Birthday parties, unlike their guests of honor, never get old. Make your next party one for the ages with our suggestions for the city’s best spots to blow out candles and cry if you want to.
Not only does the bilevel restaurant have mouth-watering lobster tacos and chicken meatballs, but birthday boys and girls planning to strut their stuff will be right at home in the private peacock-themed dining room. Best of all: The ladies room is stocked with free pink champagne.
Beauty & Essex, 146 Essex Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets (212-614-0146 or beautyandessex.com).
Toast to your own awesomeness with a frothy pisco sour and fresh churros at the affordable East Village spot. If your crew gets woozy from all the celebrating, try the picada — a group-size portion of yucca croquetas and spicy chorizo with sauce.
Yerba Buena, 23 Avenue A, between East 2nd and 1st Streets (212-529-2919 or ybnyc.com).
With its 50-seat bar and tableside guacamole making, the upscale chain cantina was made for enormous (up to 150 revelers) fiestas.
Rosa Mexicano, 9 East 18th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway (212-533-3350 or rosamexicano.com).
If your friends don’t already know what a class act you are, they will as soon as they set foot in the ritzy Grand Central enclave with a Prohibition-style Scotch menu, Kentucky Ginger cocktails, artisanal cheese plates, and roast beef sliders.
The Campbell Apartment, 15 Vanderbilt Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets (212-953-0409 or hospitalityholdings.com).
It’s not as secret as it once was, but the reservations-only club beneath the Mercer Hotel has retained a mystique, thanks to the elevator entrance, original brick walls, cozy tables, and (of course) ye olde stripper pole — for when things take a turn for the weird.
Don’t be surprised when you look up from your Whiskey Grove and, taking in red leather couches and flickering candles, think you’ve been transported to Paris circa 1939. Romantic birthday-goers find plenty to celebrate on the moonlit roof deck; dance-ready crowds get down and dirty to bumping tracks in the wee hours.
Hotel Chantelle, 92 Ludlow Street, between Broome and Delancey Streets (212-254-9100 or hotelchantelle.com).
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy regression. A throwback game of putt-putt (enhanced by Jim Beam-and-Coke slushies and embarrassing photo booth sessions) in a Bushwick backyard is our idea of good old-fashioned fun.
Bushwick Country Club, 618 Grand Street, between Leonard and Lorimer Streets, Bushwick (718-388-2114 or bushwickcountryclub.com).
Even the most persnickety of merrymakers can’t deny the beautiful Brooklyn-made libations and elegant interior. Each drink is crafted from the choicest of ingredients (like homemade grenadine and ginger syrups) and purest of ice cubes.
Weather Up, 589 Vanderbilt Avenue, between Dean and Bergen Streets, Prospect Heights (weatherupnyc.com).
What do you get when you combine a giant beer menu with more than 30 classic arcade games? A seriously memorable birthday bash, complete with Tetris and Moon Patrol. Even if you don’t beat any high scores, you’ll go home feeling like a champion (though it may be all those Sixpoints you sucked down).
Barcade, 388 Union Avenue, between Ainslie and Powers Streets, Williamsburg (718-302-6464 or barcadebrooklyn.com).
From the polished bar to the white-shirted fellas working behind it, there’s nothing about the Williamsburg watering hole that isn’t handsome. Wet your whistle with an expertly crafted cocktail (we suggest the spicy Diablo Verde) or chow down on charcuterie. For larger groups reserve the spacious back room.
The Richardson, 451 Graham Avenue, at Richardson Street, Williamsburg (718-389-0839 or therichardsonnyc.com).
For some, there’s nothing more celebratory than sun, sand, and fish tacos. Pack a blanket and ride the Rockaway-bound A train; upon arrival, stock up on the famed taco shack’s Mexican treats, including spicy lime mango, cucumber, and jicama and fresh fruit juice.
Rockaway Taco, 95-19 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, at Beach 96th Street, Rockaway (347-213-7466 or rockawaytaco.com).
If you think your next bash could use some exotic flair, organize an outing to the zoo, where lions and the occasional cobra escapee lend memory-making magic. And, no, it’s not nerdy if you still think polar bears are the coolest.
Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, at Fordham Road (718-220-5100 or bronxzoo.com).
You don’t have to be a pool shark to appreciate the simple pleasure of cheap rounds ($5.50 per hour) and ice-cold PBR — which, for party purposes, is available for purchase by the case.
Fat Cat, 75 Christopher Street, at Seventh Avenue South (212-675-6056 or fatcatmusic.org).
If fun for you is less about outfits and expensive drinks than high-speed chases and questionable snacks, then spend your birthday afternoon devouring fried Oreos and riding a rickety roller coaster. Once you’ve bumped your last car, take the whole crew to the baseball diamond to cheer on the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Maybe it’s all that Downton Abbey we’re watching, but a proper tea party — complete with raised pinkies and dainty porcelain saucers — sounds spot on. Make civilized selections from a menu of Earl Grey and oolong while nibbling scones and red velvet cupcakes.
Alice’s Tea Cup, 220 East 81st Street, between Second and Third Avenues (212-734-4832 or alicesteacup.com).
Tikka masala and fresh naan might not scream party time, but the outrageous interior of the East Village Indian restaurant definitely does. Strings of chili pepper lights and sequin globes keep guests in good spirits between platters of veggie samosas and banana fritters.
Birthdays are not the time to count carbs; nobody knows that better than the chefs at the cozy Cobble Hill bistro. A pasta bar and updated Italian classics like duck meatballs with broccoli rabe and penne with shrimp and saffron add up to delicious.
Brucie, 234 Court Street, at Baltic Street, Cobble Hill (347-987-4961 or brucienyc.com).
The spacious lower level of the barbecue mecca offers fun and finger-lickin’ eats like juicy brisket, macaroni and cheese, and Kreuz Market sausage and Blue Bell ice cream flown in from Texas. Order beers by the bucket and sing away that stuffed feeling with karaoke.
Hill Country Barbecue Market, 30 West 26th Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue (212-255-4544 or hillcountryny.com).
If the mere mention of birthday gives you visions of co-workers and friends milling awkwardly around a crowded club, then make haste to the easygoing East Village institution, where a massive beer selection and roaring fireplace put even the most determined party-pooper at ease.
No Malice Palace, 197 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B (212-254-9184 or nomalice.com).