There’s a lot of talent in New York City, it’s true. But you know what the world doesn’t yet: You’re the one they’re waiting for. All you need is to get up on that stage in front of the right people and it’s a one-way ticket to the spotlight. So keep practicing those Maroon 5 choruses and Wiz Khalifa’s rap hook in the shower, then break out your best material and let fate do the rest at these five karaoke bars.
97 Bowery St.
This hyper-stylized Chinatown lounge could host much sexier things than karaoke, but we’re glad it does. This is the place for “The Voice” hopefuls to make their mark, belting one out on their phenomenal sound system. But because it’s Chinatown, the drinks are affordable and the chicken wings are good enough to make a meal of them — we mean it, get here around dinnertime, settle in with an order and settle in for a classier kind of karaoke.
34 W. 32nd St.
Happy hour doesn’t get much happier than BOGO deals, and at Spot Karaoke every that’s every weekday from 5 to 9 p.m. — but then it continues Sunday through Wednesday from midnight to 3 a.m., so who says the fun stops at 11 in Midtown? The bar is on the ninth floor in Koreatown, has bright funky fluorescents lining their interior and some pretty great food. And if you’d like to vary your party activities, there’s a beer pong table.
9 E. 38th St.
This bar is awesome because of its modern ambiance, huge collection of music and many, many rooms to hide your tuneless shame. If you’re looking for something really obscure, this is your go-to spot, with over 107,000 songs in English, Japanese and even Korean. They also add 1,000 songs every month, so don’t expect to find “Sweet Home Alabama” on heavy rotation here. It’s probably the best spot to have your birthday or bachelorette party (or whatever excuse you’ve concocted to pound shots and sing songs until you lose your voice — or your cookies). Bottom line: They have a lot of songs, a lot of space, and a lot of alcohol. Holla!
Radio Star Karaoke
3 W. 35th St.
What’s necessary for a successful night of karaoke? Enough alcohol to keep it lubricated. At Radio Star, enjoy an hour of unlimited drinks for $20, then every subsequent hour is $15 (but be kind to the bartenders dealing with your bottomless nonsense and just pay $20). This bar doesn’t have the largest music selection compared to its Midtown compatriots, but the space is huge, so you’ll really feel like you’ve hit the big time.
219 Ave. A
I’m probably biased because of how much fun I’ve had a couple times at this East Village gem, but there’s something so special about their setup: You perform standing in the middle of the (usually) packed bar. Stage fright doesn’t really exist here — because there is no stage. There’s not even a microphone stand to hide behind, so make sure you fuel up on liquid courage before getting up there. Pro tip: This is the place to pick a popular song to get the crowd behind you, singing along.