It’s 5 o’clock on Friday, and you can’t wait to reward yourself with a nice glass of vino after a long week of work. Scratch that. It’s 4:00pm on a Monday, and you have no choice but to physically remove yourself from your cubicle and post up at the closest bar before your body shuts down from a 24-hour lack of alcohol.
If you live in New York City, chances are you’ve probably experienced both of these scenarios during some point in your career – and chances are you’ve also spent way too much of your paycheck on $15 martinis and $64 bottles of Bordeaux. Luckily, there are plentiful options to quench your thirst at budget-friendly prices every day of the workweek.
Next time you need a drink, try visiting one of these great spots for loading up on inexpensive libations during (mostly) socially acceptable drinking hours.
1. Vbar St. Marks (132 First Avenue, East Village)
From 4-7p.m. Sunday-Friday, the East Village location of this daytime café turned nighttime bar offers their house Cab Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio for $5 a glass. All well drinks, specialty cocktails and draught beers are also half off. In case you’re not a fan of the discounted wine selection, my suggestion would be to go with one or several of the $6 cucumber martinis. For post-work drinks or an early pregame with friends, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Brooklyn Winery (213 N. 8th Street, Williamsburg)
In the heart of Williamsburg, this boutique urban winery is known for producing premium small batch wines crafted on site. While tours of the winery and tasting room are closed to the public on Saturdays, be sure to visit for $2 off glasses and $10 off bottles from 5-8pm on weekdays. While you’re there, indulge in the seasonal tasting menu, which includes everything from cheese and bar nuts to braised pork belly and beef carpaccio. Just be sure to check their website before venturing to Brooklyn, as the venue gets booked up regularly for weddings and private events.
3. Corkbuzz Wine Studio (13 E. 13th Street, Union Square)
For the true sophisticate, a visit to Corkbuzz is one way to test your tasting smarts. Every Monday and Friday, this wine bar and restaurant offers a $15 blind tasting from 5-6p.m. Flights of three wine varieties are served with a tasting grid for you to put your best guess forward. Think of this as an educational way to start your weekend.
4. City Winery (155 Varick Street, SoHo)
For anyone who can actually make it to SoHo before 6p.m., City Winery offers one of the best happy hours I’ve come across in my years of searching. Every weekday from 4-6p.m. (and 5-6p.m. on Saturdays), the winery-meets-music hall offers $5 off any of their 11 wines on tap and $10 off carafes in the Barrel Room. Start early and then catch one of the live shows next door for a full night of fun with local wine and local bands.
5. Terroir Wine Bar (multiple locations)
For an authentic wine bar atmosphere, Terroir offers small bites and a menu of hundreds of wines and champagnes to choose from. But from 4-7p.m. Sunday-Friday, you should probably choose one of the $7 happy hour specials, which include more than a dozen by-the-glass options of red, white and rose. Select bar snacks are also $3-$4, and in case you needed more incentive to become a regular at one of their multiple locations in TriBeCa, Murray Hill, the East Village, West Village or Brooklyn, there is also a loyalty card that makes your 13th glass free.
6. The Penrose (1590 Second Avenue, Upper East Side)
The Penrose may be more famous for their pickle backs than their wine selection, but this UES hot spot has great happy hour deals every day of the week. Monday-Thursday, house wines and well liquors will run you $6 from 4-7p.m., and as early as 12-7p.m. on Fridays and 10:30a.m.-4p.m. on weekends. If you need some food to soak up your liquid dinner, order the mac & cheese plate to share, and don’t leave out on the bacon.