By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m.
There's a surefire cure for the blues, and that's a beautiful early evening with the crowds on the rooftop bar at Cafe Adobe. And while the atmosphere is the real draw, the deals are excellent. Margaritas are $3 during happy hour. On the rooftop bar from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays though Fridays, the food deals kick in, with a damn cheap happy hour menu of quesadillas, nachos, guacamole and the like for around 40 percent off regular prices. If the party on the roof doesn't make your spirits soar, your reasonably priced meal (and buzz) might.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Yelapa Playa Mexicana
If you want something other than standard Tex-Mex with your margaritas, look no further than the simultaneously laid-back and trendy Yelapa Playa Mexicana, which offers a bad-ass happy hour menu — in the bar only. Margaritas are stout and run $4 a pop, and there are other deals on tequila and Mexican beer. As for the happy hour food, it's high-class and reasonably priced — try the campechana, pastor-style pork belly tacos and smoked-beef-and-goat cheese chalupas. There's also a reverse happy hour (drinks only) from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
Happy hours: Monday through Saturday noon-7 p.m.
The Cadillac Bar's regulars flock here for the funky atmosphere and good-time vibe. They also flock here for the $3.50 margaritas, which are nice and limey and, frankly, might go down a little too easily. The deals don't end there, though. There's a great happy hour menu — the $2 section features taquitos, chicken quesadillas or chile con queso with chips. And if you aren't a disciple of the margarita, there's also $2 domestic beers, $2.75 imports, half-off wine, $4 martinis and $2 wells.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 2-7 p.m.
It's always fun to watch drinkers from other parts of the city make their way into Poison Girl on Westheimer, making that slightly disapproving face when they realize they are on someone else's turf. There ain't no bottle service here, just a backyard and cheap drinks. Happy hours feature $2 wells and $2.50 drafts, but you will more than likely end up staying for a few more, seeing that the prices are pretty low even during regular hours.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 5-8 p.m.
1005 W. 19th St.
For most folks in the Loop, Big Star is somewhat of a destination bar. It's on the northwest side of the Heights away from the usual Washington and Westheimer drags, but that is its charm and is what keeps it so pristine. The closest bar is Cedar Creek around the block, and those folks rarely venture over. Once you start drinking at Big Star, you are pretty much locked in for the night.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 4-9 p.m.
Instead of having the same boring happy hour special every night, Catbirds mixes it up a little each HH with various deals and combos. On Mondays, $5 will get you a bottle of Lone Star and a shot of Jägermeister, which is always a perfect warm-up lap for your HH carousing. Sundays are a big day here, offering reasonably priced champagne and OJ to make your own mimosas and $2 domestic bottles until closing time. Catbirds is always stocked full of regulars, but rest assured the uninitiated will fit right in.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 3-8 p.m.
600 W. Gray
Cecil's on West Gray used to be the favorite haunt of influential comedian and Houston native Bill Hicks when he was scorching the Earth with his rants. On Monday nights, you can get more than enough liquid courage to fuel your own rants on their $1 Well & Lonestar Night, when the inside and outside of Cecil's is filled to the brim with thirsty Montrosians getting their cheap drink on. The pours are stiff here, even for the daily specials.
Happy hours: Seven days a week 4-8 p.m.
Oishii could serve frozen Gorton's fish sticks wrapped in nori and call it the best sushi in town, and we'd still keep our mouths shut. You know why? A happy hour featuring $1.25 domestics and $1.75 imported beers, with large hot sake for $3 and house wine for $4, that's why. The appetizers are $4 each (really $2, since it's buy one, get one free), so even if the food's not always phenomenal, you can afford to experiment until you find a combination of dishes you like. That or drink $1.75 Kirin and eat mounds of onion rings and fried bananas. We won't judge you.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 3-7 p.m.; Saturday 3-6 p.m.
If you've got nearly $100 to drop on some raw fish, try Chef Hori's impressive tasting-menu. If you want to see what Kata Robata is capable of without pawning anything, the happy hour menu features some outstanding rolls and appetizers for around $4 to $6, plus the usual discounted "martinis," beer and wine. Try the slightly spicy Rodeo roll or the delicately fried Phoenix roll. If you're not into sushi, there's lamb, mussels and $1 yakitori chicken available, and call drinks are only $5.