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13 NYC Bars with the Most Legit Free Food

Old Bay popcorn, slathered wings, and Murray’s cheese — gratis

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Gone are the days of just stale popcorn and pretzels for free at a bar — these New York City places offer everything from buffalo wings to a full bagel spread at no additional cost. Just make sure to pay for the drinks and, of course, tip well.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Dead Poet

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450 Amsterdam Ave 2
New York, NY 10024
(212) 595-5670
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The literary-themed sister bar to George Keeley, which is across the street, has drawn Upper West Siders since 2000 with its smartly curated, affordable brews and gastropub-style dishes. But whether on a date or catching up with a friend, the reliably hot and buttery free popcorn is an ideal accompaniment.

The Dead Poet
The Dead Poet
Kayla M./Yelp

2. Rudy's

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627 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(646) 707-0890
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This dive dating back to the 1930s, widely known for its pig statue welcoming customers at the front door, has remained a stronghold while still keeping its gruff regulars. That’s in part because it continues to serve free hot dogs alongside cheap drinks. Served straight off the gas station-style grill, the occasionally Hebrew National weiner is more satisfying than it has any right to be. Plus, the backyard is a hidden Hell’s Kitchen oasis. Cash only.

Rudy’s
Rudy’s
Ari L./Yelp

3. Mad Donkey Beer Bar & Grill

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32-07 36th Ave
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 204-2070
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Five Guys turned free peanuts into a nationwide phenomenon, but Astoria’s Mad Donkey one-ups the competition by doubling as a food-based art project. Drinkers noshing on the nuts are encouraged to throw the spent shells down onto the floor, adding to the day’s mosaic.

Mad Donkey
Mad Donkey
Kwame S./Yelp

4. Offside Tavern

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7308, 137 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011
(917) 388-3956
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A roomy and refreshingly unpretentious sports bar centrally located in Chelsea, Offside also has secretly excellent pub grub. Fresh popcorn is on the house around the clock. But on Thursdays, the purchase of any pitcher comes with a free five-piece basket of wings. Go with the classic buffalo, and try not to guzzle the pitcher alone. The roomy interior and backroom also host events and games including trivia and a Mario Kart tournament.

Offside Tavern Photo via Nick C./Yelp

5. The Stonewall Inn

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53 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 488-2705
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Among the more straight-friendly gay bars in the West Village, the historic Stonewall Inn doesn’t skimp on the snacks. On certain nights (i.e., when Chuck is bartending), the gratis popcorn is heartily laced with M&Ms, a sweet and salty treat that pairs well with even the cheapest beer. The backroom hosts dance nights and drag shows. Chat up one of the elderly regulars at the front bar for a taste of Manhattan LGBTQ history.

6. Crocodile Lounge

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325 E 14th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 477-7747
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Crocodile Lounge, along with its Williamsburg sister bar Alligator, have long been feeding the overworked and underpaid young creative types of New York. Throngs of tattooed 20-somethings claim their ticket for a free mini-pizza with each drink purchase in the dark, cavernous dive. Splurge on the $1 toppings and add jalapeños for zing on an otherwise basic pie.

Crocodile Lounge
Crocodile Lounge
Jessica B./Yelp

7. Blind Tiger

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281 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 462-4682
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Blind Tiger Ale House, a neighborhood staple, has long catered to beer geeks with its immense draft list served in a vaguely rustic atmosphere. Though it has a food menu, Blind Tiger also puts out a free rotating selection of Murray’s cheeses and baguettes every Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. Get there early to snag more than scraps.

Blind Tiger
Blind Tiger
Blind Tiger Ale House

8. George & Jack's Tap Room

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103 Berry St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

George & Jack’s recently replaced the beloved Brooklyn Ale House without losing much of the old-school charm. From the team behind Skinny Dennis and Lucky Dog, the cozy Williamsburg dive exceeds expectations with its constantly refreshed popcorn station in the back, which has sauces and seasonings at the ready. Even better are the free bagels offered every Sunday, which aid the fiercest hangover.

George & Jack’s Tap Room
George & Jack’s Tap Room
Jonathan T./Yelp

9. Distilled

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211 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(646) 809-9490
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From Momofuku vet chef Shane Lyons, Tribeca’s Distilled aims to elevate rib-sticking pub standards like wings and burgers. But for those simply nursing a beer, its most exciting offering may be the free popcorn seasoned with “magic dust,” a blend of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, sugar, and gochugaru. The giant, sleekly designed interior works for groups who want to linger.

Distilled Photo via Distilled/Facebook

10. The Levee

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212 Berry St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 218-8787
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What’s better than free popcorn? Free cheeseballs. The Cheeto Puff-style snacks available at this Southern-themed dive in Williamsburg, which thankfully refuses to alter its formula, combat a serious case of the munchies. Follow them up by paying for the Texas-authentic Frito Pie while taking in the aggressive hard rock music.

The Levee
The Levee
Carolina S./Yelp

11. Matt Torrey's

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46 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 218-7646
Visit Website

Matt Torrey’s is the sort of sleek East Williamsburg sports bar that would be impossible to imagine a couple decades ago. But beyond the slightly anonymous aesthetic and football-focused crowd, it has complimentary bagels with all the necessary fixings every Saturday and Sunday. Cash only.

Matt Torrey’s
Matt Torrey’s
Dailey C./Yelp

12. The Brazen Head

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228 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 488-0430
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A coveted dive with cheap beers in a heavily trafficked, über-gentrified part of Brooklyn, Brazen Head still manages to give away essentially free meals. Gumbo Bros wings are complimentary on Mondays, while Wednesdays offer a selection of cheeses alongside discounted wine. On Sundays, bagels pair with the special bloody marys and mimosas. The darts ensure the regulars stick around.

The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head/Yelp

13. Fourth Avenue Pub

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76 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 643-2273
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No trip to Barclays Center is complete without a stop into Fourth Avenue Pub, a dependable nearby watering hole, which has 27 reasonably priced craft beers on tap. The barebones bar is just as well-known among fans, though, for the free popcorn loaded with addictive Old Bay seasoning.

Fourth Avenue Pub
Fourth Avenue Pub
Michael G./Yelp

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1. The Dead Poet

450 Amsterdam Ave 2, New York, NY 10024
The Dead Poet
The Dead Poet
Kayla M./Yelp

The literary-themed sister bar to George Keeley, which is across the street, has drawn Upper West Siders since 2000 with its smartly curated, affordable brews and gastropub-style dishes. But whether on a date or catching up with a friend, the reliably hot and buttery free popcorn is an ideal accompaniment.

450 Amsterdam Ave 2
New York, NY 10024

2. Rudy's

627 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Rudy’s
Rudy’s
Ari L./Yelp

This dive dating back to the 1930s, widely known for its pig statue welcoming customers at the front door, has remained a stronghold while still keeping its gruff regulars. That’s in part because it continues to serve free hot dogs alongside cheap drinks. Served straight off the gas station-style grill, the occasionally Hebrew National weiner is more satisfying than it has any right to be. Plus, the backyard is a hidden Hell’s Kitchen oasis. Cash only.

627 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036

3. Mad Donkey Beer Bar & Grill

32-07 36th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106
Mad Donkey
Mad Donkey
Kwame S./Yelp

Five Guys turned free peanuts into a nationwide phenomenon, but Astoria’s Mad Donkey one-ups the competition by doubling as a food-based art project. Drinkers noshing on the nuts are encouraged to throw the spent shells down onto the floor, adding to the day’s mosaic.

32-07 36th Ave
Astoria, NY 11106

4. Offside Tavern

7308, 137 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
Offside Tavern Photo via Nick C./Yelp

A roomy and refreshingly unpretentious sports bar centrally located in Chelsea, Offside also has secretly excellent pub grub. Fresh popcorn is on the house around the clock. But on Thursdays, the purchase of any pitcher comes with a free five-piece basket of wings. Go with the classic buffalo, and try not to guzzle the pitcher alone. The roomy interior and backroom also host events and games including trivia and a Mario Kart tournament.

7308, 137 W 14th St
New York, NY 10011

5. The Stonewall Inn

53 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

Among the more straight-friendly gay bars in the West Village, the historic Stonewall Inn doesn’t skimp on the snacks. On certain nights (i.e., when Chuck is bartending), the gratis popcorn is heartily laced with M&Ms, a sweet and salty treat that pairs well with even the cheapest beer. The backroom hosts dance nights and drag shows. Chat up one of the elderly regulars at the front bar for a taste of Manhattan LGBTQ history.

53 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

6. Crocodile Lounge

325 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003
Crocodile Lounge
Crocodile Lounge
Jessica B./Yelp

Crocodile Lounge, along with its Williamsburg sister bar Alligator, have long been feeding the overworked and underpaid young creative types of New York. Throngs of tattooed 20-somethings claim their ticket for a free mini-pizza with each drink purchase in the dark, cavernous dive. Splurge on the $1 toppings and add jalapeños for zing on an otherwise basic pie.

325 E 14th St
New York, NY 10003

7. Blind Tiger

281 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Blind Tiger
Blind Tiger
Blind Tiger Ale House

Blind Tiger Ale House, a neighborhood staple, has long catered to beer geeks with its immense draft list served in a vaguely rustic atmosphere. Though it has a food menu, Blind Tiger also puts out a free rotating selection of Murray’s cheeses and baguettes every Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. Get there early to snag more than scraps.

281 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

8. George & Jack's Tap Room

103 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
George & Jack’s Tap Room
George & Jack’s Tap Room
Jonathan T./Yelp

George & Jack’s recently replaced the beloved Brooklyn Ale House without losing much of the old-school charm. From the team behind Skinny Dennis and Lucky Dog, the cozy Williamsburg dive exceeds expectations with its constantly refreshed popcorn station in the back, which has sauces and seasonings at the ready. Even better are the free bagels offered every Sunday, which aid the fiercest hangover.

103 Berry St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

9. Distilled

211 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Distilled Photo via Distilled/Facebook

From Momofuku vet chef Shane Lyons, Tribeca’s Distilled aims to elevate rib-sticking pub standards like wings and burgers. But for those simply nursing a beer, its most exciting offering may be the free popcorn seasoned with “magic dust,” a blend of nutritional yeast, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, sugar, and gochugaru. The giant, sleekly designed interior works for groups who want to linger.

211 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013

10. The Levee

212 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
The Levee
The Levee
Carolina S./Yelp

What’s better than free popcorn? Free cheeseballs. The Cheeto Puff-style snacks available at this Southern-themed dive in Williamsburg, which thankfully refuses to alter its formula, combat a serious case of the munchies. Follow them up by paying for the Texas-authentic Frito Pie while taking in the aggressive hard rock music.

212 Berry St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

11. Matt Torrey's

46 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Matt Torrey’s
Matt Torrey’s
Dailey C./Yelp

Matt Torrey’s is the sort of sleek East Williamsburg sports bar that would be impossible to imagine a couple decades ago. But beyond the slightly anonymous aesthetic and football-focused crowd, it has complimentary bagels with all the necessary fixings every Saturday and Sunday. Cash only.

46 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

12. The Brazen Head

228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head
The Brazen Head/Yelp

A coveted dive with cheap beers in a heavily trafficked, über-gentrified part of Brooklyn, Brazen Head still manages to give away essentially free meals. Gumbo Bros wings are complimentary on Mondays, while Wednesdays offer a selection of cheeses alongside discounted wine. On Sundays, bagels pair with the special bloody marys and mimosas. The darts ensure the regulars stick around.

228 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201

13. Fourth Avenue Pub

76 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Fourth Avenue Pub
Fourth Avenue Pub
Michael G./Yelp

No trip to Barclays Center is complete without a stop into Fourth Avenue Pub, a dependable nearby watering hole, which has 27 reasonably priced craft beers on tap. The barebones bar is just as well-known among fans, though, for the free popcorn loaded with addictive Old Bay seasoning.

76 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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