Situated on the beautiful Lake Ontario in upstate New York, Rochester is the third most populated city in all of New York.
People flock to Rochester to spend time near Lake Ontario, and take in all the beauty of historic buildings.
While there’s more than enough to do in Rochester to keep you busy, you won’t want to miss some of the best happy hours in the city. Happy hours are one of the best ways to experience a new city.
You can try different restaurants and bars without having to commit to an entire evening there.
Next time you’re in Rochester and looking for cheap drinks, be sure to hit a few of these popular happy hour spots.
Next Door by Wegmans
3220 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14618
You’ll find Next Door by Wegmans southeast of Rochester’s city center. While it’s a little off the beaten path if you stay downtown, you can’t miss popping in here for their happy hour.
This upscale restaurant is decorated beautifully, but it also has a very calming and casual feel.
Next Door by Wegmans is a delicious sushi spot, and they’re known for their happy hour deals.
Happy hour runs every Tuesday through Friday from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm.
They’re known for having $7 beer and wine specials and select cocktails for a lower price. My favorite part is the much more affordable sushi rolls to pair with my sake.
50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
On Anderson Avenue, only a mile from downtown, sits Good Luck. This popular restaurant opened in 2008 and has since become a staple for locals and a hot spot for visitors.
The brick building situated in the arts neighborhood boasts an industrial design that is timeless and new age.
Good Luck serves up American-style cuisine, and their happy hour is to die for.
They’re open Wednesday through Saturday, and their happy hour is every day they’re open but Saturday.
I opted for their famous Moscow Mule and some bar bites to share with friends.
47 Russell St, Rochester, NY 14607
One of my favorite spots in Rochester for fantastic drink deals is Nosh.
This trendy spot only minutes from downtown embraces the industrial buildings around it and is one of the best places to bond with friends over great food and drinks in Rochester.
The atmosphere is relaxed, but you’ll still feel like you’re at one of the finest spots in town.
When I was in Rochester, I made it a point to pop into Nosh for their happy hour. While this restaurant is typically a more posh spot, you can sip on $6 cocktails during their happy hour.
They have a handful of uniquely crafted recipes, but my favorite was the Castro Sting. They make it with rum, cinnamon, and oregano demerara, and lime.
690 Park Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
Located in Park Avenue, minutes from downtown, is one of the best restaurants and bars, Dorado. This delicious spot is known for having one of the largest collections of agave spirits in Rochester.
While the restaurant is pretty small, the atmosphere is cozy and welcoming.
Dorado is the best happy hour in Rochester for those on a budget. Their happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm.
There’s $3 beer and my favorite, $7 house and classic margaritas. Their food isn’t on happy hour, but they have plenty of small plates to snack on while sipping on a cold beer or margarita.
Blu Wolf Bistro
657 Park Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
You’ll find Blu Wolf Bistro in the Park Avenue neighborhood of Rochester. Blu Wolf Bistro is one of the best Gastropubs in the city and has been run by the same family for four generations.
It’s a slightly more posh American-style restaurant where you can hear live music at least once a week.
To snag the best drink specials at Blue Wolf Bistro, you’ll need to be there any day from Monday through Friday between the hours of 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
They have certain beers, wines, and spirits discounted during this time frame. I opted for local craft beer, and I couldn’t leave without trying one of their gourmet burgers.
Grappa Italian Nouveau
30 Celebration Dr, Rochester, NY 14620
One of the best Rochester happy hour spots is at Grappa Italian Nouveau. This Italian restaurant is south of downtown, only minutes from the University of Rochester.
The restaurant is very modern but has that cozy Italian restaurant atmosphere.
To take full advantage of Grappa’s happy hour, you’ll want to get there right at 5:00 pm. Since their happy hour is only for one hour, it’s the best way to drink affordable wine, beer, and cocktails.
I loved the $6 wine by the glass and the $7 small plates to share with my friends.
Nox Cocktail Lounge
302 N Goodman St, Rochester, NY 14607
To visit one of the best “hidden” gems in Rochester, you’ll need to head to Village Gate and the east side of the building.
Nox Cocktail Lounge is a relaxed restaurant where you and your friends can enjoy some of the best cocktails in the city and even better food.
Most people who visit describe the lounge as a coffee shop with alcohol.
What makes Nox a contender for the best happy hour in Rochester is that they have specials every day that they’re open.
From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm you can enjoy drink specials and some of the most delicious food.
All their draft beer is $5, and they have $9 wine and specialty cocktails for anywhere from $6 to $8.
The Daily Refresher
293 Alexander St, Rochester, NY 14607
When you visit The Daily Refresher, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. This bar pays homage to the bars of years past by featuring old-timey furniture and ambiance.
It’s one of the most unique spots I’ve ever visited and a must-see if you’re ever in Rochester. It’s right downtown and easy to get to from wherever you’re staying in the city.
There’s a craft kitchen and regular food truck on-premises and a collection of over 300 whiskeys, but happy hour is where this spot shines.
Their three-hour happy hour is a favorite amongst locals and visitors. They have $3 draft beers, and you can get $1 off any of their specialty cocktails.
I loved their spiced pina colada, but they change regularly.
242 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14604
You’ll find Side Bar downtown, near Washington Square Park. The best way to describe Side Bar’s atmosphere is to think of a modern dive bar.
It’s dark and cozy with a traditional wooden bar, but the rest of the decor is more art deco and contemporary.
This American and Caribbean fusion restaurant and bar have one of the best happy hours. It may even be the longest happy hour in town, running from 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm everyday.
Even if you’re only popping in for one drink, you have to try their Side Bar Side Car. The drink is made with Hennessy, fresh lemon, lemon juice, and a secret sweetener.
The Old Stone Tavern
758 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620
To visit The Old Stone Tavern, you’ll need to head to the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.
This restaurant and bar takes pride in being the neighborhood bar that has a way of bringing everyone together. There are several TVs, bar games, and plenty of space to have a great conversation.
The Old Stone Tavern’s happy hour runs every day from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Their happy hour consists of $1 off all draft beer.
While this may not seem like a significant happy hour special, their draft beer list is extensive and the best spot for beer lovers.