Bowls of stale peanuts just don’t cut it anymore. Here are the Big Apple’s best bars for free (and delicious) nibbles to enjoy with a tipple. By Alissa Jenkins
1 Spain Restaurant
Sitting on Greenwich Village’s Restaurant Row, this little cash-only eatery is like Spanish dining 40 years ago. Vinyl seats and plastic jugs aside, it also does free tapas with any cocktail, beer or sangria purchase. That’s short ribs, mussels, salad and bread. And if you’re extra nice to the waiters at Spain – some have been there for over 20 years – there’s often no need for dinner afterwards.
2 Cucina di Pesce
Free bread? Pfft… please. This humble seafood restaurant in East Village has been dishing up complimentary mussels marinara for more than 20 years. Yes, between 4 and 8pm, patrons can expect a fresh shellfish starter on the house with any beverage in the bar area. And for extra fodder, there’s a free bread basket on the counter to soak up the leftover sauce. cucinadipesce.com
3 The Mark Bar
Beer lovers will especially love this Greenpoint tavern, with over 65 brews on the menu. Better still, arrive after 6pm and tuck into a complimentary cheese and charcuterie platter. There’s also free pizza courtesy of a nearby pizza place, but you’ll need to arrive early as it disappears quickly. For those feeling a little shady on Sunday, return for free coffee and bagels. 1025 Manhatten Ave, Brooklyn; +1 718 349 2340
4 Rudy’s Bar and Grill
Long time New York institution Rudy’s is still worth a mention for out-of-towners looking for a cheap night out. They serve free kosher hotdogs all day every day – help yourself to as many as you please. Better still, the drinks are about as cheap as you’ll get in the city. Admittedly, it’s not the most extensive drinks list (90 per cent is beer), nor is it somewhere to take the in-laws, but it’s friendly and definitely filling.