The Best Happy Hours in 31 NYC Neighborhoods
Happy Hour! That fleeting window dedicated to talking shit with your co-workers, catching up with that friend you’ve been texting excuses to for seven months, or checking out that Bumble guy who’s almost definitely lying about being 6’2". As far as I’m concerned -- and I’m an expert, according to the SEO algorithm that brought you here -- a good happy hour has to have three things. One: cheap liquor. Two: a fun venue. And three: the promise of being home on the couch by 9 o’clock sharp.
Whether you’re looking for a fancy-ish date or a grody dive where you can get tipsy for 10 bucks, New York’s got every happy hour imaginable. Get ready to Slack your co-workers, DM your college friend who’s in town, consider dating a guy who’s 5’8", and belly up to the bar for some boozy bargains.
Drink like The Boss at this campy, cozy tribute to Jersey’s Asbury Park. If $5 drafts, well drinks, and house wine aren’t enough to convince you, a free hot dog with every drink should put it over the top. Make sure to snarf down a few of those dogs, or the $6 Narragansett-and-a-shot specials will make you loopy enough to warble about your Glory Days. A big backyard and plenty of seating makes it good for groups.
The Thirsty Koala
Half-off beers and house cocktails (including the Dingo, a bourbon-chambord concoction, and the lavender-scented Budgie Smuggler) put this Astorian Australian bar on the best-of list. “Bush tucker” (translation: Australian food) beef pies with fries and house-made pickles are on hand to soak up all that discounted liquor. Most of the menu is gluten free, making it the ideal destination for down-under celiacs and the people who love them.
Battery ParkEl Vez
Sometimes, you just need a shot of tequila before you get on that long train ride home. El Vez’s $10 beer-and-a-shot happy hour specials pair Tecate or Modelo Especial with Olmeca Altos Blanco and Pueblo Viejo Blanco, respectively. To soak up all that agave, spring for the $7 bacon-wrapped Chihuahua dog or the $14 carne asada fries with jalapeno cheese sauce; they’ll give you just enough carbs get home, brush your teeth, and get up to do it all again tomorrow.
$9 cocktails -- including the Liquid Love (with agave, tequila, and chile) and the Luna Negroni (gin, vermouth, and orange) -- make this intimate bar and restaurant worth a visit. It’s not the cheapest date here, but the drinks are strong and the food’s delicious. Live music usually starts around 9, so if you’re looking for a quiet night you’ll want to head home when happy hour ends. Then again, if you’re up for full-priced drinks, simply stay put and get a good spot for the show.
This huge Bronx beer hall features a rotating list of craft brews. During happy hour, five fan-favorite beers are knocked down to $5, as are orders of buffalo cauliflower, giant pretzels, and fries. Bring a friend or two, pick your favorite from their collection of games (including giant Jenga and Connect Four), or just watch people order “WTF Waffles,” which are Instagram-ready waffle stacks in the vein of a Black Tap milkshake.
Mon-Fri, 11am - 8pm
Get tipsy like you’re vacationing in coastal Italy at this aperitivo hour. Named for the lovely European tradition of drinking in the afternoon, the menu features $5 aperol and lemon spritzes. If you’re looking for a little more of a buzz, go for the $30 bottle of house wine served, sophisticatedly, with a meat and cheese plate. You’re not on the Mediterrannean, but you won’t be too far from the East River!
This Cajun spot stands out from the Bushwick dive bar scene. $4 well drinks, $1 off drafts, and a $6 beer-and-a-shot combo are best served with pork belly cracklin’ and crawfish mac & cheese. And if you work second shift -- or you just think the happiest hours happen at night -- they offer a late-night happy hour from midnight to four. The rustic-chic vibe is the perfect place for a date (as long as you can convince her that a beer and a shot is romantic).
Named for the signature cocktail of the Kuala Lumpur Hilton, this tiki-esque bar lets you pretend you’re on a tropical vacation -- even when you’re only a few blocks from your office. At happy hour, you can snag a $6 beer or $8 glass of wine, but the real draw is the $10 specialty cocktail. For 33% off, you can try an Itty Bitty Pretty One with gin, velvet falernum, aquafaba, and lime, or a Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) with brandy, mezcal, coconut, and chili. If you’re really in need of vacation vibes, order the bar’s namesake: The Jungle Bird is served on the rocks with rum, Campari, Contratto aperitif, and lime.
This gorgeous, nook-filled wine bar offers select $9 wines, including a sparkling Cava and a Côtes du Rhône, as well as $8 seasonal punch. The antidote to divey happy hours, June’s designed for the Rachel-Comey-clog-wearing, activated-charcoal-drinking Brooklyn set. (Not for nothing, I’ve spotted a few Brooklyn celebs sitting with their kids here). Fittingly, the $8 bar snacks include radishes with anchovy butter, which is to say that you’re definitely going to need a slice of pizza after.
East VillageThe Gray Mare
Ah, those three little words: six dollar Negronis. For the uninitiated, a Negroni’s one part gin, one part vermouth, and one part Campari, making this old-school pub’s happy hour all killer, no filler. It’s dark and cozy enough for romance, or grab a spot by the window if you’re catching up with a friend. Nightly food specials including $2 sliders and $8 chicken tacos are on hand if all that gin gets your head spinning.
FlatironSagaponack Bar & Grill
Mon - Sat, 4–7pm
When you want to pretend you’re in Southampton -- even if the closest you’ll get is gazing into the water that pools on the subway tracks -- head to Sagaponack in the very un-Hamptons-like Flatiron district. Pair $5 draft beer and wine with $1 oysters, $1 little neck clams, $5 fried lobster ravioli, and $9 mussels in white wine. Sure, your boss just took a Blade to the actual beach, but aren’t you having just as much fun here, with your friends? No?
FlushingMad for Chicken
With four wings for $4 and a BOGO on bottled beers, Mad for Chicken’s happy hour gets you tipsy and fed. The Korean wings are satisfyingly crispy, with a real heat if that’s what you want -- all the better to wash them down with a cold beer, then repeat the whole process. Happy hour only runs for two hours, so you might need to invent a dentist appointment to get there before the stroke of six.
All day Monday
With an Instagrammable interior and a just-gritty-enough location to make it a Manhattanite destination, this bougie bar’s been a hot spot since it opened. Happy hour’s the perfect time to enjoy the ambiance without spending your rent money on drinks; a can of ‘Gansett is $3, and cocktails are marked down to $12 from $14. Snack on calamari with Japanese seven spice and pull off an impressive date for under $50 (not counting the Lyft back home).
GramercyThe Watering Hole
The standard $5 drafts, well drinks, and wine at this post-work, well, watering hole, are best layered in your belly with $2 sliders, popcorn chicken, and hot dogs. With TVs on every wall, ample seating, and a crowd that’s 90% suit-and-tie guys, it’s a good choice for kicking back with your co-workers. Be sure to make like a sloppy Cinderella and duck out when the clock strikes eight; you don’t want to be there when the crowd crosses over into weekday karaoke and speed dating.
Broken Land’s got a year-round backyard for ride-or-die vapers, and an extremely eclectic happy hour. $7 Old Fashioneds, $6 wells, $5 draft rosé, and $4 cans of Modelo (Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda, respectively, don’t fight me) are sure to please everyone in your actual friend group. Happy hour lasts until 8, giving you just enough time to meet a fellow G-train riding pal for a drink before heading home.
$6.50 picklebacks, $6.50 PBR-and-bourbon-shot combos, and $22 jugs of beer make for a happy hour with a very high risk of getting messy. While this casual bar also offers the finer things -- like a $30 bourbon tasting and craft brews -- it really shines when you just need to drink away the day. Bring your friends early or late, since there’s a second shift happy hour that starts at midnight and goes until your workweek woes are a fuzzy memory.
Archer & Goat
During happy hour at this Harlem spot, you’ll get $2 off wine by the glass, draft beer, and well drinks. Make sure to stop by on a Tuesday, when the party goes till late -- a free trivia game starts at 8 and ends at 10, when the restaurant turns off its lights. Round up your smartest friends (if they’re reticent, the promise of shots as prizes should be enough to convince them). Just be prepared to be a little hungover on Wednesday morning.
Hell’s KitchenCantina Rooftop
Beat the Monday No-Margarita Blues with an all-day happy hour on the worst day of the week. Drink $8 margaritas (frozen or on the rocks), $8 sangrias and wine, and $6 beers from this lofty perch along the Hudson. It’s a good spot for a big group of friends, so get the whole gang together for a toast to the time when you could drink all day and still feel great in the morning.
Kips BayHill and Bay
Halfway between the bro poles of Kips Bay and Murray Hill, this bar has a different happy hour special every night of the week. “Thirsty Thursday” offers BOGO specialty cocktails, filling the place with vodka and whiskey bargain shoppers. Don’t eat the food (which includes such disparate items as smoothies and a NY Strip), but do drink your 2-for-1s until you come to the terrifying realization that Friday is, in fact, a work day.
On the 18th floor of the Freehand Hotel, the Broken Shaker is a sceney spot for a first date. Pop in for a round of $10 margaritas and Bees Knees, or, depending on how poorly the date is going, a $10 beer-and-a-shot with Tecate and shot of El Jimador. $6 sour cream and onion chicharrones and $4 corn nuts are the perfect snacks to munch on while mulling whether you could wake up next to this person for the rest of your life.
Lower East SideLast Light
Perched on the 11th floor of the Sister City hotel, Last Light features sweeping city views from its indoor and outdoor seating. Classic cocktails -- including Old Fashioneds, Mai Tais, and Penicillins -- are only $9 during happy hour, so you can get that downtown hotel-bar vibe without the downtown hotel-bar prices. The popcorn’s free, but you might want to grab a slice of pizza on the street before you make your way up to that big happy hour in the sky.
Is your intention to get absolutely wrecked? See you at 169 Bar! With $3 beer and a shot happy hour specials, you’ll be texting your ex within 90 minutes. It’s the kind of place that makes people groan at the memory of the hangovers past, so proceed with caution. Then again, with more than 100 years of history as a New York dive bar, drunk you will just be joining a storied tradition.
Midtown East and FlatironSpin
This late-night happy hour is ideal for both drinkers and their non-drinking friends -- once the clock strikes 9pm, unlimited games at this ping-pong parlor are just $9. End a longstanding grudge match with your co-workers, bring a date who you’re not totally convinced you’ll be able to make conversation with, or just remember what it feels like to finally be a winner again. You never know... you might just meet a player who turns your singles game into a double.
If you work on the West side, pop into the Gotham West Market for a food-focused happy hour before that long eastward walk to the train. Dell’anima’s “happy bites” -- including $5 bruschette with ricotta and sea salt or roasted red pepper and smoked marcona almonds -- will hold you over until dinnertime. $5 beers include Jai Alai IPA, Sorachi Ace saison, and the Italian Forst Premium lager, and select glasses of Italian wine are all $10 and under.
Murray HillHole in the Wall
Cut out of work early and spring for a $35 pitcher of Missed My Ferry -- that’s vodka, Triple Sec, cucumber, and lime. If you do have a one-drink max and strict orders to get home on time, stick with an $8 Old Fashioned or $5 Montauk Wave Chase IPA. From 5-6, you can snack on $7 fried camembert or a $10 burger -- you wouldn’t want to take the ferry on an empty stomach, would you?
When tequila’s the only thing that can drown your post-work sorrows, head to Mexicue, where the house margaritas are only $6.50. Tecates are $4, and there’s nothing stopping you from pouring one of those bad boys right into your marg. After two homemade beergaritas, you might just have a whole new attitude about that meeting with your CMO. Add some queso -- cheese being another effective sorrow-drowner -- and things will definitely start to look up.
Schedule a “3pm offsite” and head to Marta, where you can score $4 Peronis and half off a pizza to share while complaining about your most annoying coworkers. If your boss is already onto you, opt for the late-night happy hour instead: After 9:30, you’ll get a free margherita pizza with the purchase of a bottle of wine or pitcher of beer. That should be more than enough food and drink to fuel your team through another much-needed shit-talking session.
Located at the nexus of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Fort Greene, BK9 is the perfect place for Brooklynites to stop for a drink in the middle of your commute. $6 house wine, $6 draft beers, and $2 off signature cocktails will help you get your buzz on before taking a short walk home. If you want to skip your usual Seamless order and stay for dinner, the Haitian, Trinidadian, and Jamaican food puts your weeknight pizza to shame.
Red HookThe Longshoreman
If you haven’t gotten out of work before sunset in six months, this 8pm happy hour is for you. Select draft beers are $4, draft wine and well drinks are $6, and cocktails are $8; for an extra ten bucks, you can soak up all that post-office booze with a burger and onion rings. The bar’s got a locals-only vibe, but don’t let that discourage you -- a walk along the quiet streets might be just what you need to decompress after a long day.
In French, “happy hour” translates to...well, happy hour. That’s a bit of a letdown, but then again, happy hour is uniquely American. Troquet manages to put a Parisian spin on the tradition with $8 glasses of wine -- including Saumur from the Loire Valley and sauvignon blanc from Bordeaux -- along with $6 fries and a cheese and charcuterie board. If you’re not feeling very French-y, order a $5 beer or a $9 Manhattan: this is America, after all.
South Street SeaportFresh Salt
At Fresh Salt, the rotating happy hour specials include $6 glasses of wine, $5 draft beers, and $8 cocktails. During happy hour, you have to order at the bar, but would it kill you to schlep your own drink to a table? It’s the perfect choice for the warmer days to come -- there’s plenty of outdoor seating, so if you manage to get out of work while it’s still light out you might just get a glimpse of the sunset.
This beloved tapas spot starts getting busy around 5, when the local crowd shows up for the $5 margaritas and sangria. Happy hour is only at the bar, so get there as early as you can to nab a stool; once you’re seated at a table, you’re out of luck. If you’re not a Staten Islander, order a few snacks off the extensive appetizer menu to steel yourself for the ferry ride home.
Times SquareDave & Busters
OK, hear me out. Sure, Dave & Buster’s rainbow-colored drinks are named things like “Adult Snow Cone” and “X-Rated Passion Fruit Mega Mojito,” but during happy hour, they’re all half-off. You’ll have to pay for a game card, but there’s no better way to blow off steam with your co-workers than racing cars or whacking moles in a noisy arcade. You can drink while you play and shout as loud as you want -- and you might even win a stuffed animal to give to your work crush.
Upper East SideThe Pony Bar
This happy hour starts and ends early, so it’s best for freelancers, hooky-players, and those, um, laid-back types whose alarms are already set for 4:20. All their draft brews are $7 for the hour, which gives you the chance to try at least a couple from their curated, rotating collection of American-made beers. LCD screens at the bar show you the pour size, alcohol content, and brewery location, so you can plan your night accordingly.
Upper West SideJake’s Dilemma
Mon–Fri, 3–8pm, 8pm–close
With grad-student-priced drinks and a foosball table, this dive is a favorite among the college crowd. The happy hours are long, the bar is very sticky, and the specials change daily. With $5 you-call-its, $15 buckets of beer, and $10 pitchers, this is not the thinking man’s happy hour. And what’s there to think about? You want to catch a buzz, and you want to do it on the cheap. Selections from the bar are half-price on weekdays, and all beer is half-off on Saturdays.
West VillageBaker & Co.
Sip on a $6 draft red or white, a $6 Italian lager, or an $8 spritz at this quiet Italian resto when you need to collect your thoughts or have a real conversation. You can snack on $6 truffle croquettes, $13 fried calamari, and a $7 Murray’s cheese board -- split them with that friend you’re catching up with or, if you’re drinking alone, eat ‘em all by yourself as you while away the afternoon.
A honky-tonk bar bringing the yeehaw agenda to Brooklyn, Skinny Dennis serves up bourbon mint sweet tea and a Willie’s Frozen Coffee (a bourbon-and-coffee slushie with a bourbon floater, named for Willie Nelson). Expect a crowd, live country music, and a vodka-focused happy hour on Tito’s Tuesdays: $4 Tito’s lemonades and $2 Tito’s shots. The rest of the week, you get $1 off beers and $3 wells; not bad, but a shot of vodka’s more likely to make you giddy-up.
Fresh Kills -- brought to you by the brains behind Dutch Kills in Long Island City -- has the same classic cocktail sensibility. For the bargain price of $10, you can choose from ten cocktails including the gimlet (lime and sugar with your choice of vodka or gin) and the Shake (lemon and sugar with your choice of rye whiskey or bourbon). Sure, the drinks are simple, but they’re perfectly made -- and after a long day, you don’t always want to wait for something fussy.
Full Circle Bar
This Skee-Ball-themed bar has happy hours every day, but Thursday is the time to visit. Well cocktails are $5, you get $1 off drafts and frozen drinks, and -- I can’t stress this enough -- Skee-Ball is totally free. You can’t spit in Williamsburg without hitting a dive bar with a happy hour, but Full Circle gives you something to do with your hands that isn’t scrolling through your phone.
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