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  • Best Concert Hall: Carnegie Hall. There’s a reason every musician dreams of playing here someday. The acoustics are exquisite, the look of the place lovely, and the ghosts of stars past ever-so-friendly.
  • Best Jazz Club: The Village Vanguard. It's the real thing. All of the greats have performed here, and because of the Vanguard’s savvy bookers, this is where the current generation’s stars (often up-and-coming) play, too.
  • Best Rock Bar/Club: Mercury Lounge. The ideal live-music rock 'n roll bar. Top talent, just the right amount of grit.
  • Best Children’s Theater: The New Victory Theater. Savvy programmers bring in the top children’s productions from around the globe, from circus shows to plays to dance and performance art works.
  • Best Comedy Club: Upright Citizens Brigade. The brilliance of the performers here, who are walking the tightrope of making up everything as they go along, will blow you away.
  • Best Cocktail Bar: Death & Co. This one’s a close race, because the bartenders at this joint, Pegu Club, PDT, The Shanty, and Employees Only are friendly and swap recipes. But I’m going out on a limb to say that the cocktails here are both the most balanced and the most inventive.
  • Best Speakeasy: PDT. Hidden behind a secret-panel in the phone booth of a hot dog stand, PDT (it stands for Please Don’t Tell) serves some of the most expertly (and creatively) mixed cocktails in the city, in a hidden space that feels oh-so-exclusive.
  • Best Dive Bar: Dublin House. Need a shot of whiskey at 10am in a place where no one will bat an eye? Head to this old-fashioned Irish pub that started life as a speakeasy in the 1920's (and doesn't look like it's been renovated since the 1960's). 
  • Best Brooklyn Bar: The Shanty. The cocktails here are made with liquors distilled on site, along with artisanal brands from around the globe. Grab a perfectly mixed Dorothy Parker gin martini, sit back, and enjoy life.
  • Best Hotel Bar: Bemelman's at the Hotel Carlyle. It’s not a cheap experience, but enjoying an excellent jazz trio, Manhattan in hand, in this hoity toity watering hole, is one of those experiences that seem taken right from a Woody Allen movie. Classic.
  • Best Gay Bar: The Monster. Sure, the overall scene is hotter in Hell’s Kitchen than it is in the Village nowadays. But men have rediscovered this classic Village bar in the last 3 years, and are flocking to its weekend tea dances and second-floor piano bar.

 -Pauline Frommer

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.