You know what I really hate?
When I need a damn drink stat and I can’t figure out where the nearest live happy hour is.
YOU: Danielle, just go get a drink somewhere.
ME: Please. Like I’m really about to pay full price! Cheaper drinks means we can afford to order more food.
Normally I’ve got a sixth sense that tingles when a happy hour or a dead person is near. But when that sense is occasionally dull, I’m forced to resort to a random Google search of “Happy Hours Near Me”, and that’s just too much effort for me handle sifting through when mama’s thirsty.
As I’m sure you can tell, I get a little feisty when I want – no, need – a Happy Hour.
Call me the Veruca Salt of the Happy Hour realm because…
So I’m creating lists, like any good, organized (read: anal retentive) woman does so that we can all rejoice and find a happy hour that meets our needs at arms reach.
The first of this Happy Hour Guide series covers Downtown Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade. Check back regularly or like Twenty Dollar Date on Facebook if you wanna get updates when there’s a new Happy Hour list. Bye-bye, Google.
You lookin’ for food? You lookin’ for drinks? You lookin’ for times? You wanna goddamn Waze your way there RIGHT NOW? You want a freakin’ personal recommendation?
ISN’T THAT A LOT TO ASK OF A GIRL WHO HASN’T EVEN HAD A DRINK YET?!
No. All that information is here for the taking.
DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA & THIRD STREET PROMENADE HAPPY HOURS
Let’s start our Happy Hour tour with Downtown Santa Monica. The beach breeze in your hair, plenty of people watching, and a completely walkable bar scene… just try to resist drunk shopping at Forever 21.
In alphabetical order:
1449 2nd Street
Monday-Thursday, 6-8pm, Friday, 5-8pm
DRINK: $4-$6 select wines, beers and cocktails
FOOD: $5-7 appetizers
$20 Date Recommends: Go with the cocktails and feel a lil fancy.
109 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA, 90401
Every Day, 4pm to 6:30pm
DRINK: $6 Sangria, $5 select cocktails (wine/beer license liquors only)
FOOD: $6 Tapas
$20 Date Recommends: Cave and get the Cava. But don’t forget some authentic Spanish apps.
1351 3rd St. Promenade
DRINK: $3.5 select drafts, $4.5 well drinks
FOOD: $6.95 Lunch Specials
$20 Date Recommends: Snag a seat on the patio if you can. It makes for great people watching.
1447 4th Street
Monday through Friday, 4pm to 7pm
DRINK: Specials on select wines, beers and cocktails
FOOD: Specials for Benihana Bites and select rolls
$20 Date Recommends: Lull in the date? Sneak a peek at the chef skills at the tables to boost conversation.
1445 4th Street
Monday-Friday, 4-7pm; Friday-Saturday, 9-11pm
DRINK: $5 sangria, $6 margaritas, $5 draft beer, $6 white and red wine
FOOD:$5 appetizers, $3.50 tacos.
$20 Date Recommends: Border Margarita. 100% Blue Agave Tequila and just a hint of sweetness.
318 Santa Monica Blvd
Monday-Friday, 3-7pm (Drinks) and 4-7pm (Food)
DRINK: $4 well drinks, wine and premium beer; $3 domestic beer
FOOD: Select $5 meals
BRUNCH DAILY, 9am-12pm
DRINK: $5 mimosa, $7 Bloody Mary
$20 Date Recommends: British pub? Gotta go after the Famous Britannia Fish and Chips – just $5 at Happy Hour.
1240 3rd St. Promenade
Every Day, 4-8pm and Late Night 10:30pm-12:30am
DRINK: 2-for-1 Drinks (Seriously)
FOOD: Call (310) 393-5755 or check online for food specials (especially during game days)
$20 Date Recommends: 2-for-1 Patron shots. Seriously, where else can you do this for so cheap? Tell me.
Every Day until 8pm and ALL DAY Monday
DRINK: $5 off cocktails, $4 off wine, $2 off beer
FOOD: $2 off food
$20 Date Recommends: Make a reservation (Free! No Minimum!) And go with a cocktail. The cocktails may be cheap but they are not cheap on the booze – and they’re all delicious.
DRINK: $5-$6 cocktails, $5 house wine, $5 beer of the day
FOOD: $5-$10 Snacks (some of which you could really make a meal out of)
$20 Date Recommends: Mmm… the Paloma. Can you notice a grapefruit juice trend with me? The $5 grilled rosemary focaccia will not disappoint you either.
Lago (aka Locanda Del Lago)
231 Arizona Avenue
Every Day, 4-7pm; Tuesdays ALL NIGHT (at the bar)
DRINK: $9 specialty cocktails, $8 premium wines, $5 house wines
FOOD: Discounted appetizers (most $10 and under)
$20 Date Recommends: Happy Hour is cool, but check the Daily Specials. My personal fave is Locals Monday – FREE CORKAGE. So don’t forget that ID, Angelenos!
1251 3rd Street Promenade
All Day Taco Tuesday
DRINK: $3 Draft Beers
FOOD: $3 Signature Tacos
$20 Date Recommends: If you’re really hungry, give the daily specials a gander – Under $15 for a full sized meal completed with some specialty tacos
1416 4th Street
Monday-Friday, 5-7pm; Saturday-Sunday, 4-6pm (Bar & Communal Tables Only)
DRINK: $8-9 specialty cocktails, $4 draft beer
FOOD: $5-9 small plates
$20 Date Recommends: Hot day? Hot date? Hibiscus Margarita has you covered. Refreshing and slightly sweet. Hopefully just like your date.
Michael’s Santa Monica
1147 Third Street
Monday-Saturday, 5pm to Close
DRINK: $8 cocktails, $5 select beers, $7 wine
FOOD: $3 oysters, $6 appetizers
$20 Date Recommends: Stick with Happy Hour items or you’re going over budget – FAST. But that’s an easy ask with mixology cocktails and oysters on the Happy Hour menu.
395 Santa Monica Place
DRINK: $6 house wine, $3-5 draft beer
FOOD: Special pizza prices (unlisted on web)
$20 Date Recommends: Share a pizza to stay in budget. Oops.
Sonoma Wine Garden
395 Santa Monica Place
Every Day, 3pm to 7pm; LATE NIGHT Thursday-Saturday, 10pm-Close
DRINK: Drink specials in the bar or garden
FOOD: Special prices on small plates in the bar or garden
$20 Date Recommends: Grab a drink near the end of Happy Hour and stay long enough to gaze over one of the best views to watch the sun set over the Pacific.
The Craftsman Bar + Kitchen
Every Day, 4pm to 8pm
DRINK: $5 well drinks, $5 house cocktails, $5 house wine, $4 Lagunitas IPA & PBR
FOOD: $5 snacks and $7 burgers
$20 Date Recommends: Give the Brown Derby a ride. It’s an unusual sounding combination, but I bet you’ll give it a win.
The Curious Palate
395 Santa Monica Place
DRINK: Half-price select wine and beer
FOOD: There’s food, but no special happy hour pricing
$20 Date Recommends: You can eat, but it’s definitely not gonna be in budget.. unless you stick to the sides menu ONLY. Don’t go hungry because it’s not gonna end well for your wallet.
225 Santa Monica Blvd
Every Day, 12-7pm
DRINK: $6 selected cocktails, beer and wine; $23 Sangria Pitchers
FOOD: No Happy Hour specific food specials, but try the Monday-Friday $5 Bar Fly lunch (Ends at 4pm)
$20 Date Recommends: As if you weren’t already drinking here already… but if you wanna know my faves (and the surprise you get if you eat) read all about it here!
The Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel
1111 2nd Street
DRINK: Unspecified Drink Specials
FOOD: Unspecified Small Bites
$20 Date Recommends: Skeptical about the lack of labeling of their prices… but the views make up for it. Three words: ENCLOSED ROOFTOP BAR.
1413 5th Street
ALL DAY, Sunday-Monday; Tuesday-Saturday, 4-7:30pm (Bar and Lounge ONLY)
DRINK: $5 Sake Bombs, hot sake, house wine, draft beer, sangria, and well drinks
FOOD: Various sushi rolls (under $10) and appetizers (under $7)
$20 Date Recommends: Whatever you’re hankering, its probably on Happy Hour. Relax under the beach breeze outdoors on the upper lounge patio.
Ye Olde King’s Head
116 Santa Monica Blvd
Monday-Friday, 4-7pm (Pub Only)
DRINK: Drink specials (unlisted)
FOOD: Food specials (unlisted)
$20 Date Recommends: The best times to go also happen to be the most crowded, so prepare your vocal chords and eardrums to speak loudly. Show up to watch the next football game (Note: Not American Football. SOCCER. It’s a British pub, after all) to catch some pretty fun foreigners. Or stay late on a Wednesday for 8pm trivia night (and say hi to Ron!)
Please note the above list is accurate (to my knowledge) as of May 2016. I will do my best to keep it as updated as possible! If you know of a new happy hour in the area, or are a business who would like yours added to our list, please leave a comment below or email [email protected] so I can add you!
What’s the best happy hour you’ve been to on this list and why? Share in the comments!