Cheapest Places To Drink In NYC

Beer Taps
Beer Taps | © Bruno Girin, Wikipedia Commons
Dana deLaski

New York City isn’t the cheapest city on Earth. In fact, it’s known for being incredibly expensive, and in terms of drinking, NYC has a reputation for being the land of the $16 cocktail. So while yes, it’s true, drinks here can be expensive, there are cheap options if you know where to look. From old-school dive bars that haven’t changed their prices in years to modern, upscale bars and restaurants that have crazy cheap deals, here are the top places in New York City to drink, even if you’re on a tight budget.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

McSorley’s Old Ale House

McSorley’s is most famous for being NYC’s oldest bar, and that fame means it’s always packed with an eclectic crowd. Everyone from recently graduated fraternity brothers to groups of old men come here for a glass of either dark or light beer. That’s right: there are only two choices, and for $5 you’ll get two glasses, a seriously good price – especially in this part of town.

Royale is a neighborhood favorite. It’s known for its big outdoor patio in the heart of Manhattan, its incredible underrated burger, and for serving beers and cocktails at reasonable prices. The patio is open year round, the burger is worth trekking across the city for, and if you eat it with a $3 draft beer at happy hour, you – and your wallet – will surely be very happy. Even outside of happy hour, beers are between $4 and $6, and Royale is a great place to hang.



If you’re looking to drink mimosas or bloody marys at brunch, do it at Pagani. This West Village Italian restaurant has brunch drinks at a crazy price: $2.89 each. It seems too good to be true, yes, but it’s because the address of the restaurant is 289 Bleecker Street. So yes, you can drink six mimosas for under $20, which may be impossible to do anywhere else in NYC.

Rye Restaurant & The Bar Below Rye

If you want to drink for cheap but you’re not feeling a dive bar, head to Rye in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for their happy hour. Rye offers an absurd deal on weekdays from 5:30pm to 7pm: $5 old fashioneds and $5 cheeseburgers. And at Rye, we’re not talking about some watered-down rail drink in a plastic cup; we’re talking a hand-crafted cocktail from an upscale whiskey bar.

Jimmy’s Corner

Jimmy’s Corner is the sort of bar you’d never expect to find on a busy block in Midtown, Manhattan – it’s one of the few locally owned bars remaining in the neighborhood. It’s owned by Jimmy, who refuses to raise his drink prices even as the neighborhood gets more and more expensive, but his strategy clearly works. His customers are loyal, the bar is always full, and the beers are never more than a few bucks.

Ten Degrees

A lively wine bar in the East Village, Ten Degrees’ two-for-one glasses of wine until 8pm each night are legendary. While most bars have happy hours early in the week, Ten Degrees’ deals run Friday and Saturday, making it the perfect spot for a glass of wine before dinner on any weekend night. The place is always full, and with a deal like this and excellent small plates, it’s easy to see why.

Rudy’s Bar & Grill

Rudy’s Bar & Grill has always been known as a place to drink and eat for cheap, and the fame they’ve acquired for giving out free hot dogs doesn’t hurt. Opened in 1919, it’s one of the oldest bars in NYC, and nearly a century later it seems that their prices have hardly changed. For the best deal, order a bucket of their house beer for $7.75 and share it with a group of friends (or keep it all for yourself).

169 Bar

Columbus Park in Chinatown, New York, USA.

One of NYC’s coolest dive bars, 169 Bar is always packed and always a good time. Aside from the awesome vibes, their daily happy-hour deals starting at 12pm also draw crowds – think $1 off cans of beer, $2 off everything else, and $3 for a beer and a shot. The bar is already relatively cheap, and with deals like this it’s a no brainer. Plus, Aziz Ansari is known to frequent the place.

Jeremy’s Ale House

Jeremy’s Ale House opens each day at 8am, and regardless of what you may think of it, construction workers, fishermen, and others with night jobs or early morning jobs come here after their shifts. Jeremy’s beers are super cheap and served in giant, 30-ounce styrofoam cups, so don’t worry if you have too many and drop your ‘glass’ on the floor. The vibes here are fun any time of day, so bring a group and don’t be afraid to get rowdy.

The Commodore

The Commodore is a Williamsburg bar and restaurant that’s a staple of the Brooklyn bar scene. It definitely gets busy on weekend nights, but that might be because they serve serious cocktails at crazy good prices. The best drinks on their menu are over-the-top and decked out with fruit or a tiny umbrella, and most of them are $7 or $8. Go for ‘the commodore’, a piña colada with an amaretto float – it’s sinful, dangerous, and downright delicious.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article