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HH in Manhattan: An hour of happiness, at a cost

  • 5-min read

Skip the $18 cosmos with some of the best happy hours in NYC. From rooftops to underground bars, we've got you covered.

Shot of a group of people toasting with their drinks at a nightclub
Peopleimages / Getty Images

I remember the days of dreaming of living in New York, sipping cosmopolitans with my best girlfriends on rooftops. I had no idea at the time that a cosmo would cost $18 before tip.

But you don’t have to sacrifice that dirty martini you ordered because it makes you look “mature.” You need the best NYC happy hour guide without sacrificing too many of your coins. 

I know what you’re thinking: What makes you so qualified? A shady but fair question. I may or may not be a girl in her late 20s who isn’t ashamed to order a glass of wine or two and drop it like it is hot on a Tuesday. I may not know what my future looks like, but I know a thing or two about happy hour. Trust me; I got you. 

Best New York bars for after-work drinks

Honey, the days of “just going for a drink” are over. We all have an intention for why we choose to drink in the middle of the week. Some people have the intention to be seen by New York’s elite; some are on the hunt for a good Instagram photo, a night out with friends, or in search of their next sugar daddy—again, I may or may not have considered doing this. Either way, after work, is the time to come alive and realign yourself! And it’s essential to feel good about the setting you’re in after a long hard day at work. 

With coworkers: The DBA 

41 1st Ave., New York, New York 10003

If you’re looking for a relaxed and casual drink after work with coworkers, then DBA is the place. This East Village bar has a generous beer selection, a beautiful patio, and trivia games. Its happy hour includes beers for no more than $10—and yes, that’s a steal in East Village. The best part: There isn’t a dress code. It’s a casual and de-stress-friendly bar to come as you are, work problems and all. 

With your boss: Valerie 

45 West 45th St., New York, NY 10036

Put that corporate credit card to good use! If your boss wants to take you out to a happy hour, it’s only right you go to Valerie, a chic gin-influenced cocktail bar. The Valerie has an excellent selection of sophisticated cocktails, beers, and wines on its happy hour menu. This is your moment to order that top-shelf cocktail or classy glass of wine that says, “Yes! I’m perfectly capable of handling my liquor and that upcoming promotion, thank you.”

Hungry? If your boss is swiping their The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, dig into Valerie’s selection of steaks and seafood. (Only the oysters and charcuterie boards are on the happy hour menu.)

On A First Date: Gallow Green 

542 West 27th St., New York, NY 10001

Whether you’re meeting up with a potential new boo or a sneaky link, Gallow Green is a beautiful place for a date and NYC happy hour spot. The cocktail bar comes with a breathtaking garden rooftop located in the McKittrick Hotel. The Instagram-friendly bar has a variety of cocktail specials, beers, and wines at your disposal. 

If you and your date want to keep the night going, check out the Manderley Bar also located in the hotel. Manderley doesn’t have happy hour specials, but it has a fantastic nightlife atmosphere. Manderley comes alive with live performances and evokes a speakeasy feel. This bar is suitable for romantic or entanglement settings. I suggest heading over right after Gallow Green and dancing the night away. 

By yourself: Ninth Avenue Saloon

656 Ninth Ave., New York, New York 10036 

So today wasn’t your best day at work. You want to go out and blow off some steam by yourself, and your local dive bar in Brooklyn won’t cut it. We all need time for ourselves, and Ninth Avenue Saloon is perfect for that occasion.

The dive bar is nothing fancy or over the top; it’s just a simple low-key bar to get a drink—happy hour clocks in as soon as you clock out (Honestly, it’s one of the best happy hours in NYC in my opinion). 

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your alone time, good friend. Remember, tomorrow is a new day, and everything will be ok. (Yes, that rhymed and I bet it made you smile; that’s what writers are for. 🙃)

With friends: The Winslow  

243 East 14th St., New York, NY 10003 

This one’s for the days when your office is starting to look more like “The Office.” If you and your friends are more than overdue for a drink, head over to Winslow. There’s nothing too over the top about Winslow’s, and that’s a good thing. It’s the perfect place to rant about your boss, gossip about office hookups, and play an innocent game of shag, marry, and kill. All your work misery will be accompanied by $7 wines, $6 draft beers, and $8 gin and tonics. 

Let loose with friends after a long week: Sid Gold’s 

165 W 26th St., New York, New York 10001

Sid Gold’s happy hour starts at 5 p.m. with $2 off all draft beer, wine, and well drinks and makes for a great Fri-yay celebration. Have a few drinks and join friends with a few karaoke songs. The bar is named after Broadway producer Sid Gold and naturally attracts all kinds of musical talent to the stage, but don’t let the broadway talent scare you away: They need to be entertained, too.

There’s nothing more encouraging than liquid courage

May the drinks flow along with your ideas for the future, and may your hangovers be easier than biting your tongue at Karen in the morning meeting. Drink responsibly!