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The best NYC happy hours that you can actually make

These bars all offer legitimate happy hour deals at times most busy New Yorkers can realistically enjoy a drink

Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Pink gin at the Shanty

Dollar-off happy hours that go until 7pm are kind of…useless. Thankfully, these bars in NYC offer real deals at times when you can actually enjoy a drink—from a Park Slope sports bar to a Greenpoint dive.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to happy hours in NYC

Best NYC happy hours that you can actually make

169 Bar

The deal: $3 beer-and-shot combos; daily noon– 7:30pm

People always lament that New York’s changing, but this Lower East Side dive has hosted drink specials for a good hundred years—and it will continue to do so long after your ass has fled city limits. The vaguely tiki interior is crowded with tables and chairs and fills up as the night goes on, which makes this afternoon deal even more appealing.

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Venue says: “All day Happy Hour Monday-Thursday! Late night Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday 11pm - to close.”

The deal: $5 beers and $6 mixed drinks; Mon–Thu 4:20pm–1am, Sun 11pm–1am

Long Island City’s expansive two-story beer temple has a dark-wood–paneled interior. Since this spot evokes the dead of night, it’s only fitting for it to offer specials that’ll keep you there until those wee hours. And your wait is rewarded with $5 brews (everything from Brooklyn Summer Ale to Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai IPA) from an impeccable, globe-trotting 28-lines–strong tap system that typically go for 8 to 10 bucks.

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Long Island City

Bar Matchless

The deal: Two-for-one well drinks and beers; daily 3–8pm, Tue 3pm–2am

This Greenpoint staple puts classic-rock radio’s twofer Tuesdays playlists to shame. And chances are, the converted auto-parts shop is hosting a free gig in its back venue—so you can rock out too.

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The deal: $4 drafts and wine, $5 frozen cocktails; weekdays 4–8pm, weekends 2–8pm

You had us at “weekend happy hour,” Niagara. Although the East Village is covered in drink specials, this corner spot across from Tompkins Square Park rises above the rest with pretty-darn-cheap domestic drafts and deals on frosty margaritas. Tall windows illuminate the graffiti art, and a backlit bar lets imbibers look out on the characters of this formerly gritty ’hood.

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East Village

Pacific Standard

The deal: $4 drafts; Mon 4pm–4am

Kick off the week on a great (read: sloppy) note at this California-inspired suds spot, which is outfitted with knickknacks from the Left Coast and arguably the best list of Golden State microbrews around. (If you’re crowd averse, know that the joint gets packed with West Coasters when games featuring Cali teams air.)

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Boerum Hill

The Shanty

The deal: $1 off beers and $8 cocktails; Mon 6pm–midnight

Thirsting for booze straight from the source? This dimly lit, exposed-brick drinkery is attached to (and offers views of) New York Distilling Co., which features huge, fully functioning copper stills that churn out inventive whiskeys, gins and ryes daily.

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Soft Spot

The deal: Two-for-one drafts and well drinks; Tue 4pm–2am

Drinking dirt-cheap on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg doesn’t mean you have to settle on a run-down haunt. Check out this narrow slip of a bar, which has a no-nonsense clientele and a cozy back patio where you can enjoy your pints of Brooklyn Lager, Messiah Nut Brown Ale and other brews.

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The Well

The deal: Two-for-one craft beers; daily 4–9pm

Housed in a former brewery, this spacious hang pays tribute to its roots by focusing on small-batch suds makers such at LIC Beer Project and Other Half Brewing. Make the most of this generous special, and sip on sours, ciders and gluten-free beers among more classic IPAs and ales.

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Looking for a rooftop happy hour?


Michael K

The Library on Ave. A in the East Village also has 2 for 1 on all drinks weekdays until 8.