Sure, there are bars with dollar PBRs or cheap, passable wings; those are a dime a dozen. But these Washington, DC happy hours are excellent on their own merits. Looking for a discounted impeccably curated beer list? Cheap well-made cocktails? There's a happy hour for you somewhere in town. Here's our guide to the best options.
'Happy Hour' on Serious Eats
There are many places to get tacos in the East Village, but few that have a tricked-out mezcal bar that dispenses from uncommon bottles by the ounce. If you're interested in such a pairing, there's now Sembrado on 13th Street, where Hecho en Dumbo's Danny Mena does a menu of tacos and other snacks with a good happy hour deal.
Our guide to great Austin happy hours that you may not have visited yet.
During happy hour, this 1/3-pound burger is discounted to a mere $6. That's a good deal anywhere, especially in the Gaslamp Quarter.
It may be that 3-martini business lunches aren't the norm anymore, but many of today's companies see some value in gathering the staff for an end-of-week drink. What's happy hour like at Food & Wine or Saveur? What about the offices of Campari or Anchor Brewing?
If there's one thing better than making it to 5 p.m. with your sanity intact, it's finding a great happy hour to help you unwind. This isn't always an easy task, especially in neighborhoods with an overabundance of bars and restaurants like Dupont Circle.
Oyster happy hours abound in New York, but is that dollar-a-shuck really worth your money? We did the legwork and found eight spots for oyster happy hour that we'd happily recommend.
For a man operating an under-the-radar Mexican restaurant out in Brooklyn, Roberto Santibañez carries a trunk of accolades. His newest restaurant, Fonda in the East Village, an offshoot of the original Park Slope location, has ruby walls, gothic trimmings, and a great happy hour, a peepshow of what the menu has to offer.
Seattle-area steakhouse El Gaucho puts the same attention on their custom-ground, dry-aged burger as they do on their steak, and it's a bargain for only $9 during happy hour.
At Comstock, you're required to purchase two "adult beverages" to ensure that your meal is free-of-charge. "Bummer," we thought, huge smiles spreading across our faces. Considering Comstock has fast become known for serving both excellent food and drinks, this seemed more than manageable.
How often does a happy hour sign outside convince you to actually walk in? We were technically already headed to the Liberty Bar in Austin, but the chalkboard sign out front confirmed this was the right place, right time. "Hoppy Hours 4-9, Ery Day Fools!" (How convenient, that's today.)
We're big fans of Maialino, Danny Meyer's Roman-ish trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel, so we were thrilled to hear that they launched a happy hour menu—Monday-Friday, 5:00-7:00pm. Discounted drinks are a draw, of course, but so is Nick Anderer's food menu—eminently snackable plates like meatballs and anchovy-topped deviled eggs and crisp pork cracklings.
The concept at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill is built into the name. What isn't necessarily implied is that the majority of the dishes fall under the tapas umbrella. And nothing says happy hour like tapas. Tapas were, after all, Spain's brilliant answer to "how can you keep bar patrons sober enough to keep drinking longer?"
Perhaps because the neighborhood is so lacking in establishments of this caliber, the Angel's often packed, particularly during their "Whine After Work" happy hour from 5 to 7 pm. The special showcases wines on tap (of which there are 6) as well as an assortment of crisp flatbreads.
What Terroir's happy hour lacks in hours (well, hour; it's from 5pm-6pm), it more than makes up for in quality. First, it's available seven days a week, easy to put on your weekend to-do list. Second, it's quite pleasant in Terroir on the early side: in our experience, much less crowded, a calm and friendly place for a few drinks. And third, you can knock back three quality drinks for $12 and learn something in the process.
I'd happily drop $6/pint to while away an early spring evening on Flatbush Farm's spacious patio. But I'd rather pay $4/pint, of course.
Happy hour at The Mermaid Inn runs 5:30 pm to 7 pm every day, and it's even open to those who grab a coveted spot in the quiet daffodil-planted back patio. There are a range of cocktails (normally $12, down to $7), plus house wines for $6, and a tempting snack menu. Fried oysters, anyone?
There are quite a few bars in New York that offer complimentary bar snacks at certain hours. But when I've had a few glasses of wine, I don't want a few dainty olives or crackers; I want warm, substantial polenta cakes or pizza sliced into tiny slivers, perfect for sharing and nibbling. That's what you get at Emporio on Mott Street in Soho, where between 5:00 and 6:30pm, snacks are laid out on the bar aperitivo-style for the taking.
Nothing says "happy hour" like a well-made five-dollar margarita. Ofrenda in the West Village is a great place just before dinnertime, with light streaming in through the full-length windows or, on warmer days, out on the few sidewalk tables.
Editor's note: We're back with another Happy Hour report from our happy hour bureau chief, Linnea Covington. On tap this week, the Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen. Rudy's Bar and Grill has been a Hell's Kitchen staple since 1933. Just look...