6 Delancey St., nr. Bowery; 212-533-2111
Pre-tipping-point rock bands and the superlative post-show dig (a basement-level horseshoe bar) make this more than a rock club: It’s a cultural institution.
431 W. 16th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-414-5994
The eclectic programming at this new addition to the scene has naturally elevated standards.
217 E. Houston St., nr. Ludlow St.; 212-260-4700
The epicenter of the dapper New York rock revival (the Strokes, Interpol) is still swarmed nightly with applicants for Next Big Thing status.
361 Metropolitan Ave., at Havemeyer St., Williamsburg; 347-529-6696
This intimately sized Williamsburg venue is the Factory's third location since 1987, but still offers the same combination of small-stakes indie rock, underground hip-hop, and oddball one-off events (Hannukah Gone Metal, the Miss Lez Pageant).
289 Kent Ave., nr. S. 1st St., Williamsburg; 718-599-1450
Across the street from the abandoned Domino Sugar factory, this unassuming Williamsburg warehouse and former art space calls itself a "psychedelic venue partyhaus." It also hosts some of the best indie and electro bands around.