The Best Happy Hours in Downtown NYC

Cocktail spots and wine bars are a dime a dozen below 14th Street, but a truly good happy hour is harder to come by. Don’t pay full price for drinks (or snacks) at these 16 downtown watering holes, offering very happy happy hours throughout the week.

The Oyster House at Pier A

pier a oyster platter

The Oyster House at Pier A at the tip of Manhattan is a great place to go anytime, but their happy hour is not to be missed. AKA "The Oyster Hour," it runs Monday through Friday from 3 to 7pm. You can get the house's freshest oysters on the half shell paired with select beer and wine or a martini. A half dozen East Coast oysters can be teamed up with Guinness ($18), an Oyster House martini made with Fords Gin ($20), or a glass of muscadet ($20). Fans of West Coast oysters can opt for a pint of Pacifico with a half dozen for $20. 22 Battery Pl., 212-785-0153,

Mermaid Inn

Mermaid Inn

Monday, 5-10pm, Tuesday-Friday, 5-7pm, Saturday-Sunday, 4-7pm. Mermaid Inn proclaims “The Happiest of Happy Hours” at its East Village location, with $6 beer and $8.50 wine and cocktails. Get a Mermaid Mary (a Bloody Mary with Old Bay) and mini lobster roll, and don’t forget about the backyard if it’s nice out. 96 Second Ave., 212-674-5870,



Weekdays, 5-7pm. Taste the French countryside at Amelie, the well-loved wine bar near Washington Square Park. Sip a $6 Syrah surrounded by charming mid-century accents, or get a flight of wines for just $20 during happy hour. 22 W. 8th St., 212-533-2952,

The Folly

Daily, 12-8pm. If you’re up for some seafaring adventure on Houston, try the ship-themed bar The Folly. Select wines, drafts, and mixed drinks are $7 until 8pm, including the House Frozen Grog, a.k.a. the Painkiller. It’s made with rum, pineapple juice, coconut, and nutmeg. 92 W. Houston St., 646-726-4740,

Botanica Bar

Daily, Open-8pm. Botanica Bar is a Soho dive whose raison d’etre is the daily happy hour. It’s a crowd at this garden-level bar on Houston, but that’s because they serve $3-5 drafts, $5 wine, and $4 well cocktails till 8pm. Yep, every night of the week. 47 E. Houston St., 212-343-7251,

The Wayland

The Wayland

Weekdays, 4-7pm. There’s a definite English cottage feel to The Wayland, and it’s a great pick for anyone looking for live music and innovative comfort food along with their drink. As for happy hour, expect $4-5 beer, $8 cocktails like the San Fran Spout, and $7 wine. Dollar oysters and $5 oyster shooters are available as well at this Alphabet City mainstay. 700 E. 9th St.,

Pinch Chinese

Daily, 5-7pm. You had us at Dollar Dumplings. Soho’s Pinch Chinese serves these doughy delights during happy hour, plus $9 wines and cocktails (mezcal margarita, Là Là Mule, old fashioned, and sour all available). $6 for draft beer and cider, and $4 Gold Medal Taiwan Beer. Other snacks like Sweet Sichuan chicken wings are also available at a discount. Happy hour available only at the bar and lounge. 177 Prince St., 212-328-7880,

Sweet & Vicious

Sunday-Thursday, 2-7pm; Friday, 2-6pm. A summertime pick in Nolita, Sweet and Vicious makes 7 flavors of frozen margaritas, all discounted during happy hour (!). Sip your marg in the graffiti-clad backyard for some fresh air with punk flair. 5 Spring St., 212-334-7915,



Weekdays, 4-7pm. A cute, casual cafe in Nolita, Epistrophy is good for everything. The charming vintage atmosphere of this Sardinian spot goes down even smoother with cheap beer, wine, and cocktails at their weekday happy hour. 200 Mott St., 212-966-0904,

La Compagnie de Vins Surnaturels

Daily, 5-7pm. The name might be a mouthful, but it’s hard to deny La Compagnie if you’re in the mood for some post-work vino in Soho. The seating is plush and plentiful, and if you guess the night’s Mystery Wine you win a bottle of it! Happy hour gives you $5 off glasses of wine and $5 snacks. 249 Centre St., 212-343-3660,


Daily, 5-10pm. This popular Lower East Side spot claims to have the city’s best happy hour. We can’t deny it’s pretty sweet, as it’s 7 days a week and lasts till 10pm. Enjoy $7 lychee martinis, red and white sangria, house wine, cocktails, and $4 Narragansett on the stuffed leather banquets lining the walls at Verlaine. 110 Rivington St., 212-614-2494,

American Cut Tribeca

American Cut Happy Hour Wine

The beverages at American Cut range from craft cocktails to fine domestic varietals in the wine cellar. Come for Happy Hour (Monday through Saturday, 5-7:30pm) to sample a select wine of the day ($8) or the bar’s standout Plank Smoked Old Fashioned ($10), made by scorching maple wood and filling a glass with the smoke. Other beverages and food like The Big Marc burger and Bang Bang Shrimp, not available on the dinner menu, are also worth the early-evening trip to American Cut. 363 Greenwich St. Call 212-226-4736 or visit


Bonnie Vee

Weekdays, 5-8pm. Bonnie Vee is a reliable pick for laid-back drinks in the Lower East Side. There’s a great back patio for warm weather, plus food deals (warm pretzel, anyone?) in addition to drink specials. A daily cocktail is $12, $5 each for Tecate and Narragansett, and $2 off all wines by the glass. 17 Stanton St., 917-639-3352,


Daily, 4-6pm; 11pm-Close. A Tribeca wine bar with a book-length wine list, Terroir offers lower prices on most wines by the glass during not one but two nightly happy hours. Everything from a Kosher red to a “crazy prosecco” is discounted, plus oysters are $1.25, and snacks are $2 off. 34 Harrison St., 212-625-9463,

B Flat

Monday-Saturday, 5-7pm; Sunday, 3-7pm. Get jazzed at B Flat in Tribeca, a club with live music and a compelling happy hour. Cocktails like the yuzu-flavored Groovy are just $10, beer is $5, and sake is $10. Serving Japanese food, B Flat also discounts sushi and spring rolls on its special early evening menu. 277 Church St., 212-219-2970,

169 Bar

Daily, 11:30am-7:30pm. Early birds can get a jump on the rest at this pre-noon happy hour near Chinatown. Although 169 Bar is over a hundred years old, time has brought changes like a text-from-your-table feature. Happy hour deals include $3 beer-and-shot combo, $1 off drafts and cans, and $2 off everything else. 169 East Broadway, 212-641-0357,

Trading Post

Trading Post

Monday-Friday, 4-7pm & 10pm-close; Saturday-Sunday: all day. For your South Street Seaport pick, it’s got to be Trading Post. This tri-level space is an upscale pub with an excellent streetside patio and very good food. Select drafts are $5, wines are $7, seasonal cocktails are $8, and select bottles of wine are half off during certain hours. 170 John St., 646-370-3337,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Bringing a group to NYC? Free planning services

Let us know what you are looking for and we will try to connect you directly and get discounts.

Enter the code: 3972

More Articles