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A Complete Happy Hour Guide to Downtown Santa Monica

May 19, 2016
Basil Gimlet | A complete guide to happy hour in Downtown Santa Monica | $20 Date Los Angeles

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?


No. All that information is here for the taking.

You’re welcome.

Complete Guide to Happy Hours in Downtown Santa Monica | A perfectly curated lists of Los Angeles' best affordable Happy Hours | Whether you're a local or a tourist, you can enjoy and imbibe!


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:

Bar Chloe

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.

Bar Pintxo

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.

Barney’s Beanery

1351 3rd St. Promenade

Monday-Friday, 4-7pm

DRINK: $3.5 select drafts, $4.5 well drinks

Monday-Friday, 11:30am-2pm

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.

Border Grill

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.

Britannia Pub

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.

Cabo Cantina

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.

Copa D’Oro

217 Broadway

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.

The Independence

205 Broadway

Tuesday-Friday, 3-7pm

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!

Loteria Grill

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.

Pizza Antica

395 Santa Monica Place

Monday-Friday, 4-6pm

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

119 Broadway

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

Monday-Friday, 4-7pm

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.

The Misfit

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

Monday-Friday, 4-7pm

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!

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