Once upon a time, burgers were considered cheap and economical food, basically a way to use the leftover meat cuts that weren’t desirable for other uses. Then the high-end burger fad came along, and what was formerly considered food for the everyman was made from more expensive steaks before being topped with foie gras and other gourmet accoutrements. Nowadays, a ground-beef sandwich for under ten dollars is considered a deal. Using that criterion, 5 Napkin Burger (multiple locations) offers sliders for a steal during its happy-hour program.
Diners can choose from beef, turkey, and veggie patties for just two dollars apiece at certain hours of the day at different locations. This includes the 5 Napkin burger, made from fresh ground chuck and topped with caramelized onions and rosemary aioli. The house-made veggie patty is combined with signature sauce as well as bread and butter pickles. There’s also a turkey meatball variation with spicy tomato sauce and vinegar peppers. A tray of sliders goes for $9.75 throughout the rest of the day.
For those looking to avoid the bun, there are wings for 50 cents each as well as chicken taquitos for the same price. The latter is filled with adobo chicken, served with crema and pico de gallo on the side. On the lighter side, spicy-tuna-and-cucumber or spicy-salmon-and-avocado hand rolls, normally $5.50 to $7, are $2.
If you have a bit of extra cash on hand — or would rather fill up on drinks — enjoy $5 draft beers, house wines, and cosmos. Happy hour is available at the Union Square location (150 East 14th Street; 212-228-5500) Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and every night from 10 p.m. to midnight. The Upper West Side location (2315 Broadway; 212-333-4488) offers the deal seven days a week from 10 p.m. to close.