1534: 2-for-1 Select Cocktails
Not every cocktail at 1534 works with their happy hour deal—only 4, out of a menu 16 long—but I'd happily drink 2-for-1 Gold Dusts (rye, lemon, ginger) all night, bringing it down to $6 per stiff cocktail. The bartenders allow you to mix-and-match, so that you can try a different drink on the next round. Best part? This cozy basement lounge has happy hour every night until 9 p.m., meaning that even some of you later workers have time to take advantage of it.
Emporio: Discounted Wine, Free Snacks
This Mott Street Italian restaurant doesn't have my favorite pizza in the neighborhood, but it's more than respectable, and during happy hour, it's free. Well, sort of. Little bites are placed out on the bar aperitivo-style throughout happy hour, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 every day; maybe little polenta cakes, maybe pizza slivers. To drink, generous wine pours are $5, a red and a white each night; we've had Montepulciano and Trebbiano there, both easy-drinking. Stella's on tap for the same price, if that's your thing.
Randolph: $6 Off Cocktails Until 8
There's the Randolph, and there's Randolph Beer; I'm partial to the former, mostly for their cocktail happy hour. All of their otherwise-$14 house cocktails are $8 until 8 p.m. It has big, comfortable booths, a very relaxed crowd, and while I wouldn't shell out $14 for these drinks, almost half-off is just fine. On the lighter end, I like the bourbon-falernum-mint Billie Rose; on the boozier, the stirred rye Old Roman.
Oro: 2-for-1 Wine and Beer 'til 8
The sort of café where it's easy to plunk down and spend a few hours, and a lot of folks do. But if you're meeting a friend or spending some quality time with your laptop and it gets to be 4 p.m., switch over to wine or beer; it's all 2-for-1, for four hours.
Bowery Diner: Half-Price Drinks 'Til 7
I usually head to Bowery Diner for a weekday lunch, on those days when I need a cheery booth and a huge breakfast plate (or great burger) to pick me up. But recently I've become fond of their happy hour, because all drinks are half-price, every day, until 7 p.m.. The cocktails might not be worth going out of your way for, but the Sultan Divine—bourbon, mint, agave, lime, orange bitters—is my kind of drink, and I'd pay $5.50 for it any day. Their house wine (Tempranillo and Pinot Grigio from the Gotham Project) comes down to $13.50/bottle. Oysters are half-price too, but the full menu is available during happy hour; I tend to share an order of onion rings or artichoke dip while I'm drinking.