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
Our guide to great Austin happy hours that you may not have visited yet.
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.
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.)
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.