Midtown Happy Hour: Free App With a Drink at Spice Fusion

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, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will 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.

Happy Hour: Spice Fusion

It’s well documented that Zach and many of us Midtown Lunchers love to go hog wild on an all you can eat buffet. Likewise, once the clock reads quitting time the happy hour ideal consists of gorging ourselves on free appetizers with a good drink to lull us into the night. We all know Spice Fusion has been an ML Indian buffet mainstay, but I was surprised to find they also have an all night happy hour with free veggie or meat hors d’oeuvres. This might be the only Indian food happy hour I’ve ever heard of, so my curiosity and appetite were piqued!

Happy Hour: Spice Fusion

Spice fusion is surprisingly dead at 6pm, especially given the proximity to the theater district crowds. There was only one other couple there but the waiters courteously checked our coats and we took a seat at the tiny bar. We were offered a wine and a cocktail list (I didn’t see any beer listings). I ordered a dry vodka martini and my friend had a bloody mary. The bartender made the martini with Absolut plus three little olives as garnish. It was everything you would expect it to taste like. The bloody mary on the other hand was in a small glass, light on flavor (no horseradish, pepper, celery etc) and strength: more like something you get at an airport lounge. Not discouraged, I sheepishly looked over my shoulder to see where this freeloading food action was to be found, but when the bartender came back out and asked if we wanted veggie or meat appetizer it became clear that this was an only one-dish affair. Out of the kitchen came 3 samosas and another small plate of 4 chucks of chicken masala —both garnished with baby greens and a side of tamarind and mint sauce.

Happy Hour: Spice Fusion

A delicious crispy shell surrounded the samosas and the chicken had tender dark meat with a light seasoning. In two demure nibbles one samosa was easily devoured and this held true for the chicken. So one little appetizer per stay was a big tease. A salivatory treat, but a stomach growling tease nevertheless. This was not exactly what I expected when they advertised their happy hour. The check came and my martini rung up at $10 and my date’s drink was $8. Not exactly cheap but the cocktail list didn’t include prices, so I had a feeling.

When compared with other midtown bars that offer trays of wings, nachos, and hotdogs with cheap drinks this low ambiance restaurant fails at comparing in affordability and satisfaction. I hate to say this Spice Fusion, but stick to what you do well: being one of ML’s best all you can eat Indian buffets.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I work nearby and I’m having dinner here, why not get a free app with my glass of wine
  • I’d love small snack and a drink before going to the theatre
  • Service was excellent and the bar does have a small dish of spicy peanuts to snack on
  • There is a lounge area as you enter, with sofas —probably a good place to take coworkers and order small bites and drinks

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Tiny bar that only seats about 5
  • They’re trying to take in a happy hour crowd, but they fail to do it right
  • 1 small plate, per person = lame
  • If you are up for $10 cocktails there are much better options

Spice Fusion, 777 8th ave (btw 47+48th)


  • $10 drink and one puny plate. The cheapskate in me says no thank you.

  • “piqued,” not “peaked” dammit! (Just as bad as using “palette” instead of “palate”–i.e., inexcusable in a food write-up.) And: ‘were piqued,’ not ‘was’: compound subject; the vodka is ‘Absolut’ (no ‘e’ at the end!).

    Other than that, I got nuthin’.

  • Did Utsav discontinue their Happy Hour in their downstairs bar room area? Usually two or three chafing dishes of free food – with drink purchase – set up.

  • 1849 still rocks the house for HH: 20-cent wings, excellent selection of THREE-DOLLAR DRAFTS or $3 well drinks, huge plate of tasty nachos for under $10 that must be shared. Well worth the quick subway ride from midtown after work.

  • stevenp – I had those same thoughts, but refrained from making a comment :) [ not the 1849 thing, it's not worth the ride for me :) ]

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    But somehow felt compelled to comment that you refrained from doing so? Mokay.

  • Ah, changes were made; better late than never. I’d seriously volunteer to proofread some stuff before it’s posted. Those types of errors are like a figurative poke in the eye while reading to me (and others, I’m sure).

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Stevenp: Don’t you mean to say they ARE a figurative poke in the eye, or LIKE a poke in the eye?

  • Yeah. I need a proofreader for my posts. :^) (Or: No, I meant to say they were like a figurative poke, but not rising to the level of an *actual* figurative poke!)

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