I’ve been going to lots of happy hours lately…I chalk it up to “blog research,” but the truth is that I just really, truly love that time of day. I love starting my day early and working hard, but by the time 5:30 rolls around, I’m ready to kick up my heels and sip a drink!
There are a trillion happy hours in Austin. To make a comprehensive list would be overwhelming; besides, not all happy hours are created equally, so some just shouldn’t make the list. But here are just a couple of my favorites. These are happy hours I’ve tried again and again, and they get my stamp of approval. Enjoy!
Tue – Sun, 5-6:30 pm.
Good for: outdoor, groups, wine, small bites.
One of my favorites in the whole city! Ever since we moved to the new house, Nate and I have been walking to this happy hour frequently. Lenoir offers 1/2 off bottles of wine, even on the weekends! Yeeeee!!! It’s perfect for sharing with a few people. My favorite part about this is being able to splurge on more expensive bottles of wine….but only pay for 1/2 the price.
Good for: cocktails, good times, tacos, truffled deviled eggs, duck fat fries….then another order of duck fat fries because you realize one order wasn’t enough for 4 people…
Salty Sow’s happy hour is so good. If I lived in east Austin instead of south Austin, I don’t know how I’d keep from going here every day. The food specials are all delightfully extravagant, with titles like honey rosemary dipped fried chicken, or chicken liver mousse with pickled onions and crostini. There are 20 cocktails listed at $8 or less, and that doesn’t include the $5 wine and craft beer drafts.
Good for: meeting a friend, dinner replacement, downtown HH
Please tell me I’m not alone…do you sometimes get happy hour and just count it as dinner? I do this all they time… If I’m meeting a friend for happy hour at 6:00, odds are I’m already starving and I want some food! Italic is so good for this situation. Pizzas are 1/2 off, so they’re super cheap! Share that and a glass of rosé (only $3 during happy hour, woot!), and BOOM. Dinner’s done.
Tue – Sat, 4-9 pm
Good for: beautiful outdoor dining, late-night happy hour, live music
Mattie’s is an Austin institution, and for good reason: the Bouldin Creek property dates back to the 1800s, boasts dozens of giant live oak trees, peacocks, and a historic mansion. The restaurant was recently re-opened after a short closure, and it’s just a picturesque as always.
Happy hour is only available outside, but don’t be disappointed…that’s where the magic happens. 😉 Twinkly lights, live music, and peacocks strutting across the lawn. Pair that with a selection ofsnacks, cocktails, wine, or beer, and you’ve got a pretty nice happy hour at….even at 9 pm! That’s what I’m talking about….
Daily, 3-6 pm
Good for: margaritas and cocktails, indoor dining, Mexican seafood
I love Alcomar’s daily happy hour! It’s a good one for meeting friends on Saturdays or Sundays, because it’s the same every day of the week.
Alcomar is a Mexican seafood concept, so expect lots of tasty appetizers like ceviche, octopus tostadas, and gulf oysters.
Mon-Fri, 3-7, Sat-Sun, 3-5
Good for: TEX MEX! Margs and chips, anyone?
I had to throw a good ol’ Tex Mex joint in the mix! Z’Tejas is one of my faves for happy hour because they have it 7 days a week! Their margaritas are solid, and the appetizers are all $3 off. Try my favorite: the Ahi Ceviche Stack (pictured above).
Daily, 3-6 pm
Good for: girlfriend dates, oysters + wine, burgers + fries
Clark’s is a teeny oyster bar on West 6th street; it exudes elegance and charm, from the marble countertops to the bright yellow umbrellas shading the outdoor patio. The weekday happy hour offers 1/2 off burgers and $5 martinis, but on the weekends you can order a bottle of wine for 1/2 price. It’s hard to pick a favorite day!
Every day, 4-6
Good for: substantial food, a breezy stop while perusing shops on SoCo, people watching, wine
June’s happy hour is unique because it offers 1/2 off all food from 4-6 pm. You can also get 50% of all sparkling wine, and $2 off all drinks. WHAT? This is the queen of all happy hours.
Good for: sushi, sake, feeling fancy but not paying like it
Both Uchi and Uchiko belong on every Austinite’s bucket list. But it’s hard to make these sushi restaurants a regular thing because, well, the quality is incredibly high here and you get what you pay for, y’know? Enter: the Sake Social.
Each day from 5-6:30 pm, both Uchi and its little sister restaurant, Uchiko, offer specials on specific tastings. You can order some of the regular menu items at a fraction of the price. Show up early, though – this place gets packed!
Good for: farm-to-table food, beer, wine
Sun-Thur, 2:30pm – 6:30pm, drink specials, and Sun-Thur, 5-6:30, 1/2 price food specials
Ooh, I adore Odd Duck. I’ve gone on and on about how much I like their brunch. The happy hour isn’t too shabby, either! Stop in early for drinks, or go from 5-6:30 for 1/2 off special food items. These are things you’ll see on the regular dinner menu, so show up just a wee bit early for 50% off your dinner!
Sun-Mon: 1/2 off select bottles, Tue-Thur, $5 bites and glasses of house wine
Good for: date night for wine, one of the best wine bars in the country, charming outdoor patio with twinkly lights
The happy hour at Winebelly isn’t as straight forward as some other places, but it’s worth trying to fit it into your schedule. They’ve been ranked not just one of the best wine bars in Austin, but also in the country!
What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments down below. Questions? Email me at [email protected]