Welcome to the first annual (maybe?) New Haven Happy Hour Rankings!
The methodology is pretty simple: I use my brain to think about my favorite Happy Hours. And then I write them down. There’s a lot of math involved, obviously.
Think I’m wrong? Great, let me know. I probably missed an awesome place or two. Maybe a ton of them. I can only go to so many bars before my parole officer gets all uppity with me.
Why Happy Hour rankings? Because if you’re going to drink 10 of something, you probably don’t want them each to be $9.50. It’s a simple matter of economics. The less you spend on drinks, the more you can spend on whatever it is you spend your money on. Video games? Clothes? Online poker tournaments?
So without further adieu, I present the New Haven Happy Hour Rankings!
Honorable Mention: 1/2 Price Wine on Sundays at 116 Crown, Barcelona, and Pacifico (Mondays, too!)
While not technically a Happy Hour, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the glorious half price bottles of wine on Sundays at 116 Crown, Barcelona, and Pacifico (who also does this on Mondays).
Trying to impress a date? Bring her here and then “accidentally” discover a half price bottle of wine! How lucky for you! At these prices, you can’t afford NOT to have a Sunday Funday!
Plus, any excuse to rock those Duck Quesadillas at Pacifico, I mean come on, they almost make me believe in something greater. Almost.
5. Geronimo – 5-7, $5 house wine, margaritas, food specials (maybe late night too?)
Geronimo is a borderline case. I don’t love the idea that you have to sit at the bar to get specials and half the bartenders I’ve talked to have no idea there’s even a Happy Hour.
On the other hand, $5 house wine and house margaritas isn’t bad at all. And there’s a few food specials including $3 yucca fries, which I am absolutely a fan of. And the Happy Hour comes back at 9 (or 11 some nights), I think. I’m honestly not sure. I’m not even sure if they’re sure.
Plus, Geronomo has, per capita, possibly the best looking above-25 crowd in New Haven. Which, if you’re like me, is important, because hanging out on the dance floor at Bar is a great way to make you feel super, super old.
4. Kitchen Zinc — Tue-Thu 5-7, Late Night Fri/Sat 9-11 Happy Hour
I’m not sure if someone at Kitchen Zinc suffered a blow to the head or what, but Friday and Saturday night between 9 and 11 is not what I’d traditionally call “Happy Hour.” But I’m pretty happy about it anyway.
Sure, it’s only a couple bucks off drafts and $1 off wine (giving you $5 drafts and $5 wine) but they have food specials and they recently allowed the Happy Hour specials to be had on the patio, which is going to be awesome for at least, like… one more month.
According to their website they even do some pizza specials. But that might be a lie. I’ve been lied to by a lot of websites. But not here! No, the only lies we tell here are to ourselves.
Plus, they have a pretty solid beer list and decent food specials on there, too.
3. Barracuda – Weeknight 4-7, 10-12, Weekends 3-5 $3 drafts, $4 house wines, $5 margaritas & mojitos; $5 appetizers
I just recently discovered this one, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive. Not one but two happy hours with $3 drafts, $4 house wines, $5 margaritas and mojitos and a few appetizers as well?! Not bad at all.
I mean, $5 mojitos? That’s pretty crazy. And not that weird homeless guy wearing a garbage bag crazy. Good crazy.
The only reason they aren’t ranked higher is that the draft selection is pretty meh. I mean, they’re quality beers, but there’s like six of them.
Still, they’re making a strong push for that #2 spot.
2. 116 Crown — Weeknights 5-7 And All Night Thursday Happy Hour ($5-7 Drinks and Food)
You got me, 116 Crown. You finally got me.
Sure, I’ve complained about your $17.00 cocktails before. I don’t even own a monocle. And my top hat is in the shop due to an incident at Martha’s Vineyard.
(Just kidding, I’ve never been. Too rich for my blood.)
But on Thursday nights, shit gets really real and suddenly their normal Happy Hour goes all night. That means select cocktails and food items for 5-7 bucks.
We’re talking high quality food and cocktails here. The kind of stuff for classy people. People who probably go to The Hamptons. The kind of people who know where the Hamptons are, even.
But for one night a week, we can all pretend to be those people, sitting over their glowing bars, sipping fancy drinks and eating delicious sammiches.
You could do a lot worse.
1. Prime 16 — Half Price Craft Beers 4-7 (2-4 Saturdays)
The winner, and undisputed champion, remains (and probably always will be) Prime 16. And it’s pretty simple why.
Half. Price. Craft. Beer.
We’re not talking Bud Lights here. We’re talking high end shit. Virtually all of their beers are half price (with a few exceptions). And it’s not one of those “only until 6:30” bullshit happy hours. You get to rock that thing until 7 pm.
Do you know how much damage you can do with half price beer until 7 pm? Well I do. And it’s ugly. And beautiful. Just like me.
Sure, it’s a bit dark in there on a beautiful day, but if you were super into Vitamin D, you’d be out kayaking or some shit instead of reading this article, right?
They also have cheap wings, if you care. But you don’t. You don’t care at all because you’re drinking cheap draft beer and everything is right with the world and hey, you know what would go great with this beer? A lamb burger.