Midtown Happy Hour: The Grand Central Food Court is Full of Booze

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week we’ll post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap. For this week’s recommendation we’re back to Profiled Midtown Lunch’er Kate.

Midtown Happy Hour: Grand Central

This one goes out to the commuters. Or the non-commuters who just like to hang around train stations, like me. Grand Central Station is a veritable treasure trove of deals for cheap drinks and tasty bites, if you’re willing to deal with the hustle and crowds. Gathered in its lower level are food stands that rep for some of the more notable restaurants New York has to offer, along with some of the most reasonable drink deals I’ve ever seen. So here I bring you my mini-tour of what Grand Central has to offer.

Long is the tradition of trains and drinking, so naturally my friend Matt and I started at ‘the bar car’ which is a string of stands set up in font of the tracks solely to sell drinks to commuters. Here, we assumed the best deals would be. $4 for a bottle of domestic… not bad, but clearly not wonderful. We dug around some more and found that the real drink specials were hidden in the food stands.

If you’re in the mood for some Margaritas the place to be is Zocal’s, where from 4-6pm they have Jimador Silver Margaritas for $6. At the Manhattan Chili Co. you can get a huge glass (16oz) of delicious Sangria for $3.95. And at Masa’s they have small bottles of sake for $4. That’d be quite the train ride home.

Midtown Happy Hour: Grand Central

What I am most interested in though, is the beer deals. Yeah, $4 for a beer isn’t bad, but if we’re talking about hanging out in a train station, I want to get buzzed for cheap. Which we did. Matt and I determined that we had a tie for the beer winner. The first was found at Central Market Café, where a 32oz beer (Bud, Bud Light, Michelob) is $4.25. Make no mistake — that’s a lot of beer. We had barely finished those when we came across our second favorite offer; $2.90 for a 24oz can of Budweiser. Yes please. Passing time in the basement of a train station is not looking so bad anymore is it?

Midtown Happy Hour: Grand Central

In addition to the booze, we also soaked in some of the foodstuffs they had to offer. While you’re getting your drinking squared away, you can score three big samosas at Café Spice for $3.35, Beef or Chicken Jamaican Patties at Golden Krust for $2.95 or get any variety of pretzel starting at 2.50. Of course I feel obligated to say that if you’re willing to spend, Grand Central Station is home to some of the more famous watering holes such as Oyster Bar, Cipriani Dolce, and the Campbell Apartment. Oh to dream.

Grand Central Terminal, 87 E. 42nd Street (on Park Avenue)

Photos and Post by Kate Schruth


  • Thanks for the recommendations Kate! I love the giggly drunk picture!

  • $2-2.50 16oz coors light at the bar cars should be pretty prevalent, I would have also jumped on an actual bar car, had a drink on the free ride to 125th st and again on the return.

  • i’ve done this on many occasions. used to just sit around downstairs at grand central boozing it up when the miller light 16 ounce bottles were only $1.75. prices have since raised, but i prefer the cheap beers of Rose’s pizza at Penn Station.

  • I like Kate more and more.

    Even if she is sitting next to Jim Carey.

  • Can I request a similar review of Penn Station? AofB, is Roses the place around the circular waiting area from the Amtrak platforms, by the bread place and all? (The neon sign just says ‘Pizza’ I think.) They have great pizza, and really cheap big cans of decent beer.

    Penn Station has it all over Grand Central, with tons of ice-cold beers lined up in the clear bins, vying for your attention and hoping you’ll take them on a nice little train ride. (Whereupon you violently crack open their skulls and imbibe their cold, carbonated lifeblood!)

  • Rose’s is down on the side where TGIF is….towards the ACE lines. The pizza is decent enough, but the real reason to hit it up is the 32 oz. Bud/Bud Light/Bud whatever drafts for $2.75. It might’ve gone up to $3.

  • ugh If I had to choose between paying for bud, and letting drunk hobos pee into my mouth, I’d get a funnel.

  • naples 45…on the 45 street entrance of teh metlife building……4.50 beers/wine and…..FREE PIZZA.

  • I wouldn’t go that far, but yeah AL@1PP, I’m not 18 anymore, I don’t drink bud.. it’s nastay.

  • Stella Artois!!!

    They own bud btw …….

    Have a nice weekend very nearly everyone!

  • Yes, I do like stella, but it has a bad rap as being a girlie beer. Are you admitting to something rudy ;-)
    Oh, and Stella is never priced cheap.

  • Rose’s, where many bad nights have ended on a good note.

  • Stella, the bud of Belgium

    Dispensed by hobos yelling in Flemish & French

  • How do you hate on Bud? Seriously though, tall boy beers in any nationality are things of genius.

  • Jeffo, its gnats piss.

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