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Restaurants / Lists

Houston’s 10 Best Happy Hours — How to Eat (and Drink) at Top Restaurants on the Cheap

Your Guide to Food and Drink Super Bargains

BY // 04.18.19

Sometimes, life can get you down. From waking up on the wrong side of the bed to things just not going your way, it can be easy to get down in the dumps. But don’t worry, be happy. Go to a Houston happy hour.

There’s nothing to lift your spirits like spirits themselves. If it’s time to unwind after work, that means it’s arguably the top timing of the day: Happy hour. Luckily, it always goes past that 60-minute mark.

Crazy-low prices and specials on booze and bites are sure to brighten your day, or to make a solid day even better. Happy hour is the perfect opportunity to sample some of Space City’s finest restaurants, from their savory shareables to creative cocktails.

PaperCity has rounded up Houston’s 10 Best Happy Hours to keep you satisfied all week long. We’re happy to help. 

Wooster’s Garden

3315 Milam

This breezy, half open-air and half patio bar with a classic-cool vibe does get pretty packed on the weekends. But if you play it right and hit it during happy hour, you won’t see winding lines. And you can enjoy it during a lazy weekday, too. Hours run from 4 pm to 6 pm, Mondays through Saturdays.

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First, there are the classic, must-have beer discounts — just $3 for beers on tap. And then there’s half off the house wine. But did somebody say half-off house cocktails?

There are legit 46, split up into categories like sour and tart, with the tequila and cherry bark bitters combo El Camino, refreshing and balanced, with the sake-meets-Pimm’s Cup called Tokyo Pimm’s, refreshing and spicy, tropical and tiki and so much more. Pick your poison for any mood.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

4310 Westheimer

This whiskey-driven River Oaks District hot spot is a beloved gastro pub, featuring the finest in elevated American eats in rustic-chic environs. There’s never a bad time to check out this cozy-yet-sprawling space — especially not during brunch — but happy hour’s a stellar choice.

Running from 3 to 6 pm Mondays through Fridays, happy hour at Bosscat brings serious drink specials like all Texas draft beers, house wines and well drinks for the small sum of $5.

Food specials range from $5 to $6, with mighty bites for a fair price. Think innovative Dr. Pepper wings, the signature Bosscat grilled cheese and avocado toast, on the healthier side, to name just a few.

boss cat kitchen Houston
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations offers serious happy hour deals.

Better Luck Tomorrow

544 Yale

The dynamic duo Bobby Heugel  — certified cocktail connoisseur responsible for Anvil, Tongue-cut Sparrow and more  — and talented chef Justin Yu hit it big with Better Luck Tomorrow, better known as BLT.

It may be its cushy curbside appeal in The Heights with a cozy patio off of 6th street that makes it stand out. But it’s probably the drinks, best enjoyed at happy hour, which runs weekdays from 3:30 to 5 pm.

Every cocktail is a whopping 50 percent off, from straightforward and simple Japanese Highballs to Page Turners with rye, strawberry and Italian bitters, and the Salty Cat with gin and grapefruit. Wine bottles are 25 percent off.

Then, we have to give a shout-out to the Houston Weather Specials. They’re not restricted by time of day, but by weather. If it’s hotter than 95 degrees, highballs are half-off. If it’s raining, hurricanes are half-off, and when it’s under 40 degrees, hot toddies are half-off. It’s all too easy to weather the weather, whatever the weather.

Postino Wine Cafe

642 Yale

This one’s a little funky, fitting in with the casual and approachable vibe of this Valley original. The first Bayou City Postino — the second is slated for Montrose —has many asking wine not? And you can’t blame them, what with Postino’s inventive happy hours — plural.

The first happy hour deal is really one for daydream believers. Vino fans can sip a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or the wine of their choosing for just $5 from 11 am to 5 pm. Meanwhile, you can get a pitcher of draft beer for just $5.

But good things truly come to those who wait, like the late-night Monday and Tuesday deals. After 8 pm, you can select a bottle of wine and a bruschetta flight — four slices each of four different styles — for just $25 total. You’d better believe brie and prosciutto make an appearance. 

Goode Co. Seafood

2621 Westpark

Ambience counts for a lot, and you just can’t beat an offbeat, redesigned railcar. This killer seafood haunt’s happy hour keeps going all week long, running from Mondays through Fridays, 3 to 6 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm.

Cocktails run the gamut, all for $7, whether you want a whiskey smash, specialty Luckenbach mule, strawberry mojito or even the oh-so-seasonally appropriate Planter’s Punch.

But the bites are where Goode Co.’s happy hour truly stands out. Think bacon-wrapped Texas shrimp, mini campechana, peel-n-eat shrimp and redfish beignets — the latter of which are only available during happy hour — all for less than $10. Or go big with a whopping chilled seafood tower for a literally cool $55.

Poitin

2313 Edwards

This curiously named hot spot has made Sawyer Yards a true dining destination. The creative eats are strong with this one, as it’s a mixture of contemporary bar and a Southern kitchen with a global spin.

Happy hour makes the most of that combo with an impressive bar snacks and happy hour menu. Happy hour bites run from 4 to 6 pm Thursdays through Mondays and 9 pm until close Sundays through Wednesdays. All snacks are $3 off, except the giant cookie. Think lamb barbacoa tacos with jicama and hummus with lamb neck.

For drinks, feel free to imbibe 3 to 6 pm Thursday through Monday and 9 pm to close Sunday through Wednesday. Expect $2 off all draft beer, $8 rotating cocktails and $5 for select glasses of wine.

poitin
Poitin’s eats will be on proud display.

UB Preserv

1609 Westheimer

Chris Shepherd’s splashy Underbelly spin-off is all about preserving the chef’s central ethos while ditching some of the rules. That’s led to truly inspired dishes telling the story of the people of the community, one bite at a time.

There’s no better way to get a taste than happy hour, which runs Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 6:30 pm, and Friday and Saturdays, 5 to 6 pm. It may not be long, but it sure is mighty.

Head to Montrose for half-off tiki bowls — all served in flames. Then, there’s beer from $3 to $3.50, for the less adventurous, select glasses of wine from $4.50 to $5.50, and $7 cocktails. Don’t forget to chow down on boudin siu mai and the pickle plate while you’re there. The food menu rotates, but it’s always got bragging rights. 

Nobu

5115 Westheimer

Chef Nobu and Robert De Niro’s smash hit Nobu finally hit Houston last year, adding some sushi savvy to The Galleria. While it may be best known for the chef’s stellar signature miso black cod, you can also experience the best of the best the sushi spot has to offer thanks to happy hour.

Tanoshi Hour run all week long from 5 to 7 pm, with cold bites like yellowtail sashimi, salmon with dry miso and crispy rice cube with spicy yellowtail all for $10, plus sushi maki and hot bites such as rock shrimp tempura for $12.

Drink specials are definitely on the table, with hot or cold sake for $10, plus great deals on Asian beers and cocktails. The cocktails aren’t exactly the cheapest for happy hour — with lychee martinis and the like coming in at $12 — but it’s the refreshing flavor and the food deals that make Nobu’s happy hour more than worth it.

Salmon with wasabi salsa at A Festive Fall Luncheon at Nobu in The Galleria Wednesday Oct. 10,2018.

Helen in The Heights

1111 Studewood

Do as the Greeks do at Helen, with authentic, light Mediterranean dishes that would make even native Athenians swoon. From the cozy interior to the stylish patio overlooking Studewood, there’s no bad seat in the house.

Happy hour, which runs from 3:30 to 6:30 pm Tuesdays through Fridays and then an uber-irresistible all day on Thursdays, gives you a satisfying tour of the Greek isles. Think trios of dips, feta-brined chicken wings and marinated olives all for $10 and under.

The select beers fore $3 aren’t too shabby, and neither is the select glasses of wine for $9 and select bottles for $27. But the true takeaway is the $5 cocktails, with classics like the French 75, Old Fashioned and Cosmopolitan.

Night Heron

1601 West Main

Night Heron, one of the many celebrate Agricole Hospitality concepts, is known for its carefully curated cocktail menu with inspired takes on traditional boozy beverages. Tucked away in the old Lowbrow space, it’s kind of a happy hour fiend’s dream.

Running from 5 to 7 pm Wednesdays through Fridays— and a thrilling all day on Mondays — three of their ever-popular cocktails come in at just $7. The Salty Dog may just be the house favorite, with honeysuckle vodka, grapefruit, black pepper and vanilla. But it’s also hard to beat their updated Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail with citrus peel and coconut-lime cordial.

You can also enjoy $7 glasses of a Gruner Veltliner and Sangiovese, plus $3 beers from Houston and Austin.

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