Houston's Best Happy Hour Food Specials for $5 or Less
Abe Lincoln may not be getting as much attention as Alexander Hamilton or Andrew Jackson these days, but a $5 bill can still stretch a long way. Houstonians have the benefit of some legit happy hour deals on tacos, burgers, and seafood. So we came up with the bars and restaurants sporting the tastiest Lincoln-or-less food specials in town.
Happy hour: Tues-Fri 4-7pm at the bar
Good ol’ Southern hospitality extends to the no joke wallet-friendly prices at this Rice Village charmer. Just be careful, because you may find yourself addicted to their Southern-fried lineup, including things like $3 chicken-fry biscuits, $5 pimiento cheese balls, and also $5 real-deal Frito pie.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 5-7pm
Making your way through the not-so-traditional izakaya menu at this swanky Japanese spot is always a good time, especially when you’re not burning a hole in your pocket. Yakitori, king trumpet mushrooms, and red miso shishito peppers are all only $4 each, and during the season, happy hour oysters can be had for $1 at the bar and $2 in the dining room and on the patio. Get it all with seriously tasty drink specials, including, but not limited to, sake flight Wednesdays and half-price wine Thursdays.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 2-6pm
They say talk is cheap. We say so are tacos. Though these high-quality numbers from the ingredient-driven food truck permanently parked at this whiskey bar taste anything but. Normally the lineup filled with awesome stuff like Berkshire pork and charred scallion or grilled Gulf fish and togarashi can run you up to $6, but happy hour lowers that price to just $3.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 4-8pm, Sat & Sun noon-8pm + daily specials
As we literally just discussed, tacos aren’t known to hurt your bank account. This taco and tequila temple takes things one step further by proving the same to be true for tamales, loaded nachos, stuffed jalapeños, chips and queso, chips and guac, and elote, as all are just $5 at HH. In other totally dope news, there’s also $1 Taco Tuesdays, $5 Green Chile Burger Thursdays, and $1.95 late night tamales.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3:30-6:30pm
Craft brews for $3.50 go down easier with $5 farm-to-table bites. Since all of those bites are totally fresh and local -- think goat cheese and berry bruschetta, pretzels with gouda queso, citrus-quinoa-stuffed avocado, and smoky maple pork belly bites with candied Texas pecans -- you won’t even feel bad about stuffing your face.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 2-7pm + daily specials
In addition to a library of over 365 craft brews and money-saving happy hour specials, this sports-gastropub runs nightly promotions to help you eat on a dime. By a dime, we mean like several dimes because we’re sorry, but nothing good costs 10 cents these days. Monday’s 50 cent wings hit the spot, as do Tuesday’s $2 tacos.
Happy hour: Tues-Sun 4-7pm
If you love yourself a good $5 happy hour menu as much as we do, this cool kid’s craft brewpub should be in your #HH rotation. Don’t expect basic eats here. Instead you’ll find excellence in the form of crispy fried chicken skin cracklings, bovine & truffle-hinted poutine, wasabi hot wings, and sesame rib-eye rolls.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3-6pm
So you obviously can’t get that sick seafood tower above for $5 because that’d be insane. You can, however, hit their Oyster Room to get an excellent roster of East Coast, West Coast, and Third Coast oysters, which taste even more excellent when they’re $1 each during happy hour.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3-7pm, Sat 3-6pm
The only thing cooler than Monday through Saturday sushi happy hour is the fact that all appetizers, which are already wallet-friendly at $4 each, are BOGO. That means you can get gyoza AND a spicy salmon roll or squid tempura AND a dynamite roll for less than a Lincoln.
Daily specials vary
While this totally chill Austin import’s happy hour specials hit right above the threshold at $6 each, the daily food specials fit right inside that sweet spot. Half-price burgers smothered with things like blue cheese and peppercorn sauce (Mon), $5 sliders and colossal pans of cheese fries (Tues) and $1 crispy tacos and $5 nachos (Wed), and $5 wing baskets (Thurs) are just a part of the good times. Real cheap drinks specials are another.
Happy hour: Everyday 4-7pm, Thursday all day
Though you may think this Latin American classic requires fancypants, impeccable ahi tuna ceviche, chicken and beef empanadas, and ethereally light chicken wings with habanero-papaya sauce are all within budget when you dine at the bar, lounge, or patio during happy hour. Sadly, you’ll have to throw out an extra two bucks if you want the $7 lobster corn dogs (worth it).
Daily specials: Burger Mondays + “Night Owl” bites
Perfect pours, rowdy Brits, and traditional pub eats keeps this neighborhood watering hole steadily packed. The best bang for your buck is on Mondays, when 1/2lb burgers are $5 a pop; and late night, when Night Owl specials include $5 keema pizza and mac & cheese, $4 pile o’ frites, and $1.50 sliders.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3-7pm
Named after a big red cock (calm down, it’s a rooster) that sits proudly out front, this spunky haunt is a fine place to prevent/cure a hangover by filling yourself with delicious eats whilst you drink. Partaking in $5 “Apps & Taps” -- some of which include BACON JAM -- is exactly how you do that. Get chicken-fried pork belly with bacon jam, cheddar biscuits with bacon jam, and queso-smothered poutine and salmon tartare crostini that aren’t covered with bacon jam, but that’s OK.
Happy hour: Mon-Fri 3-6:30pm
Sometimes happy hour is less of a tornado of fire shots and pizza and more of a classy affair, as is the case at this sultry Portuguese spot. Cheap petiscos include $5 piri piri patatas, smoked salmon crostini, and grilled chorizo with romesco. Also $5? The super refreshing glass of sangria you are using to wash it all down.
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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer is happy spending Abes during happy hour because she’s saving all of her Hamiltons to see Hamilton. In the spirit of saving, if anyone has any ins for cheap tickets let her know @BrookeViggiano.