Food & Drink

The Best Happy Hour Spots in NYC Right Now

Updated On 05/17/2017 at 05:39PM EST Updated On 05/17/2017 at 05:39PM EST
Dutch Kills
Dutch Kills | Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

The Wayland

East Village

Low booze prices during happy hour typically mean that drinks don’t have to be, well, good. Not so at Alphabet City’s The Wayland, which charges a mere $7 for quality Sazeracs, margaritas, and cucumber Collinses from 4-7pm, Monday through Friday. The bar also has dollar oysters, $6 select glasses of wine, and an array of beers for five bucks or less. The open floor plan means you can choose to roll deep, if you desire, but we think the low-key, old-school tavern-like feel here is better suited for one-on-one beverages and post-work bitching.

The Rosemont

East Williamsburg

Happy hour runs until 9pm daily at this newish East Williamsburg jazz lounge from the owners of the now-closed Trash Bar. Unlike its divey cousin, though, The Rosemont is sophisticated and pristine, decked out in Art Deco touches and featuring one of the most beautiful backyards in the area. Head here for the more upscale atmosphere, but stick around for the generous deal: $5 drafts, wines, and wells, and $8 classic cocktails starting at 1pm on weekends and 5pm on weekdays.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Dutch Kills

Long Island City

At the late Sasha Petraske’s LIC cocktail haunt, you can snag a happy-hour craft cocktail for literally half of what you would’ve paid at the barman’s now-closed Milk & Honey. Sunday-Thursday from 4-7pm, select cocktails, like a classic daiquiri, cost just $8. Just be sure to arrive early: this happy hour is a popular one, and standing room is scarce in the narrow bar area.

Mess Hall - Harlem

Mess Hall

Harlem

The happy-hour deal at this Harlem hub is pretty straightforward: from 4-8pm daily, wines, wells, and a beer-and-shot combo are $6, while select drafts are $5. But the reason this bourbon and craft beer bar makes the list is because in addition to great prices, it also has the perfect happy hour vibe. The rustic décor (taxidermy, exposed brick, and romantic string lights) makes it a perfect fit for both casual drinks with coworkers or an early Tinder date -- and you don’t have to shell out too much cash if either of those scenarios goes awry.

Donna

South Williamsburg

Grab a tap beer for $4, or get in on the draft-cocktail craze for just $8 Monday-Friday until 8pm (and until 11pm on Taco Tuesdays!) at this charming South Williamsburg cocktail bar. You can easily go the basic route with a tap Aperol Spritz, but the bar’s signature Brancolada, a sort of frozen piña colada made with minty Branca Menta, is your best option. For just $4 more, you can throw some tacos into the mix, while a beer-and-taco pairing will cost you just 10 bucks. It doesn’t hurt that all of this is available in a beautiful, open space, with a bottle-lined back bar that rises all the way up to white vaulted ceilings.

Kris Chu

Upstate

East Village

Space is tight at this beloved East Village oyster bar, and it doesn’t help that nearly everyone in the neighborhood (and beyond) comes here. But the deal at Upstate makes shuffling through throngs of thirsty New Yorkers worthwhile: between 5 and 7pm daily, $12 will get you a half-dozen briny bivalves and a draft beer, including interesting craft picks from breweries like Keegan Ales and KelSo.

Alewife

Long Island City

Alewife offers something most pubs in New York City do not: reservations. Book a table for your assembled troops, and tap into the bar’s $7 draft wine and cocktails (like a Moscow mule), $6 wells, and $5 select beers -- without fighting for a spot at the bar. The move here is beer; the two-story bar has more than 25 options on tap, and the kind staff is always willing to help you make a selection.

Skinny Dennis

Williamsburg

One buck off draft and canned beers during this eclectic honky-tonk bar’s lively happy hour (noon-7pm daily) means you can drink Budweiser for only $2… for SEVEN full hours. Meanwhile, well drinks are $3, and the peanuts are free. (And, while it may not be a happy-hour special, there’s no post-work pick-me-up quite like the Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee).

The Rum House

Theater District

We won’t pretend $10 for a cocktail is cheap, but it’s certainly a bargain in the Theater District -- especially in an atmosphere as polished as The Rum House. From noon-6pm, Monday through Friday, settle into one of the bar’s tufted leather banquettes with a $10 pisco sour, caipirinha, or rum punch (or $5 ‘Gansett) and take in the space’s old-timey vibe. This jazz lounge is one of the most beautiful drinking spots in Midtown, and doesn’t require a Black Card for entry.

Flickr/Chris Goldberg

169 Bar

Lower East Side

There’s a reason 169 Bar has been a beloved happy-hour spot for years: its $3 beer-and-shot combo from noon-7:30pm is unmatched. On top of that, the bar is somehow rarely crowded, and the crazy decor (disco ball, leopard-print pool table, neon lights) makes it unlike any other dive bar Downtown.

Swell Dive

Bed-Stuy

During 5-8pm happy hour at this low-key Brooklyn bar, $8 will get you any beer plus a Filipino and Tex-Mex-fused taco that combines flavors in the best way -- think smoked pork sisig with beans and ranch slaw on a homemade flour tortilla. Other deals include $6 for a Narragansett and a shot, and $1 off all other drinks, including various easy-to-drink tropical cocktails.

Madre Mezcaleria

Prospect Heights

Any happy hour that involves $6 margaritas is a good happy hour, but the deal at Madre’s is especially exceptional because the margaritas are actually good. This new next door sibling to El Atoradero takes tequila and mezcal seriously, and the daily 4-7pm happy hour is a great time to sample its offerings. A different mezcal is also on special every week, in addition to $6 sangria, a $5 beer & shot combo, and chips and salsa for just $2.

Insa

Insa

Gowanus

The happy hour at this spacious Korean barbecue spot is designed to prepare you for an evening in one of the restaurant’s five private karaoke rooms. Every weekday from 5-7pm, Insa offers $1 shots of soju, plus beer and wine specials. On weekends, happy hour lasts all brunch long, from noon-4pm.

Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos

East Village

This rum-centric cocktail den with a retro Cuban vibe has a happy hour special that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else: All punch bowls are half-price from 5-7pm every day. That’s a major discount considering the bowls usually cost between $40 (for two people) and $120 (for five or more people). Select cocktails are also more than half off at $7 a pop. Plus, of note for those who are vegan or have vegan friends, the food menu has recently become plant-based as part of owner Ravi DeRossi’s plan to make all his bars and restaurants animal product-free.

Benoit

Midtown

Stop by the newly renovated bar at Alain Ducasse’s classic bistro and spend an hour or two pretending to be chic and French at happy hour prices. From 4-6pm every day, select wines, beer, and cider are all $8, as are aperitifs like Lillet and a handful of cocktails made with old-school French spirits. On top of that, there’s a solid menu of snacks like country pate or a mini croque monsieur, all in the $4-$8 range.

Solomon & Kuff

Harlem

At this sprawling Caribbean cocktail bar and restaurant in far West Harlem, happy hour is all about the beachy cocktails. Every day from 5-7pm, “classic cocktails” -- which here means drinks like pineapple daiquiris, mojitos, and caipirinhas -- are $8, mixed drinks (with your choice of juice or soda and one of the bar’s good-quality well liquors) are $6, and beers are $4. Add to that bar snacks like yucca fries or jerked confit chicken wings and you’ve practically got yourself a tropical vacation. Plus the massive space has two full bars, so you can easily come with a crowd.

The Cannibal Liquor House

Kips Bay

In a neighborhood packed with bars, the Cannibal Liquor House still stands out as a cut above in so many ways. The space is spacious and bright, the snacks are better (hello, cacio pepe chips), and the cocktails are $5 during happy hour. These are high-quality cocktails, too, not your typical bottom-of-the-barrel well drinks, and there’s something for everyone, from a strawberry vesper to Manhattans on draft.

The Lowery Bar & Kitchen.

The Lowery

Sunnyside

Head to this pub right off of Queens Boulevard for pretzel-crusted cheese curds and a really solid weekday happy hour. Every Monday through Friday from 4-7pm, cocktails are $8, wine is $6, bottled beer is $4, and all drafts are $2 off. The cocktails are mostly twists on classics like a Boulevardier (on tap), and the beer menu is long and varied, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something you like.

Fresh Kills

Williamsburg

Like its sibling bar Dutch Kills in LIC, Fresh Kills is a great neighborhood bar with serious, high-end cocktails from mixologist Richard Boccato. Also like DK, this narrow, wood-lined den has a fantastic happy hour. Every day from 5-7pm select cocktails -- ranging from a classic daiquiri or gimlet to a bourbon ginger highball -- are $10. That may not be as dirt cheap as some other drinks on this list, but considering the high-calibre cocktails here usually cost around $14, it’s still a good deal. Or you can always go for a $5 Radeberger.

Reunion

Hell’s Kitchen

Kick off happy hour at this subterranean surfer bar with a $3 acid drop shot (a combo of grapefruit vodka and grapefruit juice), then spend the rest of the evening sipping $3 beers and $5 or $6 tiki cocktails like a frozen mojito. California-style sliders and hot dogs topped with pork belly are also $5, and the deals run from 5:30-8pm every day, so you can really make a night of it.

Sycamore Brooklyn

Sycamore

Ditmas Park

This popular Ditmas spot marks its transition from daytime flower shop to packed neighborhood bar with $3 well drinks and $1 off all beer and wine every Monday through Friday from 4-7pm. Come on the later end of happy hour and you can head to the sprawling back patio, where different food vendors rotate on a weekly and monthly basis. Depending on the day, you might find anything from tacos to falafel to fancy grilled cheese.

Botanica

Nolita

This divey basement-level bar on Houston has become a neighborhood post-work staple for its ridiculously good happy hour. Every day from 5-8pm, all drafts are $3, all well drinks are $4, and select wines are $5. As you might expect, the place fills up fast, but the bartenders are the kind of seasoned champs that will get you your drink quickly, even when the bar is two rows deep.