I’m probably not the first (and won’t be the last) to tell you that New York City is expensive. Heck, even waking up in the Big Apple seems to come with a cost. As such, New Yorkers have to find creative ways to stretch the dollar while calling this chaotic and blissful Concrete Jungle home, myself included!
So without further ado, let’s discuss the one thing every New Yorker knows well, the importance of happy hour. I currently live in the Upper West Side (UWS) and thought it’d be fun to highlight the best happy hours in the Upper West Side, for those planning to visit my stomping grounds.
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Best Happy Hours Upper West Side
Table of Contents: Best Happy Hour Deals UWS
Table of Contents: Upper West Side Happy Hour Guide
- Best Happy Hours Upper West Side
- Best Happy Hours UWS (Post Overview)
- Map of the Best Happy Hour Upper West Side
Affectionately known as “La Petite Amélie”, this small French bistro doubles as a popular NYC wine-bars and boasts one of the best happy hour deals in the Upper West Side. The most enticing item on the happy hour menu is the $14 wine flight, where customers can sample three wines.
The wine of the day is sold at $10 a glass, and beer runs $5 during happy hour. Although there aren’t any food options on the happy hour menu, the Michelin Guide has donned Amelie a Bib Gourmand rating (which is awarded to restaurants that offer exceptional food at a good value).
Owned by the folks behind Greenwich Village’s esteemed restaurant Carbone (one of the hardest reservations to get in NYC), Parm offers top-notch Italian flavor in a casual setting. The Upper West Side happy hour destination has $6 garlic knots, mozzarella sticks, buffalo cucumbers, crispy zucchini, and peso arancini during happy hour (which is available at the bar only).
Even better, select drinks are half off. Strong Moscow mules, Aperol spritz, and old-fashioneds drop to $7.50, house wines are available for $7, and beer runs for as little as $5. Parm’s signature chicken parm platter isn’t discounted during happy hour, but if you order it, ask to swap the pasta for the rigatoni carbone (the same recipe as Carbone in the West Village).
Leyla, a cute Mediterranean restaurant tucked into a residential street, serves one of the most underrated happy hours in the Upper West Side. They offer a selection of shareable appetizers and pides (Turkish flat breads) for under $10 that pair well with the restaurant’s selection drinks.
Speaking of which, the restaurant offers wine, cocktails, and beer for $10 or less during happy hour. I suggest starting with the mezza trio and a cocktail to see where the evening takes you! There is also an incredible happy hour lamb burger ($15) that’s served with polenta fries, which I highly recommend.
Bodega 88 is a family-owned bodega turned sports bar that offers televisions in every booth and Latin-inspired bites. The bar also has one of the most generous happy hours in the Upper West Side, offering $5 beer, $6 wine & sangria, and $8 mojitos, margaritas, and caipirinhas (a popular Brazilian cocktail).
The only food item on the happy hour menu are empanadas, which run $2.75 a piece and are available with chicken, beef, or spinach/manchego. Because the bar is small I wouldn’t recommend it for groups, but it’s a great happy hour destination to watch the game and have a brew with a friend.
Tessa is a charming restaurant with an industrial feel thanks to its brick walls and use of metal and wood accents. It’s also become one of the most popular happy hour destinations in the Upper West Side, starting most days at 11 AM and offering $4 draft beer and $8 cocktails.
There’s a few sharable options, making Tessa a welcoming restaurant to catch up with a friend. Parmigiano truffle fries go for $12, and tapas boards are available in $16 for four, $24 six, or $36 for eight choices of cheese & salumi.
Thyme and Tonic
It’s hard to miss Thyme and Tonic when walking up Columbus Avenue. The entire outdoor seating area is painted pink, with greenery and string lights trickling from above. But ambience doesn’t make Thyme and Tonic reason one of the best happy hours in the Upper West Side, they offer some stellar deals, too.
Thyme and Tonic offers a (mostly) vegan and gluten-free happy hour menu, with appetizers like Vietnamese spring rolls, guacamole, and zucchini fries clocking in at $9. Cocktails are also $9, and the crowd favorite Full Time Lover (strawberries & hibiscus-infused gin, lemon juice) is worth the trip alone.
Oozing with old-school charm, The Consulate has the appeal of a quaint European restaurant with black-and-white tiled floor and sleek wooden bar, drawing locals in for brunch and dinner alike. This is also one of the few happy hours in the Upper West Side I’d recommend for the food more so than the drinks.
There are a handful of bites inspired by global flavors available during happy hour. Some of the favorites include the ceviche of the day for $12, six pieces of escargot for $11, and fish and chips for $13. As far as drinks are concerned, happy hour cocktails are $13-$14, and glasses of wine are $10.
One of the Upper West Side’s best dive bars, Jake’s Dilemma is known for inexpensive drinks and a laid-back vibe. During happy hour the deals only get better, with $5 beer, well drinks, and shots. Even the top-shelf well drinks and shots only go up to $7 during happy hour.
On weekdays Jake’s Dilemma also runs post-happy hour specials like $17 pitchers on Monday from 7 PM to close, and $10 beer + shot combo on Tuesdays from 7 PM to close. The foosball and beer pong make it an easy place to hang out, and on the weekends there’s usually a DJ or live performer.
A true neighborhood hangout, e’s BAR is the kind of place locals stop in for an after work brew and end up having a few too many or making a new friend. The television screens are on a steady rotation of sports and the bar has one of the most affordable happy hours in the Upper West Side.
Well cocktails are only $6.75, wine is $7.75 and there’s a popular beer + shot combo for $9.75. There’s also two burgers available on the happy hour menu, the house e’s burger is $6.25 and the falafel burger is $6.75.
Lilly’s Cocktail and Wine
Cozy and welcoming, Lilly’s Cocktail and Wine is beloved thanks to its friendly bartenders and warm atmosphere. During happy hour the small bar on 72nd Street offers $2 off wine and specialty cocktails along with $5 select beer, and $7 well drinks.
The happy hour food varies by day. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays Lilly’s offers $2 off hummus, pretzels, truffle cheese bread and all flatbreads (which are incredible!). On Tuesday’s they offer $2 off tacos, and on Wednesday’s they have $2 off drunken clams and baked chicken wings.
Nobody Told Me
A fairly new addition to the neighborhood, Nobody Told Me opened in 2019. The brainchild of mixologist Nick Pfannerstill and Chef Alberto Miranda, this Upper West Side bar quickly gained a reputation for its laid-back yet sophisticated atmosphere and one of the best happy hour deals in the UWS.
The deal is headlined by $2 oysters which are served with mignonette and drunken cocktail sauce. The rest of the happy hour food options entail $5 spicy chicken sliders and shrimp rolls. In regards to drinks, draft beer runs $7, wine is $12, and happy hour cocktails range between $12 and $14.
Best Happy Hours UWS (Post Overview)
- Bodega 88
- Thyme and Tonic
- Jake’s Dilemma
- e’s BAR
- Lilly’s Cocktail and Wine
- Nobody Told Me
Map of the Best Happy Hour Upper West Side
Further Reading for the Upper West Side
Things to Do: 20 Fun Things to Do in the Upper West Side (Local’s Guide)
Best Brunch: 10+ Toothsome Upper West Side Brunch Spots (Worth the Wait)
Best Restaurants: 12 Tasty Restaurants on the Upper West Side (Worth the Trek)
Where to Get Coffee: 10 Charming Upper West Side Cafes (Local’s Guide)
More Great Happy Hours in New York City
Best Happy Hour Spots in NYC: 15 Top Spots for Happy Hour in NYC (Local’s Guide)
Times Square Happy Hour Spots: 10 Tempting Happy Hours in Times Square (You’re Sure to Love)
SoHo Happy Hour Spots: 12 Satisfying Happy Hour Spots in SoHo
Financial District Happy Hour Spots: 20 Sensational Happy Hour Spots in The Financial District
Thankfully, there’s plenty of restaurants ready to impress patrons with a strong pour and tantalizing cocktails. With that said, I hope you enjoyed my personal list of the best happy hours in the Upper West Side.