New Yorkers can be an angry bunch, but drinking and saving money are two things that have them smiling ear-to-ear. As hallowed a tradition as bottomless brunch, happy hour is a well-earned chance for city's worker bees to unwind with cheap eats and wallet-friendly drinks. From sipping the city's best cocktails as soon as the clock strikes five to downing dirt-cheap drafts at the best late-night bars, here are the ultimate happy hours to imbibe without breaking the bank.
Best happy hours in NYC
Weekdays 5–7pmAt this romantic cocktail bar, you can get buzzed and fed for just 11 or 12 bucks. Choose a combo like the classic beer and a burger, the fancier boquerones and prosecco, or the oddball sherry and chorizo. Then settle down at a rustic wooden table and get smug when some poor schmoes come in at 7:01pm and have to pay $13 for chardonnay and $12 for cheese fries.
Daily 4–7pmStart strong with a $7 beer-and-shot deal, including combos like Tecate with Espolón tequila, or ease into your boozin’ with $4 drafts like a Greenpoint Harbor pale ale. Chef Nate Smith of the Spotted Pig also serves up $1 baked clams, $6 sandwiches and a $14 burger-and-beer combo (fries included) at the rustic, locavore-friendly, farm-to-table haunt.
Daily 5–7pmRouse your inner Parisian at the wine bar, where you can get tipsy in a dignified manner with $10 customizable, three-glass wine flights that let you take your pick from the pages-long wine menu. There are also $6 glasses of vino, which will have you forgetting all about your workweek as you relax in the space’s plush black leather booths.
Weekdays 4–7pmThis legit Irish pub offers up $3 Irish Le Chéile beers, $4 well drinks and $5 glasses of wine in a room decorated with a random assortment of photos, fun memorabilia and pop-culture figurines. If you’re itching for entertainment, there’s also an open-mic night, live Irish music and comedy performances at the casual haunt.
Weekdays 3–6pm; Sundays 5–8pmThis lively watering hole has live bands and DJs in the backroom, but you can ignore those and head to the bar for BOGO drinks on Tuesdays. If you tend to nurse, no worries—you have until 2am to stockpile tokens you can cash in at any time throughout the night, so head to the semi-enclosed outdoor porch and take your sweet-ass time. Also, every other weeknight there’s $1 Pabst Blue Ribbons and 50¢ wings up for grabs.
Daily 11:30am–8pmYour hump day just got infinitely better. On Wednesdays from 5 to 8pm, this candlelit gastropub has a $15 unlimited prosecco happy hour, plus grilled cheese. If bubbles and cheese don’t do it for you, don’t abandon hope: There are also $5 premium drafts, glasses of wine and well drinks every night. Still not sold? (God, you’re tough.) Do a few $3 shots, and you’ll finally be satisfied.
Daily 5–10pmBe the boss of your happy hour seven days a week. Even though $2 off all drinks may not sound like much, it puts the average beer at $4 and cocktails, including summertime watermelon-vodka slushies, at $8. Local DJs like Scott Mou and Jan Woo spin underground house music at the hoppin’ tropical-themed club, so prepare to dance your troubles away (just get there before midnight to avoid the cover).
Tuesdays 10pm-1amAt this chef-driven establishment, food-world folks celebrate the end of a workweek with a late-night industry happy hour that also welcomes regular diners. Head to Soho every Tuesday for $8 signature cocktails like the Puck (bourbon, pear, bee pollen) and the Bon Voyage with spiced tequila and mezcal. As with the restaurant's rotating lineup of world-class chefs, the industry happy hour occasionally features a guest barkeep and live DJ sets.
Come for the $5 select drafts (from IPAs to stouts to ciders), and stay for the daily food specials like $1 fish tacos on Mondays and $12 burger-and-beer on Tuesdays. There are also $7 house-liquor mixed drinks and $7 select wine (including a rosé). The Midwestern spot, with lots of seating at the bar and in cozy wooden booths, also hosts events from local breweries—and more beer is never a bad thing.
Daily 6–8pmIf you’re a control freak trying to let go a little, this classy joint is just what you need, particularly when you partake in the $15 blind-tasting happy hour. Just choose red or white, then let the pouring begin (you’ll even learn a few fun facts about wine regions, tastes and styles as you sip). The room’s relaxing sepia decor will amplify that calm wine buzz. Music to our eyes.
Ted’s Montana Grill
The only New York outpost of the bison-centric restaurant chain is in Midtown, and adventurous meat-eaters flock from all over the city to taste the lean protein. It’s not all bison burgers, either—though you could certainly sample one with bacon and cheddar ($21) or another with gruyere, blue cheese, caramelized onions and arugula ($22). Sample the bison nachos with pepper jack cheese ($12), dabble in the barbecue bison short ribs ($26) or go all out with the aged bison filet ($40). Of course, there are also plenty of bison-free options, like the cedar plank salmon ($28) or the beer-glazed roasted half chicken with garlic mashed potatoes ($23). Ted’s Montana Grill also offers a full beer and wine menu, plus several signature cocktails. You may still be in the big city, but you’ll certainly get a taste of Big Sky Country.
Venue says: “Voted winner in the Time Out Love New York Award 2016! Come enjoy our delicious, made-from-scratch, Authentic American cuisine”