Happy Deli

Your Rating: None
Happy DeliHappy Deli
18 Ratings
Happy DeliHappy Deli

Type: Store

750 8th Ave
New York, New York, 10036-7005
United States

(212) 764-7605

// CLOSED //

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by mzwolinski:
Photo of mzwolinski
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

From a West-coaster's perspective, I'd say this is a very good place to hit if you're stuck in Manhattan and looking to stock up on the region's beers. A bit pricey, and BierKraft in Brooklyn might have it beat in both that regard and in terms of selection, but still very serviceable. I bought a bunch of Dogfish Head, Victory, Heavyweight, Weyerbacher, Magic Hat, and Brooklyn Brewing Co beers, plus some Unibroues that aren't available on the West Coast (Don de Dieu, Raftman). Good stuff! Be careful to watch the freshness dates, though. Some of the stuff was past its prime.

 579 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ikats
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%

This place is closed. Not "closing soon", not "about to close", CLOSED (just passed it by). I only want to review it for historical purposes, to leave my little mark for this spot on BA. After all this place did have an unbelievable selection of beers.

I worked about 2 blocks away from this little midtown gem, so naturally I would stop by there quite often. One of my favorite beers, St. Bernardus Abt 12, was first purchased at this spot. It was a regular tiny New York deli with one twist - all your typical craft US and import beers and then some. Selection was hard to beat. From great Belgians to the most popular and not so popular US craft beers to rare (but unfortunately not so good) beers from far corners of the world - this place had it all.

It wasn't all good. As good as selection was, the prices were high. Even for midtown Manhattan I would consider then to be too high. On a few occassions just buying beer for a weekend trip ran me $50 and above (without purchasing anything rare). I could also question the way beers were handled. There was occassional bottle past its prime and a lot of dust on the shelves. Nevertheless, NY beer world is loosing a great little spot. Fortunately, there is The Collins Bar across the street (highly recommended).

Good news: the owners are openning a restaurant/beer store somewhere in downtown Brooklyn. I am sure it'll appear on BA as soon as they open (should be very shortly). I'll be looking for it and definitely give it a try after my experience at Happy Deli.


 1,540 characters

Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%

Damn awesome selection of 750ml Belgian imports, good rounded domestic brews and odds and ends that you can’t find in most places. If you are looking for a beer they just might have it though make sure you bring a full wallet cause some of the beers are pricey. Best selection in Mid-town as far as I can see. They also sell several 1+ liter brews that are nearly impossible to find but this cramped yet friendly store seem to have it. I’d have to say I drop about $20 a day in their store when I am in the city … worth every penny.

 535 characters

Photo of robert7072
5/5  rDev +23.5%

"Where you at?"
I would like to share with you guys my trip to Happy Deli,that little store that contains the biggest selection of Beer i've ever seen in my life! While I was passing on the 8th avenue with my wife,a samuel adams utopia flashes to my eyes(actually heart),so i went in and asked the guy "how much is your Beer? the answer was "My friend wich beer are you talking about...there's more than a thousand beer..from $1.75 to $250 the bottle"...
I sent my wife to the hotel and my "real vacations began"...
1000 kind??? Waaaays more than that...Beers from ALLLL over the world...Belgium,Ireland,Scotland,UK,France,Lebanon,Israel,Australia,Japan,China,Senegal,ethiopia,South africa,Canada,Brasil,colombia,Germay,Italy,thailand,India,ecuador,mexico,sueden,russia ,Tchekoslovaquia,srilanka,kenya,dominican,spain,portugal,....wooow i got to stop and say in breef that even from saudi arabia those guys can sell us beers...plus those guys speaks many languages(english,frensh,arabic,hebrew,spanish)
I'm not going to tell how organised this store is and how the beers are placed and divided by countries because of that:...after I had fill up my two baskets and went to the register the Guy looked at me and said"I can see that you are a Beer lover and I have a bad news for you,we are closing down and moving to Brooklyn" I asked where in Brooklyn...and he answered COBBLE HILL...TO ALL the Beer LOVERS "HAPPY DELI IS MOVING TO BROOKLYN and I am so excited about that 'cause I'm looking to relocate in Brooklyn heights ". HAPPY DELI WILL BE RELOCATED ON 160 COURT STREET COBBLE HILL BROOKLYN! Happy Deli's people will switch trade from off-permise to on-permise in cobble hill...I'll keep you updated as soon as I get more informations!

 1,744 characters

Photo of ggaughan
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%

A friend of mine turned me on to this place a few years back after we both were working on projects for clients in the city. I have been back about a dozen times since they and each time I walk about with about 2 bags full of bottles which is usually a problem because I take the train to and from Philadelphia and sometimes the bottes just don't fit well in my luggage.

Over time I have found some really great beers here and some that are hard to find back home in bottles. On my last trip about a month ago a grabbed a bottle of the 2005 Southampton Grand Gru and a bottle of Bluepoint Old Howling Bastard. I was just there today and got a few bottles of discounted Bavik and a bottle of the Smuttynose Barleywine. This place gets some knocks for their prices and I agree with that somtimes. I was in there tonight and they had 2003 and 2004 bottles of Gouden Carolus Grand Cru in the 750 ml bottles and they were $19.99! I know it is an older vintage but that price is crazy. I got a full case at the Beeryard for $105 and I also got a few bottles of 2000 at Total Wine in Delaware for only $9.

Overall I love my trips to the Happy Deli as they also have something I can't find back home, including some great New York beers. I am sad to hear the news that this place will close early in 2006 to make way for more useless condo's.

 1,342 characters

Photo of Goldorak
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Right smack in the Theatre district of midtown Manhattan, and as luck would have it, a block from my hotel where I spent Easter weekend, 2005 edition.
The Beer fridges are to your right as you walk in, the shelved selection take up all the space in the back of the store. My Molson drinking buddies were dumbstruck by the vast array of brews available from around the world. Fantomes, Dupont ciders, and plenty of American micros were to be found. Unfortunately for me, lambics were in short supply, only Cantillons’ Organic Gueuze and Rose de Gambrinus were there. An employee came out of the back store and helped us out, not as in giving us suggestions, but more as in giving us 6-pack holders to fill up. Yeah, prices were steep, I’d say between 10 to 30% higher than the other places I’ve been to in town, but it was so close to our room that my friends and I didn’t mind paying the premium for cold Beer only a block away. We ended up going back there at least twice a day for 4 days, the guy at the cash recognized us immediately after the first day and even gabbed with us in French! He was super nice, and even though he didn’t seem to know much about Beer, when I asked him if they had any Southamptons he directed me to the Beer God. I didn’t even see the guy, but the voice coming from the small window right above the fridge section in the back answered me that they didn’t have any. Bummer.

 1,413 characters

Photo of Ave
4.05/5  rDev 0%

Tree blocks from the 7 train I found this place on the lower west side (or is it upper Chelsea?), very small, as is just about every retail shop in the city. At first I was worried in that when you first walk in all you see is a few isles of snacks & diapers, looks like a typical convenience store. However, if you look down to the end of any isle, you will see the goods.

Because of space, there is not a terribly large selection, but they making up for it in choice selections. Stone, Allagash, Thomas Hardy, Victory, among many others. More American than anything else, Belgians probably come in second, & a decent selection of English & German beers as well. I liked that among the various breweries they had, they didn't just carry the standard line. Ex: Sierra Nevada, all they had was the Celebration & Bigfoot, none of the shelf stuffer items. It seemed obvious to me that someone carefully picked what was going on the shelf. There was a small amount of macro-schmackro lying around, but I guess you can’t get away from that entirely most places.

Most of it was on shelves but they do have a few reach-ins with 'cold ones'. Nothing seemed overly dusty or too old. Service wasn’t great; it’s all business in the city after all. I asked for a box from a clerk & found English to be a problem. The guys at the register were friendly though. Prices where high (it is Manhattan you know) but some more than others, Rogue Imp Stouts were going for $20 for the 750s, but they had the Stone 8th for $7 & buy 3 get one free, so go figure.

All in all I was thrilled to there, but I think that owes as much to my having to buy beer in Iowa for too long as it does the actual quality of the place. If you are in Manhattan & need some brews, certainly worth checking out though.


 1,798 characters

Photo of palma
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Overpriced? hell yeah. But you pay for what you get at this joint. We're talking everything. You can find fucin EVERYTHING here!
Sure you'll have to pay 12 bucks for a 12 oz bottle of DFH 120 but hell they have it! A shit load of belgians that you'll pay top dollar for too. Guys behind the counter know their beer. Looking for something? they enter it into the computer and see if they have it in the back. Nice to see guys that know what their talking about. Hit this place up if you've been looking for something for a while and haven't found it.

 550 characters

Photo of beefytee
4.7/5  rDev +16%


you will definitely pay a premium, but I peomise its worth it. They claim to have 900 different beers in stock...and I trust them. 3 of the 4 walls in the store are 100% beer (the other is the front window), 2 of them coolers, and all of the back end caps are beer. There are so many beers here I have never heard of. Also things like Chimay GR in Magnum bottles, also french brut ciders in magnums. I certainly do not mind payinf the premium because I know if I HAVE to have it, I can probably get it there. Also, just because they dont have it now doesn't mean they didn't have it before. The Guy who was working there when I went in was a veritable encyclopedia of beer wisdom. I asked him if they had a specific beer, he said "No, but if you like that, you'll also like this..." Service like that in NYC, not to mention west midtown, is UNHEARD OF. I will throw them my business every now and again...but the cost will drive me down to 23rd and 10th

 970 characters

Photo of mirdreams
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%

When we can't find a beer anywhere else in NYC, we head for Happy. We know we're going to pay for it and we know we're going to find it. If they don't have it they'll order it. Even for Manhattan their prices are very high though.
The first time we went in there we bought four six packs, spent about fifty bucks, and the guy behind the counter introduced my boyfriend to Stone IPA for free. A revelation indeed. We also stumbled across their Virtical Epic stuff in 2003 and Dogfish's 120 minute IPA. Just goes to show that even when you're not looking for something in particular, you'll find something exceptional at Happy.

 626 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

The packy has a very nice and worthwhile selection. A tad expensive, but isn't everything in the theatre district expensive? Sixers seemed a bit high, and the foregin beers too. But the bombers seemed decently priced. Picked up an Arrogant Bastard bomber for $6. It was a busy night, but the guy working the counter held up the line behind me to talk about my seection. This place is a deli, but the majority of the cooler, floor and shelf space is dedicated to beer--cold and warm. There was a great selection, anyone will find whatever they want. Personally, I'm heading back for the Rogue beers which I never really see on the East Coast.

 641 characters

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Stopped in today for a look see, north theatre district location , tons of tourists around. Typical NYC deli set up, the beer is in da back. Oh yeah- this place is worth a visit. tons of worthwhile selections. Prices are steap but hey this aint Kansas! The Belgians seemed clearly way too expensive, everything else seemed just about $2 extra a sixer. I picked up just a single Bomber of Bear republic for $5.99, which seemed worth it. good place if youre looking for something new. They have all their beers both warm and in the coolers. Just across the street from the Collins bar, which also is a plus. The owner was friendly. Worth a visit.

 644 characters

Photo of twilight
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%

I stumbled in here against my better judgement, knowing it was going to be expensive. The window advertised a crazy amount of beers, so I popped in.

It was bright. The lights were so bright, or maybe it was the aftermath of having good pint of Magic Hat's Nailbiter.

The interior is pretty much your normal corner deli. Snacks, food, chips, sandwiches. In the back however, there are racks of bombers, and refrigerator cases full of singles. What appeared to be a full line from places like Rogue, Stone, Magic Hat, Smuttynose just sitting in the coolers. I was looking at the prices, every bottle is individually marked. And it was just breathtakingly expensive. Nevertheless that didn't stop me from picking up a bottle of Big A IPA ad eyeing a bottle of Hop Rod Rye. As I turned the corner around the back of the store already impressed by the cooler selection... Mon Dieu! Sixers of almost *everything* on the shelf. I nearly collapsed. Of course I'd just also had a pint of Celebration across the street at Collins bar, so I was pretty happy already. I held on tightly to my bomber and told myself to leave before I started collecting things to buy. No more!

Shocker! Amazing beer selection, Sticker shock, and a small selection of nuts (Hey, I needed a snack). Definitely worth a visit, even if for that one bottle you must have at any price...

 1,359 characters

Photo of MojoPin
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Happy Deli looks like any other deli/grocery in New York, so the unsuspecting beer enthusiast might be driven to mess him or herself upon first sight of its walls -- hundreds of locals, general dometics, and imported brews. A few beer glasses, but nothing substantial. Steeply priced, the only real aspect of the store like that of other Manhattan bodegas is that their staff are indifferent to your presence, which is really fine with me. Despite the cost, I'm likely to go back in the future. If you're in the neighborhood, check it out.

 539 characters

Photo of slander
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%

Funny thing. I had no idea that the Happy Deli was right across the street from The Collins Bar when I was there recently. I would've, could've, should've hit 'em both in one fell swoop. Oh well...
Looks suspiciously like every other corner bodega except this one has lots of bottles in the front windows. Good bottles, many good bottles, yes. When you get inside, you find the wall to the right of you to be just coolers that run the entire length of the store and then they wrap around and run along the back of the store as well. You scan each cooler carefully, row by row, beer by beer, singles of this and that. A good collection, from hard to find Belgians to local and regional micros (Heavyweight, Victory, Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, Brooklyn) everywhere, and I say "everywhere" becuase it's not exactly organized by brewery, region, style, anything. Things are all over the place. It makes you have to scrutinize a lot more carefully so as not to miss anything but that's okay, I like the hunt!!! Some (evil) person must have talked them into cracking open a whole lot of Sam Adams Holiday packs because they were a bunch of single Old Fezzi's and Cranberry Lambics sitting on the shelves. Nobody said a peep to me while I was there mulling around suspiciously but then again, the non-beer half of the place is a corner grocery where generally nobody would offer up any assistance unless you bellied up to the counter and asked for it.
I didn't see anything that looked to be crazily outdated. They had magnums of Chimay and I was told that they had a 1.5 litre magnum of Rodenbach here but some asshole gone bought it up (but I got it for a good price). It's beautiful. When I build my "Lego town on the sea", this bottle will be the lighthouse.

 1,757 characters

Photo of francisweizen
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%

This is a small little deli located right in Times Square. The selection of beers is mind-boggling, with rare magnums of OSA and Rodenbach adorning the shelves, amongst others. The prices are out of this world for standard 12oz micros, averaging almost $3 each, but magnums, and other larger sized beers are not all that pricey for NYC (ie: stone bombers and rogues for under $6 a pop). The service was self-serve, as nobody asked me if I needed anything when I was perusing the store. Also, the quality takes a hit because several out-dated and dusty bottles could be found on the shelf here. All in all this is the best deli/beer store to buy beer in Manhattan. But unless you are richie rich, go down to brooklyn to get the same beers fresher and cheaper!

 758 characters

Photo of skar
3.1/5  rDev -23.5%

Pros: Incredible selection, open 24 hours

Cons: Very steep pricing, questionable beer freshness, poor service

This little store is located right next to Times Square. I've heard that they are open 24 hours a day. They have hundreds of different beers. About half of the beer is in coolers and the other half is at room temp.

Some of the highlights of their beer selections: Westvleteren (sorry I bought the last 2 bottles of the 12), lots of Rogue (including Smoke and Old Crustacean), Heavyweight, Victory, La Terrible, and I think I even saw some bottles of Casta Milenia.

Now the downside: Buying beer here can be a real crapshoot. A good number of average gravity micros I've purchased here have been past their prime. I recommend buying mostly higher gravity stuff that can age. The staff here is beer clueless and can be almost rude if you mention beer freshness. The pricing is probably the highest I've ever seen in the US. $2.49 for 1 bottle of an average micro. Some beers I've even paid less for at a bar.

Despise the fact that Happy Deli easily has the best selection of the beer stores within a short subway ride from my apartment, I rarely go there because of the absurd pricing for beer that is past its prime.

 1,241 characters

Photo of ElGuapo
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Lots of stuff packed into this little place. I will certainly have to go back and grab a few things. Micro selection is great! I saw a few hard to find brews. 750s were in large numbers as well as even larger magnum bottles. Prices were about the highest I have ever seen, but it was worth it for some of the selection they have there. Oh yeah, someone wrote to watch dates. If you are getting some lighter bodied beers, you'd better do so as you should with every store in the city. Some things with old packagings that have not been around for a couple years.

 561 characters

Happy Deli in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 18 ratings