Work sucks (and so does that Tinder date you were excited to meet last night who actually turned out to be someone who owned a pet ferret). Lucky for you, every single weekday there comes a moment when you’ve either finished all your to-do’s or read the entire internet. When that moment arrives, you deserve to get yourself to the nearest establishment serving drinks priced at what you actually deserve to pay for them.
And while alcohol is always good, the superior happy hour setup involves deals on both good drinks and good food. Luckily, Austin has many of them. We’ve put together a guide to our favorite places to cure the Monday scaries one half-priced drink and appetizer at a time.
When: Tuesday-Thursday, 5-7pm
The Deal: $2 off wine glasses; $2 draft beers; $2 off all snacks; $7 Melvin Mule
Powerpoint presentation days are the worst days. But here’s some good news: powerpoint presentations don’t exist in real life - especially at places like Jacoby’s, which feels like a real escape from the hustle of downtown. This is the perfect spot to grab a patio table with friends and go to town on drinks and snacks like deviled eggs, onion rings, and hush puppies.
When: Daily, 5-6:30pm
The Deal: $6 makimono; $3-$8 tastings; $3-$7 sake and beer; $5 seasonal dessert
Uchi is best known for their sushi, but what they should actually be best known for is their “social hour,” the daily free-for-all during which you can sample excellent rolls and classic Uchi bites for a fraction of the price. If you haven’t been, you’re doing things all wrong. P.S. this goes down at Uchiko, too.
When: Weekdays, 4:30-6:30pm
The Deal: $3 sausages, pretzels, and beer cheese, & select cocktails and beers
Just need a place to kick back with some beers and snacks? You can’t do much better than Easy Tiger’s garden. $3 on everything you might want here means that even if you go a little crazy, there’s very little chance you’re spending more than $20.
When: Mon – Fri, 3 – 6pm
The Deal: 50 cents off oysters; 1/2 off burgers; $5 martinis, oyster shooters & draft beer
We love oysters, you love oysters. But everyone loves them more when they’re not so expensive. You’ll come to Clark’s for their happy hour-priced oysters, but you’ll stay for the burger (half-off has never looked so good) and the vibes.
When: Daily 3pm-6pm
The Deal: $4 Beers; Sangría $5; Margaritas $6-$7; discounted appetizers
El Alma is home to one of the best patio situations in Austin, and somehow not everyone has figured out about it yet. Sit on the double-level roof under an umbrella, sip your happy hour margarita and guacamole, and feel pretty damn good about your decisions.
When: Daily, 3-7pm
The Deal: Appetizers $8-$12; select drinks $5-$8; pitchers $29-$35; daily drink specials
Alcomar’s upscale Mexican seafood can get a little pricey at dinner, which is why you’ll want to hit it during their gloriously long four-hour happy hour. Get the guacamole with crab, and get a pitcher - because when you’re given that opportunity in a restaurant, you do it.
When: Monday-Friday 5pm-7pm in the bar area
The Deal: Half off margarita; appetizer specials
Austin has many, many margaritas. But La Condesa’s margarita ranks at the very top of all of them. And during happy hour at the bar here, you can get it for half off.
When: Mon - Fri entire restaurant, 5:30-6:30
The Deal: Half off cocktails, beer, and bar food menu
Hidden in the depths of Dirty 6th, Parkside serves a short but mean happy hour situation. Here’s your strategy: get there when it starts, order two of everything, and you’ll be set for long after happy hour ends.
When: Daily, 5-7pm
The Deal: Beer, wine, cocktails $5; tacos $3; snacks $5; burger $7
“Asian fusion” might make you think of a sad hotel restaurant, but The Peached Tortilla couldn’t be farther from it. This is Southern food with an Asian twist (like Chinese pork tacos), and the bright, light environment is a great place to unwind after work.
When: Tuesday - Saturday 4:00PM - 7:00PM, Monday - Monday 4:00PM - 11:00PM, Sunday - Sunday 4:00PM - 10:00PM
The Deal: Wine and cocktails $7; appetizers $12-$16; half shells $1-$8; snacks $6-$8
A real hidden gem among happy hours is one of Austin’s old reliables, Eddie V’s. This upscale restaurant transforms into a (slightly) more affordable and casual, yet just as satisfying experience during happy hour. Your date will be pleased, and so will your wallet.
When: Tues-Fri 4-6pm
The Deal: $5 margaritas and bites
Leaning towards an East Side night? Start out at Licha’s to kick it off with $5 margaritas and food. The only possible downside is that you might just end up sticking around all evening.
When: Daily 4-7pm
The Deal: $7 cocktails
Whisler’s is already a crowd favorite for its giant outdoor space and killer vibe, but its $7 cocktails are enough to make anyone a regular between 4 and 7pm. And while the Thai Kun truck in the back doesn’t do any happy hour specials on its food, everything is wallet-friendly anyway.
When: Mon-Thurs 5-7pm
The Deal: $1 off bar snacks, draft beer, and wine by the glass; $2 off cocktails; daily specials
The perfect post-work spot to grab a table outside and beers for the crew. In terms of the food, you can’t really go wrong - but the crispy green beans are an excellent way to eat your veggies while also eating something fried.
When: Mon-Fri 3-6pm, Sat-Sun 3-4pm
The Deal: ½ price appetizers; $6 ceviche
You need to get to Takoba for its $6 ceviche, but you also need to get there early because the place fills up fast. Go heavy on the half-price appetizers and call it a meal.
When: Daily, 3-7pm
The Deal: $3-$8 cocktails and margaritas; pitchers $23-$35; appetizers $5-$10
El Chile is always an excellent decision for a group outing, though we make no promises about your inevitable fourth pitcher. This is the kind of place where it’s easy to stay and hang a while.
When: Daily 3-6pm
The Deal: $3 frozen margaritas; $12 margarita pitchers; beer $2.50-$4
You can never have too many margarita options when you live in the state of Texas, and Zocalo is an excellent one to have in your rotation. This is the back-pocket spot you whip out when that trendy first-choice place you had your eye on was already packed. You’ll probably be happier here anyway.
When: Daily 4:30-6:30pm
The Deal: $2 off all signature cocktails, beer, and wine; $5-$6 tacos and bites
At a lot of happy hours, you can get a single kind of cocktail and two kinds of appetizers for a slightly discounted price. Not Salty Sow. This is where you come for a happy hour smorgasbord, involving tons of cocktails (five kinds of margaritas alone) and tons of bites. If you’re trying to eat and drink well inexpensively, Salty Sow’s happy hour is one of the best bang-for-your-buck situations in town.
When: Mon-Fri 4-6pm
The Deal: Appetizers $3-$7; Sushi and maki, $2-$6; sake punch $5; sake $7; beer $2
Feeling like you need to not eat all the fried food just because it’s happy hour? Head to Lucky Robot for solid sushi and sake punch for a (slightly) lighter bite.