Updated at: 21-07-2023 - By: John Lau

New York City is known for its vibrant nightlife, where every corner seems to have a bar or club waiting to be explored. However, amidst the city’s glitz and glamour, finding budget-friendly watering holes can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

But fret not! We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled a list of 15 best cheap bars in NYC that offer delicious drinks without breaking your bank. From low-key dive bars to lively rooftop joints with skyline views, these affordable spots cater to various tastes and budgets.

15 Best Cheap Bars In NYC



Clandestino, located in the heart of the Lower East Side, is a hidden gem among the best cheap bars in NYC. Known for its unassuming entrance and warm atmosphere, this neighborhood watering hole offers a respite from the busy city streets.

For those seeking an authentic taste of New York’s eclectic bar scene without breaking the bank, Clandestino provides just that. Their well-curated drink menu features both classic libations and house specialties such as their famous “Rebel Rebel” cocktail with mezcal and fresh pineapple juice.

Despite being one of the must-visit affordable bars in NYC offering low-cost drinks perfect for frugal nights out, Clandestino maintains an intimate and relaxed ambiance that keeps patrons coming back time after time.

Fresh Kills

Located in the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg, Fresh Kills is a high-end cocktail bar that surprisingly falls on the affordable side of things for NYC.

Fresh Kills does not only boast an exceptional collection of wines but also offers happy hour specials for those looking to unwind after work or indulge during weekend outings.

The inviting space features plenty of seating options such as tables and booths for comfortable gatherings with friends while sipping on some unique concoctions crafted by their skilled bartenders.

Welcome To The Johnsons

Welcome To The Johnsons

Welcome to the Johnsons, making it an ideal spot for individuals seeking affordable drinks without compromising on quality or atmosphere.

The laid-back ambiance of this dive bar is perfect for those who want to unwind after a long day, and its lively vibe attracts locals and visitors alike.

Known for their first-rate margaritas during summer months, these potent concoctions have contributed to their popularity among budget-friendly drinkers in NYC.

Additionally, MyBartender has placed this beloved neighborhood watering hole on their list of 17 Best Cheap Bars in NYC.

Sly Fox

This bar offers an extensive beer menu that’s sure to please any beer lover on a budget.

In fact, Interstate Drafthouse in Fishtown has Sly Fox’s selection of brews available for its patrons. Besides being located in Philly, the Golden Circle at TI in Las Vegas even features Sly Fox as one of its beer options.

Super Power

Super Power is a must-visit if you’re looking for an affordable drinking spot in Brooklyn. This tiki-style bar boasts colorful decor, tropical drinks, and laid-back vibes that make it the perfect place to unwind after a long day.

But Super Power isn’t just about cheap cocktails – the bartenders here are skilled at crafting creative concoctions that pack a punch. Take the “Papa’s Pilar” for example, which features rum, lime juice, coconut cream, and cinnamon.

169 Bar

169 Bar

One of the best cheap bars in NYC, 169 Bar is perfect for those looking for an old-school drinking experience. With its billiard tables and fresh oysters, this historic bar offers more than just drinks.

Established in 1916, it’s one of the few remaining original New York bars and has been included in multiple lists of Manhattan’s top dive bars for its affordable drinks.

The colorful sign over the door adds to its charm while also beckoning patrons inside for a classic cocktail or a cold beer.


Located in the trendy NoLita neighborhood, Botanica is a top pick when it comes to affordable bars in NYC. With individual outdoor seating and a low-key atmosphere, this cozy bar is a popular hangout spot for musicians and artists.

Botanica has also made its mark as one of the best cheap bars on Manhattan’s list. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly drinks or just want to enjoy some casual conversation with friends, Botanica has got you covered.

Rudy’s Bar & Grill

Rudy’s Bar & Grill is a quintessential NYC dive bar that has been serving locals since 1933. Located in the heart of Midtown West, Hell’s Kitchen, and Theater District, Rudy’s offers an authentic NYC experience with cheap drinks and free hot dogs.

This no-frills neighborhood bar attracts a lively crowd looking for a casual atmosphere to catch up over beers or unwind after work. The casual vibe at Rudy’s makes it an excellent spot to grab some drinks without breaking the bank while enjoying good company in an unpretentious environment.

Jimmy’s Corner

Jimmy's Corner

Jimmy’s Corner is one of the most famous dive bars in NYC and a must-visit for anyone on a budget. Located in the heart of Times Square, Jimmy’s Corner offers affordable drinks that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Despite being located in one of the busiest tourist destinations globally, Jimmy’s Corner has retained its local charm and authenticity. This rare gem has become a popular attraction among both locals and tourists looking to experience cheap drinks without compromising on quality.

Jeremy’s Ale House

Nestled in the South Street Seaport area of NYC, Jeremy’s Ale House is a local dive bar that offers fantastic seafood and super cheap beer.

This neighborhood bar has a laidback vibe with a casual atmosphere, making it an excellent spot for locals to hang out and grab some drinks. One of the standout features at Jeremy’s Ale House is their Happy Hour specials, which include half-price well drinks and $4 buckets of Coors and Coors Light.

A sentimental tradition among customers is ordering 32-ounce draft beers served in Styrofoam cups that have become synonymous with this popular local hangout.

Local 138

One of the must-visit bars in Manhattan for anyone looking to save some cash is Local 138. This cozy bar boasts a welcoming atmosphere with friendly bartenders and comfortable booths.

Local 138 also stands out thanks to its mod-themed decor and warm dark wood accents, giving patrons a relaxed ambiance perfect for unwinding after a busy day or catching up with friends.

Located on Ludlow Street between Stanton and Rivington, this classic New York City bar is an excellent option for those seeking affordable drinks without sacrificing quality or charm.

Johnny’s Bar

Johnny's Bar

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, Johnny’s Bar is a popular dive bar that has been serving up cheap drinks for decades. Known for its no-frills atmosphere and unpretentious vibe, Johnny’s draws in locals and tourists alike who are looking for an authentic New York drinking experience without breaking the bank.

Despite being one of the best neighborhoods in NYC, according to some articles, Johnny’s remains affordable and approachable, making it a must-visit spot on any budget-friendly drinking list.

Drop Off Service

If you’re looking for a cozy bar with vintage decor, then Drop Off Service in NYC’s East Village is definitely worth checking out. This affordable gem has an intimate atmosphere that is perfect for unwinding after a long day.

When it comes to drinks, Drop Off Service doesn’t disappoint either. You can enjoy classic cocktails starting at $10 and beer starting at just $4. It’s one of the best places to score budget-friendly drinks without sacrificing quality or atmosphere.

The Library

Located in the East Village, this cozy spot offers a relaxed and casual atmosphere perfect for unwinding with friends after a busy day.

The drink prices are affordable, happy hour specials are available throughout the week, and there’s even free popcorn to snack on while you sip your cocktail. Whether you’re in the mood for a beer or a specialty cocktail, the bartenders at The Library have got you covered.

Overall, The Library is an excellent option for anyone looking for an economical drinking experience while still enjoying all that NYC nightlife has to offer.

Cloud Social

Cloud Social

Located in the heart of NYC, Cloud Social is one of the best cheap bars you can find in the city. This rooftop bar stands out for its breathtaking views of One World Trade Center and affordable drinks.

Whether it’s craft beer or wine selection, this bar has something to offer everyone at an incredibly reasonable price. The casual atmosphere makes it a great place to hang out with friends and socialize over cocktails on any day of the year as they are open throughout all seasons with outdoor heaters during winter months.


In conclusion, New York City may be known for its high-priced nightlife, but this list proves that you can have a great time without emptying your wallet.

From dive bars to rooftop views, there’s something for everyone on this list of the 15 best cheap bars in NYC. So next time you’re looking to have a night out without breaking the bank, consider one of these budget-friendly options.