Happy hour in the Lower East Side (LES) isn’t only about getting a good value, at times it can be a necessity. After a long day at work an inexpensive, strong drink can feel like the light at the end of a dark, dreary tunnel.
And even on days where everything is peachy, the only thing that can make them better is a happy hour in the Lower East Side with good company. I’m convinced the happiest I’ve been is laughing and dreaming with my wife, cold beer in hand, sitting outdoors at a happy hour in the Lower East Side.
However the hard thing is deciding where to go for happy hour in the Lower East Side. The neighborhood is chock-full of bars and restaurants with music and lively chatter that draw you in like bacon does a hound.
As a local of more than 5 years, I’m here to help you decide where you can find the most refreshing drinks in the most charming settings. Whether you just need to unwind or catch up with an old friend, you’ll find what you need in this article.
What do you say we get to the good stuff?
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Lower East Side Happy Hour Spots
Loreley Beer Garden
Happy Hour: Monday-Tuesday 5pm to 10pm | Wednesday- Thursday 5pm to 7pm | Friday 12pm to 4pm | Sunday 7pm-10pm
Loreley Beer Garden, you boozy, beautiful thing – you have me wrapped around your (metaphorical) finger. I’m a sucker for your outdoor heated patio and colorful decorations and even more for the booze you never seem to run out of. All it takes is a “come see us” post on Instagram and I come running!
Seriously, one of the best things to do in the Lower East Side is to stop by Loreley Beer Garden (especially during a holiday season) for the can’t miss LES happy hour.
All draft beer is $2 off, there are one liter steins for $16 (my go-to), $12 beer flights, and $2 off glasses of wine. Plus, depending on the season you visit there are specials on holiday drinks (bourbon hot chocolate for Christmas, Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day etc.)
All this to say Loreley Beer Garden offers one of the most generous happy hours in the Lower East Side. Not to mention the beer garden itself is always well decorated, perfect for a casual date night.
Address: 7 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Sunday and Saturday, 5 – 7PM
$1 oysters every day for happy hour? Take my money! The best part? Bar Belly’s hosts the Lower East Side happy hour daily from 5-7PM. Bar Belly was already one of the best bars in the Lower East Side, and the generous happy hour just ensures it will continue to be a popular watering-hole.
There’s live music adding to the incredible vibe, and the drinks only make the musicians sound that much better. The whole place resonates with a contagious energy and I feel like I’m vacationing every time I visit.
Not to mention Bar Belly’s one of the friendliest happy hour bars in the Lower East Side, with both the service and other guests always adding to the pleasant experience.
Address: 14 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday 5pm to 7pm | Friday & Saturday 4pm to 7pm
A premier first date destination Jadis transports you to a place where romance is a language. The exposed brick and candle lit tables fill the place with the atmosphere of an old-world wine cellar somewhere in France.
And unbeknownst to most, the intimate wine bar also offers a premier happy hour in the Lower East Side. You’ll get to enjoy exquisite wine for as little as $7 and drink your fill without the need of taking out a small loan.
There are beers available as well, but I strongly encourage you choose a wine instead. It enables you to get the full experience, just remember to point your pinkies in the air as you go bottoms-up.
The Lower East Side happy hour destination also has a few shareable dishes that will quell a growling stomach. For less than $10 I suggest you order something to munch on in between sips of wine.
The portions are small, so either make dinner plans elsewhere or come prepared for a meal at Jadis. Just bear in mind if you eat here the meals aren’t a part of the beloved Lower East Side happy hour.
Address: 42 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Tuesday to Friday, 4 – 7PM
If the weather is nice odds are you’ll find me at Bonnie Vee, sitting in their sunny back patio enjoying one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side. The outdoor couches and sunsets makes me feel like I’m hanging out in a friends backyard thanks to the paradisaical vibe.
It isn’t the cheapest happy hour in the Lower East Side but the atmosphere makes up the difference in price you’ll find at inexpensive dive bars. There are $11 mimosas, martinis and gimlets as well as $10 house wines.
Add in some shareable appetizers like potato wedges, a pretzel or sliders and bring a friend and you have all you need for an affordable hangout in an expensive city.
Address: 17 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Daily, 5 – 8PM
I’m not one for magic but The Magician does have a nifty trick up its sleeve. In a city where getting drinks is as expensive as operating a small business this bar manages to get me buzzed and not completely rip me off.
Not that’s not to say other bars are exploitative but The Magician really understand what’s important. No one cares how fancy the place is three drinks in. Add a can’t miss happy hour in the Lower East Side and you’ll hit that threshold quickly.
Something to know: The Magician is sister-bars with Tile Bar, which is a little further north and has one of the best happy hours in the East Village.
From 5 – 8PM daily The Magician has select well liquor, draft beer and wines available for a mere $6. That means my three drinks will cost me the same as one drink would elsewhere. I’m balling on a budget so this is a happy hour in the Lower East Side I will gladly be taking advantage of.
The bartenders are attentive and there’s plenty of seating in case you want to bring some friends. Thanks to one of the latest running happy hours in the Lower East Side The Magician is an ideal spot to pregame before an event.
Address: 118 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4pm to 7pm & Saturday-Sunday 2pm-7pm
Styled after the burlesque bars of the 1950’s Nurse Bettie is a blast from the past. For such a small bar you’ll find a high-spirited extravaganza fueled by alcohol, good music and lively chatter.
They also have one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side headlined by $6 well drinks and beer as well as a constant supply of specials. My favorite is an $8 cucumber vodka soda that transforms “just one drink” into a full afternoon affair.
If you’re hoping to catch a burlesque show there won’t be any during the Lower East Side happy hour. Most shows are on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9PM and happy hour ends at 7PM. For a full rundown on shows check online.
Address: 106 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 5 – 7PM
Essex is a restaurant that you can visit for just about any occasion. Whether you’re with a date or friends you’re guaranteed a good time, especially if cash in on one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side.
All the signature cocktails are $8 (cha-ching!) and there’s beer, wine and sangria for less than that (double cha-ching)! Add in that Essex is one of the most popular joints in the neighborhood, always filled with a high-spirited crowd and it’s near impossible to have a bad time.
There’s also the option of some of the best Lower East Side happy hour bites, and although they’re not “meals” the snacks are satisfying. There’s fried calamari, brisket sliders and crispy shrimp wontons all for less than $10!
As arguably the most popular restaurant for happy hour in the Lower East Side I strongly (emphasis on strongly) recommend reservations. Also – be sure to mention to your hosts that you’re visiting for happy hour since it’s only available at the bar or at a hi-top table.
Further reading: Essex is also featured as one of 15 Fantastic Lower East Side Brunch Spots (Ranked by a Local)
Address: 124 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Daily, 4 – 7 PM
An unassuming neighborhood joint – you could walk by Antler a dozen times before making the decision to step inside. That’s all part of the charm, it’s just a hole in the wall friendly neighborhood bar.
And true to form, this neighborhood bar has one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side. $5 wine and beer allow you to unwind without the fear of not being able to afford dinner!
The quiet little bar is a great place for a casual hangout. It feels like a friend’s cozy house, with couches and small wooden tables perfect for chats with a friend while enjoying a can’t miss happy hour in the Lower East Side.
Address: 123 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 12 – 8PM
Donnybrooks feels like a neighborhood dive bar, unpretentious and laid back, but it also feels a little fancy. If a dive bar was a t-shirt and a upscale bars are button-ups, Donnybrooks is like a nice polo.
And you can do a lot with a nice polo, you can go on a date and you can also take shots with buddies. You can enjoy a five-course dinner as well as kick-back at one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side.
Like most Lower East Side happy hour spots, the specials are subject to change but at Donnybrooks they revolve around drinks. Expect to find refreshing draft beer at some of the best prices in the neighborhood.
On the bright side, Donnybrook allows outside food so bring your own food and enjoy some discounted drinks
Address: 35 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Tuesday to Friday, 4 – 7PM
I’d be tempted to get a job at Pretty Ricky’s just to spend more time there, it has one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side. The bar and restaurant represents the eclectic spirit of the Lower East Side perfectly with a blend of rustic and modern decor and welcoming staff.
It’s easy to hang out a while too. Tables are readily available (although I’d grab a reservation for four or more people) and the cocktail menu rotates with the seasons so there’s always an excuse to visit.
Pretty Ricky’s also has one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side, boasting $5 beer, $6 wine and well drinks and a selection of shareable appetizers for less than $10.
And although the Lower East Side happy hour destination has no relation to the R&B group Pretty Ricky you can expect great tunes, too. 😉
Address: 101 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
The Ten Bells
Happy Hour: Daily from open – 7PM
Anybody who’s lived in New York City has learned to read between the lines, and when a place is described as “cozy” it usually means it’s microscopic. However, believe me when I tell you The Ten Bells really is cozy.
Meant to be an intimate wine and tapas bar The Ten Bells has candle lit tables waiting to host your date. The smartest people visit for one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side and get the most bang for their buck.
As one of the best oyster happy hours in the Lower East Side you’ll find them for a dollar a pop. This enables you to knock them back like tic-tacs and fill your belly.
There’s also $15 carafes of wine that hold about 16 ounces. Most wine pours are typically five ounces, so you’re essentially getting three drinks for the price of one. Somebody call 911 because I’m about to rob this place blind!
Address: 247 Broome St.New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 4 – 7PM
Grey Lady is a seafood restaurant that has one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side. You’ll find oysters for a dollar as well as $6 beer, $9 wine and $10 classic cocktails.
The ambience is appropriate for a business casual dinner but still loose enough to have fun and unwind. Depending on the time of year you’ll find either a sun-drenched or dim-lit restaurant, and both are aesthetically pleasing.
Plus, the staff does their part in ensuring you have a good time. The servers I’ve had have always made pleasant, easy small talk and the bartenders can feel like friends who’ve come along for the Lower East Side happy hour.
Address: 77 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Daily, 5 – 7PM
If you’re looking for a dive-bar vibe with craft-cocktail quality you need look no further than Black Crescent.
This is one of the bars in the Lower East Side that always drew my interest, and when I finally stopped by for happy hour I called myself crazy for waiting so long.
The fry-cook deserves a raise, I don’t care what they’re making because I’ve eaten my weight in Bang Bang Shrimp (Gulf-Coast shrimp, spicy aioli and lime). I tell my wife to back off when they’re on the table, but she’s just as happy munching on her waffle fries.
Furthermore, with daily happy hour from 5-7PM featuring $10 cocktails how can this not be one of the best bars in the Lower East Side?
Address: 76 Clinton Street New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Monday-Wednesday 5/8PM & Thursday-Friday 3/6PM
Anyone searching for the best happy hour in the Lower East Side needs to make a beeline for Set L.E.S.
Set L.E.S goes above and beyond by handpicking all ingredients to ensure the freshest and highest quality dining experience. The atmosphere is relaxed and the food is pub-style with an Asian flair.
But this Lower East Side happy hour spot really shines thanks to immense menu full of specials. There are deals to be had on beer, wine and cocktails like frozen margaritas.
The Lower East Side restaurant also has a small happy hour food menu that includes wings, nachos, and baos (steamed buns). And if you like tacos, on Tuesdays Set L.E.S. has them for $3 a pop during happy hour.
Address: 127 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
Happy Hour: Tuesday to Saturday, 5 – 10PM
Verlaine is a dimly lit, sophisticated little spot and home to one of the best happy hours in the Lower East Side. Sure the happy hour drinks are few, but the Asian-inspired spot frequently has at least one unique drink that you won’t find at other Lower East Side happy hours.
More of a restaurant than a bar, Verlaine still manages to make incredible drinks. The lychee martini is especially memorable and for $8 during the Lower East Side happy hour?, keep ’em coming!
If you’re looking for one of the best bars in the Lower East Side to meet up with friends, Verlaine has you covered. They offer reservations for parties of 6 or more, so bring them all! Even that coworker you don’t really like.
And whereas most happy hours in the Lower East Side end around sundown Verlaine keeps the party going late. They offer one of the latest-running happy hours in the Lower East Side from 5 to 10PM.
Address: 110 rivington street, NY, NY 10002
Happy Hour LES (Post Summary)
- Set L.E.S
- Black Crescent
- Grey Lady
- The Ten Bells
- Pretty Ricky’s
- Nurse Bettie
- The Magician
- Bar Belly
- Loreley Beer Garden
- Bonnie Vee
Map of the Best Happy Hour in the Lower East Side
And there it is my friends! The best Lower East Side happy hour spots. I hope you enjoyed the post.