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Eat and Drink

Midtown's best happy hours: Reunion, Ardesia, Jimmy's Corner and more

For most New Yorkers, midtown is not quite a food and drink destination.

But it is somewhere many of us are forced to be, especially for work. And the only thing that will put you more in need of a drink than a tough day at work is emerging from your tough day at work to remember that you are in midtown.

It's the feeling happy hour was made to address. Luckily, tucked between the Times Square chains and the Midtown East expense account restaurants, you can find bars willing to welcome you with decent drink deals and bar bites.

Here are our picks for the best happy hour discounts in midtown — and a couple bars that are happy-hour priced all day.

Gyu-Kaku Times Square

Happy hour runs from 11:30 a.m. to 6
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Happy hour runs from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9:30 to 11 p.m. at Gyu-Kaku -- except at the bar area of this Japanese BBQ restaurant, where it's happy hour all day long. You might ask yourself: "Are the drinks really half price if they're never full price?" Don't overthink it -- just sip your $5 specialty cocktail or your $6 Grey Goose martini, pictured, or if you're really pinching pennies order a $3 Sapporo draft mug. Then snag an order of spicy tuna volcanoes for $6. (Gyu-Kaku, 321 W. 44th St., Manhattan, gyu-kaku.com)

Smith's Bar

It seems each week brings a story of
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

It seems each week brings a story of a New York City stalwart disappearing, and in October 2014, the story was about Smith's Bar -- a Times Square dive with a massive neon sign on Eighth Avenue. But a few months later in early 2015, the bar got a second chance when actress Hayden Panettiere's dad purchased and reopened it. Avail yourself of your second chance to visit Smith's and go for happy hour, when you can drink $4 select beers and $6 well drinks from 3 to 8 p.m. Bonus drinking: Happy hour is extended until midnight on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. (701 Eighth Ave., Manhattan, no website)

Rudy's Bar & Grill

Technically, Rudy's doesn't have a happy hour. But
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Technically, Rudy's doesn't have a happy hour. But it does have all the ingredients of a killer happy hour -- cheap booze and free food -- available all day long, every day. Grab a free hot dog (or two) and order Rudy's Blonde beer for $3 a pint or $8 a pitcher -- yes, a pitcher of the house beer is the price of a pint in many midtown bars. If you want to kick it up a notch, go for the Rudy's Stimulus Special, $5 for a pint of Rudy's Blonde and a shot of Bushmill's Irish whiskey. The signs on the walls of the dimly lit bar sum up it perfectly: "Cheap but good." (Rudy's Bar & Grill, 627 Ninth. Ave., Manhattan, rudysbarnyc.com)

Reunion Surf Bar

Descend downstairs into a tropical refuge at this
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Descend downstairs into a tropical refuge at this tiki-themed bar, where the happy hour runs from 5:30 until 8 p.m. and offers $4 pilsners, $6 Surfer Girl, Acid Drop, Mermaid (that's a frozen mojito, pictured) and Paloma cocktails -- a solid deal considering the cocktails are usually $12. If you need a snack, there are $4 hot dogs and on Tuesdays, bite into $4 tacos. (Reunion Surf Bar, 357 W. 44th St., Manhattan, reunionbar.com)

Jimmy's Corner

Escape the corporate character of Times Square at
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Escape the corporate character of Times Square at Jimmy's Corner, an old-school dive owned by boxing trainer Jimmy Glenn. The walls of the narrow bar are covered in boxing pictures, and the drinks are cheaper than your typical happy hour special -- drafts start at $3 and end at $4.50 all day long. Signs posted above the bar read: "Let's not discuss politics here." The patrons who crowd inside the dimly lit space seem to listen to that request. What more could you want? (Jimmy's Corner, 140 W 44th St., Manhattan, no website)

Ardesia

If you want to escape Times Square altogether
Photo Credit: Ardesia

If you want to escape Times Square altogether -- and find a happy-hour priced glass of wine that won't come from a dusty bottle of dubious "house chardonnay" -- head west to Ardesia. Helmed by sommelier Mandy Oser, who spent years working closely with Eric Ripert, the wine bar offers $2 off every glass of wine on its extensive and well-curated list and $2 off craft beers from 4 to 7 p.m. (Ardesia, 510 W. 52nd St., Manhattan, ardesia-ny.com)

The Stag’s Head

If you're looking for an affordable after-work spot
Photo Credit: Facebook via The Stag's Head

If you're looking for an affordable after-work spot in Midtown East, the land of overpriced business lunches, The Stag's Head has you covered -- with $5 and $6 beers from their extensive and rotating craft beer menu, plus $5 well drinks until 7 p.m. (The Stag's Head, 252 E. 51st St., Manhattan, thestagsheadnyc.com)

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