Top-10 Happy Hour Spots in the City
Why is it so difficult to find a fun happy hour spot in New York City? After a long, hard, never-ending day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend “more work,” looking for a halfway decent bar with drink specials.
It’s not like we’re asking for a lot – cute boys, fun vibe, great drink specials, colorful cocktails, hip music, maybe cheap appetizers.
It’s like we all search the same way. I go to Google, Citysearch, GoNYC, hoping my latest happy hour search will end differently than my last. They don’t.
That is why I put together a “real” Top-10 best places to go for happy hour in the city list. I assure you I have not been paid for these endorsements. These are just my honest opinions based on the best after-work spots I have visited over time.
I want what you want at happy hour. I don’t want to walk into a quiet bar. I want excitement, someplace to unload after a stressful day, someplace that is fun but won’t empty my purse. As a 20-something-year-old female who works and plays in Manhattan, I can tell you this Top-10 list was compiled after many drinks.
I hope you enjoy my list of favorites.
1) The Frying Pan: Docked at Pier 66 Maritime, located in the Hudson River Park, the Frying Pan is a sunken ship that has been salvaged and now converted into a floating bar/restaurant. This is definitely the place to hit up on a Friday afternoon when you want to catch some sun on the water and relax after a long day. Drinks can be a little pricey but that’s to be expected in NYC although they do have a special on a bucket of 6 coronas for $35 as well as pitchers of sangria and margaritas. Overall this is a great place to meet up with friends on a spring/summertime evening but make sure to get there early because it gets packed quickly!
2) Hudson Terrace: Although 12th avenue may be a little out of your way the view from the rooftop lounge makes it all worth while as well as their two for one happy hour specials which is music to my ears. You can chill out on comfy sofas while sipping their delicious signature cocktails like the Bikini Martini. Stick there long enough on a Friday or Saturday night and you will no doubt have a sick time, the music is constantly going strong along with a good looking crowd of people always there to party. It has definitely become the new hotspot on the weekends.
3) Sutton Place: This place is great because of the amount of space there is. There are two floors along with an outdoor rooftop lounge so if being cramped isn’t your style check this place out. People flock here from all over after work so for all you singles there is definitely enough eye candy to go around. Located on 3rd Ave. in midtown this place is ideal for a meeting spot that’s in the heart of Manhattan. For all you sports fans out there plasma TV’s are on pretty much every wall so don’t worry about missing a game.
4) 230 Fifth: If you’re looking for a rooftop bar to sip a drink in style then step right up. Here you can get a good buzz on while enjoying the NYC skyline. There’s a rooftop lounge as well as an indoor lounge and both give off a great vibe. If you’re in the mood to hang outdoors in the colder months they have “snuggie” like robes for you, what’s better than that? The drinks are a tad pricey but beware they are very strong, shots are more like double shots so its worth it in the end. There is always a crowd here and very nicely dressed to say the least. Whether its 5pm just in time for happy hour or 2am you’ll be sure to have an awesome night with an amazing view.
5) Aspen Social Club: It’s Colorado meets Manhattan. Located in the Times Square vicinity, need not to worry it isn’t a tourist spot at all. The atmosphere is different than most bars/lounges, inside the space is dimly light with a very rustic type décor, beware there are deer antlers throughout the place. The bar area is on the small side but there is plenty of room to walk away and grab a table if your with a group of friends. If you’re looking for coziness and some delicious bison burgers then check it out after a long day at work!
6) Galloway Hooker: Don’t be fooled by the name. There are actually two located in Manhattan, one downtown and another in midtown. Not only are their drinks reasonably priced but they offer great food as well, I suggest the cheeseburger sliders. During happy hour domestic beer and cocktails are half priced as well as appetizers.Bartenders are attentive and very friendly. You aren’t standing behind a crowd of people waving your 20-dollar bill in the air for twenty minutes waiting to be served. The crowd is mixed and is a combination of those coming from work and those who live nearby. If you want to have a fun night with a combination of craziness thrown in the mix then this is a place you must definitely try.
7) Empire Hotel: This bar is one of the coolest, always playing the hippest music loud enough but not too loud where you can’t enjoy a conversation with friends. The crowd is very diverse, everyone is there looking to party or lounge and since there is space to do both it makes everyone happy. It’s a good place to go with a group of girlfriends and even a night out with the guys but at the same time you can go with your significant other and still feel comfortable. All in all it’s a great time with a great view of the Upper West Side.
8) Black Finn: If you’re looking to start off the night somewhere cheap then this is the best in town, $20 all you can drink special for 3 hours. The bartenders are super friendly and always want you to have a good time that means lots of free shots! If you want to start off your night the right way then definitely do it there.
9) Cellar 58 Wine Bar: My co-worker told me several times to go to this spot, saying their happy hour specials are incredible. $5 beers and $7 glasses of wine from 5pm to 7pm. They also have happy hour appetizer specials but you need to ask. Here’s another secret, if you show the bartender that you are a Facebook fan of Cellar 58 (Sunday-Wednesday), they will buy you your first drink. Just show them your phone at the bar, but please don’t do it if you have a long line of people waiting behind you. (click here to watch a video of Cellar 58) That special again is only Sunday – Wednesday.
10) Verlaine in the Lower East Side: Where else in the city can you get $5 martinis until 10pm? You can get that here. And these aren’t bland martinis. They are colorful and flavorful martinis. Just be careful because they hit you fast. Three of these and you will likely be flirting with everyone in sight.