New York Clubs and Lounges Ranked by Exclusivity, Crowd Age and Energy Level

Ranking of Exclusive NYC Nightclubs and Lounges

NYC Clubs and Lounges ranked by exclusivity, sophistication and Energy

Our exclusivity rankings range from members only / invitation only venues (ranking of 10) all the way down to venues that only require you to have a pulse (ranking of 1)

Super Exclusive Nightclubs and Lounges (the Elite)

10 – Invite / Members only.  No lines for these places, you are either in or not

9   – Advance reservations required – you must either have reservations or be joining someone with reservations (even for pretty people) – No lines for these places, and you must always be on the list. Even attractive people that have no problem walking-in to most places must have connections to get in here and it is difficult (if not impossible) for the general public to make reservations.

8 – Reservations required except for pretty people and regulars – No lines for this type of venue

7 – Reservations required except for pretty people and regulars. Guys that come by themselves or in a group of two can also usually gain entry through agreeing to a bar minimum (the amount depends on the night but ranges from $100 to $500 per person) – No lines

Exclusive Nightclubs and Lounges

6 – Preference toward pretty people, but usually small groups (under 5) that look presentable / have at least one girl per every guy will get in without having to buy a table – there are usually lines at this type of venue after 12am.

5 – Preference toward pretty people and small groups with favorable girl / guy ratio,  but at this level capacity starts to become major factor for admittance (get to these types of venues early to beat the line). there is almost always a line at this type of venue after 12am, and it can be a long wait.

Not Exclusive

4 – Preference toward small groups with favorable girl / guy ratio. These venues typically fill up quick, so capacity is a  major factor for admittance (get there early). Again, there are frequently lines at these types of establishments.

3 – Capacity is the primary issue,  door people do not let people in based on their ‘look’ merely if there is enough space and if they are a girl (these venues can actually be harder to get into than even the most exclusive venues for good looking guys / girls as looks cannot be used to bypass other criteria for entry)

2 – Capacity primary issue, but still preference for girls over boys

1 – Do you have a pulse? Then you should be all set to come in- capacity is the only criteria at these places

Nightlife Energy Rankings Explained

The energy of a venue is a metric that captures how much people are moving around, how crowded it is, the amount of lighting / effects and how dance oriented a venue is.  Lounges tend to be lower energy than nightclubs, and house music oriented clubs tend to be the highest energy.

Lower Energy – 

These venues tend to be less crowded with softer music and an atmosphere that is mellower all around. Low energy venues are better suited for people who want to enjoy a conversation and the company of their friends – without all the mayhem associate with a high energy venue.

Higher Energy

High energy venues are all about loud music, dancing on table tops, bottle service sparklers and anything else that will get your heart rate up. Given that high energy venues are quite loud, they are not the ideal place to ‘have a chat with the pals.’ But, they sure are a hell of a lot of fun.

Nightlife Sophistication Explained

Our nightlife sophistication rankings describe the crowd type and atmosphere that you will find at a venue. Sophistication does not necessarily pertain to age, but generally speaking venues with higher sophistication will also have a higher average client age.  In other words, a highly sophisticated venue is more ‘James Bond’ where as a less sophisticated venue is more ‘Animal House.’

High Sophistication Ranking 

Venues with a high ranking are more likely to have a crowd that is experienced with nightlife and has developed discerning taste about where they spend their time.  While not necessarily older, sophisticated crowds are certainly more mature; consequently you will be less likely to encounter pushy people, out of control drunks and loud screaming youngsters that you will sometimes find at other less sophisticated venues. When people at sophisticated venues dance, they lightly bob their head as opposed to violently pumping their fists in the air.  That being said, for people that want to be able to dance like like a maniac the atmosphere at sophisticated venues can feel a bit stuffy and subdued.

Low Sophistication Ranking

Less sophisticated venues are all about letting loose and not caring what others think.  At a venue with a low sophistication ranking, you are more likely to encounter young people dancing as if it were the last night on earth and experimenting with the limits of their alcohol tolerance.