Here's Our Travel Guide to This Nation of Over 7,000 Islands
OKRA Charity SaloonAddress and Info
When? Weekdays, 4-6:30pm
This airy saloon -- which just so happens to donate 100% of its proceeds to a local non-profit each month -- manages to be rowdy and classy all at once. Play washers and hit the photo booth while you take down $3 drafts, $4 wells, and half-price wine for a good cause. And some $3 fernet shots. Get those, too.
Moon Tower InnAddress and Info
When? Daily specials
Wild game weenies and 60+ taps of craft brew make this offbeat dive a local favorite. Hit the yard to partake in Mug Mondays, BOGO burger nights, growler giveaways, or whatever other zany hijinks are going on that day.
UchiAddress and Info
When? Daily, 5-6:30pm
When one of the city’s finest restaurants offers food and drink specials, you visit it. Uchi’s Sake Social Hour means you’re drinking $3 hot and cold sake and Japanese lagers while you fill up on delicious and affordable Berkshire pork ribs, walu walu, and spicy bigeye tuna. The happy hour is definitely the best time to visit, as no reservations are required and you can keep your bank account intact.
Blue Bar at Brenner’s on the BayouAddress and Info
When? Monday-Thursday, 5-7pm
Proving that the bayou can, in fact, be pretty beautiful, the picturesque Blue Bar boasts a swanky happy hour complete with $4 craft beers, $7 cocktails and martinis, and $7 wines by the glass. Escape the city and ease into the lush patio as you snack on bar bites that are ideal for sharing, like duck confit empanadas; tuna tartar tacos; and Angus beef, braised short rib, and lobster & shrimp sliders.
Beaver’sAddress and Info
When? Tues-Fri, 3-6pm; Sat, 11am-6pm; Sun, 4-10pm
It’s pretty easy to get a buzz going at this indoor/outdoor ice house’s happy hour, especially on nicer days, when you’re able to fully utilize the patio. A selection of expertly crafted house cocktails will run you $6 (usually $8) and all drafts are a buck off. You’ll need all that to wash down $5 and $6 apps, like the Little Beaver Pie (think of it like a Frito pie but with smoky chopped brisket), Slow Dough pretzels with 1836 beer dip, and panko-crusted, deep-fried deviled eggs.
Around the CornerAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 12-7pm with daily specials
Set in a restored 1903 bungalow with views of Downtown, this sister concept to Cottage Grove spot, Down the Street, is way cooler than whatever’s around your corner. Cozy on the inside with a bright and inviting patio, it’s a popular spot for locals to hang out and take down Texas suds. Happy hour (deals include $1 off draft beer and wine glasses, $2 off specialty cocktails) runs alongside daily specials, including Monday’s $3.50 pint night; Tuesday’s wine night, where $20 gets you a bottle and a complimentary antipasto; and Thursday’s steak night, where you can grab a ribeye with scalloped potatoes and a side salad for $17.
Peska Seafood & Prime SteaksAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 4:30-7pm
With a wraparound terrace, outdoor fans, and an electric louvered ceiling that can open and tilt as needed, this people-watching spot is ideal for happy hour. The restaurant recently redesigned its space and added American-style steaks to its Mexican-inspired seafood menu, making its popular happy hour more approachable for walk-ins. Catch live music (Wednesday-Friday) and feast on seafood platters with Champagne or prosecco.
Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
CottonwoodAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 4-7pm with daily specials
Tuesday steak nights, rain-or-shine crawfish boils, tap takeovers, free live music, a collection of whiskey, and 40+ taps of craft beer are just a few of the reasons to head to this GOOF-area crowd favorite. A sprawling patio complete with picnic tables, corn hole, fire pits, and what may be the city’s entire population of dogs are a few more. Follow them on Facebook for up-to-date specials.
Eight Row FlintAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 2-6pm
In a city of patio bars, Eight Row Flint’s might win gold. It’s packed regularly, and even more so during happy hour, when a select handful of beers (including local batches like Karbach Sympathy for the Lager and Buffalo Bayou Sam’s Daily) go for $3 a pop. House cocktails (Old Fashioned, margarita and mules) are $5, and tacos are $3 each. Like whiskey? Good. There are over 100 to choose from.
McIntyre’s Spirits & FriendsAddress and Info
When: Weekdays until 8pm with daily specials
This newly minted sports bar is like a Midtown party bar in the middle of the ‘burbs, meaning it draws in a hefty happy-hour crowd. Something Midtown lacks? An adult swing set smack dab in the middle of an expansive patio. At happy hour, go big with $4 “Big Ass Lite Beers,” $5 Deep Eddy specials, and $2 off all whiskey. And when you’re hungry, the rotating lineup of food trucks or nearby taco stands should hit the spot.
State FareAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 3-6pm
Paired with $6 happy hour cocktails from beverage director and tincture titan Laurie Harvey -- think Old Fashioneds kicked with apricot-infused bourbon and a cranberry drink with rosemary and spice -- State Fare’s lowbrow comfort food tastes anything but. The $5 plates may be called bites, but the flavors are as big and bold as Texas. Get the short rib poutine, smoked chicken nachos, and fresh jalapeño poppers, overstuffed with cream cheese and bacon and served with ranch. Draft beer selections will run you $4, while house wines and the bartender’s pick (a beer and a shot) are both $6.
Oporto Fooding House & WineAddress and Info
When: Monday-Friday, 3-6:30pm
Come for the Petiscos (the Portuguese cousin to Spanish tapas) and stay for the drinks starting at $5. The sexy space is intimate enough a date, but buzzy enough for larger crowds to gather. Get shared plates you may not actually want to share, like fried chicken pão and poutine with Madeira gravy, raclette cheese, and beef tenderloin. Then tack on sangria and house wine by the glass or carafe.
Lucille’sAddress and Info
When: Tuesday-Thursday, 3-7pm; Friday, 3-9pm
Nestled in an old house in the Museum District, Lucille’s is a charming Southern bar, complete with patio. During happy hour, all cocktails -- from the super refreshing Mellow Yellow (a limoncello and Plantation pineapple number) to the Garden (made with basil-cucumber and lavender bitters) -- are $3 off, while mule variations are $6 and select beers and wines are $5. Happy hour plates, like fried oyster sliders, hot chicken thighs, and fried green tomatoes, are all $5 and under, while chili biscuits go for $1 a pop.
Rice Village/West U
UpstairsAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 4-7pm
After 40 years, Hungry’s upped its game by adding a new bar and lounge dubbed “Upstairs.” With a bird’s-eye view of the Village, the bar’s outdoor terrace is where you’ll want to be on Houston’s nicer days. Unwind or wind up with $4 Texas drafts, $5 select wines by the glass, and $5 house cocktails, including a grapefruit spritz and frozé. Then dig into $6-8 bar bites like smoked salmon dip, fire-roasted sprouts, and spinach artichoke dip.
State of GraceAddress and Info
When: Weekdays, 11am-6pm
We love Houston, not only because of its proliferation of oyster-loving restaurants but because many of said oyster-loving restaurants host Oyster Happy Hour. This River Oaks jewel is one of of the best, offering an excellent roster of East Coast, West Coast, and Third Coast oysters for $1 during happy hour.
Bernadine’sAddress and Info
Bernadine’s lineup of oysters is excellent anytime of day, but even better at happy hour when Gulf oysters are $1 each. The cool, contemporary spot also offers $6 bar snacks (like smoked fish dip, ranch-dusted chicharrones, and Natchitoches meat pies) and $6 house cocktails, $7 wines by the glass, and half-price frozen refreshments.
Kirby Ice HouseAddress and Info
When: Everyday with daily specials
This behemoth watering hole has been making Upper Kirby better since April 2016. One year later, the sprawling bar and backyard remains just as boisterous, despite (or perhaps because of) its strict 23-and-up policy. Those that are old enough can partake in all kinds of weekly shenanigans like Monday’s all-day-all-night happy hour, Tuesday’s fire-sale on 51 beers, and Sunday’s “craft cocktail mania,” featuring $7 craft drinks after 7pm.