Aug 27 2009

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Food in NYC

Published by Andy at 12:46 pm under Recession Specials

I know it may seem like nothing’s free anymore these days. Heck, we even have to pay to check a friggin’ bag on an airplane. Thankfully there are some bars and restaurants around the city that are still offering some quality snacks for free to their boozing patrons. Free food can range from something simple like peanuts or chips and salsa to a full-on buffet of fried goodness, or even something a bit more fancy like truffled popcorn. And while most places only give out the free goods during happy hour, some places give it out all day long and on weekends, too. We know we didn’t catch all the places (though we got close to 70) so please leave any others in the comments. Let’s start this free eating tour in the East Village shall we:


Belgian Room (East Village): The Belgian Room will give you a free order of Pommes Frites if you purchase a beer or a drink on Monday or Thursday nights. Also 2-4-1 Belgian draft beers or glass of wine or drinks from 4 – 8pm daily.

Burp Castle (East Village): Burp Castle offers free Pomme Frites to its patrons every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. The Frites show up typically between 5-6:30, and are available until they are gone. 41 E. 7th St.

Cooper 35 (East Village): Buy a drink and get free edamame or chips and salsa on weekdays. 35 Cooper Sq. at 3rd Ave.

Counter (East Village): Keep drinking the organic cocktails at the bar and they’ll serve you some free apps, like corn beignets and chickpea fries. Mon-Thurs from 5-11pm and Sundays. 105 1st Ave b/t 6th and 7th St.

Croxley Ales (East Village): The wings here are damn tasty and they’re complimentary at the bar on Fridays b/t 5-7pm. Not to worry though, they’re only 10 cents on Wednesday nights and 20 cents on Saturdays and Sundays. 28 Ave B b/t E. 2nd and 3rd St.

Cucuina di Pesce (East Village): What’s better than free mussels w/ marinara at the bar with purchase of a $6 beer or glass of vino. Also BOGO apps and drinks! 87 E. 4th St at 2nd Ave.

d.b.a. (East Village): We hear they have free cheese plates at the bar on Mondays from 5-9pm and check this — free bagels and lox on Sundays from 1-4pm. 41 1st Ave b/t E. 2nd and 3rd St.

Desnuda (East Village): Truffled popcorn offered at all times at this tiny ceviche bar where the chef prepares seafood dishes right behind the bar. We loved the bottomless paper cone of popcorn, especially since it was generously misted with sprays of truffle oil. 122 E. 7th St. b/t 1st Ave & Ave A

Standings (East Village): Gotta love the free pizza offered every Friday night starting at 8pm at this E. Village beer bar on one of the best beer blocks in the city. Oh yeah, and from Sept-June they have a free bagel bar on Sunday afternoons. 43 E. 7th St.


Anfora (West Village): Greenmarket Mondays — Between 5 and 7pm they serve free snacks based on what is fresh from the market. 34 8th Avenue (212-518-2722)

Blind Tiger Ale House (West Village): On Wednesdays at 6pm, this craft beer bar offers an assortment of cheeses (two pounds’ worth) from Murray’s Cheese and free baguettes from Tom Cat Bakery. 281 Bleecker St at Jones St (212-462-4682).

Centro Vinoteca (West Village): An $8 happy-hour cocktail or $7 quartino of wine or $5 beer here gets you a trio of bites, including a truffled deviled egg and a mini BLT (4–7pm). 74 Seventh Ave South at Barrow St

dell’anima (West Village): From 4 to 6 p.m. on weekends, patrons at the bar get complimentary Italian snacks-like grilled veggies, risotto and bruschetta to accompany their beer or cocktail. 38 Eighth Ave at Jane St (212-366-6633).

Desire Bar & Grill (Greenwich Village): Free quesadilla with every drink purchase. 45 W. 8th St. b/t 5th & 6th.

Gusto Ristorante e Bar Americano (West Village):  Happy Hour $6 cocktails, glasses of wine, shots, beers and FREE PIZZETTA from 3pm to 7pm. 60 Greenwich Ave at Perry St

Il Mulino (Greenwich Village): The onslaught begins here with the Antipasti, as free heapings are circulated through the restaurant and bar areas. 86 W. 3rd St.

Pasita (Meatpacking/Village): On Sunday nights from 6-9pm get a free Margherita Pizza with purchase of two drinks (wine or beer).

Piola (Greenwich Village): Every weeknight get free salads, pizzas, homemade focaccia and other snacks with any drink from 5 to 8 pm. 48 E. 12th St.

Spain Restaurant (West Village/Meatpacking): Free tapas at the bar with your cocktail, beer or sangria. We hear it’s typically sweet meatballs, potatoes, and Tortilla de Patata. 113 W. 13th b/t 6th and 7th Ave

Temple Bar (Greenwich Village): Free popcorn that’s flavored with sweet curls of dried beets and yams. 332 Lafayette St. b/t Houston & Bleecker


Aurora (Soho): Everyday from 5-7pm, Italian aperitivo at the bar (little amuse bouche served with drinks). 510 Broome

Cupping Room Cafe (Soho): Free bar food during happy hour b/t 5:30-7:30pm Mon-Fri. We hear it’s free wings many nights and 1/2 priced drinks, too. 359 W. Broadway b/t Grand & Broome St.

Emporio (Soho): 5-7pm Aperitivo Italian Style w/ one free refill of draft beer, house wine & sangria cocktails for $5, and free pizzette & stuzzichini at the bar.  Midnight happy hour from 12 – 1:30 AM w/ complimentary snacks and $4 house wine and draft beers. 231 Mott b/t Spring and Prince

Manhattan Bistro (Soh0): Free appetizers at happy hour. Mon-Fri 5-1opm and Sat-Sun 7-10pm. 129 Spring St.

Spring Lounge (Soho): Every Wednesday beginning at 5pm they serve up free hot dogs cooked in beer, and on Sundays starting Labor Day it’s free bagels. 48 Spring St.


Bar Stuzzichini (Flatiron): Receive a complimentary order of Stuzzichini with the purchase of a draft beer, specialty cocktail or quartino of wine. Mon-Fri from 4:30-6:30pm and Sat-Sun from 3-5pm. 928 Broadway

Bocca (Flatiron): Aperitivo is served at this Flatiron spot from 5:30 to 7:30 pm every night but Saturday. Typical snacks like bread, fresh mozzarella, mini-pizzas and breaded-and-fried green olives are part of the free offerings, served with a cocktail or glass of wine. 39 E. 19th St b/t Park Ave South & Broadway

Brio (Flatiron): Gratis (Free) Finger Foods at the Bar, Monday-Friday 5-7pm “Vero Aperitivo Italiano”

Hook & Ladder Pub (Murray Hill): During football season, they put out free pizzas and wings during halftime. 611 2nd Ave. b/t 33rd and 34th St.

I Trulli (Murray Hill): Offering a selection of complimentary small bites alongside cocktails and wine Monday – Friday from 5:30 – 7pm. E. 27th St. b/t Park & Lexington; 212-481-7372.

Kellari’s Parea (Gramercy): They are giving samples of their meze (appetizers) at the bar during Happy Hour, seven days a week from 4-8pm. And if you log onto their website and join their friend and family online, you will receive a free Lifetime bottle of champagne. 36 East 20th Street b/t Broadway and Park Avenue South

Rodeo Bar (Kips Bay): Buffalo wings and nachos during happy hour on Monday through Saturday from 4 to 8 pm and again Sunday from 6 to 9 pm. 375 Third Ave at 27th St

Rolf’s (Gramercy): Free finger sandwiches everday from 5-6pm at the bar.  281 3rd Ave. at 22nd St.

SD26 (Flatiron): Free pizza bianca with mortadella at the wine bar offered every half hour every night from 5pm until closing & free bomboloni after 10 PM.  19 E. 26th St.

Teqa Taqueria (Kips Bay): Daily from 5:00 – 7:00 PM get a Free Order of Tacos With Purchase of Every Margarita Pitcher!

Tarallucci e Vino (Union Sq): On weeknights, this traditional Italian wine bar puts out bites from 5-10pm including small platters of pizzette, quiche wedges and juicy and flavorful olives. You sometimes have to request these snacks. 15 East 18th St.

The Watering Hole (Irving Place): Offers a free buffet with a rotating selection of everything from pasta to quesadillas (5:30–6:30pm). The buffet overlaps with happy hour (3–7pm), when all drafts are $4. 106 E 19th St between Park Ave South and Irving Pl (212-674-5783)


Boss Tweed’s (Lower East Side): Free wings and pizza on Thursdays and Fridays b/t 5-7pm. 115 Essex St. b/t Rivington & Delancey

Broadway East (Lower East Side): Baskets of homemade chips (both parsnip and potato-flavored drizzled with truffle oil), and bowls of warm, spiced popcorn offered nightly at the bar. 171 E. Broadway

Doghouse Saloon (Soho):  Free hot dog with every drink purchase at this dimly-lit LES sports bar. 152 Orchard St.

Iggy’s (Lower East Side): Free hot dog night on Tuesdays and there’s usually free food out on the bar most other nights, too. 132 Ludlow @ Rivington

Mangiami (Lower East Side): On Mondays from 7-9pm, they serve free platters of bruschetta, fried zucchini and potato croquettes. 9 Stanton St.; 212-477-7047


Armani Ristorante (Midtown): On Thursday nights from 6:30-9pm, you get free puff pastries with savory fillings such as eggplant caponata, plus breadsticks wrapped in mortadella. 717 Fifth Ave.; 212-207-1902

Ben Benson’s (Midtown West): Free fried chicken and potato skins on weekdays starting between 5:30 and 6pm. 123 W. 52nd St. b/t 6th and 7th Ave.

Blu Restaurant & Bar (Lower Midtown): During happy hour (Mon-Fri 5-7pm) they have complimentary Italian specialities to snack on like arancini, bruschetta, flatbreads and prosciutto di parma on pane musica. Also buy 1 get 1 beers, wine and well drinks. 127 W 28th St (b/t 6th & 7th Ave)

Casa Lever (Midtown East): We hear from the NYPost that from 3pm onward they offer free bowls of mixed olives and nuts, plus a small plate of quartered brioche sandwiches featuring a sampling of Italian meats (salami, prosciutto, etc.) from a communal platter. 390 Park Ave.; 212-888-2700

Eatery (Hell’s Kitchen): Enjoy $5 sangria or cranapple martinis & complimentary food tastings every Tuesday-Thursday from 4 to 6pm. 798 9th Ave at 53rd St.

Ferro’s (Midtown East): Happy hour here is from 4-7 pm, with $3 drafts, $4 wines, and a free appetizer buffet that includes vegetable crudités, cheeses, a chafing dish of pasta, and some Mediterranean tapas. 145 E. 50th St. in the Kimberly Hotel

The Fitz (Midtown East): $3.50 Beers and free apps during Happy Hour. 687 Lexington Ave. in the Fitzpatrick Hotel.

Keen’s Steakhouse (Lower Midtown): Offers free snacks during happy hour Monday to Friday 5:30-7 pm. These include, on different evenings each week, barbeque ribs, fried shrimp, Swewdish Meatballs and Buffalo chicken wings. Hard-boiled eggs are free at the bar all day long. 72 W. 36th St.

Kennedy’s (Midtown West):Free wings and roasted potatoes w/ cheese on weekdays from 4:30-7pm. 327 W. 57th St. b/t 8th and 9th Ave.

Langan’s (Midtown West): Free chips and salsa and buffet of things like wings and poppers every weekday b/t 5-8pm. 150 W. 47th St. b/t 6th and 7th Ave

Naples 45 (Midtown): Thanks to MidtownLunch and Mamacita for this one: Free slice of cheese pizza at the bar from 5-7pm weekdays. 200 Park Ave. (at 45th St.)

Pig n Whistle (3 Midtown locations): Calling to confirm with the 2 other Pig locations, but the Pig on 3rd confirms that they have free tapas out b/t 3-5pm on weekdays. 922 3rd Ave b/t 55th and 56th St.; 951 2nd Ave; 165 W. 47th St.

Port 41 (Hell’s Kitchen): Everyday cheap beer comes with free hot dogs and popcorn. 355 W 41st St between Eighth and Ninth Aves

Rudy’s (Hell’s Kitchen): Free hot dogs all the time at this Hell’s Kitchen dive bar. 627 9th Ave at 44th St.

Shelly’s Trattoria (Midtown): Free happy hour cicchetti (small bites) for cocktail-purchasing patrons. Among the selections: marinated vegetables, wild mushroom crostini and fried olives. Starts at 5pm. 41 W. 57th St.

Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse (2 locations): Wine Tasting Wednesday from 5-7pm when there is a complimentary wine tasting with artisanal cheese and fruit pairings in the bar area. Ladies & Gents Thursday from 5-7pm when guys get complimentary tastes of port, scotch, whiskey and bourbon, while the ladies get martinis and cocktails. And while you drink for free, they pass around some signature appetizers.

Vero Midtown (Midtown East): Get a free pressed panini on Monday nights with the purchase of a specialty cocktail ($9-$12), glass of wine (averaging $10) or martini ($11). 1004 Second Ave at 53rd St (212-935-3530)

Zanzibar (Hell’s Kitchen): Free finger foods from 5-8pm every weekday. Drinks are $2 off, too. 645 9th Ave at 45th St.


East Side Tavern (Upper East Side): Offers free pizza on Sundays durring the NFL season. The first pies come during halftime of the 1pm games and then again at halftime for the 4pm games. 1st btwn 82nd and 83rd

Iggy’s (Upper East Side): Free chicken wings every weekday b/t 5-7pm. 1452 2nd Ave at 76th St

Rosa Mexicano (Upper East Side): Free guacamole at the bar on Wednesdays and Thursdays b/t 5-6pm with purchase of a cocktail. 1063 1st Ave

Ryan’s Daughter (Upper East Side): We hear they always have a bag of free gourmet bbq chips on hand and sometimes free wings. 350 E. 85th St b/t 1st and 2nd Ave


Dive Bar (Way Upper West Side): Offers a decent plate of mussels on Fridays for free… first come-first serve basis. 732 Amsterdam at 96th St

Pappardella (Upper West Side): Complimentary snacks during happy hour (mon-thurs 4pm-7pm & 10pm – close). 316 Columbus Ave.

Peter’s (Upper West Side): Everday during happy hour get free chips and salsa and on occassion various appetizers.


Jake’s Saloon (Chelsea): A free buffet during happy hour w/ wings, pasta, quesadillas and more. 202 9th Ave.

Rocking Horse (Chelsea): Free chips and salsa at the bar. 182 8th Ave


Ancora (FIDI): Offering complimentary appetizers and grappa with lunch and dinner. You will be offered complimentary bites at the start of your meal, such as crisp zucchini fries with red pepper flakes, platters of soppresatta, chunks of imported parmesan and cured Italian peppers. Then, after your meal, whether you opt for dessert or not, your waiter will wheel over a table of complimentary homemade Grappas, Annisettes and Sambucas for you to select from. 11 Stone Street

Ryan Maguire’s Ale House (FIDI): Free food during Happy Hour from 5-7pm on Mon-Fri. 28 Cliff St. b/t John & Fulton St.

26 responses so far

26 Responses to “The Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Food in NYC”

  1. [...] posted here:  The Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Food in NYC | WINED & DINED By admin in Uncategorized  .::. You can follow any responses to this entry [...]

  2. Rolando Peñateon 28 Aug 2009 at 10:26 am

    This really should be titled “The Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Food in Manhattan”. Nothing wrong with that, but this Brooklynites hopes for free grub were quickly squashed.

  3. Andyon 28 Aug 2009 at 11:16 am

    Hey Rolando- You’re absolutely right and that’s my bad. I’m working on the Brooklyn section now and will add that to the Guide and will also post it as its own Guide. Here’s a few Brooklyn freebies to whet your appetite.

    Levee (212 Berry St, Brooklyn) has free fancy cheese puffs.

    Trash (256 Grand St, Brooklyn) has complimentary tater tots made to order upon request.

    Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Ave., between Leonard and Lorimer Sts., Brooklyn) will give you a free pizza with your beer.

    Lost & Found (113 Franklin St; Greenpoint) gives away free hot dogs, bagels, and veggie dogs.

    Hank’s Saloon (46 3rd Ave, Boerum Hill, B’lyn), we hear, has free barbecue on Sundays and Mondays after 9 p.m

    Cafecito Bogota (1015 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, B’lyn) gives away colombian arepa paisa (topped with cheese) as well as goat cheese on Balthazar baguette every Tuesday. They offer free fine wine and cheese tasting sessions every Tuesday.

    The Charleston (174 Bedford; B’lyn) will give you a free pizza w/ your beer.

    Alchemy (56 5th Ave; B’lyn) will give you free fried chick peas at the bar.

    Brazen Head (228 Atlantic Ave; Cobble Hill, B’lyn) buy $5 bloody mary or beer or cocktail and you can help yourself to sesame and poppyseed bagels and two types of cream cheese. And on Monday, drink at least one beer and you can help yourself to free chicken wings starting at 5pm.

    Trophy Bar (351 Broadway between Keap and Rodney Sts, Williamsburg, B’lyn) offers some free bbq w/ purchase of a beer.

    Mark Bar (1025 Manhattan Ave at Green St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn) offers free pizza and cold cuts on weekdays at 6pm, and on Sundays starting at noon, you can get free bagels and coffee.

    Melt (440 Bergen St, Park Slope, B’lyn) offers free bar snacks with every cocktail ordered at the bar, from 5pm until closing.

  4. [...] Wined and Dined has a pretty outstanding list of free food available at happy hours all of New York …. It includes a bunch of Midtown options (including free hot dogs and Rudy’s and Port 41), although I would call ahead first to confirm. Our Happy Hour correspondent Mamacita was told that this deal is not available at the Palm in Midtown. [...]

  5. G.R.on 28 Aug 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Thirsty Scholar does NOT have free food anymore! Went there last week based on several internet listings, and was told by the bartender that they no longer serve the happy hour food because their sister bar closed their kitchen. DON’T GO THERE FOR FREE FOOD.

  6. [...] Some of us get paid on the last day of the month, making this weekend a bit of a penny pinch. So you want to go out and have a drink, but you know you can’t afford dinner. Check out this Guide to Finding Free Food in NYC. [...]

  7. Andyon 28 Aug 2009 at 3:37 pm

    @ G.R. — Thanks for the heads up on Thirsty Scholar. We scratched it. This is an evolving list and bars/restuarants change menus and policies on a daily basis. The more people that chime in with updates, the more accurate we will be able keep this listing.

  8. [...] list of restos to check out on the cheap, or in this case, free with purchase of booze, mostly. The Ultimate Guide to Free Food features a neighborhood breakdown of drinking deals that come with free nibbles, some substantial [...]

  9. Paulon 24 Sep 2009 at 2:46 pm

    That TG Whitney’s place doesn’t do free food anymore. bummer

  10. [...] Free food in NYC, ’nuff said! [...]

  11. SJOon 17 Nov 2009 at 9:49 am

    I can’t believe you didn’t list the best free bar food ever — Balthazar’s in SoHo! At 5pm every weekday, they bring out plates of olives, tiers of hard-boiled eggs, and parmesan crisps!

    Also, Les Halles on Park Ave S offers fresh house-fried crispy waffled potato chips starting at 5pm.

  12. saraon 24 Nov 2009 at 1:03 pm

    DIVE BAR has DISCONTINUED it’s free wings on your birthday. Which is fine, because they do not deserve your business anyways. I went there last night (Nov 23rd 2009)

  13. andion 09 Dec 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I am a 19year old foreign student in NYC and – if there are any – some suggestions on free food that comes with a non alcohol drink for those under 21 would be great. Thanks!

  14. [...] of $1 “tasty treats,”’s “13 Cart Chicken/Lamb Over Rice Showdown”’s “Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Food in NYC,” which I have to admit puts my guide to free [...]

  15. Alix!on 13 Dec 2009 at 12:23 am

    Lost & Found in Brooklyn is at the same location but is now called Alligator Lounge II. They serve free pizza with any drink order.

  16. Anonymouson 12 Jun 2010 at 12:59 pm

    eu mo paige hurd eu q te conheser

  17. [...] Here is a link to an awesome site that constantly updates different establishments through out the city that are offering FREE food and drinks. [...]

  18. [...] • With blogs, tweets, and updates, today everyone is a food critic. The only problem is dining out can be expensive. If you are one that would rather wait to eat at home, but can’t wait for the frosty mug of Guinness from the tap, then 21+ lush readers this is for you. I recently came across this awesome post by Andy Freedman entitled, The Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Food in NYC. Although the website is from 2009, there is a plethora of bars and free food to explore. I only suggest calling ahead. [...]

  19. tachojustierungon 16 Dec 2011 at 6:45 pm

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  21. Vanessa Adameson 15 Oct 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Brooklyn Tap House has wings for .50 each every monday, from 4pm-12am

  22. Vanessa Adameson 16 Oct 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Sorry Gentlemen: Only for the ladies,
    Ladies, hit the Flatiron Hotel for free-yup, free-tapas every night at the hotel’s Toshi’s Living Room & Penthouse (9 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10010). “Hard working women deserve more than free peanuts or chips at the bar” says owner Robert “Toshi” Chan, our new favorite person ever. To confirm you can call 212-839-8000, you can also visit

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