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Boobie Trap
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Boobie Trap

The best places to get cheap beer in NYC

Finding cheap beer in NYC is not impossible—these places all have brews for under $5 (and not just at happy hour)

By Tolly Wright
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We know living in New York City can seem like a money pit, but we also know where you can get a cheap beer for less than a Lincoln. Sure, there are plenty of great happy hours, and they may not have the absolute best beer out there, but these cheap bars (which include dive bars, beer bars and beer gardens) sling brews at all hours. Cheers!

RECOMMENDED: See all of the best bars in NYC

Cheap beer in NYC: Manhattan

At the Wallace

Bars Harlem

Come to this popular Hamilton Heights watering hole for the giant Jenga, $4 PBR drafts, domestic cans for $4 and—best of all—small nip bottles of domestic big-name brands for $3.

Whiskey Tavern

Bars Cocktail bars Chinatown

Getting jury duty is a whole lot better when you have this neighborhood saloon right around the corner from the criminal courts, offering domestic cans for $3 and $4 and drafts of Miller for $4.

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Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

Blue & Gold Tavern

Bars Dive bars East Village

Despite the fact that the neighborhood changed long ago, Blue & Gold Tavern is still holding down its East Village grit with dark lighting, take-no-shit bartenders, a pool table, a jukebox and drafts starting at $4.

Jimmy’s Corner
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Dan Nguyen

Jimmy’s Corner

Bars Sports Bars Midtown West

A true Times Square treasure, this place, owned by an 85-year-old former boxing trainer (there are pictures on the walls with him and the sport’s most famous athletes), is known for its low tourist count and $3 cold ones.

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Edwin & Neal's Fish Bar

Restaurants Seafood East Village

You might first be attracted to Fish Bar’s quirky fixtures—there’s fish nearly everywhere in the tiny East Village dive—but you’ll stick around for the $3 PBRs.

Rudy’s Bar & Grill

Bars Sports Bars Hell's Kitchen

Since 1933 (the year Prohibition ended), Rudy’s has been slinging cheap drinks in Hell’s Kitchen. Just be sure to take it easy on the Rudy’s Blonde and Rudy’s Red, the house beers you can get for $3 a draft ($8 and $10 for a pitcher, respectively), or else you might be seeing two of Baron, its famed friendly pig statue.

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Johnny’s Bar

Bars Dive bars West Village

With nothing more than a neon red light sending the beacon of “Bar,” Johnny’s offers a wormhole to a different kind of West Village, where the ceiling is low, the walls are cluttered and Rolling Rocks only cost $3.50.

The Boiler Room

Bars Dive bars East Village

A far cry from the clubs in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, this gay bar is the epitome of low-key. Beers start in the $4 range, though specials after 10pm typically change those prices to $3—which means more money to use on the top-notch jukebox.

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Corner Bistro

Restaurants Hamburgers West Village

While some people might claim this long-standing, never-changing, West Village burger joint isn’t as good as it used to be, the food still tastes great to us, especially when paired with a draft. Every single one on tap will only set you back $3 to $4.25.

169 Bar

Bars Dive bars Two Bridges

Nestled tightly between buildings on the Lower East Side, the teen-basement-lair turned nightclub (pool table, dartboard, giant fish tank, red vinyl) goes perfectly with the assortment of $3 and $4 bottles and cans.

Cheap beer in NYC: Brooklyn

Gotham City Lounge
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

Gotham City Lounge

Bars Dive bars Bushwick

While many people clamor for $5 beer-and-shot combos, it’s this rare comic book-themed bar that swoops in to save the day with the same deal for just four Washingtons.

Irene's Pub

Bars Greenpoint

A true old-school Greenpoint watering hole where you’ll hear Polish tunes on the jukebox, come here for $3 PBRs—or $1 Jell-O shots if you dare.

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South

Bars Beer bars South Slope

Cozy in the winter with a perfect mid-size patio in the summer, beer lovers appreciate this spot’s dozens of bottles from breweries around the world—usually you’ll find one or two that fit your budget needs.

Denny's Steak Pub

Bars Brooklyn

While you’ll seldom see anyone who isn’t a dude and who isn’t over 40, you can still play pool at this longtime Kensington haunt and get some brews for less than a Lincoln.

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Rocka Rolla
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Rocka Rolla

Bars Dive bars Williamsburg

If you don’t mind some insane weekend crowds of the young and frisky, feel like Williamsburg royalty as you down $3 chalices of Budweiser or, for the same price, a bottle of the champagne of beers: Miller High Life.

Duff’s

Bars Dive bars Williamsburg

A heavy metal bar nestled below the Marcy Ave JMZ train tracks, here’s where you’ll find $3 PBRs and a legendary jukebox. Yep, it rocks.

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Irish Haven

Bars Sunset Park

Since 1964, this pub has been a favorite among locals in Sunset Park. While the prices have gone up a bit since the mid 20th century, drafts still start at $4.

Brooklyn Ice House
Photograph: Liza Eckert

Brooklyn Ice House

Bars Beer bars Red Hook

Red Hook locals make this place their second home as they lounge at the outdoor picnic tables, eating pulled pork sammies and sipping domestic bottles that start at $4. If you bring friends with deeper pockets, they might want to choose one of the dozens (and we mean dozens) of other brew options.

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Freddy's Bar

Bars Dive bars South Slope

Perhaps one of the most beloved bars in all of Brooklyn—in the past we’ve called it a “perfect saloon experience”—this quirky bar and music venue is not only a must-visit for its unique and friendly vibe but for the domestic bottles for just three bucks.

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Cheap beer in NYC: Queens

The Bad Old Days
Photograph: Nicholas Doyle

The Bad Old Days

Bars

With an assortment of old books, board games, couches and quirky lamps, it’s no wonder young locals in Ridgewood feel right at home as they gather around $4 bottles of Lionshead and drafts of Narragansett ($4).

Milo's Yard
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Davis P

Milo's Yard

Bars Ridgewood

A Ridgewood haven that made a splash when it opened in 2015, this spot has everything: a street-food inspired menu, rare pinball machines and, of course, $4 PBR and Buds.

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Rocky McBride's

Bars Astoria

Whenever there’s a big sports game on—including ice hockey, college basketball, UFC, you name it—expect to find Astorians kicking back drinks (bottles start at $3 and drafts at $4) and rooting for their favorite team to win.

Cheap beer in NYC: Staten Island

Mother Pug's Saloon

Bars Staten Island

In a white one-story building that looks like it’s seen better days, this friendly dive occasionally turns into a live music venue where metal music reigns. Whether you’re just in the area or looking to check out some local rockers, down $3.75 Miller High Lifes or $4 drafts.

The Beer Garden
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Billy M.

The Beer Garden

Bars Staten Island

Yeah, yeah, there’s no actual garden at this sports bar, but what it lacks in green space it more than makes up for in $3 Bud Lights and $4 domestic drafts that can be plucked fruitfully from your stool in front of a big screen. 

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Jimmie Steiny's Pub

Bars Staten Island

If you ever find yourself in the Staten Island courthouse or looking for something to do after a Staten Island Yankees game, head to this local gem. Just a short walk up a very steep hill from the ferry, a boisterous bartender slings domestic beers starting at $4 and the nightly specials are dangerous (don’t ask us about Martini Monday—we don’t remember). 

Looking to buy some beer to bring home?

New Beer Distributors, Beer
Photograph: Courtesy New Beer Distributors

Find the best beer store in NYC

Shopping Liquor stores

Find the best beer store in New York City for unique brews, cheap-but-good picks, free samples and specialty craft beers

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