Remember Happy Hour? For less than $10, you could have a decent cocktail, a few tacos, or a glass of wine without completely betraying your credit card’s trust. Your biggest worry was hopping on the L train early enough to meet your friends at an umbrella-covered patio table before 7pm. As the city starts to open back up, some NYC spots are still doing great Happy Hour specials outside. So take a break from daydreaming about discounted margarita pitchers or $1 oyster platters and head to one of the places on this guide.
As you visit these spots, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to buy some food with your discounted drinks. If you want to know more about why NYC bars can’t just serve chips with booze and call it a day, check out our feature all about the updated policy issued by the State Liquor Authority here.
THE OUTDOOR SPOTS
When: Tuesday-Saturday, 3-7pm
The Deal: $11 Select Cocktails; $6 Select Beer; $5 Flask of Punch
Porchlight, a Chelsea bar from the team behind Daily Provisions and Union Square Cafe, unsurprisingly serves great food like chicken po’boys, fried oysters, and other fancy bar snacks. But it’s also a very large space with various seating areas and excellent cocktails located one block away from the Hudson River.
When: Weekdays, 9am-5pm
The Deal: $11 Cocktails; $5 Lagers; $10 Wine by the Glass
Hunky Dory has a corner lot on Franklin Avenue that’s about the size of your average playground. It’s full of patio tables where you can meet up with friends, enjoy free wifi, and have the kinds of conversations you’d usually have in a cramped coffee shop. Rather than simply offering chips as a Cuomo bar snack, Hunky Dory is doing Frito-covered vanilla soft serve, plus some healthier sandwiches and grain bowls.
When: Weekdays, 12-4pm
The Deal: $9-11 Cocktails; $7 Beer; $9 Wine by the Glass
This upscale Mexican restaurant on the Upper East Side has a first-come, first-served patio area and dining room where you can enjoy drinks and snacks like tuna tartare in your guacamole and enchiladas with crab and shrimp.
When: Daily, 4-8pm
The Deal: $5 House Lager; $8 House Lager With A Shot, $8 House Cocktail
Black Rabbit is the kind of pub that would fit in nicely in an English town. Only it’s in Greenpoint, and there’s a cute little backyard instead of rolling countryside hills. Other people will want to sit out there too, so get there before 8pm.
When: Weekdays, 5-7pm
The Deal: Half Off Pintxos
Most of the dishes at this tapas spot in the East Village are a little bigger than standard tapas around the city, which means you’ll save even more money by ordering their croquettes, cured pork toast, and more of their pintxos during Happy Hour. Get the Basque hot dog, which comes with a chistorra sausage topped with piquillo mostarda and aioli.
When: Weekdays, 4-6pm
The Deal: $10 Cocktails; $4-5 Beers; $9 Wine by the Glass; $18 Dozen Oysters; $7 Oyster Shots
The Wayland is an all-purpose bar: good for dates, good for casual drinks with a small group, and good for ordering a margarita and sitting quietly by yourself with a fiction novel.
When: Weekends, 4-6pm
The Deal: $10 Frozen Cocktails and Wine, $6 Draft beer
Concord Hill is a popular East Williamsburg spot where you can get a bunch of vegetable-focused lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch options. They have a few street tables where you can grab a discounted cocktail during the week, but over the weekend. Graham Avenue is closed off to traffic and their large curbside patio opens up in the middle of street.
When: Daily, 12-6pm
The Deal: $10 Cocktail Of The Day
The rum cocktails at this ramen spot in Prospect Lefferts Gardens are actually made at their sister bar next door, Any Thing, and they typically look like better versions of something you’d get from a buzzy poolside bar at a resort in Cancun. Happy Hour cocktails here rotate daily, but expect options like strawberry daiquiris, painkillers, or some new smoky mezcal beverage the bartenders are testing out for the summer bar menu.
When: Weekdays, 4-7pm
The Deal: $5 Well Drinks; $6 Draft Beers; $10 Cocktails
The backyard patio at this UES bar is currently under construction, but you can still enjoy Happy Hour on their new covered curbside patio, rain or shine.
When: Weekdays, 4-7pm
The Deal: $3 tacos; $10 Sangria or Margarita (16 ounce) ; $20 Sangria or Margarita (32 ounce); $6 Micheladas
For years, Chavela’s has been Crown Heights’ go-to spot for meeting up with a few friends. And if you happen to walk by this corner restaurant on Franklin Avenue, you’ll notice that almost every table has a margarita pitcher during Happy Hour. You should follow suit.
When: Weekdays, 5-8pm
The Deal: $11 Select Cocktails & Slushies; $5 Select Beer; $2 Off Wines by the Glass; $1-2 Off Select Snacks
Unlike most bars nearby, this LES spot is laid-back and has a great backyard with lots of outdoor furniture that you’ll want to lounge on all afternoon. Make your way to Bonnie Vee whenever it’s nice out, and you should know that the bar offers a few boozy slushies during Happy Hour.
When: Daily, 3-6pm
The Deal: $5 Well Drinks; $5 Drafts; $8 Select Wines by the Glass; $2 Off All Liquor
On a quiet corner in Clinton Hill, this bright pink bar serves colorful cocktails and vegan Mexican dishes on a small sidewalk patio and in their huge, open-air backyard. Come here if you want to get drinks with someone who you actually want to hear answer the question, “How are you?”
When: Daily, 4-6pm
The Deal: Monday-Tuesday: $24 Mussels, Garlic fries, and Select Wine or Beer; Thursday: $79 Wine Bottle and 3-course Dinner for Two
Cafe Du Soleil is a casual French bistro right by Columbia on the UWS, and it has a lot of covered sidewalk seating. You can come here for dinner or to drink a glass of wine in a wicker chair, even when you think it might rain.
When: Weekdays, 12-7pm; Weekends 3-7pm
The Deal: $8-9 Select Cocktails; $7 Select Drafts; $6 Modelo Cans; $7 House Wine by the Glass
If you’re looking for Happy Hour within walking distance of Columbus Circle or the Theater District, Alfie’s has one every day. The neighborhood bar in Midtown has some seating along the sidewalk out front that works well for small groups, plus a few tables inside their brick-walled space on 9th Avenue.
When: Monday-Thursday, 5-8pm
The Deal: $8 Sake; $9 Highballs; $5 Beer; $10 Cocktails; $5 Lagers; $10 Wine by the Glass
Mei Jin Ramen is a little spot near 82nd Street where you can sit on a stool and eat a bowl of noodles on a Tuesday night. But you can also stop by for a casual catch-up with a friend and enjoy some discounted sake.
When: Monday-Thursday, 4-6:30pm
The Deal: $7 Margaritas; $3 Tecates; $8 Tecate & Tequila Shot; $7 Bar Snacks
Barrio Chino is one of our favorite places in Manhattan to get Mexican food, but even if you’re not interested in eating, you should come to this LES spot for margaritas during Happy Hour. If you change your mind about food, they offer discounted bar snacks, like chips and guacamole and fish tacos.
When: Weekdays, 4-7pm
The Deal: $5 Select Beer & Well Drinks; $6 Sangria
Harlem Tavern has a huge front patio, plus a long bar food menu. This place is ideal if you need a big place to meet some friends for drinks, especially if some of those friends want to watch sports and other people only talk about sports ironically.
When: Weekdays, 5-8pm
The Deal: $6 Select Beer; $8 House Wine; $9 Well Mixed Drinks; $10 Specialty Cocktails
Bar Hugo isn’t as cheesy as your average hotel rooftop, and the Happy Hour goes later than most places in this area. If you work downtown, stop by for after-work drinks. Or bring a date and look out at all the cars going to the Holland Tunnel.
When: Thursday & Friday, 5-7pm
The Deal: $2 Off Margaritas; $2 Off Well Drinks; $1 Off Draft and Bottled Beer
Sweet and Vicious is a good place to know about when you suddenly have to gather a small group of friends who want to get drinks somewhere downtown. There’s plenty of space in the back (although it does get crowded), and the frozen margaritas are strong.
When: Weekdays, 4-7pm
The Deal: $3 Shot with Beer; Half Off Well Drinks
The Commodore is a divey Williamsburg bar that does certain things very well. The fried chicken sandwich, for example, and the house piña colada. Hit up this Happy Hour when you want to hang out on a curbside patio with other people craving greasy food.
When: Daily, 4:30-6:30pm
The Deal: $1.25 Oysters, $1 Clams, $8.50 Select Cocktails, $8.50 Wine, $5 Select Beer
Come here to hang out at a table on Amsterdam Avenue while you eat a satisfying amount of inexpensive shellfish. There’s also a downtown location with its own Happy Hour deal, if anyone’s complaining about going above 14th Street.
When: Daily, Until 7pm
The Deal: $1 Oysters, $15 Carafe Of Wine
A Lower East Side staple for more than a decade now, The Ten Bells is one of those bars that’s always a good time. It has a ton of character, is filled with regulars, and has way better food than a fun wine bar in this part of town really needs to have. On top of that, they serve $1 oysters during Happy Hour.