Six Places for a Low-Key Night Out

Looking for a low-key night out? Try these six spots to have a chill time out with friends.

Spot Dessert’s matcha lava cake is made of a chocolate sponge filled with warm matcha ganache. This popular dessert shop is just one of six must-try places for the next time you’re looking for a laid-back night out. (Staff Photo by Chelsea Li)

A night out in New York City has no definitive meaning. It can refer to a wild adventure to the hippest bar or club, but every now and then, you may feel exhausted at the end of the day and prefer a more easygoing night out. Listed below are six places that are still a good time, albeit more toned down.

Mudspot Café & Restaurant: 307 E. 9th St. (7:30 a.m. – 12 a.m.)

Mudspot is for the true coffee addict. It’s one of the most famous coffee houses in New York City. Coupled with their delicious coffee, they have a few classic desserts and a great selection of food. 

“I like going to MUD on the weekends because it’s the perfect place to grab a coffee with some pals late at night,” said Aggie Dent, SPS junior. “There is great food, perfect for late-night snacks. My friends and I go there to have a fun Friday night without the pressures of a party atmosphere.”


The café is dimly lit with fairy lights and quirky lamps while the dark brown interior and narrow spaces give the café a warm and comforting ambiance.

The Uncommons: 230 Thompson St. (8:30 a.m. – 12 a.m. on Monday-Thursday, 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. on Sunday)

Coining themselves as “Manhattan’s first board game café,” the Uncommons seats 65 people and takes reservations. There’s something here for everyone. Serving coffee, food and even beer, the Uncommons boasts an original concept. While enjoying your drinks and catching up with friends, you can play a game of Scrabble or even Catan and maybe even make a few more friends while you are at it. It is a great scene to chill with your friends and catch up, whether it’s for a quick game or if you play for hours.

“It’s a great place to just lose track of time in. Especially worth the money if you stay for longer and try lots of different games!” said CAS senior Isla Na.

Big Daddy’s: 239 Park Ave S (7 a.m. – 12 a.m., 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. on Sunday)

Keeping on the theme of games and food, we travel further up Midtown to look at one of the coolest old-school diners in town — Big Daddy’s. Containing old trivia cards and a vibrant décor, Big Daddy’s serves some of the most delicious boozy shakes in town. Coupled with its extensive menu that serves breakfast throughout dinner time, Big Daddy’s also plays some of the chillest and old-school tunes. With bright lighting and the constant bustle that always manages to fill the space, it is a great place to get a little boozy while keeping it low-key. 

“Big Daddy’s has everything one could possibly want from a good low-key night out: comfort food, tempting milkshakes and a witty trivia game for those who prefer their dinner with a pinch of brain-teasing,” said CAS junior Nadia Koritareva.

Cha-An Teahouse: 230 E. 9th St. (12 p.m. – 11 p.m., 12 a.m. on the weekend)

Taking it down a notch, we now turn to Cha-An Teahouse. Hidden from the streets of New York, it sits on the second floor of a building on 9th Street. Giving off an extremely calming atmosphere, Cha-An Teahouse offers a wide and extensive list of teas and tea-infused cocktails, paired with some delicious desserts. It is a great spot to catch up with friends and have a relaxing night out on the town. 

“A hole in the wall tea spot where there is no worry in the world. Just sip on tea while you spill the tea,” said SPS junior Melvin Nguyen.

Spot Dessert Bar: 13 St. Marks Pl. (12 p.m. – 12 a.m., 1 a.m. on the weekend)

Spot Dessert Bar may not be the most well-known, however it is one of the most delicious dessert places. Located near campus, it is a great spot to satisfy your late-night sweet tooth. 

“I went to spot for the first time this semester, and I can’t believe I hadn’t gone sooner,” said CAS junior Mark Malcom. “It’s a super cozy place with great music and really artsy desserts. It may be a bit pricey but it’s worth a visit or five.”

Bubby’s: 120 Hudson St. (8 a.m. – 10 p.m., 11 p.m. on the weekend)

Known for its pancakes, Bubby’s is not a place where you would typically think of spending a night out. However, Bubby’s vibe at night is incredibly pleasant. With soft lighting and a bustling restaurant, the bar is a good place to sit and have a few drinks. With an extensive list of beers, it is a quiet and slightly more relaxed place to catch up with a friend.

Whether you are looking for the wildest time of your life or a laid-back evening with friends, there is something for everyone in New York. Although the city has some of the most famous bars and clubs in the world, it also has many wonderful places for a mellow night out. So the next time you are looking for a more temperate night out, these are just a few possibilities.

A version of this article appears in the Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, print edition. Email Mehhma Malhi at [email protected] 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here