Hey remember that one time we told you Confrontational Clothing is our love for fashion, sports, the nightlife, and our desire to succeed rolled into one? Well saying every staff member of Confrontational Clothing loves the nightlife is an understatement! With that being said, what is the criteria for being considered a top nightlife city? That is one of the hardest questions ever and really there is no easy answer. But for starters let’s consider the amount of clubs, lounges, restaurants, and bars there are in the area. Transportation is another deal breaker. If Uber or Lyft aren’t running consistently then your city probably didn’t make the cut. We took all of this under consideration along with the help of over 50,000 or our fans who voted, and we’ve come to a consensus. Without further ado here is our list of the 10 best nightlife cities in the United States. We started from 10 and will reveal the #1 spot at the bottom of this article.
10. AUSTIN – Population 450,000
Austin has been coined the “Live Music Capital of the World” and rightfully so. You can catch anything from blues to indie to country to post punk to jazz on any of the 7 days. Just about every bar in Austin hosts live music. Check out Sixth Street and just pick something that sounds interesting. If dancing is more your thing, this city won’t disappoint; big-city style Austin dance clubs are well established and packed on the weekends. There are legit hundreds of spots to hit in Austin.
9. DENVER – Population 649,654
Denver nightlife is nothing if not diverse, accurately reflecting a population that spans generations, roots and tastes. Cowboy culture is alive and well, especially when it comes to Denver’s line dancing venues which there isn’t a shortage of. Mechanical bull riding draws crowds six nights a week. But Denver is no one-trick western pony. The city has evolved into a sophisticated urban hotspot with residents who have arrived from across the county, the country and even the world. While they embrace the city’s history and rugged edge, they also bring with them a passion for elevated cuisine, fine wines, music of every genre, arts, sports and a love of what’s new and trending. You will also find a few spots where craft beer is poured to the beat of Metal. There is live music and dancing at a slew of clubs and lounges, and there’s always a place to simply sit and watch the sun set over the western peaks. What’s your pleasure?
8. HOUSTON – Population 2,217,708
Houston is on the rise as an import export port, sports, living, restaurants, and of course the nightlife. When exploring the nightlife in Houston, put any preconceived notions about sawdust-covered hoedowns out to pasture. Houston the fourth-largest city in the United States the locals enjoy a trendy, cosmopolitan nightlife scene and a thriving arts scene. The local alternative press, such as the “Houston Press,” can keep you abreast of the latest parties and concerts, but the city also has some established hot spots guaranteed to draw a crowd throughout the week. Though Houston is a sprawling city, much of its nightlife is concentrated in a few distinct neighborhoods. The city has invested heavily in the Downtown neighborhood in recent decades, and it’s now home to many of Houston’s newest bars, nightclubs and theaters. West of Downtown, the Montrose neighborhood is home to most of the city’s gay and lesbian venues, and a fair share of largely straight hot spots as well. The Rice Village, south of Montrose, is popular among college students and young professionals. Farther to the west, along the western side of the 610 Loop, is the Galleria area, also known as Uptown. It houses more than 700 retailers, and the neighborhood is home to some of Houston’s larger nightclubs.
7. SAN FRANCISCO – Population 840,763
In a city as hip and youthful as San Francisco, nightlife often functions as a means for gathering and meeting friends, but it’s not the requisite scene that some cities render it. That said, the city offers plenty to entertain, from sexy lounges to hip nightclubs to that quintessential northern California establishment, the wine bar. Not as much as a nightclub scene as other cities you will still have plenty options to chose from for a great time.
6. MIAMI – Population 424,632
Miami being #6 was a tough call for me as South Beach is one of my favorite nightlife spots of all time. However the people spoke so it is what it is. Some of the perks of Miami nightlife, the clubs, bars, and lounges stay open til 5am. You can also buy buy beer in a store 24/7. Only a fe other cities have the same “drink whenever you feel like it” spirit. Any discussion of Miami nightlife inevitably makes South Beach its focus. This strip of high-rent real estate, distinguished by streamlined Art Deco structures, issues a siren’s call to celebs and glitterati. Their eager response is invariably a nocturnal pilgrimage to see-and-be-seen, following hours spent on the beach, in the gym and at the salon. In SoBe’s chic ether, already-unique Miami bars and dance clubs constantly seek to out-do each other with designer interiors, top-of-the-game DJs and mystiques fashioned around wealthy, beautiful or famous patrons (even better if they’re all three). Outward show – indicated by exclusivity and visual splash – often marks these venues, although the velvet rope isn’t necessarily stretched as tightly as it may seem at first glance (a well-placed call from your concierge can work wonders). As the Mondrian’s Sunset Lounge and the Shore Club’s Skybar ably prove, lounges are, by far, Miami’s hottest nightlife scene. These high-style haunts promote courtship and intimate conversation, an emotional contradiction to the rush of motion, light and rhythm at posh Miami dance clubs. South Beach is not just a club scene they also feature live music nightly, mixed with an eclectic vibe of hipster grunge and Miami fab. You may go broke, but you will never be bored in Miami.
5. PHILADELPHIA – Population 1,555,072
The owner of Confrontational Clothing happens to be from South Jersey which is practically Philly. I am fairly certain he is happy Philly even made the top 10. At one time, if you were going to go bar-hopping in Philadelphia, you’d mostly focus your energies on South Street. This is no longer the case. There are now myriad reasons to step out into other neighborhoods. Let’s start with Delaware Ave and the Spruce Street Garden. You can enjoy live music, light shows, comfortable lounging with your significant other while overlooking the Delaware river and sipping on some of the finest local craft beers. Just a few blocks is Old City which is pretty much Market Street 2nd – 6th streets. Great bars and definitely enough for a small little bar crawl. A few blocks north, you have the Northern Liberties which really has turned into a hip spot. Rittenhouse Square, aka the money spot, continues its reputation as being the city’s cosmopolitan heart and soul. We love the City of Brotherly Love!
4. CHICAGO – Population 2,717,534
Any place I can have a deep dish slice and a great dog with a beer is ok in my book. Chicago’s perpetual energy proves there is no shortage of nightlife entertainment. River North is a catalog of lively bars for young professionals. Along with a selection of swanky clubs, where people are willing to wait hours to get denied entry at the door as if they were in LA or NYC. Choose from a variety of live music genres, from catchy jazz to double-base punk. Like all Chicago business, nightlife is an enterprising market. Tequila is taking over the modern bar scene. Opt for a low-key at a late-night dive bar. The city lashes out once again, reviving the speakeasy. You’ve seen the mobster / prohibition movies? Well Chicago is a great place to relive the speakeasy days…
3. LOS ANGELES – Population 3,900,794
I mentioned earlier the owner of Confrontational Clothing (my boss) being from NJ, well he currently resides in Southern California where I know first hand he is a little butt hurt LA is not #1. But let’s move on shall we? LA’s nightlife scene is legendary, and with good reason – from swanky cocktail lounges to frenetic dance clubs, from themed bars to laugh-out-loud comedy clubs, this city has it all. The vibe varies widely by neighborhood, so plan your night in advance. Hollywood traditionally supplies the hottest action, whether it’s at über-trendy clubs like “Avenue” or the impossible restaurant to make a reservation “Catch” or celebrity-riddled “Delilah” Head west to Venice, Malibu, and Santa Monica, and a mellower atmosphere pervades neighborhoods by the beach. Catch an exceptional acoustic show or gaze at the sunset over cocktails. Downtown and the Valley also have their fair share of hot spots, so please don’t sleep on them. With a seemingly endless variety of bars, clubs, and lounges, you’ll have no trouble tailoring a night out to suit your taste.
2. NEW ORLEANS – Population 376,738
aka NOLA is essentially an island squeezed between the Mississippi River and Lake Ponchartrain, New Orleans is a city defined and shaped by waterways. Nicknamed the Crescent City because of its quarter-moon shape, New Orleans was isolated from the mainland for close to 250 years. It’s that very isolation that made this wonderful city a hotbed of musical innovation, resulting in Dixieland jazz, Creole cuisine, gospel music, jazz funerals and a sassy stew of cultures and mores that are uniquely its own. Jazz, R&B, soul and anything else you can think of fills the air when you walk down the street. The city has produced its share of musical giants(too many to name) While you probably know about Preservation Hall just off Bourbon Street, you may be new to this eclectic line-up of clubs, places that cater more to locals than the tourist trade. Line up a taxi, have a signature “hurricane” drink and start your engines, the fun is about to begin. And don’t worry if you can’t get every club on your list in one night. You might feel better in the morning if you take one at a time.
1. NEW YORK CITY – Population 8,426,743
There is a reason NYC has a reputation for being “the city that never sleeps. NYC has the best nightlife possible. The NYC nightlife can take many forms. Energetic explorers could conceivably skip the daytime completely and still be able to eat the best food, drink the best crafted cocktails, hobnob with celebrities and never miss a show. Comedy clubs, all night diners, famed musicians and the bartender doesn’t call “last call” until 4:00 AM. Which is great, especially if you haven’t closed the deal this gives you more time with her or him… Let’s talk nightclubs for a few tics. While the city’s mega dance clubs used to be synonymous with Manhattan, recent years have given rise to a new kind of club that’s happy to call Brooklyn home. Brooklyn has become little Manhattan with spots like Output, with their lack of velvet ropes and seriously dirty sound systems draw crowds more interested in Carl Cox and Royksopp than Kanye West and Deadmau5. Or what about Mehanata, a Lower East Side gem that’s often unfairly overlooked even though it has the energy, soul and funk to lift you right off their basement stripper pole and on to the wild and rowdy dance floor? But before we get too far off the beaten path, rest assured that those of you looking for the ultimate VIP experience won’t be disappointed with what you’ll find below. The new kids on the block may be stealing some thunder, but Manhattan’s club scene still reigns supreme at places like Cielo or Tao where you can just as easily groove the night away and spend the evening gawking at celebrity royalty. Not that you’d want to do that anyway, right? No, you came to dance. Whatever you are looking to do in NYC they have you covered…