ML Happy Hour: Is McCormick’s & Schmick Still The Best Food Happy Hour?

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 Friday afternoon 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.

A few months after I wrote that McCormick’s was one of the best food happy hours, our long time commenter Adam posted that:

“I went here tonight with a friend. The burger was fantastic for $3.95 (NOTE: Yes, it seems that they raised the price a buck, but it was still damn good). Best $4 burger I’ve ever had, and for $4 I will be back again. The burger was a perfect medium-rare, big, and juicy, and did I mention $4? This could easily become a bad habit. “

There is nothing wrong with a $4 burger, even Blarney Stone can’t beat that. I figured enough time had passed by that I should follow up on McCormick’s burger at the bar special and see what other changes had been made.

If you recall part of the “gotcha” to McCormick’s special is in order to get all those sinfully cheap menu items there is a one drink minimum, per person, of at least $3.50. The last time I was there I advised drinkers to chose the right day for the drink special that fit their tastes. Previously they had Monday apple martinis, Tuesday well drinks, Wednesday Blue Moon beers, and Thursday house red or white wines. Now the bar options are more limited (see full menu here.) The weekly specials are only $3.50 Coors Light, $4.95 vodka lemonade, $5.95 red and white wine, and $6.95 citrus cosmos or peppermint martinis. Now call me crazy but if my drink is more expensive then my meal, I need to up my meds. So unless you really like Coors, expect to pay regular price for a draft ($6-8 range) making your burger and beer combo decidedly less of a bargain. Which brings us to the burgers.

It seems the cheeseburger price is back to what I paid for: $2.95 for a half pounder with fries. It’s still juicy and enough to fill up any big eater, especially if you add in a few $1 oysters or $1.95 black bean hummus as an appetizer.

So if you’re a cheapass, is this still the best happy hour in town? For food, yes, it’s a great choice. For drinks, sadly no. You make the call, but I can still see myself coming back and next time ordering those red curry mussels I tried on my first visit. At $3.95 for a big plate, I’ll suffer through a Coors or even a Budwiser!

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, 1285 Avenue of the Americas (at 52nd St), 212.459.1222


  • paying $6 for a beer AND $3 cheeseburger with fries? that is ridiculous and no one should pay that absurd amount.

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    If it’s good enough for DSK, it’s good enough for me.

  • I’ve never walked away from the M&S happy hour spending less than $30… 2-3 drinks and the $4 burger plus tax and tip makes me question whether or not it’s a good deal. A $10 burger and $5 beers would work out to the same price.

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    I would put Mortons “happy hour” up against this any day. Maybe a little more expensive but a lot more options and not a bad way to pre-game. I find myself at the Morton in AC every time I am down there with my buddies.

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    Is the AC Morton’s the same the one in Midtown, or what do they have? They are in Caesar’s, right?

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    If I was more interested in the beers I might not think the deal is totally spectacular, but food-wise? Hell yeah.

  • I’d suffer and pound well vodka lemonades. Not bad for $5.

  • There’s always Beacon, which has their half-pound burger with fries, plus two drinks for $20 during happy hour (which runs a more after-work-friendly 5-8 every day). Better burger, likely better drink options. But I guess if you’re okay with those drinks, M&S will do fine.

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