Places to go out near Columbia that aren’t 1020, the Heights or Mel’s

There’s a lot more to the neighborhood then those drinking holes

Morningside Heights can be a bit of a trap. Midsemester blues and all you want to do is get as far away from Columbia as possible. Unfortunately, with deadlines around every corner and finals approaching, it’s hard to have the motivation to go further south than 110th.

However, that’s no excuse for going to the same three campus bars.

Here are a few suggestions of places to go for a fun night out that doesn’t require going downtown.

The Apollo

The Apollo is a 15 minute walk from Columbia and an experience like no other venue in the city. From Amateur Night to music cafes and stand up comedy, there is always something fun going on. Click here for their calendar of events.


Upstairs is a Middle Eastern cafe and downstairs is a live music venue and hookah bar every night of the week. What more could you want? Click here for their calendar.

Karaoke at Suite

Suite is a local gay pub that has karaoke Sunday-Thursday and Drag shows Fridays and Saturdays. The stage with a glittering backdrop will really make you feel like a star.

Smoke Jazz & Supper Club

If you’re looking for a classy Jazz venue that you don’t need to go all the way downtown for, Smoke is the place to go. Highly recommended by locals, they have great acts every night.


Another favorite live music venue in Harlem, it hosts a variety of all-ages shows. Check out their calendar here.

Trivia Night

Sunday evenings 6:30-9:30 at Arts and Crafts is Trivia Night. You compete for 1/2 off your bar tab and there are Happy Hour specials throughout. (There’s also Trivia Night at 1020 on Tuesdays)


This hidden gem is located right on campus below the chapel. They host an “open stage” since they’re aren’t any microphones on the first Saturday of every month but other live acts every Friday and Saturday 8:30-11:30.

Harlem Pub Crawl

A highly recommended pub crawl is right in the neighborhood, so get a group together and go for it! It’s a great way to get to know the area and step outside of the Morningside Heights bubble.

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