NYC day drinking: an hour-by-hour guide

Where to Day Drink NYC
New York

NYC day drinking: an hour-by-hour guide
NYC day drinking: an hour-by-hour guide

Dave Presley
Dave Presley

Pretty soon, the days are gonna start getting shorter, which means you better start making the most of the longer ones while you still can. Your best bet? Read these essential day drinking guidelines, then put them to good use with this NYC day drinking guide, which outlines the best day drinking bar for each hour of the day that the sun is out.

And even though this isn't a crawl, you could definitely string a few of these together for a nice little afternoon.

Instagram/Spring Lounge

Where to drink: Spring Lounge (address and info)
Why? One of the better bars in the city, and one of a select few that open up before noon, the excellent craft selection allows you to pretend like you’re getting an early start on a hobby or something, and the big windows let enough light in to ease you into your day properly.

Instagram/The Randolph NYC

Where to drink: The Randolph at Broome (address and info)
Why? Another one of the city's great pre-noon bars, but this one is double-great because you no longer have to spike your morning coffee... since they already do that for you!


Where to drink: Prune (address and info)
Why? If you want one of the best Bloodys in the city (as well as an excellent brunch) but don’t want to wait on the sidewalk for hours, get your ass out of bed and get here at opening time. You won’t regret the rest of your day.


Where to drink: Colonie (address and info)
Why? If you live in Brooklyn and don’t want to head into Manhattan, but DO still want an excellent brunch with top-notch drinkables (like an excellent michelada, a Bloody Caesar, and Bloody Mary), get to this normally crowded favorite as soon as it opens. And yes, we know this is about drinking, but have you seen the damn burger here?

Calle Ocho

Where to drink: Calle Ocho (address and info)
Why? Calle Ocho is a great example of a boozy brunch with many, many flavors of COMPLIMENTARY sangria. But at noon, just about any boozy brunch is a good move -- it's not too early that you can't get up in time, and not too late to really get your money’s worth.

Radegast Hall & Beer Garden

Where to drink: Radegast Hall & Biergarten (address and info)
Why? If you’re trying to get rowdy without all the pretense that “eating” brings with it, Radegast is your new best friend. Bring a deck of cards, stake out a massive table, and let the liters start rolling in.


Where to drink: Blind Tiger Ale House (address and info)
Why? You got some things done earlier in the day, and you’d like to reward yourself with an excellent craft beer. Half of day drinking is showing up before the crowds do and feeling like you have free reign, so get here right before it fills up, and really indulge in one of the best beer selections anywhere.

Skinny Dennis

Where to drink: Skinny Dennis (address and info)
Why? It’s possible you’ve never been here before 11pm, but this Radegast-adjacent bar (mini-crawl!) is awesome during the day for a few reasons. 1) Live music, 2) a lively but crazy scene, and 3) one of the best frozen coffee cocktails in the city.

Eataly NYC

Where to drink: La Birreria (address and info)
Why? Combine the pleasures of a beer garden with the laid-back, late-afternoon vibes of a rooftop barstaurant, and this becomes one of the must-hits if you’re starting things up before sundown.

The Cannibal

Where to drink: The Cannibal (address and info)
Why? Heated outdoor space if it’s chilly, lots of meat if you get hungry, amazing beer... there are a lot worse ways to kick off the late-afternoon.

Standard Hotels

Where to drink: Top of the Standard (address and info)
Why? Prime. Sunset. Position. Also, if you’re wily, you can try and hang out 'til the party gets started later at Le Bain.

Craft Restaurants Inc

Where to drink: Colicchio & Sons Tap Room (address and info)
Why? More sunset-adjacent drinking here. And it doesn’t matter if you’re waiting for a table or not, make sure you go to the tap room, make sure you sit at the end of the bar, and make sure it’s not a cloudy day -- the massive windows allow for some of the most stunning sunsets you can see in the city, in an under-the-radar drinking spot. Plus it’s pretty close to a lot of night-drinking options, too.

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Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist’s NYC Editor, and he thinks drinking during the day and going home with a pizza before 10pm is not a bad way to spend a day. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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1. Spring Lounge 48 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

There's nothing quite like getting up bright and early to toss back a couple of brews at 8am. OK, so eggs and coffee may be the more sensible route, but at least you know you have the option over at Spring Lounge. This Nolita dive has a diverse crowd, a great beer selection, and free beer-braised hot dogs on Wednesdays. The bar was opened illegally in the 1920s as a "to-go" shop and has gone through several transformations since. It became Spring Lounge in the '70s, but is referred to as Shark Bar throughout the neighborhood.

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2. Prune 54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Warning: you're going to be a bit cramped. Prune's turned into one of the most influential restaurants with food like Spatchcocked Pigeon and Roasted Marrow Bones. Don't miss brunch here either because the Bloody Marys rock. From classic to Chicago Matchbox, they've got every flavor you've ever wanted.

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3. Colonie 127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (Brooklyn Heights)

Colonie is an upscale but unpretentious neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn Heights -- it's the kind of place you go when you feel like treating yourself to a quality dinner and don't want somewhere sceney. You know what we mean. The menu has a little bit of everything: oysters, kale salad, burrata, pasta, and one very fine burger topped with aged cheddar, a fried egg, bacon, and beet ketchup. There is, of course, brunch, where you'll find that damn good burger again, plus monkey bread, buttermilk pancakes, and eggs Benedict. The space is simple with exposed brick walls, wooden ceilings, and touches of greenery.

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4. The Blind Tiger 281 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Arguably the epitome of a New York City craft beer bar and a true pioneer in the NYC craft scene, Blind Tiger’s been doling out a fine selection of the top tier libations since it opened in 1995. It’s the go-to spot to meet folks from your favorite breweries who happen to be swinging through town, and the tap takeovers are legendary to say the least. Sip from 28 taps, two casks and a staggering list of microbrew bottles.

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5. Radegast Biergarten 113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Radegast is a massive Polish/Slovakian drinking hall in Williamsburg, complete with retractable roof panels, a grill station that kicks out an endless stream of brats, venison sausages, kielbasa & weisswursts, and, of course, a bar where they're pouring massive steins full of brews.

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6. La Birreria 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

With amazing views of the Empire State and Flatiron buildings, Eataly's 8000sqft rooftop brewpub pours Italian & American craft beers and dishes Italian Alps-inspired eats(!!).

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7. The Cannibal 113 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016 (Murray Hill)

This cozy, low-key spot is tiny on the inside, with only wooden stools and metal counters for seating, but opens up to a heated patio with an additional 40 seats. The meat-heavy menu focuses on tapas-style plates and charcuterie with remarkable exceptions like an entire pig's head. The beer and wine menu is extensive and includes a broad range of both domestic and European options. Refrigerators full of beer bottles line one wall, and patrons are invited to pluck their choices right out. This is a great date spot as long as neither of you are into the whole veggie-only thing.

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8. The Standard Hotel 848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014 (Meatpacking)

A biergarten, a pizza garden, the High Line, Meatpacking, the Standard Grill, Le Bain... this hotel has so much to do, you'll probably never want to leave.

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9. Calle Ocho 45 W 81st St, New York, NY 10024 (Upper West Side)

You can really get your money's worth at this colorful UWS mainstay with the complimentary sangria at their weekend brunch, but their menu (loaded with items influenced by a variety of Latin cuisines including Cuban, Peruvian, Dominican, Spanish, Venezuelan and Costa Rican) is certainly worth paying for.

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10. Colicchio & Sons 85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)

From the founding chef of Gramercy Tavern and judge of Top Chef comes this double-winged restaurant offering a taproom with a view at the front, and high-end American fare in the back. The indulgent tasting menu features the likes of roasted spanish octopus with avocado and poached farm egg with pancetta, while a dizzyingly long wine and beer list guarantees you have an excuse to stay for a while and enjoy the sunset streaming through the massive taproom window.