Day Drinking In New York City: Our Favorite Spots, And Tips From Pros

by Chiara Atik · October 19, 2010

    If your motto in life is "it's five o'clock somewhere!" and you find yourself humming the words "day drinking" to the tune of REM's Nightswimming, then you may have a drinking problem. Luckily, this is New York City, and you are not alone, my friend. We've compiled some of our favorite day drinking spots in the city. Read the list, and consider taking your lunch break at the nearest bar...-

    But first! Some Pro Tips!

    1. Drink white wine! It won't stain your teeth, and is undetectable on your breath.

    2. Alcohol Poisoning/Food's all the same, really! If you come back from lunch feeling not so great, use this line on your boss:

    You: "Hey, have you ever had the _______ at ____?"

    Your Boss: "Yes/No, Why?"

    You: "I don't know, it's so weird, I feel awful, I wonder if it was the ____. Never going there, again!"

    3. Pace yourself!

    4. If you're at an all you can drink place, take advantage and order drinks you wouldn't ordinarily want to spend money on/risk.

    5. Bring sunglasses for when you go outside and realize that, yes, it's still daytime.

    6. Don't go home and online shop. You will be mystified and embarrassed when FedEx arrives in a week.

    Weekday Drinking:


    You're probably rolling your eyes right now, but despite it's obnoxious Meatpacking location (yeah, I said it!), Pastis is, in the word of one fan, "reliably cheesy and the prosecco-soaked." Did you read that? Prosecco soaked. Additionally, since only Tourists go to Pastis on a weekday, people will assume you're on vacation and forgive you for your egregious diurnal inebriation.

    What To Drink: A glass of Toraine Rose' for $12.


    Ah, Belcourt, the gem of East Fourth Street. The waiters are all foreign and attractive, dressed immaculately in white, so instead of feeling ashamed, you'll feel downright sophisticated for having a cocktail before noon! Drink en plein d'air in the spring and summer, and retreat to their cozy mirrored indoor section during winter.

    What To Drink: They've just added Micheladas to their menu (Beer and hot sauce, which is much better than it sounds), and they make a mean French Martini. $5 during Oyster Hour. [via]


    Worth the trek to Brooklyn? Definitely. It's not a dive bar, so you won't feel pathetic sitting there throwing them back. (They host weddings there, so it's elegant, you know? And elegance is all you need to make day drinking haute.) Lots of cool Brooklyn types have business meetings there, so you can just go...and have a business meeting....with your friends....

    What To Drink: Their beer and wine list is massive. We'd recommend the Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted, an IPA from Scotland.


    This East Village bar opens at noon, and has two for one drinks until 8 pm every night. A word of caution: avoid this one if you ever suffer from Catholic Guilt, as the inside of the bar is far too reminiscent of a church for guilt free drinking...

    What To Drink: A Scotch, obvs, with a side of bangers in a blanket.

    Havana Outpost:

    The cool, trendy sister of Cafe Habana, this Fort Greene flea market/drinking spot is open for one more month before it shuts down for winter, so enjoy it while you can!

    What To Drink: A Morita, which is an odd, yet appealing combination of Mojito and Margarita.

    Gramercy Park Hotel's Roof Club and Garden

    This bar has a lot to offer, but for day drinking let it be noted that since it's located on a midtown rooftop, the only people who will see you day drinking will be the other daydrinkers themselves!

    What To Drink: Ask for a bartender's special

    Destination Bar

    Because this bar is so popular with bloggers (read: unemployed people), it's crowded at all hours of the day. Just bring your laptop, and presto! You're not drinking, you're working.

    What To Drink: A blueberry pancake shot! It's just as good as having breakfast.

    Weekend Day Drinking:

    Sunburnt Cow

    The Sunburnt Cow on Avenue C is a brunch favorite for Alphabet City hipsters. $20 all you can drink Brunch means you can get their early, have some food, and spend the rest of the day drinking. And trust me, people do...

    What To Drink:  Sex On Bondi Beach; you'll be too drunk to be embarrassed at ordering it!

    Gowanus Yacht Club

    Manhattanites, don't worry, this is right off the F train, and the good beer, good atmosphere and cheap prices will make it worth the trek. It's cool but it's definitely gritty, so if an elegant brunch is your thing, look elsewhere.

    What To Drink: Cans of PBR are two for five...


    Yes, this is a bar, but they serve bagels and lox on Sundays, just like your Grandmother is doing uptown! Bagels and lox. It's tradition.

    What To Drink: In our humble opinion, nothing washes down lox like tequila.


    Le Bilboquet

    Hey Upper East Siders, looking for a place to cure your hangover with a little hair of the dog? Look no further than chic brunch hotspot, le Bilboquet.

    What To Drink: Champagne or red wine, bien sur...


    169 Bar

    This LES haunt recently started advertising a weekend brunch, consisting of a drink and dumplings for a reduced price. Of course, a drink and dumplings is all anyone ever has at 169, no matter what time of day, but if you need to call it "brunch" in order to make day drinking acceptable, we totally understand.

    What To Drink: A can of beer to go with your dumplings, obvs.

    [All photographs via NY Mag, unless otherwise specified.]