Eat, Drink & Be Merry at the Best Happy Hour Spots in Albany, NY
Editor's Note: Effective Friday, July 17, 2020, New York State has announced several rules around serving/ordering alcoholic beverages in restaurants and bars. You can read a breakdown of the main regulations below.
Wondering where to head for snacks, beer, cocktails, or wine after work or on the weekend? Albany is home to some of the best happy hour spots in the Capital Region, but as of summer 2020, there are some new regulations to follow if you're planning to visit a local bar during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Alcoholic beverages must be accompanied by the purchase of a food item.
- If an establishment had no table service prior to now and continues to not have table service, the bar may be used for walk-up service; otherwise, you must order drinks with food from your table.
- Customers must wear a mask while not seated.
Take a look at the happy hour spots listed below and plan your next trip!
Best Happy Hours for Small Bites
Editor's Note (9/15/2020): Live music events are currently not scheduled.
Looking for live entertainment, tasty food, or a great beer selection? The Hollow Bar + Kitchen has it all! They offer a variety of starters and pub fare that would pair perfectly with a drink during happy hour. You can't go wrong with beer cheese dip, nachos, wings, or artisan cheese plates at this restaurant and live music venue.
McGeary's Irish Pub touts itself as having "the best happy hour in the Capital District," and if you love Irish-inspired pub fare, you'll probably agree. In addition to their award-winning wings, you should try their sliders, mac & cheese poppers, or the chicken cordon bleu balls.
Editor's Note (11/25/2020): Warehouse Grill a& BBQ is not offering happy hour until New York State lifts COVID-related restrictions.
During happy hour at Warehouse Grill & BBQ, customers can get a taste of some of the "smoked to perfection" options the restaurant has on its regular menu. From smoked chicken wings and BBQ nachos to crispy ribs and sliders, there are many options to choose from at or below $6 each. Pair your small bites with a refreshing craft beer or $5 cocktail to make happy hour even happier.
Best Happy Hours for Beer
Featuring handcrafted brews from the C.H. Evans Brewing Company, the Albany Pump Station is a popular spot for beer lovers in the Capital Region. What makes the brewery unique is the wide open interior space, which allows visitors to see the fermentation tanks, serving vessels, and other parts of the brewing process.
With up to 20 beers on tap from large and small brewers, City Beer Hall is perfect for happy hour with friends and colleagues who all have different tastes. Order your favorite type of beer, and check out the wide array of bar snacks and small plates on the menu. During the warmer months, you can relax on their spacious patio and celebrate happy hour outdoors.
Pearl Street Pub
Located directly on North Pearl Street in downtown Albany, the Pearl Street Pub offers one of the city's best nightlife experiences. It's a casual hangout spot with a spacious bar and dining area. Sip your favorite draft beer and catch up with your group of friends.
The Olde English Pub & Pantry
Plenty of outdoor seating and a cozy interior that lives up to the olde, the English, and the pub in this restaurant's name, The Olde English Pub is an amazing year-round happy hour spot. Draft selections include ales, lagers, pales, bitters, stouts, porters, ciders, and wheats.
Wolff's has locations in Albany, Schenectady, and Syracuse (this one is probably a little far for happy hour, though). With the best selection of German beers in the Capital Region, Wolff's doesn't serve beer, they serve bier. The bar has a fun, laid-back atmosphere, and you can choose from their draft selection or hand-selected list of premium bottled biers.
Best Happy Hours for Cocktails
If you're a fan of classic and creative cocktails, then you need to plan a happy hour at Savoy Taproom. This Lark Street favorite is a cocktail bar and restaurant that delivers exquisite handcrafted cocktails, hearty food, and live music events. Try a Southside Manhattan, a Filthy Martini, or a Vodka Renewal.
Editor's Note (9/15/2020): Bombers Burrito Bar is open for takeout and delivery, and margaritas are available to order.
Bombers Burrito Bar could have made the list for best bites (their guac is pretty good), but we decided they're more notable for their confetti salt-rimmed margaritas. They offer a dozen different kinds of margaritas that are served on the rocks in a mason jar using quality tequila and fresh ingredients.
Wellington's is probably Albany's classiest happy hour spot, as they're a fine dining restaurant located in the Renaissance Albany Hotel. With signature cocktails and an inviting but modern interior, Wellington's is a must for anyone who prefers their happy hour on the rocks.
Best Happy Hours for Wine
Editor's Note (9/15/2020): New World Bistro Bar is currently offering happy hour specials Tuesday - Friday, 4:30pm-6:00pm.
Take a trip to the heart of Albany's Delaware Avenue Neighborhood and enjoy wine by the glass at New World Bistro Bar. This 80-seat gastropub is cozy with its exposed brick features, warm lighting, and Art Deco mahogany bar. You can order white wine, red wine, champagne, and more.
Restaurant Navona prides itself on offering thoughtfully prepared food, a friendly neighborhood feel, and a variety of beer, cocktails, and wine. Their wine menu includes white, red, rosé, sparkling, and champagne. Pick a wine out and raise a glass to happy hour in Albany.
Editor's Note (9/15/2020): Umana is currently open for takeout and delivery, and wine is available by the bottle.
Umana brings together flavors - and people - from around the world. Enjoy discovering new types of food and unexpected wine pairings at this Washington Avenue restaurant. You'll love the relaxed atmosphere and unique decor.