Booze on a budget: Happy hour spots near NYU

Being a regular is fun, but in a city with over 2000 bars, why limit yourself?

Ishani Paul, Staff Writer

If you’re anything like me, you don’t need a special occasion to go and grab a drink. But let’s be honest — spending $20 on a drink is unsustainable. To help, here are six happy hour spots that will spare your wallet and fulfill your cocktail desires. 

Dante NYC

79-81 MacDougal St.

The interior of a well-lit restaurant with white interior walls. There are tables and seats in the front and a bar at the back.
(Yuna Baek for WSN)

My favorite bar in the city, Dante has been a cornerstone of Greenwich Village since 1915. Dante was voted one of the World’s 50 Best Bars, and it has, arguably, some of the best cocktails in the world. It is best known for its “Dante Martini” and “Dante Negroni,” both of which are mixed to perfection. While the drinks are usually extremely pricy, ranging from $30 to $40, Dante offers a “Martini Hour” every day from 3-5 p.m., where the $32 martinis are only $10 and often accompanied by live music. It’s a deal that can’t be beat. 


42 Rivington St.

The interior of a restaurant with a plant and an upside-down barstool. Next to the plant is a blackboard with the text “Jadis” written with chalk on it.
(Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

Located in the Lower East Side, Jadis is a small French wine bar with an incredible daily happy hour that lasts from 5-7 p.m. With red brick walls, leather couches and the warm scent of home-cooked foods filling the air, the atmosphere couldn’t be cozier. The menu has glasses of wine, champagne and select cocktails — including Aperol spritz and mulled wine — all for $8 to $10. If you’re craving a bite, Jadis also has delicious $7 to $11 happy hour specials, such as brie crostini, quiche lorraine and baked salmon spread.

Bar Belly

14 Orchard St.

The exterior of a restaurant at night. The storefront is fixed with a black-and-white striped awning.
(Qianshan Weng for WSN) (Qianshan Weng)

If you are looking for delectable food, exciting cocktails and great music, Bar Belly is the place for you. With a happy hour from 5-7 p.m., the bar serves $1 oysters and a variety of cocktails at prices of $9 to $12. My go-to order is the “Casanova,” a fruity and floral grapefruit vodka-based drink with dolin blanc, creme de violet, lavender flower, lemon, orange blossom water and soda. On weekends, Bar Belly is open until 3 a.m., and it is a perfect place to meet new people and dance the night away!


181 W. 10th St.

The interior of a restaurant at night with warm lighting and several customers inside. A chandelier is hanging from the ceiling and there are small candles placed on each table.
(Kevin Wu for WSN)

With an outdoor terrace and downstairs bar area, Bobo is the cutest little French restaurant with the power to transport you to your own country home in France. Not only does it offer an incredible full dinner menu, but its l’apero, or happy hour, lasts from 5-7 p.m. in the den, and it is not one to miss. Bobo’s $1.50 oysters, $8 glasses of wine and champagne, $5 beer and $10 spicy margaritas are a steal. Whether for a romantic date night or just a meetup with your friends, Bobo’s candle-lit table is a foolproof spot. 

Jajaja Mexicana

63 Carmine St.

The wooden interior of a restaurant. Hanging from the ceiling are pendant lights. To the right is a seating area. To the left is a bar.
(Yuna Baek for WSN)

Jajaja Mexicana is a must for tequila and mezcal lovers. With locations in the West Village, Lower East Side, Hudson Yards and Williamsburg, Jajaja Mexicana has become the go-to spot for my friends and I to grab a quick margarita after a long day. While Jajaja doesn’t have a special happy hour menu, its delicious cocktails are priced at $15 and feature interesting flavors like plum, matcha, pineapple, coconut, hibiscus, passion fruit and espresso. My favorite off-the-menu drink to order at Jajaja Mexicana is a simple spicy margarita, which is the perfect pick-me-up. 


110 Rivington St.

The exterior of a restaurant at night. The storefront is fixed with a red awning with text that reads, “at.Verlaine.N.Y.C. 110 Verlaine.”
(Qianshan Weng for WSN)

I am truly saving one of the best for last on this list, closing it out with Verlaine. This funky and fun Asian-fusion lounge offers delicious tapas and amazing cocktails. With a long happy hour from 5-10 p.m., you can get the best lychee martinis, Southeast red sangria or rosé sangria for only $8. I highly recommend the lychee martinis, which, in my opinion, rival the ones of many upscale sushi restaurants. Verlaine is a cozy but busy spot, so I recommend making a reservation beforehand, especially if you plan on going in a group.

Contact Ishani Paul at [email protected].