This Tea Changes Color Like a Mood Ring
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. 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, tavern-like feel here is better suited for one-on-one beverages and post-work bitching.
Every day, 5-8pm
This divey basement-level bar on Houston has become a neighborhood post-work staple for its ridiculously good happy hour. 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.
Mon-Fri, 5-9pm; Sat-Sun, 3-9pm
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 upscale atmosphere, but stick around for the generous deal: $5 drafts, wines, and wells, and $8 classic cocktails.
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. Select cocktails, like a classic daiquiri, will set you back 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.
Lower East Side
Every day, 5-7pm
At this Instagram-friendly, ‘70s retro-inspired bar/restaurant, you can get dollar oysters as well as select cocktails for just $5 during happy hour. Settle into one of the vintage-looking leather booths or a comfy bar seat and don’t feel ashamed to take photos -- everyone else is doing it too.
Every day, 4-7pm
This quintessential neighborhood bar boasts a daily happy hour with $9 select cocktails (a deal when you consider their normal price tag of $14), $2 off draft beers, and $1 oysters. Pair that with plenty of bar (and table) seating and a lively-but-quiet-enough atmosphere, and you’ve got a choice spot for an early date or catching up with an old friend.
Every day, 4-8pm
The happy hour deal at this Harlem hub is pretty straightforward: $6 for wines, wells, and beer-and-shot combos, and $5 for select drafts. But the reason this bourbon and craft beer bar makes the list is because in addition to eye-catching prices, it also nails the heady, 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 date -- and you don’t have to shell out too much cash if either of those scenarios goes awry.
Mon-Fri, 5-8pm (Taco Tuesday ‘til 11pm)
Grab a draft beer for $5, or get in on the draft-cocktail craze for just $7 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 $6 more, you can also throw two tacos into the mix. 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.
At this old-school Vegas-inspired bar in Greenpoint, you’ll find some of the best frozen margaritas in the city for just $6 during happy hour, along with $2 off beers on tap. And there’s plenty of comfy leather booth seating and an outdoor patio that’s perfect when it’s warm out. Don’t forget to grab a handful of Goldfish from the bar (those won’t cost you anything).
Every day, 5-7pm
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: $12 will get you a half-dozen briny bivalves and a draft beer, including interesting craft picks from breweries like Keegan Ales and KelSo.
Long Island City
Mon-Thurs, 4pm-1am; Fri, 4-7pm; Sat & Sun, 11am-2pm (brunch)
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 friendly staff is always willing to help you make a selection.
Happy hour is the best time to visit this cozy bar from cocktail industry legends Julie Reiner and Ivy Mix, as cocktails that normally go for $13-$20 (think gin fizz and corn whiskey Old Fashioned) are available for just $8. Adding to the appeal is $6 wine, $4 beer, and equally affordable snacks like $5 deviled eggs and $7 steak over toast.
Every day, noon-7pm
One buck off draft and canned beers during this eclectic honky-tonk bar’s lively happy hour 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).
Every day, noon-6pm
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. Settle into one of the bar’s tufted leather banquettes with a $10 rum punch, daiquiri, or wine (or a $5 lager) 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.
Lower East Side
Every day, noon-7:30pm
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.
Every day, 5-8pm
During 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.
Every day, 4-7pm
Any happy hour that involves $6 margaritas is worth considering, but the deal at Madre’s is exceptional because the margaritas are actually good. This new next-door sibling to El Atoradero takes tequila and mezcal seriously, and the daily happy hour is the best time to sample its offerings. A different mezcal is on special every week, in addition to $6 sangria, a $5 beer and shot combo, and chips and salsa for just $2.
Mon-Fri, 5-7pm; Sat-Sun, noon-4pm
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. Insa offers $1 shots of soju, plus beer and wine specials. On weekends, happy hour lasts all brunch long.
Monday, all night; Tues-Fri, 5-7pm; Sat-Sun, 4-7pm
Get your seafood fix at this daily happy hour featuring $1 oysters and clams, $8 cocktails, $7 wine, and $5 draft beer (plus other affordable bites like fried clam sliders and mini fish tacos). Uptowners, take note: The Upper West Side location has a daily happy hour as well.
Mon-Fri, 4-pm; Saturday, 4pm-close
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 (think burgers and oysters), and draft beer, house wine, and cocktails are $5 during happy hour. These are high-quality cocktails, too, not your typical bottom-of-the-barrel well drinks. You can also opt for a stacked burger and a Manhattan for just $15.
Head to this pub right off of Queens Boulevard for pretzel-crusted cheese curds and a very solid weekday happy hour, with $8 cocktails (think margaritas and mules), $6 wine, $4 bottled beer, and all drafts $2 off.
Every day, 5-7pm
Like its sibling bar Dutch Kills in LIC, Fresh Kills is a buzzy neighborhood bar with serious, high-end cocktails. Also like DK, this narrow, wood-lined den has a fantastic happy hour, with cocktails -- ranging from a classic daiquiri or gimlet to a bourbon ginger highball -- for $10 a pop. That may not be as dirt cheap as some other drinks on this list, but considering the high-caliber cocktails here usually cost around $14, it’s still a good deal. Or you can always go for a $5 pilsner.
Every day, 5:30-8pm
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.
Mon-Fri, open-7pm; Sat & Sun, open-4pm
This popular Ditmas spot marks its transition from daytime flower shop to packed neighborhood bar with $4 well drinks and $1 off all beer and wine (plus $8 for a well shot and a pint of draft beer, or $7 for a shot of Jameson, Jack, or Sauza). 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.