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Drink and eat great on the cheap: The best happy hour deals in Houston

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September 2012 Happy Hour Deals, TQLA, tequila shots
Tequila shots at TQLA Photo by Jack Thompson
September 2012 Happy Hour Deals, Phil's Wine Lounge, Philippe
Phil's Wine Lounge at Philippe Philippe Houston
September 2012 Happy Hour Deals, TQLA, tequila shots
September 2012 Happy Hour Deals, Phil's Wine Lounge, Philippe

Who doesn't love happy hour specials that save you money on cocktails and more? Drinking well cheaply is an art.

While most of these deals kick in weekdays just after work (the traditional happy hour time), a few have a more flexible time frame. And with venues from Kingwood to Sugar Land, there's something for everyone in our September list.

Shake It Up

Shaking things up at the bar, the first floor of Philippe Restaurant + Lounge has a new name, Phil's Wine Lounge, along with a new happy hour menu. Weekdays from 4 to 6:30 p.m. enjoy drink deals like 50 percent off all open bottles of wine, $2 domestic beers, $3 import beers, $5 well drinks and $6 specialty cocktails such as Eve's Guilty Pleasure made with Absolut Orient Apple vodka, Canton ginger and apple cider.

Satisfy your hunger pangs with one of several gourmet pizzas for $7.

Just Can't Get Enough

It's hard to beat the money saving happy hour specials at 3rd Bar at Reef in Midtown. Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. prices range from $1 for sliders and shrimp shooters to $5 for the Milagro Skinny Margarita, Blood Orange Margarita, Stoli Vodka (any flavor) and other specialty cocktails. If you're famished, there is also a selection of pizzas for $5 each.

Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Royal Oak Bar and Grill in Montrose. On the $5 food menu: stuffed jalapenos, mozzarella sticks and pepperoni pizza. Discounted libations include $2 domestics, $3 house wine, $4 martinis, $1 off drafts and $10 select bottles of wine.

Don't forget to check out the daily specials like Whiskey Wednesdays — Maker's Mark is just $4 and all other whiskey classics are $2 off. On the weekends from 11 a.m. to 4  p.m., mimosa pitchers are $7 and domestics are $2.

With multiple locations around town including ones in Champions Forest and Sugar Land, it's easy to take advantage of the happy hour deals at Berryhill Baja Grill, available Monday though Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Two bucks will get you an order of flautas, mini pork tacos or mini corn dogs.

The booze is a bargain, too. Get a Slim Rita for $4.95, sangria for $3.95 or Baja Breeze made with vanilla vodka and fresh-squeezed mint lemonade for $5.25.

Happy hour at The Grove downtown is weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. For $4, you can choose from snacks like truffle string fries, wild mushroom mac and fried pickles with chipotle ranch. For $7, try the grilled habanero beef sliders or tuna tacos.

Quench your thirst with $2 domestic beers and $3 well drinks. On the $5 drink list: a classic mimosa, raspberry margarita, pomegranate screwdriver and dirty olive martini.

TQLA on Washington Avenue not only boasts one of Houston's largest selection of tequilas, but a great happy hour menu, too. Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and all day Sunday, for $5 or less you can get a TQLA Original Margarita, house wine, red or white sangria, or Mexican Draft Beer including Dos Equis XX Lager, Modelo Especial and Negra Modelo. The deals on the eats include a $2 shredded chicken taco, $3 mini grilled fish taco and $2 queso.

Keep in mind the $4 margaritas on Margarita Mondays and $2 tacos and $5 select tequilas on TnT Tuesdays.

Something About You

Receive $3 off glasses of wine or flights and nibble on $4 calamari and $3 potstickers during happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Cru Wine Bar, with locations in West Ave and The Woodlands.

Calling all ladies: It's 1/2 off bottles of champagne and sparkling wine Thursdays from 2 p.m. until close. On Swirl Sundays, everyone's eligible for 1/3 off all bottles of wine from 4 p.m. until close.

Happy hour is weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at Tasting Room restaurants in Uptown Park, River Oaks, City Centre and Kingwood. For $6, order the cajun spicy fries with remoulade dipping sauce. For the same price, the fried truffle mac & cheese bites and short rib sliders are also stomach pleasing. Pair your bites with a select craft beer or glass of wine for half off.

Party All the Time

Already in The Woodlands, Rice Village, Sugar Land and Cinco Ranch, it's the more the merrier as Black Walnut Café has recently opened a new locale, this time in Rice Military. Monday through Friday, Black Walnut Café has two happy hours, an early bird special from 7 to 10:30 a.m. (8 to 10:30 a.m. in Sugar Land) and an afternoon deal from 3 to 6:30 p.m.

On the hair of the dog morning happy hour menu: frozen peach bellinis, bloody Marys and mimosas for $4 apiece, and a 12 ounce draft beer for $2. Nosh on a Philly cheese steak omelet for $7.50 or the breakfast enchiladas for $5.

Start the party over again from 3 to 6:30 p.m. with libations like white wine sangria and the Smokey Martini made with Tito's, Johnny Walker Black Scotch and blue cheese olives for $5 each, or a house wine for $4.50. Munch on chips and salsa (free refills) for $1.50 and chicken quesadillas for $4.

The mantra at Roots Bistro in Montrose is local, organic and green. During the week from 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy an all-organic, wood-fired pizza for $10 to $12. There's also a vegan option. Drink up with $6 select wines by the glass, $5 Italian iced tea made with sweet vermouth, ginger ale and lemon, $3 select microbrews and craft beers, and $10 flights at the bar.

Also of note is the Late Night Happy Hour available Monday through Saturday from 10 p.m. until midnight. The same special prices as above apply to both the cocktails and the gourmet pizzas. Bonus: On Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. take 50 percent off select wines by the glass.

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