How New York City is the International Capital of Happy Hours

If you’ve ever been around me, you are probably familiar with my favorite response to the phrase Happy Hour. “That is my middle name.” All jokes aside, who doesn’t love discounted drinks? Living in New York City all my life has gotten me accustomed to many things: A 24 hour metro system, stores closing past 6pm and Happy Hours.

SDC12160

Clearly, I am a big fan of happy hours.

What is the Happy Hour culture? Besides a good excuse for drinking, it is a social activity that in New York City, can be any day of the week. The peak of Happy Hour culture is evident on Thursday and Friday nights. With a hard working corporate culture, it’s common to find relief in after work happy hours. It’s more than having cheap drinks. It’s a great way to meet new people, for backpackers to mingle and not go broke and discover new venues.

Some good examples of New York City happy hour:

Continental NYC

  • 5 shots of anything – $10 all day / all night
  • 4 – 8pm – everything’s $2-$4
  • 8pm – 4am – everything’s $2-$6

Black Bear Lodge

  • 2pm-7pm
  • $4 well drinks
  • $3 and $4 drafts
  • $2 cans and $10 buckets (6) of PBR, Natty Light, and Rolling Rock

Fiddlesticks

  • Monday – Friday 4pm – 8pm
  • All beers, house wines and spirits $4
  • Weekend Brunch Special $10 includes Brunch + 2 Complimentary Drinks

But I’ve noticed in other parts of the world that Happy Hour isn’t as big of a deal as we New Yorkers make it. It’s normal to just go out for a drink after work in The Netherlands. Meanwhile, we have after work parties dedicated to drowning ourselves away from our work related issues.

SDC15747

Belgian drinks in Utrecht, The Netherlands by AOBteresa

In South America, happy hour existed to cater to backpackers. In a hostel in Ecuador, 2 for 1 Caipirinha’s were $1.75/USD (Luckily, they use the currency I use which makes this a ridiculous deal.) But when you visit local venues, there isn’t a great emphasis on happy hour. (Even though drinks are already cheap, for locals, there is no Hora de Feliz!)

Why does New York City capitalize Happy Hour?

Tourism

SDC10677

Full Moon Party Drinks by Art Of Backpacking

Spotted: Tons of tourists in Times Square with the same clueless look on their face. Many are backpackers or budget travelers like you and me, looking for a pint on in a bio, overwhelming city. With lots of foreigners who want to sit down after a long day of sightseeing and throw back a couple, a suitable happy hour is perfect!

Travelers

SDC13525

We won pub quiz night at the hostel in La Paz, Bolivia. I am holding the prize!

Of course, tourists are travelers. But, New York is also a place where many travelers stay for a while. It may be an expensive place to travel, but for those who might be couch surfing or staying with family, or even studying abroad, finding that local spot you always go back to is helpful. I always take people across the River to Hoboken, NJ for cheap drinks. (Technically, not New York City, but close enough!)

Travelers seem to love the idea of a social happy hour; for it is a good reason to drink! New York City seems to be the capital of many (recent) travel tweetups! It is a great way to meet and greet your favorite bloggers or travel media companies. You’ll always remember that great Irish Pub you drank too much at with this blogger or that backpacker. Happy Hour + Travelers = A good time.

Lifestyle

Part of the New York lifestyle is budgeting without sacrificing quality. Happy Hour doesn’t have to mean poor quality drinks in a hole in the wall. The purpose of happy hour is to cater to fast paced New Yorkers and wandering tourists. To entice us, providing a substantial variety of choices in a decent place is fair game.

As a native New Yorker, in such a fast paced city, it is great to unwind after a long day at a great local spot. There is always a new face to see and familiar faces of course, but it has grown on me as a must do in New York City.

Do you enjoy happy hour? Do other cities compare in this social lifestyle?

32 Comments to “ How New York City is the International Capital of Happy Hours”

  1. Marina K. Villatoro says :

    Antigua Guatemala is also a place where you can fins daily happy hours in almost every bar. 🙂

    1. AOBteresa says :

      Dying to see Central America! I know Costa Rica had some crazy menu prices for food. I can imagine they might have happy hours too. Guatemala is def on my list of places I want to see… well, the entire C.America!

  2. Marina K. Villatoro says :

    Antigua Guatemala is also a place where you can fins daily happy hours in almost every bar. 🙂

    1. AOBteresa says :

      Dying to see Central America! I know Costa Rica had some crazy menu prices for food. I can imagine they might have happy hours too. Guatemala is def on my list of places I want to see… well, the entire C.America!

  3. Michael says :

    In China, it’s happy hour for 24 hours a day everyday. Can’t get much cheaper than paying 3Yuan (.45 cents) for 1 liter of beer!

    1. AOBteresa says :

      hahaha not fair!

    2. Luisatieso says :

      It’s worth going to China just for the beer 🙂

    3. Flights says :

      Its same in maximum Asian countries…………..
      Specially in India and China

  4. Michael says :

    In China, it’s happy hour for 24 hours a day everyday. Can’t get much cheaper than paying 3Yuan (.45 cents) for 1 liter of beer!

    1. AOBteresa says :

      hahaha not fair!

    2. Luisatieso says :

      It’s worth going to China just for the beer 🙂

    3. Flights says :

      Its same in maximum Asian countries…………..
      Specially in India and China

  5. Anonymous says :

    Happy hour is one of my favorite things about New York City! SO much fun!

    Happy hour is actually illegal in Boston. This is one of the many laws with roots in Puritan times. Food specials are legal, but drinks specials are not.

    One bar I like gets around it creatively — they offer $2 drafts of Kitty Brew, which is Miller Lite, I think, but they only serve Kitty Brew during happy hour! Sneaky, sneaky…

  6. Anonymous says :

    Happy hour is one of my favorite things about New York City! SO much fun!

    Happy hour is actually illegal in Boston. This is one of the many laws with roots in Puritan times. Food specials are legal, but drinks specials are not.

    One bar I like gets around it creatively — they offer $2 drafts of Kitty Brew, which is Miller Lite, I think, but they only serve Kitty Brew during happy hour! Sneaky, sneaky…

  7. Such a shame I couldn’t partake in HH much when I lived in NYC. Grad School didn’t allow for much drinking sadly. 🙁

  8. Such a shame I couldn’t partake in HH much when I lived in NYC. Grad School didn’t allow for much drinking sadly. 🙁

  9. Tanya says :

    We call Happy Hours 5@7 (cinq a sept- in French) in Montreal. Fun article!

  10. Tanya says :

    We call Happy Hours 5@7 (cinq a sept- in French) in Montreal. Fun article!

  11. Anonymous says :

    I’m not a huge fan of NYC, yet this post makes me reconsider my thoughts on the city … or at least want to plan a visit for a couple happy hours!

  12. Anonymous says :

    I’m not a huge fan of NYC, yet this post makes me reconsider my thoughts on the city … or at least want to plan a visit for a couple happy hours!

  13. Mike Messeroff says :

    Great post Teresa! You’d love our “24/7 Happy Hour card: http://ImNotAtWork.com!

  14. Mike Messeroff says :

    Great post Teresa! You’d love our “24/7 Happy Hour card: http://ImNotAtWork.com!

  15. […] doesn’t know how to ride a bike. (And at this point in time STILL does not.) I grew up in New York City where bike riders dodged large MTA buses, speeding taxi cabs and obnoxious pedestrians. I never had […]

  16. […] doesn’t know how to ride a bike. (And at this point in time STILL does not.) I grew up in New York City where bike riders dodged large MTA buses, speeding taxi cabs and obnoxious pedestrians. I never had […]

  17. […] and instead, you are greeted with everything you truly need- nice scenery, rest and relaxation, a good beer and kind hospitality. I couldn’t help but love the attitude of the islanders and the stories […]

  18. […] and instead, you are greeted with everything you truly need- nice scenery, rest and relaxation, a good beer and kind hospitality. I couldn’t help but love the attitude of the islanders and the stories […]

  19. […] lingonberries, it is the perfect dinner dish at 118SEK or roughly under $20. The meat alone in New York would probably cost $20, so this is a bargain gourmet […]

  20. […] lingonberries, it is the perfect dinner dish at 118SEK or roughly under $20. The meat alone in New York would probably cost $20, so this is a bargain gourmet […]

  21. […] for cheap drinks, since you can easily pay $20 for a drink in a Manhattan bar. New York City is the International Happy Hour capital of the world; there is something for everybody, whether you are in the after work crowd, gay & […]

  22. […] for cheap drinks, since you can easily pay $20 for a drink in a Manhattan bar. New York City is the International Happy Hour capital of the world; there is something for everybody, whether you are in the after work crowd, gay & […]

  23. […] you’re at an event where dangerous words like “Open bar” or “Happy Hours” linger around, it should be a red alert. Travel Tweeps enjoy gatherings with alcoholic […]

  24. […] you’re at an event where dangerous words like “Open bar” or “Happy Hours” linger around, it should be a red alert. Travel Tweeps enjoy gatherings with alcoholic […]