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Best New York Pubs

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by Dora Bona (subscribe)
A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at
Published April 30th 2012
Every time I visit New York City, I fall under it's inimitable spell the moment I arrive. I can't wait to go exploring and discover more of the ubiquitous bars and restaurants throught the different precincts of Manhattan. Especially the ones which offer cheap and even free food and drink. I've proved to the doubters amongst my friends time and again that you don't have to spend loads of money on tasty food - and you can have an evening of mirth and revellry enjoying drinks and entertainment on a tiny budget.

Irish pubs are in abundance throughout New York. They're always inviting, always offer fantastic home style food and cheap beer.
Molly's Pub & Restaurant Shebeen is a traditional Irish bar

complete with sawdust on the floor

and a log burning fireplace.

It's always interesting to learn a little history to add to the charm. Molly's Pub & Shebeen (A Shebeen is an illegal drinking establishment) first opened as a bar in 1895. During Prohibition (1920-1933) it was a grocery store and reopened again in the mid 1930's serving alcohol. The three upper floors served as a cheap rooming house for the transient workers who flooded to the city to build New York's massive infrastructures.

Molly's is renowned for its Shepherd Pie, hamburgers and steaks. But if you want something light, you can have a bowl of warming soup for just $5, or have it in a cup for $4. Chicken wings, served with blue cheese and celery sticks (buffalo style) are only $7 for about 15. Molly's potato skins with bacon, cheddar and sour cream are gigantic, and cost only $7. Beers are cheap too, especially during Happy Hour where you can get most beers for around $5.

Location is 287 3rd Avenue, near 22nd Street
Phone (212) 889 3361

Bourbon Street is totally different to Molly's. It's a loud, rambunctious establishment with the feeling you've walked into Mardi Gras. But it's hard to beat their 50 cent beers. That's right 50 cent beers from Wednesday to Friday from 9 till 11 pm. Happy hour is every night from 4 till 8 pm when everything is 2 for 1. You can grab typical bar food like Pizza and Tacos for under $10.

Location is 407 amsterdam Ave (between 79th & 80th)
Phone: (212) 721 1332

Three Sheets Saloon is another fantastic place where you can have a great time for under $20. A $7 cover charge will give you unlimited 25 cent pitchers of Coors Light from 7 till 11 om Wednesday evenings.

Buffalo wings are only 25 cents each and on Tuesdays, you can get 3 tacos for $2, and 2 for one pints of beer and burgers. Not sure how they do it but wow.

Location is 134 West 3rd St. (at 6th Ave).
Phone: (212) 253-6955

is a divey sort of bar, but if you want cheap drinks, and to hang with the firemen of the FDNY, then this is the place to be.

They serve $2.50 Bud Lights all day every day. Bar food is basic but still tasty. You can get buffalo wings at $12 for about 20 with free fried pickles (which are an acquired taste but a must for the curious). Burgers and cheese sticks are big and tasty too.

Location: 700 2nd Ave. (at 38th St.)
Phone: (212) 683-3766

So these are just a few more of the fabulous places to drop in after a hard day's sightseeing, shopping or anything else you love to do in New York. It proves that you can eat and drink cheaply anywhere in New York no matter what anyone tries to tell you.
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Why? Because you don't have to pay big bucks to eat and drink well
When: All day every day
Where: Manhattan, NYC
Cost: Cheap and affordable
You sound like a born and bred New Yorker, and you certainly get around for someone who just comes here for visits!
By sherr22 - reader
Wednesday, 13th of April @ 05:27 am
Can't believe you've included Three sheets - one of my favourite places as my new York friend lives around the corner. Spent many a raucous night there and love their happy hours.
By carol310 - reader
Saturday, 21st of May @ 01:42 am
Rambunctious is certainly a great word to describe Bourbon Street. It's not a place to go when you want "low key." It's a great time when you want to be around a lot of rowdy people in an energetic atmosphere.
By L.R. - senior writer
Thursday, 3rd of November @ 07:40 am
Oh my word these places are cheeeap! Can't wait to check some of them out when I visit very soon :)
By Kathleen - senior reviewer
Thursday, 15th of November @ 12:54 am
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