New York’s Hottest Happy Hours
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the ritual of Happy Hour has been taken to a whole new level lately. Forget half-priced Coronas and bar nuts. This is New York, one of the finest food cities in the world, and we’ve got some killer happy hours to savor this summer. We’ve discovered everything from Fatty Crab’s Pork or Vegetable Steamed Buns to Portuguese-inspired Seafood Fritters with Smoked Paprika Aioli (compliments of the house!) at Louro and an endless array of $1 oysters at Maison Premiere in Brooklyn.
And with the promise of lightened up work schedules and leisurely summer Fridays on the horizon, there’s an even better excuse to skip out of the office early to take advantage of some great pre-dinner deals. Now there’s something to get happy about!
David Santos’ Louro is already one of our favorite new dinner spots. And now there’s even more reason to go, besides his globetrotting tasting menus and themed Monday night suppers, that is. Santos pays homage to his Portuguese roots during happy hour with a new series of petiscos, a spread of free bites being offered at the bar. Look for Clams with White Wine and Summer Truffles, Sardine and Vegetable Escabeche with Crostini, a Cod and Olive Tortilla, Chorizo and Potatoes, Seafood Fritters with Smoked Paprika Aioli… the list goes on and on. And this happy hour even extends through the weekend! Get your tasty nibbles from 5:30-7:30pm, Tuesday through Sunday all summer long. Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
The dollar oyster happy hour is a pretty standard affair throughout the city, which is why we can afford to be a little picky nowadays. And Maison Premiere in Williamsburg goes far beyond the basic Bluepoints. They offer more than 20 different oysters and clams from 4-7pm every Monday through Friday. Try sweet Kumamotos, meaty Wellfleets, salty Fishers Island and delicate Beau Soleil. And don’t forget to pair it with a glass of absinthe because Maison Premiere happens to boast the largest collection of premium absinthes in the city, which can be ordered straight, or incorporated in a number of heady, green-tinged cocktails. Oysters and absinthe, the ultimate after work wind down.Read More
Marcus Samuelsson’s hopping Harlem spot offers a soulful happy hour from 5-7pm, including a free shot of bourbon whenever you purchase a beer. And you’ll only pay $8 for creative cocktails, like the “Down in the Delta” with Bull Dog Gin and Pepperoncini Syrup, the “Uptown Sour” with Old Grand Dad Whiskey and Ramazotti Amaro, and the “Yes, Chef” (an ode to Samuelsson best-selling book), made with Wodka Vodka, Berbere, and Ginger Beer. You’re not even relegated to the bar, so settle on the patio with an icy drink and some Southern snacks, like homemade Cornbread with Honey Butter and Tomato Jam and Devilled Eggs with Chicken Skin Mayonnaise.
Happy hour is an important event at all of Richard Sandoval’s eateries, from the $6 margaritas offered at Pampano to the $8 cocktails at Zengo and the $5 small plates at La Biblioteca. But we prefer to spend happy hour at his flagship restaurant, Maya, which lasts from 5-8pm on Tuesday-Saturday, and all night on Sunday and Monday. Choose from $4 bottles of Cerveza, $6 snifters of tequila, and margaritas sold by the yard, accompanied by a selection of $4 botanas, or Mexican tapas. Options include Squash Blossom Quesadillas, Smoked Brisket Nachos, and Tacos al Pastor. It sure beats a handful of bar nuts!
Park Slope’s Israeli eatery, Miriam, is justifiably popular during brunch (we particularly love the Shakshuka, poached eggs in tomato and pepper sauce with a side of hummus and pita). But we challenge you to find a more generous happy hour. From 5-8pm all week long, wine, beer, and the already highly affordable mezes ($4 each!) sell 2 for the price of one. And you probably won’t need to worry about dinner after feasting on Kataifi- Crusted Shrimp with Harissa Aoli, Spicy Calamari with Chickpeas, Merguez Sausage with Green Tahini, and Eggplant and Feta-stuffed Bourekas with Skordalia dipping sauce. Incidentally, all of this will only set you back eight bucks total. Enough said.
John Dory Oyster BarCuisine: Seafood
Happy hour is a packaged deal at April Bloomfield’s popular John Dory Oyster Bar, located off the lobby of the Ace Hotel. $18 buys you a half dozen “genuine” Bluepoint Oysters or Littleneck Clams, accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine or pint of Oyster Stout Ale, take your pick. Chances are you’ll still be hungry afterwards, so think of this a cost-effective appetizer and stick around for this seafood shrine for dinner. You can’t go wrong with Bloomfield’s infamous Parsley and Anchovy Toast or Oyster Pan Roast, sided with an umami-rich Uni Butter Crostini.Read More
Get ready for “Crabby Hour” at Zak Pelaccio’s Southeast Asian-inspired, West Village restaurant. There are all sorts of cut-priced drinks available at the bar from 4-7pm, like $3 PBR Tallboys, $5 Tsing Tsao beers and $6 Malaysian Margaritas. But the main draw is the assortment of spicy snacks, like Jalan Alor Chicken Wings, Veggie or Pork Steam Buns, and Pork and Beef Sliders. As they say at Fatty, makan, makan, makan (eat, eat, eat!)
Happy hour is interpreted literally at Marco Canora’s wine bar, so you’ll have to arrive promptly at 5pm, but there’s a tremendous amount of value packed into those fleeting 60 minutes. Start with a free glass of dry Fino or full-bodied Oloroso sherry (one per person, and yes, we said free!), followed by $6 pours of red or white wine. This isn’t the cheap house stuff either. There’s also an extensive selection of gently-priced bar bites, like Beet Risotto Balls with Gorgonzola, Bone Marrow Bruschetta, an Asparagus Frittata, or Sage Leaves with Lamb Sausage. And since there are four outposts of Terroir throughout Manhattan (plus one in Park Slope), there’s really no excuse not to check this happy hour out, no matter where you work.