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A List of Bars That Give Out FREE Food in New York City

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Whoever said “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” was an asshole. That said, he/she was mostly right; rarely is there anything free in this world. Luckily being a broke-ass makes you resourceful, so not having to pay for food once you’ve already paid for a drink is the kind of thing that makes life awesome. So, I’ve put together this fine list of bars to get FREE food from in NYC. It’s originally from my NYC book and I’ve just updated it for internet publication. When you tell your friends about this list, you’ll probably be like, “Yeah, that motherfucker Stuart is kinda a douche bag, but at least he gave me all these places to eat free food.” I hope you enjoy filling your little bellies with all these goodies, and if so, buy me a drink if we ever meet. Also, don’t forget to tip on the mandatory drink that you have to purchase at these fine (and not so fine) establishments.

Note: What places am I missing on here? Please leave them down in the comments section.

Financial District

Ryan’s Maguire’s Ale House: 28 Cliff St. btw John & Fulton Sts.

Bless you Ryan Maguire, you sweet Irish bastard, for giving out free food during happy hour from 5-7pm Monday-Friday. Wings and pasta my not be traditional Irish food, but then again, I’m not Irish.

Civic Center, Chinatown & Little Italy

The Spring Lounge: 48 Spring St. @ Mulberry St.

According to my notes they have free bagels on Sundays and free hot dogs on Wednesdays. My notes never lie…most of the time.

Soho & Tribeca

Cupping Room Café: 359 W Broadway btw Grand & Broome Sts.

What the fuck is a cupping room? Apparently it’s a place that gives out free bar food and ½ off drinks from 4:30-7:30pm everyday.

East Village


11th St. Bar: 510 E 11th St. @ Ave. A

While I advise coming here during the week for some free live music, which often includes a traditional Irish music session, I endorse visiting on Fridays from 4-7pm even more wholeheartedly. This is when they give out free wings.

Aroma Kitchen & Wine Bar: 36 E 4th St. btw Lafayette St. & Bowery

At Aroma, aperitivo means from 4:30-7:30pm, $15 you get a flight of 3 wines and antipasto platter. Is this considered free food? I guess it’s all in the way you look at it. Aperitivo sound awfully sexy doesn’t it?

Cha An: 230 E 9th St. btw 2nd & 3rd Aves.

Monday-Thursday, buy some sake, wine or beer and the fine people of Cha An will send out 3 small appetizers. Hooray for them (and us)!

Crocodile Lounge: 325 E 14th St. btw 1st & 2nd Aves.

A free personal pizza with every drink, all the time, is just about the best you can ask for in life.

Croxley Ales: 28 Ave. B btw E 2nd & 3rd Sts.

Goddamn the wings here are good, and they’re free on Friday from 5-7pm.

Cucina di Pesce: 87 E 4th St. @ 2nd Ave.

Free mussels in marinara all night long with purchase of a $6 beer. But all beer costs the same from Bud to Stella, so you can’t go wrong.

D.B.A: 41 1st Ave. btw 2nd & 3rd Sts.

Help yourself to some free bagels and lox on Sunday from 1-4pm.

Standings: 43 E. 7th St. @ 2nd Ave.

Free cheesy pizza every Friday night is better than no cheesy pizza on Friday night. I learned that somewhere. They also do a free bagel bar on Sunday afternoons.

West Village & Greenwich Village

El Cantinero: 86 University Pl. btw E 11th & 12th Sts.

El Cantinero does a free buffet during happy hour with Mexican treats like chimichangas and chicken wings (are either of those even really Mexican?)

Spain Restaurant: 113 W 13th St. btw 6th & 7th Aves.

A groovy little Spanish restaurant (duh), this joint doles out free meatballs, chips and other appetizers at the bar.

Union Square & The Flatiron District


Tarallucci e Vino: 15 E. 18th St. btw Broadway & 5th Ave.

Stop into this Italian sounding place from 5-10pm to catch some quiche, olives, and sandwiches.


Rocking Horse: 182 8th Ave. btw 19th & 20th Sts.

It’s just chips and salsa at this joint, but a real broke-ass knows that there is no “just” when it comes to free food.

Midtown East

Keen’s Steak House: 72 W 36th St. btw 5th & 6th Aves.

Oooh this one’s fancy! I wish I could afford to eat the steak here, but I guess I’m satisfied with the free bar appetizers like tuna salad on Monday, wings on Tuesday, ribs on Wednesday, meatballs on Thursday, and crispy shrimp on Friday. Plus they have hard boiled eggs at the bar at all times. All this could be yours for the price of a $6 beer from 5:30-7pm.

Hells Kitchen & The Theatre District


Langan’s: 150 W 47th St. btw 6th & 7th Aves.

On Wednesday nights if you bring 10 or more people Langan’s puts out free platter of food for you. I doubt it will be too tough to find nine other broke people.

Rudy’s: 627 9th Ave. btw 44th & 45th Sts.

I love you Rudy. I may just name my first born after you. May he be a strong masculine son named free hot dogs.

Williamsburg & Greenpoint

Alligator Lounge: 600 Metropolitan Ave. @ Lorimer St.

When you get a free pizza with every drink you buy it’s easy to get frivolous with that shit. It kinda makes you feel like the king of Pizzaland and say things like, “Only peasants eat the crust.”

The Charleston: 174 Bedford Ave. @ N 7th St.

Remember what I just said about the free pizza at Alligator Lounge? It applies here too, you crust eating peasant.

Metropolitan: 559 Lorimer St. btw Metropolitan Ave. & Devoe St.

Can I make a weenie roast joke about a gay bar and it be funny? Not at two in the morning after a 10 hour day writing I can’t. Free bbq and wieners on Sundays from 5pm until food runs out. Not in winter though I think.

Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill & Carroll Gardens

Brazen Head: 228 Atlantic Ave. @ Court St.

Free wings on Mondays, cheese on Wednesdays, and bagels on Sundays. Not too shabby eh, pal?


images from NYCgo, food network, uncle sam’s new york

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. Matt Oaks
    October 2, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Now this is something I needed to know! Headed there soon to visit my sister and needless to say I am on a major budget! can’t miss with free food! I have Monica DiNatale’s 365 Guide New York City and it has great recommendations for eats and bars around the city. So between it and the free things I can find thanks to you, I can do the things I want and not go home completely broke!

  2. Beauregard Gould
    October 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Just so you know, Croxley Ales, Alligator Lounge, and The Charleston are all confirmed free food joints as I have recently been to all 3 for their free food offerings and it’s 100% legit. Croxley Ales gives away more than just wings though. They have 3 kinds of boneless wings + mussels in garlic/wine sauce too.