The 12 Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve in NYC, 2014 Edition


So long, 2014. We hope you checked off all of your culinary to-dos, whether that meant having one last meal at WD~50 before it closed, or spending a lunch break at Eataly’s now-shuttered Nutella Cafe. And if you missed one, well, don’t think about it too hard — next year holds more delicious promise. So out with the old, and in with the new — and no better way to set a tasty tone for the year than by ringing in 2015 while eating and drinking very, very well. Here’s where.

The John Dory Oyster Bar, 1196 Broadway, 212-792-9000

If your resolution this year is to hit up as many celebrity-chef restaurants as possible, start 2015 at The John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel. April Bloomfield’s stylish seafood eatery is hosting a three-hour party, which will feature passed canapés and selections from its raw bar, like littleneck clams and Hawaiian blue prawns. Sip punches concocted by cocktail trailblazer Sasha Petraske while you take in a musical performance by the blues-heavy People vs. Larsen. A midnight toast is also on the docket. At 10 p.m., $135.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, 114 Tenth Avenue, 212-792-9200

Though generally thought of as more of a quick-hit venue — this is a place to get a gigantic, emergency slice of pizza, rather than one that provides a full evening’s worth of entertainment — Artichoke Basille’s Pizza has New Year’s plans in store, and they’re tempting. What better way, after all, to balance the damage of a five-hour open bar than with the establishment’s signature slices, stacked to the brim with cream sauce, cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts? A Top 40 playlist rounds out the night’s attractions. At 8 p.m., $59 — Danny King

Pork Slope, 247 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-768-7675

If the passing of time gives you a hankering for the past, celebrate 2015 by wearing ’90s clothing in a bar that channels the ’80s Patrick Swayze classic Road House. New Year’s Eve guests at Pork Slope are encouraged to break out their best fanny packs and other ’90s gear, as a DJ is going to play the decade’s top hits throughout the evening. The bar’s barbecue-focused menu will be available until midnight, and the party goes until 4 a.m. Opens at 5 p.m.

Rum House, 228 West 47th Street, 646-490-6924

If spending a New Year’s Eve in Times Square is on your bucket list, might we suggest a less insane alternative? Head to the Rum House and its Roaring ’20s New Year’s Eve Soirée. Your ticket in gets you a glass of rum punch, a flute of Champagne, and light bites throughout the evening; you’ll be able to build a buzz by purchasing more classic cocktails from the bar’s list. Festive — and thematic — attire is recommended. At 10 p.m., $50.

New York Beer Company, 321 West 44th Street, 212-245-2337

Another Times Square alternative: The craft-centric New York Beer Company is catnip for beer lovers, both for its variety (the five-hour open bar should provide ample opportunity to sample the field of over 40 beers) and its number-crunching layout, which — with its fluctuating, demand-determined prices — is modeled on the New York Stock Exchange. Until 11 p.m., meanwhile, the bar serves three hours of numerous passed appetizers: Wings, coconut shrimp, chicken quesadillas, and cheeseburger sliders don’t even begin to cover the extent of it. Reserved seating is available for tickets starting at $129; for bottle service, the price bumps up to $139. At 8 p.m., $79+. — Danny King

Sweet Afton, 30-09 34th Street, Queens; 718-777-2570

Sweet Afton is a neighborhood favorite known for its cocktails (rye root beer, anyone?), smart beer selection, happy hour, and live music. Come New Year’s Eve, guests can mingle for three hours over cocktails, bites of comfort food, and a glass of bubbly for the toast. And if you’re resolving to do more for others in 2015, this is a good place to start: All proceeds from the party are going to assist the recovery efforts of Concern Worldwide in the aftermath of the Philippine typhoon. At 9 p.m., $70.

Sweet Chick, 178 Ludlow Street, 646-657-0233

Five words: unlimited fried chicken and waffles. That should be more than enough incentive to hit the Lower East Side location of Sweet Chick this New Year’s. At $250, the ticket is on the spendy side, but it comes with unlimited pork from the accompanying pig roast, an open bar from 11 p.m. till 2 a.m., tunes from hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, and a gift bag. (If that price is too steep, consider spending your night at the Williamsburg sibling, where $75 gets you access to a chicken-and-waffle buffet and a late-night open bar.) At 10 p.m., $250.

The Happiest Hour, 121 West 10th Street, 212-243-2827

Possibly the least expensive New Year’s deal we’ve seen is Happiest Hour chef Thomas Lim’s offer of a burger, fries, and cocktail for $20. Lim’s burger is a classic version of America’s favorite sandwich made of two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onions, and special sauce. It’s paired to a festive cocktail created by Jim Kearns — an Aperol and pomegranate liqueur-based drink topped with Champagne, appropriate for a toast. Lim’s offering the deal all night long. Opens at 5 p.m., $20.

Narcissa, 21 Cooper Square, 212-228-3344

John Fraser’s new restaurant at the Standard Hotel made our list of the year’s best, which makes the New Year’s Eve entry fee a little easier to stomach. Narcissa offers a three-course tasting menu along with a Champagne toast to celebrate; after your meal, gather around the cash bar and socialize over the beats of a DJ until the ball drops. Bonus: Fraser’s fare is vegetable-forward, which means you’re basically getting a jump on your healthy-eating resolution. Opens at 5:30 p.m., $225.

Distilled, 211 West Broadway, 212-601-9514

Party like it’s 1915 at Distilled, which is hosting a nostalgic public house-themed New Year’s party featuring a three-hour premium open bar. You’ll be able to eat your way through some of the restaurant’s menu favorites, and you’ll leave with a party favor. A ticket includes a complimentary toast at the stroke of midnight. Opens at 4 p.m., $150.

Empelllón Al Pastor, 132 St. Marks Place, 646-833-7039

On December 31, St. Marks Place will no doubt be teeming with a broad swath of New York’s rowdiest revelers, which makes it an excellent spot to people-watch as you count down to the end of the year. In fact, we can’t think of a better form of cheap entertainment. If that sounds like a plan, head to Alex Stupak’s newest taqueria, Empellón Al Pastor, and throw back some margaritas and micheladas. Tickets include access to an open bar from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., along with a selection of favorite items on the menu. At 10 p.m., $120.

Freemans, Freemans Alley at 191 Chrystie Street, 212-420-0012

If you’re looking for an escape within the city, Freemans’ rustic setting is hard to beat. The timeless, trendsetting hangout begins its festivities with an open bar, oysters, and canapés. Bartenders will fashion up cocktails throughout the evening, and guests are encouraged to break out their sharpest duds. DJs will spin throughout the party. At 9 p.m., $220.