Do you know why birds and fish bunch up in flocks and schools? By grouping themselves together, they make it harder for predators to single them out. Sometimes, I swear the New York bar scene is every bit the same. Sure, it’s a good problem to have but there are so many clubs, pubs, and restaurants to choose from that it can be difficult to hone in on the right one.
Meanwhile, trying a new place always seems like flipping a coin. There’s about a 50-50% chance that it’ll be worth your time or a waste of money. Who wants to deal with that? I’d like 100% certainty that 100% that my time and money will be well spent. That might not actually be possible. However, there are things you can use to increase your chances of either A) making sure you end up at a great place or B) that your money goes a long way. In fact, there’s an easy way to accomplish both.
Being a penny pincher, I stumbled across the Hooch app. Basically, you pay $10 bucks a month and are given a free drink each day throughout the month. I’ve used plenty of deal saving websites and apps over the years, but this deal is hard to beat. Further, TechCrunch reported that the company launched Hooch Black as an annual service with discounts from 40-60% off Travelocity or Expedia hotel prices. When that’s true, I’m in. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the best spots around NYC that you can drink at for free.
1. The Cannibal Liquor House
Just based on the name, the Cannibal Liquor House is a winner. The food, drinks, and atmosphere are even better. The Cannibal offers a slightly upscale, but still comfortable setting. It’s modern, well-lit, and about the opposite of a dingy hole in the wall. I recommend going there for a free drink via Hooch, but make sure you try out some of their pub grub.
I love Japanese steak houses. It’s not just the amazing food, but the whole atmosphere that does it for me. New York is home to some amazing Japanese steak houses, but Megu ranks among the best. Megu oozes with class but prices remain quite reasonable for a high-end New York steak house. Add in a free drink and it’s all the better.
3. Trademark Taste + Grind
If you haven’t been to Trademark Taste + Grind, you need to go. Walking into Trademark is like stepping out of a time machine. Most “retro” places don’t impress me because they lack authenticity. Not Trademark, this place is straight out of another era.
4. Dewey’s Pub
I like Dewey’s Pub because on one hand it’s a pub, but on the other hand it’s a touch nicer than your average pub. Not black tie required nice, but nice enough that you could meet with clients or go on a date. The food’s good, the beer list is solid, and the staff has always treated me well.
5. Pierre Loti Wine Bar & Restaurant
Pierre Loti manages to walk that fine line between upscale while not coming off as snobby. It’s a great place to grab a glass of wine and unwind, and you can loosen your tie while you do so. The tapas is among the best in town as well.
6. Sky Room
I’ve always liked establishments with simple, descriptive names. Sky Room lives up to its name, offering some fantastic rooftop seating and views. It’s a great place to take friends from out of town and to enjoy some of New York’s renowned nightlife.
7. Falucka Lounge
Want to try something different? Falucka Lounge offers Middle Eastern belly dancing, hookah, and a wide selection of drinks. Falucka Lounge offers a great way to try something different and to see how other cultures entertain themselves.
8. Beyond Sushi 37th Street
I don’t always go vegan, but when I do, I often end up at Beyond Sushi 37th Street. This establishment offers some excellent and affordable vegetarian sushi to go along with your free drink. Even if you don’t think that vegan and vegetarian is your thing, you should give this place a try.