Who doesn’t just love a good happy hour? And with the promise of relaxed work schedules (one would hope) and leisurely summer Fridays just around the bend, there’s an even better excuse to skip out of the office early, in order to take advantage of some great pre-dinner deals. But with a borough so full of options, why waste your time on half-priced Bud Lights and stale bowls of cheese-covered Chex Mix? We’re zeroing in on Brooklyn’s best food-focused happy hours, like the 2-1 mezes at Miriam in Park Slope and the free pizzas at Williamsburg’s Alligator Lounge. Now there’s something to get happy about!
Park Slope’s Israeli eatery, Miriam, is justifiably popular during brunch, but we challenge you to find a more generous happy hour. From 5-8pm, wine, beer, and the already highly affordable mezes ($4 each!) sell 2-for-1. You won’t even need to worry about dinner once you’ve gorged on Kaidaif Wrapped Shrimp with harissa aoli, Spicy Calamari with Chickpeas, Merguez Sausage with green tahini, and Eggplant and Feta stuffed Bourekas with Skordalia dipping sauce. Which, incidentally, will only set you back eight bucks total.
79 5th Ave, (718) 622-2250
The dollar oyster happy hour is a pretty standard affair nowadays, which is why we can afford to be a little picky. Maison Premiere’s happy hour reliably tops everyone’s “best of” lists, because how can we content ourselves with basic Bluepoints when they offer up to 20 different oysters and clams every Monday-Friday? Try sweet Kumamotos, meaty Wellfleets, salty Fishers Island and delicate Beau Soleil (probably the best value of the bunch), along with a glass of potent absinthe.
298 Bedford Ave, (347) 335-0446
- Photo courtesy Alice's Arbor
This new Bed Stuy bistro does the dollar oyster thing during happy hour too (they’re Bluepoints, naturally). But much more intriguing is the $10 beer with pickles and fries special. Random? Totally. But do you know how little $10 gets you nowadays? And if you just throw in 6 more dollars on top of that, you can get a half dozen oysters AND beer AND some pickles AND fries. Sounds like dinner!
549 Classon Ave, (718) 399-3003
- Photo Courtesy Time Out New York
Happy hour is interpreted literally at this Park Slope 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), followed by $6 pours of red or white wine — and this isn’t the cheap house stuff either. There’s also an extensive selection of gently-priced bites, like Beet Risotto Balls with gorgonzola, Bone Marrow Bruschetta, an Asparagus Frittata, or Sage Leaves with Lamb Sausage. Sure beats beer and bar nuts.
Meatloaf for happy hour? Abso-friggen-lutely. If you head to this Greenpoint joint on Mondays, you can score a plate of meatloaf with veggies and mashed potatoes plus a pint of beer or a shot for a sweet $10. Of course, if you’re content to just stick with the booze, they run a perfectly respectable happy hour any day of the week, including $6 beer+shot specials and $6 frozen Harrisons.
560 Manhattan Ave, (718) 349-3859
This terrific Crown Heights Mexicans spot doesn’t even relegate you to the bar during their slamming happy hour. Take a seat anywhere you please, and knock back $3 beers, $5 sangrias and $6 margaritas, and $2 beef tacos. Although with prices like that, you can afford to blow the extra 50 cents and upgrade to crispy fish.
736 Franklin Ave, (718) 622-3100
- Photo courtesy Rhea Recommends
Williamsburg standby Alligator Lounge is the perfect happy medium between skeevy dive and perfect place to glom free pizza. Like, actually really decent brick-oven pizza. And that’s not even the happy hour part (the pies always come gratis with the purchase of a drink). You can also get $1 off said drinks from 3-6pm 7 days a week. Plus, you know, free pizza.
600 Metropolitan Ave, (718) 599-4440
It pays to be a night owl at Zak Pelaccio’s Asian-inspired eatery (which, incidentally, is finally reopen after seemingly endless renovations). The best deals don’t kick in until midnight, and last until 2am. Check out the $7 recession special (1 shot bourbon+1 shot pickleback+1 PBR), or the $7 Panchito (1 shot tequila+1 shot malay sangrita+1 Tecate with yuzu and Thai chili salt), accompanied by $3 Chicken Bao, $8 Pork Ribs, and $8 Bowl of Ramen Noodles, topped with meat juice and (a good thing, depending on how drunk you are?) “hot lovin.”
91 S 6th St, (718) 599-3090