Food & Drink

The Best Happy Hours in NYC

Updated On 01/11/2019 at 06:08PM EST Updated On 01/11/2019 at 06:08PM EST
The Gray Mare

The Gray Mare

East Village

Mon-Fri, 4-8pm
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 Irish 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 $7 fish tacos are on hand if all that gin gets your head spinning.

Full Circle Bar

Williamsburg

Thurs, 5-8pm
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. Plus, now that Cuomo has shadily cancelled the L train shutdown, you won’t have to take a shuttle bus to get there.

Courtesy of Beer Fridge

Beer Fridge

Lower East Side

Every day, 5-7pm
This woman-owned retail shop with a huge collection of craft beers offers $5 drafts and $1 off cans (with no corkage fee) during daily happy hour. It’s a small space, so bring a date or a good book and enjoy this calm spot on the otherwise crowded LES scene. A pile of board games, good music, and a knowledgeable staff make it a low-key place to chat and try new brews.  

Dave & Buster’s

Times Square

Mon-Fri, 3-7:30pm
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 discounted to as little as $5. 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.

Courtesy of The Pony Bar

The Pony Bar

Upper East Side

Every day, 4:20-5:20pm
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 $6 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.

Heavy Woods

Bushwick

Mon-Fri, 3-8pm
Mon-Thurs, 12am-4am

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, when all wells and drafts are 2-for-1. The rustic-chic vibe is the perfect place for a date (as long as you can convince her that BOGOs are romantic).

Courtesy of June Bar

June

Cobble Hill

Mon-Fri, 5-7pm
This gorgeous, nook-filled wine bar offers select $7 wines, including a sparkling Cava and a Côtes du Rhône, as well as $7 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 $6 bar snacks include radishes with ricotta and roasted spicy carrots, which is to say that you’re definitely going to get drunk.

The Watering Hole

Gramercy

Mon-Fri, 12-8pm
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.

Courtesy of Baker & Co.

Baker & Co.

West Village

Mon-Fri, 5-6:30pm
The happy hour at this rustic Italian restaurant is oh-so-short but very sweet. For 90 minutes, you can get $5 house wines, $5 Moretti drafts, and -- most importantly -- free olives and cheese. You have to sit at the bar to get the deal, but that’s better than eating cheese by yourself at home, right? Sure, you’ll have to drink quickly, but we’re not here to argue with free snacks.

Flickr/Chris Goldberg

169 Bar

Lower East Side

Mon-Fri, 12-7:30pm
Is your intention is 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.

Broken Land | Nika Carlson

Broken Land

Greenpoint

Mon-Fri, 4-8pm
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.

Mexicue

Mexicue

NoMad

Every day, 4-7pm
When tequila’s the only thing that can drown your post-work sorrows, head to Mexicue, where the house margaritas are only $6. Tecates are $3, 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.

The Thirsty Koala

Astoria

Mon-Thur, 5-9pm
Friday, 5-8pm

$5 wines, $5 house cocktails (including the “Dingo,” a bourbon-chambord concoction, and the lavender-scented “Budgie Smuggler”), and $4 house brew “Koala Lager” 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.

Beso Spanish Cuisine

Beso

St. George

Mon-Fri, 3-6pm
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.

LunÀtico | Giada Paoloni

LunÀtico

Bed-Stuy

Daily, 4:30-7pm
$7 daiquiris, old fashioneds, and margaritas and $1 off snacks 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.

Hill and Bay

Hill & Bay

Kips Bay

Thurs, 4-close
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.

Courtesy of Mess Hall

Mess Hall

Harlem

Daily, 4-8pm
Mon-Wed, 12am-close

$6 picklebacks, $6 PBR-and-bourbon-shot combos, and $20 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 at the “We’re getting drunk tonight” level. Bring your friends early or late, since there’s a second shift happy hour that starts at midnight and goes until they kick your drunk ass out.

Lavender Lake

Lavender Lake

Carroll Gardens

All day Monday
Tue-Fri, 4-7pm

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 crispy chickpeas and almond-crusted goat cheese and pull off an impressive date for under $50 (not counting the Lyft back home).

Courtesy of Clinton Hall

Clinton Hall

The Bronx

Daily, 4-7pm
This huge Bronx beer hall features a rotating list of craft brews. During happy hour, the first five beers on the menu 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.

Madam Marie’s

Astoria

Mon-Fri, 4-8pm
Sat-Sun, 2-8pm

Drink like The Boss in 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 drunk enough to warble about your Glory Days. A big backyard and plenty of seating makes it a  it’s a good for groups.