The NYC Happy Hours That Will Actually Make You (& Your Wallet) Happy

Who says magic isn't real? Nearly every night of the week in the golden hours after the work day ends, there's happy hour. It is a mystical time when drinks and food suddenly become less expensive.

However, in New York City, happy hour options can be overwhelming. There are so many bars, some of which are overpacked with people and hardly even offer a deal — one dollar off a $16 drink doesn't do much for our budget. Sometimes, location is the problem. Maybe a friend is dying to try that new place down in Williamsburg, but you don't want to leave the Upper West Side, where you've got a go-to spot that puts the cocktails you love on special.

When it comes to happy hour, there are so many decisions to be made and a limited window of time to enjoy the specials you don't want to miss. We are here to help you find the best happy hours in NYC — both for your wallet and your discerning palate. Cheers!

The Wild Son

The Deal: $9 classic cocktails (daiquiri, gimlet, margarita, and Sazerac), $2 off beer (draft, bottled, and canned), $3 off wine, and $1 oysters
When: Monday to Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Wild Son is an airy oasis and (nearly) hidden gem nestled under the High Line in NYC's trendy downtown Meatpacking District. But don't let the neighborhood's cachet fool you, this morning, noon, and night nosh spot has low-key vibes, craft sips, and seriously savory happy hour bites — all served in a simple yet elegant setting. The "Milk & Honey" burrata over seven grain toast with a sprinkling of smoked chili salt and the "Pulled Bacon BLT" with rosemary mayo on a brioche bun are both a must munch. And you may just catch us there washing those down with one (or three) glasses of the Grenache Syrah.

The Wild Son, 53 Little W 12th Street (between 10th Avenue and Washington Street); 212-727-7900.
Amelie Wine Bar

The Deal: $12 for the wine flight, $6 per glass
When: Weekends from 5 to 7 p.m.

This chic Greenwich Village wine bar has solid eats and a detailed wine list that will make you feel as though you're steps from the Eiffel Tower. The happy hour deal also gives you a chance to feel fancy for less — a three-glass wine flight is only $12. Be sure to try the small plates too, like the warm pistachio crusted goat cheese ball or Escargots Gratinés.

Amelie Wine Bar, 22 West 8th Street (Between 5th Avenue and Macdougal Street); 212-533-2962.
Botanica Bar

The Deal: $3 drafts, $4 well drinks, and $5 wines.
When: Monday to Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday 6 to 8 p.m.

This Nolita gem offers a killer happy hour in an underground setting. Complete with mood lighting and string lights galore, you'll feel like you left New York for a small-town dive bar. Botanica is also the kind of low-key establishment that allows you to BYO food. All you need is a pizza and some friends — you'll be set for the night.

Botanica Bar, 47 East Houston Street (between Greene and Mulberry streets); 212-343-7251.
Ten Degrees Bar

The Deal: Two for one drinks
When: Everyday from 12 to 8 p.m.

This East Village staple is perfect if you're in the mood for generous drinks and light snacks that will fill you up. The two-for-one special is per person, meaning you can't share with a friend, but the small plates are perfect for sharing. You'll be able to get two drinks and plenty of snacks for a group for only $20.

Ten Degrees Bar, 121 Saint Marks Place (Between 1st Avenue and Avenue A); 212-358-8600.
The Folly

The Deal: $6 select wines, drafts, frozen Grogs, and spirits.
When: Everyday from 12 to 8 p.m.

Looking for specialty drinks in a charming bar in the West Village that don't cost an arm and a leg? You've found them. This underground bar features frozen drinks for just $6 during happy hour. Try one of the frozen Grogs like a PainKiller, which is made with pineapple, Coco Lopez, and rum. If you're hungry, they also have a small bar menu.

The Folly, 92 West Houston Street (Between Thompson Street and Broadway); 646-726-4740.
Réunion Surf Bar

The Deal: $3 select shots, $6 cocktails, $4 Pilsner
When: Everyday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

This is a rare Midtown bar that we actually want to visit. It will make you feel like you've washed up on the shores of a surf town where it's always summer. The space is decked out in full surf-decor and features a very surfer-friendly happy hour with deals like $3 shots. A $4 taco special for Taco Tuesday makes Réunion a good spot to drop by mid-week.

Réunion, 357 West 44th Street (between 9th and 8th avenues); 212-582-3200.
Salvation Taco

The Deal: Half off cocktails, $5 draft beers.
When: Saturday and Sunday 12 to 2 p.m.

April Bloomfield's popular Midtown East hotspot offers delectable tacos and drinks. The menu features globally inspired Mexican eats but, during happy hour, the drinks are the star. If you're lucky, you can snag a seat upstairs at the Pod 39 rooftop and watch the sun slowly sink below the city skyline.

Salvation Taco, 145 East 39th Street (between Lexington and 3rd avenues); 212-865-5800.
Sweet and Vicious

The Deal: $1 off beers, $6 wine and well drinks, and $8 jargaritas.
When: Everyday from 2 to 7 p.m.

This one-of-a-kind Nolita dive bar serves up cocktails in a cool, no frills setting. Complete with a graffitied outdoor patio and mason jar-filled drinks, locals and visitors alike flock to this downtown staple. Weekends tend to be a madhouse here, making weeknights the perfect time to drop by and try one of their famous Jargaritas, topped off with a Marciano cherry.

Sweet and Vicious, 5 Spring street (between Bowery and Elizabeth streets); 212-334-7915.
Lot 45 Bushwick

The Deal: $1 Oysters, $3 draft beers, $5 can beers and well drinks, and $6 wine.
When: Tuesday to Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m.

This Bushwick hotspot transforms into one of Brooklyn's most fun venues when the sun sets. It also features an unbelievable happy hour deal earlier in the evening. There's a complete dinner menu, with gourmet offerings like sage mac and cheese or burrata toast. The venue features couches and an indoor courtyard, so spend your happy hour here and hit the club afterward.

Lot 45 Bushwick, 411 Troutman Street (between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas avenues); Brooklyn, 347-505-9155.
Night of Joy

The Deal: $4 select beers, and $6 signature cocktails and frozen margaritas.
When: Everyday from 5 to 8 p.m.

This romantic Williamsburg lounge features a gorgeous rooftop and comforting living room-like decor. It's a great place to sip on your $6 cocktails while enjoying the beautiful view.

Night of Joy, 667 Lorimer Street (between Jackson Street and I-278) in Brooklyn; 718-388-8693.
Mess Hall

The Deal: $4 shots, $5 draft, $6 wine, and $6 beer can and shot.
When: Everyday from 4 to 8 p.m., and Monday from midnight to 2 a.m.

This popular Harlem bar attracts locals who are into the craft cocktail scene, not to mention there's an enticing hot dog selection. With plenty of exposed brick and complimentary cheese puffs, Mess Hall is the ultimate post-work go-to. The happy hour is unbeatable, and there's a quaint outdoor patio to sit and sip an affordable beverage.

Mess Hall, 2194 Fredrick Douglass Boulevard (near 118th Street); 646-692-3098.