1. Café Carlyle

    Chic and classy Café Carlyle is New York at its best and is well worth the steep cover charge; Eartha Kitt was a regular, and Woody Allen is often part of Monday night jam sessions. Bemelmans Bar features pianists like Barbara Carroll, and a cheaper tab.

    • Carlyle Hotel, 35 East 76th St at Madison Ave

    • Cover charge

    Café Carlyle
  2. Café Pierre

    An elegant setting for talented singers performing Broadway and pop favorites. The food, while pricey, is first rate. Jackets are required in the evenings.

    • Pierre Hotel, 5th Ave at 61st St

    • No cover

  3. The Oak Room

    Settle into a banquette and look forward to top entertainers like Maureen McGovern or Julie Wilson. The repertories usually favor American classics, such as Gershwin, Berlin, or Cole Porter. Look around the Algonquin too, a hotel famous for the “round table” of writers who met here in the 1920s.

    • Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th St, between 5th & 6th Aves

    • Cover charge

    The Oak Room
  4. Don’t Tell Mama

    No telling who will be at this fun spot in the Theater District – singers, comics, or magicians. There are no big names, and abilities range from amateur to destined-for-stardom. Sometimes even the waiters get into the act.

    • 343 West 46th St, between 8th & 9th Aves

    • Cover charge

  5. Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

    This is a fashionable spot to hear artists like guitarist John Pizzarelli and Grammy-nominated vocalist and song writer, co-owner Feinstein.

    • Loews Regency Hotel, 540 Park Ave at 61st St

    • Cover charge

  6. Café Sabarsky

    On Thursday nights, this Viennese confection becomes the city’s most beautiful setting for contemporary cabaret. Shows are at 9pm; a prix-fixe dinner is available at 7pm. Check for current dates and reserve tickets at the museum.

    • Neue Galerie, 1048 5th Ave at 86th St

    • No cover

  7. Joe’s Pub

    This intimate oasis, attached to the Public Theater in the East Village, hosts an eclectic range of arty performers, from beginners to big names. Without dinner reservations, seating or standing is on a first come, first served basis.

    • 425 Lafayette St, between East 4th & Astor Place

    • Cover charge

  8. The Metropolitan Room

    Opened in 2006, this sleek newcomer is winning praise for its warm vibe and top performers, including jazz legends Annie Ross, Marilyn Maye, and Billy Stritch.

    • 34 West 22nd St, between 5th & 6th Aves

    • Cover charge

  9. The Duplex

    The oldest cabaret in town features a broad range of entertainment, from early versions of Nunsense or Mark Twain Tonight, to singers, comedians, drag diva Lady Bunny, or the troupe Funny Gay Males. The raucous shows attract straight and gay.

    • 61 Christopher St at 7th Ave South

    • Cover charge

  10. Laurie Beechman Theater at the West Bank Café

    The room here hosts regular cabaret series. Some performances are open, which means the headliners may ask audience members to help out on a song or two.

    • 407 West 42nd St between 9th and 10th Aves

    • Admission charge

Top 10 Comedy Clubs

  1. The Comic Strip Live

    A leading venue for up-and-comers; Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld are alumni.

    • 1568 2nd Ave

  2. Caroline’s Comedy Club

    In the heart of the theater district, Caroline’s features big names as well as beginners.

    • 1626 Broadway

  3. Dangerfield’s

    One of the oldest and best; former testing ground of the legendary Rodney Danger-field.

    • 1118 1st Ave

  4. Gotham Comedy Club

    A spacious setting for top talent from Comedy Central and other sources.

    • 208 West 23rd St

  5. Comix

    This ambitious upscale newcomer is a massive hit with comedy fans.

    • 335 West 14th St

  6. People’s Improv Theater

    You can laugh here, and take a comedy class too.

    • 154 West 29th St

  7. Stand-up New York

    Novices and pros feature in this intimate space.

    • 236 West 78th St

    Stand Up New York
  8. NY Comedy Club

    Top NYC comics and a low cover charge.

    • 241 East 24th St

  9. Upright Citizens Brigade Theater

    Mainly improv; their regular Sunday night show, Asssscat 3000 , is hilarious.

    • 307 West 26th St

  10. Chicago City Limits Theater

    Timely improvization in this long-running review.

    • 318 West 53rd St

    Chicago City Limits
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