We’ve been told {one too many times} that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In that case, we’re raising our glasses to a cheap cocktail instead. Free from the confines of dress codes, reservation policies, and exorbitant pricing, these budget bars are winning in our little black books.

1 Oak Cafe And Bar

1oak cafe & bar

Image courtesy: 1 Oak

Even though the name is ripped off from one of NYC’s most popular clubs, we were very happy to stumble upon this hidden gem. Tucked away under a flyover, 1 Oak is spread over two floors {with recently merged menus with the next door Italian restaurant, Flavors}. Wooden floors and furniture, it’s the perfect watering hole for when you want some privacy. Also, they serve shisha, so really take advantage of that solitude!

Where: Moolchand Flyover Complex, Defence Colony

Nearest Metro Station: Lajpat Nagar

Timings: 11am – 12.30am

Contact: 011 41006641

Happy Hours: 3pm – 8pm

Price: INR 700 {for a round of drinks for two}

Find them on Facebook here.

Turquoise Cottage  

Need we say more? Alright then, we’ll say this is not a patch on the original, but if you’re not stuck on the days of yore, this is still a great place to catch a live gig, or a comfortable playlist of familiar rock hits. As always, chilli chicken recommended.

Where: For a list of outlets, click here

Timings: 12pm – 1am

Happy Hours: 12pm – 9pm, all seven days

Price:  INR 650 {approx.} for two pints of beer each

Find out more here.

Neighbourhood Bar & Grill

neighbourhood bar copy

Image courtesy: Neighbourhood Bar & Grill

With its bright red interiors and warm paper light globes, Neighbourhood Bar & Grill doesn’t disappoint. The menu lists pretty standard fare, but luckily whatever they do, they do right. We’re happy to get away from the malls and head straight to this friendly neighbourhood joint. Cheers to that.

Where: SCO 37, HUDA Market, Sector 15, Part 2, Gurgaon

Nearest Metro Station: Huda City Centre

Timings: 11.30 am – 11.30pm

Contact: +91 8750907711

Happy Hours: 11.30am – 8pm, all seven days

Price: INR 650 for one round of cocktails for two

Find them on Facebook here.

4S

An all-day watering hole in the guise of a Chinese restaurant, 4S has consistently remained a standard go-to joint amongst Dilliwaalas for weekly drinking sessions. Blame it on the wallet-friendly pricing, an exhaustive menu of Indian-Chinese comfort food, and the dimly lit second floor, making it all-situations appropriate.

Where: A 26, Defence Colony Market

Nearest Metro Station: Lajpat Nagar

Timings: 12pm – 11.30pm

Contact: 011 41664314, 011 41664316

Happy Hours: 12pm – 10pm, all seven days

Price: INR 600 for a round of cocktails for two

Bootlegger

Bootlegger

Image courtesy: Zomato

Tucked away in bar central, Hauz Khas Village, Bootlegger manages to retail HKV charm, and well-priced cocktails. Too bad you can’t take advantage of their terrace {oh hey summer}, but when you can, we recommend booking a semi-private, floor seated shamiana.

Where: 1A Hauz Khas Village

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas/Green Park

Timings: 12pm – 1am

Happy Hours: No happy hours

Price: INR 400 for a round of cocktails for two

Contact: +91 9971676652, +91 9911180004

Find them on Facebook here.

Sam’s Cafe

Sam’s Cafe is reminiscent of a Goan shack. There’s a relaxed vibe {read: Pyjamas, feet up and chappals} and you can ask for pretty much any rendition of what you see on the menu. Expect to see a lot of the regular Paharganj crew, whose happy hours don’t always involve just alcohol. Sam’s keeps things simple; no cocktails or innovative shots, just good ol’ alcohol.

Where: Vivek Hotel, Main Bazaar, Paharganj

Nearest Metro Station: RK Ashram Marg

Timings: 8am – 11pm

Contact: 011 46470555

Happy Hours: 12.30pm – 5.30pm, all seven days

Price: INR 125 – 250 for a pint of beer

Find them on Facebook here.

Cafe 27

cafe 27

Image courtesy: Cafe 27

In the middle of Kailash Colony market, Cafe 27 has three kinds of seating – the high bar stools for when you’re really in the mood, indoor tables, and outdoor seating complete with pebbled pathways and private tents. The food leaves much to be desired, so we suggest just sticking to safe starters to accompany the alcohol.

Where: 26, Level 2, Kailash Colony Market

Nearest Metro Station: Kailash Colony

Timings: 11am – 1am

Contact: 011 64512727

Happy Hours: 12pm – 9pm, all seven days

Price: INR 700 for a round of cocktails for two

Find them on Facebook here.

Beer Cafe

The Beer Cafe should be first on your list for early evening drinks {right after a hard day at work}. The outlets come complete with a giant screen, every type of beer, and Indian appetisers to boot. Do not miss their masala peanuts and always order the giant beer dispenser. Also, if you happen to walk in on the last Wednesday of the month, you can score a Bira for just INR 99!

Where: For a complete list of outlets, click here.

Timings: 11am – 1am

Happy Hours: No happy hours, but they run regular promotional offers on beer

Price: INR 250 for a round of beer, INR 300 for a round of cocktails for two

Find them on Facebook here.

Beeryani

beeryani

Image courtesy: Zomato

Much like the name suggests, this is the hub for some good ol’ brews and pots of biryani. Choose from a range of beer such as Tuborg, Corona, Hoegaarden, Heineken, Carlsberg and of course, Kingfisher. Our favourite eats include comprise Chicken Tikka and the Kachhe Yakhni.

#LBBTip: They do a stellar raita.

Where: Shop 2, Main Market, Opposite IIT Main Gate, SDA

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas

Timings: 12pm – 1am

Contact: +91 9999243021

Happy Hours: No happy hours

Price: Draught beer starts at INR 100 for a mug, INR 350 for a pitcher, cocktails start at INR 140

My Bar

We recommend bookmarking this one only if you’re in a large group of friends; it has the potential to get borderline seedy. With its first outlet in Paharganj, My Bar has now expanded to all corners of the city including CP, Greater Kailash and even Hauz Khas Village. If you peek inside any of the outlets {dim lighting}, you’ll notice that the only attraction is possibly the alcohol rates.

For a less shady experience but at the same cost, we suggest making a visit to My Bar Headquarters in CP where you can score Jaegerbomb shots at just INR 314 and also indulge in some yummy eats.

Where: For a complete list of outlets, click here.

Timings: 11am- 12.30pm

Happy Hours: No happy hours

Price: INR 500 for a round of cocktails for two

Find them on Facebook here.

Featured image courtesy: Pixabay