SURE, IT'S FUN to travel, but when you live in a city like ours, where a slew of international nightlife options are merely a cab ride away, sometimes it's better to stay in the homeland.
This West Chelsea club, with its (faux) elephant tusks and zebra prints, channels South Africa perfectly. The Cape Town feel is heightened by the Djembe drummer who wanders through the club—adding a tribal beat to your favorite Lady Gaga song. If you’re lucky, he’ll let you bang on the drum, too. 544 W. 27th St., 212-947-8000
Felix Bar & Restaurant
This French-bistro-themed Soho restaurant actually caters to a South American crowd on the weekends. On Sundays Latinos and Latinas pack the joint to the rafters as they dance and sing along to Spanish tunes. Come early (to avoid the lines), and by 5 PM you’ll be shimmying on the tables with the rest of the sexy crowd, a delicious mojito in hand. 340 West Broadway, 212-431-0021
This underground Soho enclave—a Russian-style caviar bar and restaurant—is HQ for those who love vodka. Nearly 70 brands are available here, including 10 house-infused flavored vodkas. With Russian words painted on the ceiling arches, it really does feel like the Kremlin is near. And if you want the caviar, bring the big bucks—roe for two can run you as much as $350. 281 Lafayette St., 212-226-4944
The Standard Hotel
The Standard in the Meatpacking District, the latest NYC installment from hotelier/ hospitality impresario André Balazs, is hosting some serious parties, like the recent Cinema Society and Hugo Boss bash for Inglourious Basterds with such international guests as Diane Kruger (German), Fréderic Fékkai (French), Frederique Van Der Wal (Dutch) and Alex Lundqvist (Swedish) among others. 848 Washington St., 212-645-4646