    ••• Piano Bar at Don't Tell Mama. Photo used with permission.

    Don't Tell Mama's theater district location is popular with tourists and locals alike -- which means there can be a wait to get inside on weekends. Those who put up with the wait will be rewarded with an enthusiastic atmosphere for performing your favorite song. This is a great option for anyone looking for something to do after a Broadway show.
    Address: 343 W 46th Street (8th & 9th Avenues)
    Phone: 212-757-0788
    Website: http://www.donttellmamanyc.com

  • 03 of 06

    Brandy's Piano Bar

    This Upper East Side piano bar caters to a mixed crowd, including both neighborhood residents and visitors from out-of-town who enjoy the friendly atmosphere. There is a two-drink minimum at tables, but no cover charge at this spot where live music starts around 9:30 p.m. and continues until 2 or 3 a.m.
    Address: 235 East 84th street (at 7th Ave.)
    Phone: 212-744-4949
    Website: http://brandyspianobar.com/

  • 04 of 06

    Townhouse

    Just north of midtown, Townhouse caters to a primarily gay clientele and feels more like a hotel bar than your traditional piano bar, with many drinking martinis and donning suits. Do mind the dress code, as it's pretty strictly enforced.
    Address: 236 East 58th Street (2nd and 3rd Avenues)
    Phone: 212-754-4649
    Website: http://www.townhouseny.com

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Marie's Crisis Cafe

    Interior of Marie's Crisis Cafe, gay-friendly piano bar at 59 Grove Street in Greenwich Village.
    ••• Interior of Marie's Crisis Cafe. Roger Gaess/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    This West Village piano bar caters to a diverse audience, but nearly all are fans of musical theater. Join the crowd around the piano and sing along to your heart's content. Don't forget to hit the ATM before you arrive, because it's cash only!
    Address: 59 Grove St (Bleecker St & S 7th Ave)
    Phone: 212-243-9323

  • 06 of 06

    Bemelmans Bar

    Bemelmans Bar
    ••• Bemelmans Bar. Photo used with permission of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

    Located in the Carlyle Hotel, Bemelmans Bar has entertainment nightly, which you can enjoy along with the beautiful murals of playful Central Park scenes painted by Ludwig Bemelmans (most famous for his Madeline children's book series). There is entertainment nightly from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and a late set starting at 9 or 9:30 p.m. lasting 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
    Address: 35 East 76th St.
    Phone: 212-744-1600
    Website: http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/carlyle/dining/bemelmans_bar/