New York City is one of the most expensive, and most intense cities in the world. Apartments cost a lung, and you’re judged every minute of every day. And weirdly, you kind of like it! It does start to wear after a while though, and people end up yearning for a place where they can unwind and recharge after a day of having to hustle and tango for their cash in the ad agencies, investment banks and world-class universities that make the rest of the world go round.

It makes sense then, that the most intense, most expensive, most competitive and most judgmental city in the world would also have some of the most awesome happy hours in the world. New Yorkers need a place to wind down for a couple of hours where they can recharge their batteries and remind themselves that everything will be ok. Liquid therapy at affordable prices is the one thing that’s remained a constant inside the ever-changing whirl-a-wind that is New York City. There are many, many, many great places to go for a happy hour in NYC that can do the job. Listed below are some faves.

Agave – Happy Hour in NYC
Happy Hour in NYC

You’d think that praise from media heavies like The Food Network (“NYC’s Best Margaritas!”) and USA Today (“America’s Best Tequila Bars!”) would give Agave a big head and make it turn its back on its patrons, but you’d be so, so wrong. This West Village favorite rewards its patrons with a pretty awesome happy hour in NYC. Naturally, the menu is filled with incredible modern Mexican fusion fare like grilled corn on the cob topped off with chipotle lime butter and queso cotija (!) and decadent short rib tacos (!!), but this eatery’s happy hour is what keeps them coming back for more. Five-dollar margaritas from a hot spot celebrated for its tequila? Check checkity check! Expand your taste buds and sip on tasty thirst quenchers featuring happiness-inducing flavors like pomegranate or blood orange.

140 7th Avenue South (between 10th and Charles), NY, NY 10014 212-989-2100 | Website

Parkside Lounge
Happy Hour in NYC

The Lower East Side is all about Happy Hour in NYC.  One that has been standing out for a long time is the Parkside Lounge, on East Houston Street, which has remained a classic for years (since 1955). Legendary bands like the Ramones have passed through the Parkside Lounge. This dive spot is perfect for folks who want to fill up on cheap but good drinks while filling up on awesome music. Domestic beer pitchers go for ten bucks, while you can get the imported stuff for $12. Buds and Millers go for $2, while you get 2-for-1 Cuervo, Jim Bean and Smirnoff drinks. Add if the funky DJs playing your song, skeeball, comedy, tarot readings by Leslie,  you’ll never, ever want to leave.

317 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002 212-673-6270 | Website

BLT Fish Shack
Happy Hours in NYC

This Flatiron restaurant does a reasonably good approximation of the type of crab shack you’d find along a coastal Maine highway. The fish tacos are to die for and the Maine crab and gruyere dip is a major draw, but what the after-work crowd really comes for are the happy hours. Urban seafarers can gulp down tasty $1 oysters every weekday between 5pm and 7pm, topping them off with mugs of ice-cold draft beers that go for five bucks. These aren’t the oysters “in the back”; these are the genuine, tasty article straight from the menu. If beer isn’t your thing, you can gulp down BLT’s signature cocktail called the Sharkbite, a colorful drink made with blood orange, champagne and cassis. The BLT’s oyster happy hour is only available at the bar, so it tends to fill up fast. Get there early, and grab your table.

21 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011, 212-691-8888 | Website

The Mermaid Inn – Happy Hour in NYC
Happy Hour in NYC

If your oyster-happy-hour-hunger level is at DEFCON 1, and you’re on the other side of town, The Mermaid Inn may be able to fit the bill. Located in three different locations throughout Manhattan, the Mermaid Inn’s oyster happy hours are legendary. If you’re downtown on the east side, check into the location on Second Avenue in the East Village. If you’re downtown on the west side, the MacDougal Street location in the Village (called the “Mermaid Oyster Bar”) is just a few blocks from the West 4th Street subway stop. The Amsterdam Avenue address is perfect for Upper West Siders who don’t feel like going down south.

This is where you have to pay attention for our Happy Hour NYC tip: from Tuesday to Thursday, happy hour at all Mermaid Bar locations is from 5pm to 7pm. From Friday to Sunday, happy hour starts a full hour earlier at 4pm, leaving you a full extra hour to enjoy the delectable $1 oysters and $3 fish tacos. New to oysters? The Mermaid Inn’s created an Oysterpedia app just for you! Wash down fried clam and coleslaw sliders with $5 mugs of beer, $6 glasses of wine, and $7 cocktails. Just remember “5,6, 7 from 5 to 7” – you see what they did there?? Huge plate of oysters + cheap, tasty cocktails? Early date night solved.

Multiple Locations | Website

Happy Hour in NYC

Oenophiles (Wine aficionados who don’t know the Greek for Kimono) will feel like they’ve been called home to the mother ship when they sample the happy hour at Amelie in the West Village. When you walk through the door, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a tiny and hip gastropub in France. Their Happy hour in NYC takes place between 4pm and 7pm. Take advantage of the $12-for-three “flight” where you can enjoy three half glasses of wine. And don’t worry; they’re very generous with the pour amounts! Individual glasses of wine go for $6, nearly 70 percent off their usual prices. Make like a Parisian ingénue with a blank expression and a lob haircut as you nurse your wine in one of the cozy, plush theater-style seats in the front. You could also sit at the sleek, swanky bar and just soak in the vibe.

22 West 8th Street, New York, NY 10011 | Website

Thirsty Scholar
Happy Hour in NYC

You don’t have to be an NYU or Cooper Union student in order to enjoy the happy hour in NYC deals offered at Thirsty Scholar. First of all, this East Village bar has one of the longest happy hours in the city, starting at 2pm in the afternoon and ending at 8pm every single day. Frozen drink lovers can enjoy the frozen drink of their choice for $4. Cosmopolitans and martinis are a mere $5, and beers are between $3 and $4. This means if you’ve only got ten bucks in your pocket, you can get a nice buzz.

155 Second Avenue between 9th and 10th St. | Website


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About The Author

Resident Tourist

Born here. Lives here and never leaving. The nicest person to ever not speak in public. Loves New York