Ulitsa Bolshaya Sadovaya Dom 8
Tel: 7 495 650 9918
This cavernous, centrally located, all-purpose club with scuffed wooden decor claims to be Europe's largest. Whether or not this is true, B2 has something for everyone. If you don't like the disco of '70s and '80s favorites (and not necessarily the favorites you're accustomed toexpect a lot of Modern Talking), drop by the second-floor sports bar, or climb up to the third floor and wind your way through the corridors to the Cool Train jazz club. Tango classes are on the fourth floor. There are live concerts nightly, Latino dance parties, and hip-hop and R&B Thursdays. B2 even holds a poetry festival. If all that climbing and dancing makes you hungry, the menu includes surprisingly tasty sushi and inexpensive cocktails. There's a cover charge for men Fridays and Saturdays after 10 pm.
Open daily noon to 6 am.
Krivokolenniy Pereulok Dom. 10
Tel: 7 495 623 9660
The preponderance of hipper-than-thou nightspots for Moscow's Manolo-shod, Maserati-driving moneybags might imply there's no place for a grungy intellectual to while away the weekends and wee hours. Not so. Bilingua is a bookstore/café /concert hall/film club/intellectual discussion venue in an appropriately hidden but conveniently central side street (behind the former KGB headquarters, practically across the street from Club XII). The industrial interior is remarkably cozy, especially among the book stacks, and while the food and drinks are cheap, the talk isn't. There are free discos on Friday and Saturday nights.
Stoleshnikov Pereulok Dom 12/2
Tel: 7 495 629 5702
Right in the middle of Stoleshnikov Pereulok, one of Moscow's ritziest boutique streets, this bar's a snack spot for fashionistas by day (breakfast, salads, fresh-squeezed juices). By night, the disco balls glitter in all their glory and Motown funk blasts through the speakers. There's dancing in the aisles, at the tables, everywherepartly because the bar is so small, mostly because it's so popular. "Face control" is tough. The second-floor shop is closed during the debauchery, so make a daytime stop to check out Simachev's interesting aesthetic. He's most famous for the cheeky T-shirt he designed in 2005depicting Vladimir Putin framed in roses.
Kosmodamianskaya Naberezhnaya Dom 2
Tel: 7 495 953 6576
Ibiza on the Moscow River? Fabrique has that vibe at 4:30 am, when Moscow's beautiful young students groove to techno that's much more danceable than in most Moscow clubs and down Long Island iced teas and Absolute Jazz cocktails. By some accounts (at least in the writing of Russian novelist Sergei Minaev), it's legendary for its drug scene too. There are DJ parties every Friday and Saturday (it's strictly a weekend club, except New Year's Eve). A restaurant serves the usual Moscow mix of sushi and Italian standards in a section of the nearly 15,000-square-foot, bi-level club.
Open Fridays and Saturdays 9 pm (the restaurant) and 11 pm (the club).
Ulitsa Kazakova Dom 8A
Tel: 7 495 778 5651
Located in an increasingly hip neighborhood near Kursky train station, Ikra is called Moscow's first New Yorkstyle rock club. It's housed in a former theater with winding corridors and velvety couches; includes a café; and hosts some of the best live club concerts in town, from rock to house (New York City's Gogol Bordello has played here). Tickets for the concert and party afterward are sold separately and can be purchased in advance (which is recommended). There are free funk, lounge, and acid jazz DJ sets on Thursdays, and monthly gay parties. The name, by the way, means caviarif you look closely after a drink or two, you'll see the psychedelic wall designs are actually big eggs.
Open daily at noon; concerts and after-parties Fridays and Saturdays 8 pm to 6 am.
7 Bolshoi Zlatoustinsky Pereulok
Tel: 7 495 624 5732
Located just a block from the former KGB headquarters on Lubyanka Square, this Moscow institution has nothing to do with the Soviet era. By day, the no-nonsense industrial-style interior is an unpretentious café with cheap, tasty food. At night, it serves up a menu of the hippest house, techno, and funk music, as well as variations such as soulful house, spun by top-notch homegrown and international DJs. (DJ Sanches's Thursdays are legendary.) Even though it's been open for more than a decade, getting through the door on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday can be problematic, as it's popular with a new generation of Russian college students and techno-music lovers. Sunday is gay night. Located a few blocks away, the Club Formerly Known As Krizis Zhanra is an improved reincarnation of a 1990s club by the same owners that attracts an equally young crowd (Ulitsa Pokrovka Dom 16/16, Stroyenie 1; 7-495-623-2594; www.kriziszhanra.ru).
Open daily noon to 6 am.
Leninsky Prospekt Dom 32A
Russian Academy of Sciences
Tel: 7 495 938 5775
In 2005, Sky Lounge, a chic bar and lounge, replaced the 22nd-floor restaurant in the Academy of Sciences headquarters. With its nooks, couches, curtains, one of Moscow's longest bars, a nearly wraparound balcony, and an Asian influenced-design, it looks like something straight out of Hong Kong or San Francisco. But it's really all about what's outsideMoscow, spread out below like a satellite image from space. (Judging by the menu, they're definitely charging for the view; there's also a Meade telescope for observing the stars.) Although the building, with its huge copper sculpture astride it, is easy to spot, it takes a genius to find the entrance. It's across the street from the monument to Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut; but we recommend hiring a driver, or a Russian scientist, to help find the way.
Opens daily at 1 pm.