What makes a good Happy Hour? Well, without getting too philosophical over the concept of “happiness” (is it a state of being? Whatever eudaemonia is?), there’s usually a combination of good drinks, good food, and good deals. But what separates a good Happy Hour from a great one is the quality of those drinks, food, and deals. From all-day oyster specials, 90-minute open bars, and $1 fries baskets served until 2am - these are the 12 Best Happy Hour Deals In LA right now.
THE HAPPY HOURS
Much like the pit stains on all our clothes (please DM us deodorant recs) Electric Owl’s legendary Happy Hour is back. From 3:30-6pm daily, you’ll find a HH deal for everyone - whiskey Old Fashioneds, aperol spritzes, house wines, and hibiscus margaritas on tap, all priced between $4.20-$8. They also offer deals on food items like their hot chicken sandwich, made with a satisfying crunch, and one of the best smashburgers in town.
The Happy Hour at this rowdy Japanese restaurant in Ktown doesn’t adhere to time, space, or “the seven economic principles” - it runs all day, every day, and contrary to rule number five (“Nothing is perfect and never will be”), we can’t find a single flaw on the menu. Oysters served on the half shell are just $1. House sake is $5. Draft beer and cocktails (which range from margaritas to bright-pink cosmopolitans), just $4! You’ll have plenty of fun while saving enough money to buy something cool, like bundled car insurance or an antique porcelain Pierrot set.
This upscale Greek restaurant on West 3rd St. has a Happy Hour menu that reminds us of the half-off Mamma Mia! DVD we found at the Goodwill this past weekend - great prices and Mediterranean bliss. Unlike most Happy Hour deals, the are no tots or burgers here, but rather $3 pitas, $4 hummus and tzatziki, and $5 dolmada plates, served Monday through Friday, 5-7pm. They also have deals on red and white wine, beer, and $10 cocktails.
There’s a lot of debate in the French dip world over who came first, Cole’s or Philippe’s. Quite frankly, making that call is out of our jurisdiction, but when it comes to Happy Hour deals, there’s a clear winner. Offered Sunday through Wednesday, from 11pm-2am, Cole’s late-night Happy Hour includes $6 Old Fashioneds, $5 draft beers, $1 fries and tots (!), and a $5 French Dip slider trio that comes with fries. Your move, Philippe’s.
This long-standing Santa Monica chophouse is just a quick walk from Will Rogers beach and has one of the best Happy Hours in the area. From 3-5pm, Monday through Friday, Golden Bull offers all kinds of fancy-ish snacks, like $10 fried calamari, cheesesteak sandwiches with a French onion au jus, $3 hot dogs, and most importantly, $5 loaded potato skins that look like someone dumped an entire bucket of smoked cheddar, sour cream, scallions, and bacon onto them.
Koreatown’s favorite party restaurant, Escala, has a Happy Hour special that runs daily from 4-7pm and again Sunday through Thursday, 11pm-1am. It combines all the things we love most about this Colombian/Korean gastropub but at a discounted price - roasted street corn slathered with cotija (half-priced, $3), empanadas stuffed with beef or kimchi (two for $5), and chicken tamales ($5), plus $4 pints, shots for $3, and $6 wine glasses. Come with a group and definitely order everything.
Plain and simple, Idle Hour is the best bar in the Valley right now. It’s housed in an iconic wooden barrel that’s an exemplary example of LA’s programmatic architecture (you know, if you have an essay coming up or something) plus a Happy Hour that runs daily from 3-6pm. There are $7 cocktails like palomas and Moscow Mules, $6 well drinks, $2 off all beers, plus discounts on their buffalo cauliflower, sloppy fries, and pretzels served with a giant vat of orange pub cheese.
Located in a strip mall surrounded by fantastic sushi restaurants, noodle shops, and Hawaiian food is The Mermaid - a great neighborhood dive bar in Little Tokyo. It’s a cool, crowded spot with a spacious patio and interesting cocktails (get the Drink Your Vegetables), but come from 5-8pm, Monday through Friday or at any time on Sunday, and you’ll get their Happy Hour menu. All house wines are only $7, guava and tequila-filled margaritas cost $8, and for just $15, you’ll get four fried chicken wings plus a pint of beer.
Casual wine bar mini-chain (which just opened a location in Silver Lake), Bacari, has not one, but two distinctly different Happy Hour specials. From 5-7pm, Mondays through Thursday and 4-7pm on Fridays, you’ll find a standard menu of $8 house wines, entire bottles of sangria for $28, and $2 off all small dishes and cocktails. But the real-deal deal is their 90-minute open bar - served all night, every night, for $30 a person, you get bottomless wines, sangria, and beer. The only catch? The entire table has to participate.
This cozy wine bar in Thai Town wins the award for “Most Exciting Happy Hour Special We’d Gladly Kiss on The Mouth If We Could.” Served daily from 4-6pm, you’ll find $7 wines, $5 beers, and $4 snacks which range from marinated olives to house pickles to burrata served on warm sourdough. They also have a rotating list of deals, which in the past have included discounted bottles of wine, $11 Cubano and beer specials, and collaborations with Broad Street Oyster Co..
Saso, a new Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant in Pasadena, feels like a one-way ticket to the south of Spain. There’s a grand stone courtyard, a fountain bubbling in the center, and a great Happy Hour menu from 3-6pm everyday. The drinks are pretty standard, $7 wines and spirits, $5 beers, but it’s their food specials where things really get fun: Wagyu steak bites cost just $10, there are house-made croquettas for $10, and fried oysters showered in saffron gribiche for $12.
Chez Jay in Santa Monica manages to keep things real despite its proximity to the pier. The nearly 60-year-old landmark has a heavy nautical theme and recently got a major patio renovation - but come here any time between 4-6pm, Tuesday through Friday, and you’ll get $6 mixed drinks, $5 draft beers and bottles, plus a bunch of discounts on their food. What could possibly be better than half-priced nachos eaten in a big, comfy lawn chair?