Midtown Happy Hour: Lunch Just Got a Lot More Briney at City Lobster

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.


I was tipped off on this happy hour from our resident commenter Adam Prato. It turns out City Lobster is having an early bird special that pretty much puts the smack down on any food and drink special I’ve seen this early in the day. From 12pm to 5pm City Lobster offers appetizers and seafood specials that just meet the $10 ML price point. It’s a little early for Happy Hour purposes, but your lunchtime hour just got a whole lot happier! (Or you can just use it as an excuse to skip out of work early…) Plus, if you’re lucky, you might get a ginger haired bartender that moonlights as a Mary Kay consultant to man your helm and give you skin care advice.


Our bartender April had a great sense of humor and cracked some funny jokes about her side job working for Mary Kay. She tried to enlist me as a consultant, but I had a feeling that her true intentions were towards getting that sweet Mary Kay pink Cadillac.


No matter where you sit, tables or bar, City Lobster has a 99-cent per oyster deal that is available all day. If you sit at the bar, which I suggest, you can take advantage of their 12 to 5pm bar menu that includes items like calamari and a Stella beer or ½ dozen oysters and a Blue Point beer. Of course I had to try both.


The calamari was nice and crispy and came with a garnish of red bell pepper.


The oysters were not the best I ever had, but for the price there wasn’t anything to complain about. Each was meaty and plump. While slurping down some briny bivalves topped with a smear of horseradish infused cocktail sauce some good conversation started up with the businessmen next to us and next thing you know our group had ordered another round of drinks and oysters. The music was exceptional. A mix of standards like Sinatra, Ella, Peggy Lee, Clooney, and Bennet tuned down to the perfect background level.

The restaurant is spacious, clean and well, to be blunt, much too nice to be having an all day oyster deal. I think I speak for all ML lunchers when I say, jump on this shit fast!

The + (What people who like about this place would say)

  • Shellfish, beer, pretty bartenders: can you really ask for more?
  • It’s hard to complain about a $1 oysters special all day long in NYC. This is the best seafood deal in town hands down

The – (What people who don’t like about this place would say)

  • I don’t eat seafood
  • Specials end at early, which means this is not technically a happy hour special
  • So if the beer and food combo ends at 5, that means I’m sucking down a ton of oysters and beer for lunch and calling it a day. Probably not a good career move

City Lobster, 121 West 49th Street (Between 6th and 7th), 212-354-1717


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