What makes a great happy hour? Maybe it's the opportunity for a quick way to sample a new restaurant's kitchen offerings at a discount price. Perhaps it's the chance to try some fantastic new drinks before dinner. Sometimes, the best happy hour is the place with that comfortable patio suited to venting about the work day.
Below are 12 of the best happy hours this fall from new restaurants and old favorites alike. Remember, Friday is just a week’s worth of happy hours away.
For those who like to get a jump start on the happy hour crowd, Arthur Ave. kicks theirs off early. Sneak away from the office and be treated to a $5 glass of wine, an Arthur Ave. G&T (herbal gin, Mediterranean tonic, lime, juniper berries, thyme and grapefruit peel, $7) or Swamp Oil (Amaro Montenegro, tequila, Galliano, lime, celery bitters, pineapple and melon liqueur, $5). With bar bites like the Fra Diavola (pizza with hot spread, mozzarella, spicy salami and basil, $11) and Penne Alla Vodka (pink vodka sauce, cherry tomatoes and marscapone, $10), diners still have plenty of room (and plenty of time) for an early afternoon dessert. Try the cannoli for $8.
Monday to Friday, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Few places in town know Gulf Coast food and culture like Bernadine's does, which makes half off oysters during happy hour a particularly good deal. Settle in at the oyster bar and order them raw ($18/dozen) or chargrilled ($12/half dozen). Other shareable snacks include a selection of $6 plates that include Natchitoches Meat Pies, ranch-dusted chicharrones, and crispy buffalo snapper collars. Once food choices have been game planned, try Bernadine’s take on 2016’s breakout frozen cocktail, the Frosé ($5). Or keep it classic with a Bloody Mary, an Old Fashioned or a mint julep ($6). Feel like wine? A small selection of Spanish and French options are available by the glass for $7. C’est Bon!
Sunday to Friday, 5 pm to 6:30 pm
The “Booze & Bites” Social Hour happens every day and is a great way to get acquainted with this incredibly popular Washington Avenue eatery. Sit down for $5 pints of Karbach or Saint Arnold beer or choose a cocktail made with Texas spirits like Treaty Oak rum, Yellow Rose whiskey and Tito’s vodka. Make it a Collins ($8) for quick relief from the workday, or maybe dive right into the evening with a Texas martini ($10). Don't miss B&B's charcuterie & cheese board ($21) or their tantalizing deli snacks like the steakhouse bruschetta and the croque monsieur bites for $8.
Daily, 3 pm to 6 pm
The Kitchen at The Dunlavy
An afternoon of food and drink is always better with scenery, right? Make it over to this beautiful dining room on Buffalo Bayou and snack on some spinach turnovers ($8). Still hungry? Go for the picnic lunch featuring assorted cheeses from Houston Dairymaids complemented by prosciutto, genoa salami, country pate, chicken liver mousse, hummus, crudite, hard boiled egg, and various breads ($28). House cocktails such as Spiked Aqua Fresca (Rumhaven, Combier, limeade and coconut water, $8) and the Belvedere Peach Collins (Belvedere peach nectar vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and soda, $8) are worth the trip as well.
The Dunlavy has pop-up happy hours. The next one is the La Loteria and Dia De Los Muertos Halloween Happy Hour, on Thursday, October 20, 2 pm to 8 pm
Good Dog Montrose
Everyone’s favorite Heights-area hot dog shop recently opened up an inviting new spot in Montrose, and at this location they serve onion rings! Of course, the Montrose location has everything people love about the original such as the Curryous Frank Dog (curried onion relish and cilantro chutney) and the Southern Comfort Dog (bacon braised greens and house-made chow chow). Swing in for happy hour and enjoy $4 mini dogs and $1 off all draft beers — an always-intriguing selection of Texas craft options — and wines by the glass.
All day Tuesday; 3 pm to 6 pm Wednesday to Sunday
Hops Meet Barley
This great new patio serves up a fantastic selection of craft beers and cocktails in Upper Kirby seven days a week. Enjoy $1 off their well-curated beer list as well as $1 off well drinks. If you’re feeling just a little bit fancy, try a beer cocktail like La Flor Luchador (Mexican lager, mescal, ginger beer and hibiscus) or Saison Sunshine (saison, gin, elderflower and Squirt) which are all $2 off. With drinks at these prices, patrons will have no trouble springing for bar snacks like panko-crusted cheese curds or chicken pineapple avocado spring rolls.
Daily, 2 pm to 7 pm
Jimmy Chew Asian Kitchen
This new late night spot in Montrose will surely draw some loyal after-hours crowds, but the happy hour menu is a great reason to check out their cozy patio in the daylight. Try the Kung Pao chicken lollipops ($5), crispy egg rolls ($1.50), and crispy tofu ($5.50). The drinks are great value, as well. If $5 for a 16 oz. white wine margarita isn't tempting enough, the $3 beer, $5 wine and $6 sake surely is. With these kinds of specials, it’s a no-brainer to splurge on whole lobster, which is only $19.95 during happy hour.
Monday to Saturday, 5 pm to 8 pm; Sunday, 8 pm to 11 pm
Everyone knows that Ronnie Killen’s Pearland steakhouse serves a great dinner, but the restaurant's happy hour menu offers good food at a serious discount. Korean barbecue marinated wagyu skewers ($8), ahi tuna poke ($10), and lobster tacos ($12) are easy to share, as are the chili nachos featuring brisket from Killen’s Barbecue ($8) and mussels steamed with Southern Star Bombshell Blonde Ale ($12.) Still hungry? Grab a burger and fries for $14. How about a cocktail? Classics like Pimm’s Cup, French 75, and Moscow Mule are all $6; Killen’s originals like Zarinity Now (gin, raspberry preserves, lemon, lavender and rosewater, $7) and The Hot Mess (Dulce Vida tequila blanco, Glenrothes Vintage Reserve, lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger ale and Hellfire bitters, $8) are also a great bet. After a relaxing happy hour, it's a good idea to stay for a steak instead of driving straight home.
Monday to Friday, 3:30 pm to 6 pm
What better place to enjoy happy hour cocktails at the popular downtown bar known for having one of Houston's best whiskey selections than its new patio? The selection of $6 sippers include house cocktails like the Kind of Fancy (Dulce Vida tequila blanco, Primario Mezcal, cucumber water) and the King's Reward (Dalmore 12-year Scotch, Cynar, blackstrap bitters) or classics like the Old Fashioned and the ever popular Moscow Mule. Feeling like a splurge? Ask about the independent bottles that offer the chance to taste 25-year or longer aged spirits at a reasonable price.
Monday to Friday, 2 pm to 6 pm
State Fare Kitchen & Bar
Frozen Ocean Water (Rum, ginger beer, coconut water and lime) for $6 should be reason enough to head over to State Fare, but there’s so much more. Their $6 menu also boasts a Texas Tea (Sweet tea vodka, house peach gastrique, black tea and lemon), a hibiscus margarita with pink peppercorn and an assortment of sparkling, red and white wine. $4 drafts from Back Pew Brewing, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., and Real Ale Brewing Co. are also on the table, as are $3 cans of Karbach beers. Seriously, this Happy Hour drink menu feels like a steal.
Monday to Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm
State of Grace
Happy Hour is the best time to try raw oysters at this acclaimed River Oaks spot. Sample through a rotating selection of appelation oysters like Grand Bay, Alabama, Martha’s Vineyard, and Duxberry, Massachusetts — all for just $1 each. The Honey Plum Shandy (Goose Island Sofie Saison, plum ginger syrup, honey and lemon, $6) and the LC Cola (Bonal Quina, Cava, Topo Chico and barrel-aged bitters, $8) are a nice, light pairing to the oysters for refreshment after a long work day. Don’t forget to grab a complimentary Whoopie pie on your way out.
Monday to Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm
Sanctuari at Triniti
With cocktails like Death in the Afternoon (a Hemingway-inspired concoction full of Champagne and absinthe, $7), the Funday Highball (apple and citrus peel infused vodka with soda, $6), and house reds, whites and sparkling wines at $6, the fall iteration of Triniti’s Happy Hour menu does not mess around. The best part? Bar snacks including steak tartare, Pat’s blood orange BBG ribs and a campechana with crab, flounder, shrimp and octopus and are all 25 percent off.
Tuesday to Sunday, 4 pm to 7 pm