As a wine lover, I’m willing to spend a pretty penny on a glass or bottle. Within reason of course—I admit that I once found myself in an extremely fancy bar where the cheapest glass was $25 and I could not in good conscience bring myself to buy one. (So fiscally responsible aren’t I?). But my point is not how much I am willing to spend on a glass of wine. It’s that while I don’t mind spending money on wine, there’s something I find incredibly satisfying about getting it for a bargain. And there’s no better time to get wine for a bargain than happy hour. Today, in that spirit, I’m delighted to share with you my favorite wine happy hours in the city.
8th Street Wine Cellar: This is the holy grail of wine happy hours as far as I’m concerned. And that’s because it has everything you could possibly want in one—good wine (read: it’s an actual wine bar, not a dive bar with cheap wine), good happy hour selection (red, white, rose, and sparkling; bottles AND glasses), and the prices can’t be beat ($22 for a bottle of cava). They also have decent food, and are hopping most of the time. In fact, if I had to say one negative about the place it’s that sometimes, during happy hour (4-7 pm), it’s so crowded you can’t even get a seat at the bar. Luckily, if you don’t want to deal with the crowd, you can go to…
Bibi Wine Bar: Basically, all the great things from 8th Street Wine Cellar with a much more low key, laid back vibe. And I mean that literally—Bibi is actually run by the same people who run 8th Street, so the happy hour deal is just as awesome. Every day until 8 pm, they offer $22 bottles and $7 glasses; and on Mondays $12 flights as well. Situated in the East Village, Bibi is a great place to go when you’re looking to escape the mayhem of the city. You can even take your baby there if you’re so inclined—and that is NOT a suggestion I make very often.
Terroir: Terroir is a little bit of a sad story because there used to be locations all over the city, and now there are only two left—one in Tribeca, and one on the High Line. It’s such a great place that I’m not sure how that happened, but thankfully these two locations are still going strong. And the one in Tribeca happens to have the most expansive happy hour deal of any of the bars on this list. Indeed, every day from 4-6 pm and then again from 11 pm to close, every single glass on the gigantic (I’m talking, the size of somebody’s thesis) menu is on special. While the discount varies by glass, most are between two and four dollars off, which makes a big difference on a good glass of wine. If you decide to venture down there for happy hour, I’d suggest having dinner next door at Max afterward. Then maybe a stroll on the Hudson to walk off all the delicious Italian food and wine.
Terroir is located at 24 Harrison Street in Tribeca.
Jadis: Jadis I think is the unsung hero of wine bars in Manhattan. And not just because of their happy hour. Also because it’s a quaint little French place in a neighborhood that’s otherwise pretty rowdy and noisy (the Lower East Side). A gem, if you will—with exposed brick walls and shelves full of knick knacks, it’s the perfect place to hole up when the weather is cold. But back to their happy hour, which is why they are included here. From 5-7 pm every night they offer nine different wines starting at $5 a glass, Prosecco at $7 a glass, beers at $5, and bottles starting at $29. If you can’t get out of work in time for happy hour, you can also join them on a “Wine Lovers” Monday, when bottles over $40 are 30% off.
Jadis is located at 42 Rivington Street.
Vella: From super cozy to super summery, Vella is my pick for warm weather happy hours. It’s not a place I’d trek across the city to go drink wine—the food and drinks, while decent, are pretty standard. With that said, they have great sidewalk seating, which makes for great people watching, so it’s usually one of my first suggestions for happy hour whenever I’m on the Upper East Side. The happy hour special runs from 4-7 pm; during that time you can get $7 glasses of a small selection of wines (including at least one red, white, rose, and sparkling). I usually go for the Prosecco, because I can’t imagine warm-weather-sidewalk-sitting-people-watching without it.
Vella is located at 1480 2nd Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets.
Cheers! And cheers again—because at these prices you’re bound to have at least two glasses.
By: Reagan Daly
p.s. if you want to learn more about vino, consider booking a wine and cheese class!