From a social hour featuring wood-roasted Gulf oysters to happy hour-priced vindaloo chicken wings, check out where to unwind and say cheers to the happiest of all the hours.
Note: Be sure to look out for happy hour menus from brand-new spots such as Presidio or Viking-themed bar Ship & Shield (the latter of which already boasts drink specials Monday through Friday, 3 to 7 p.m., with plans to launch a happy hour food menu on Wednesday, March 1).
1111 Studewood, 832-582-7146
Happy hour: Daily, 3 to 6 p.m.
Hit the bar or patio to do happy hour, Italian-style, with Arthur Ave’s newly extended riposa — which offers half-off cocktails and beer, $5 wines, $6 classic pizzas and what is probably the creamiest, dreamiest version of penne alla vodka in town for the cost of a Hamilton (that’s $10, by the way). Sip on expertly crafted cocktails, from the herb-infused Arthur Ave G&T with juniper berries and grapefruit peel to a house cranberry and rum cocktail dubbed the Bada Boom. You’ll likely need a riposo (rest) after this one.
6025 Westheimer, 713-714-4111
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, 2 to 6 p.m.
The newest Beaver's location will be launching its happy hour on Friday, February 24, packed with $5 wines, draft beer (26 are on tap) and select cocktails like the Pineapple Daiquiri and the Spicy Julep. Hungry? There's $6 appetizers to help with that, including fan favorites like the Big Daddy Beaver Wings and totally addicting Smokey Queso. Hang out in the backyard with games, picnic tables and jams while you imbibe.
1835 North Shepherd, 713-868-0071 (Heights)
4306 Yoakum, 713- 337-1155 (Montrose)
Happy hour: Monday through Wednesday, 5 to 7 p.m.
Cane Rosso’s righteous Neapolitan pies are worth a visit any time of day, but during happy hour, a few of the hot-from-the-oven delights can be had for a steal. For $5, get the margherita or marinara pies, and for $7, dive into the Emma (sausage) and Ella (hot soppressata) numbers. In addition, the pizza joints will offer $5 house cocktails — including barrel-aged Old Fashioneds and an incredibly refreshing frozen limoncello, plus $5 select wines by the glass and $3 Peroni beer.
Fusion Taco – Heights
4706 North Main, 713-422-2882
Happy hour: Daily, 3 to 7 p.m.
While the downtown location offers beer and wine only, Fusion Taco’s newest locale boasts a full liquor license. That means you can now sip on $5 margaritas in addition to $4 micheladas and $3 beers. You’ll need them to wash down tacos stacked with spiced lamb keema, barbecue Berkshire pork and tempura Gulf shrimp.
2356 Rice, 713-523-8652
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m.
With Hungry's Rice Village expansion and the opening of Upstairs comes a brand-new happy hour. Hit the terrace to get a prime view of the oak trees lining Rice Boulevard and nosh on light bites, wood-fired pizzas and a lineup of handcrafted cocktails, including an Old Fashioned, a Grapefruit Spritz, a Bellini and a Frozé that's sure to be a warm-weather favorite.
4601 Washington, 713-842-7114
Happy hour: Tuesday through Friday, 3 to 7 p.m. + daily specials
One of the most generous happy hours on the list, the good times at Kitchen 713 span four hours. Quench your thirst with $6 wells or Deep Eddy, Flor De Cana, Four Roses, Beefeater, Altos Silver and Reposado; $6 wines by the glass; $3-off craft cocktails, including a charred grapefruit Paloma, sorghum Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour and Beauty & Brains; and $5 taps, including Dogfish Head Namaste, Brash EZ-7, Brooklyn Lager, Green Flash Soul Style IPA, Real Ale Axis IPA. Globally inspired bar bites — think boudin croquettes, turkey neck poutine and vindaloo chicken wings — run from $6 to $9, and don’t miss daily specials like Tequila Tuesday and Wine Down Wednesdays.
Local Foods – Downtown
420 Main. 713-227-0531
Happy hour: Daily, 4 to 7 p.m.
Hit the youngest Local Foods for happy hour every day that ends with a “y” (we’ll help you out, that’s every single day). Small plates are $10 and under, and drinks — beer, sangria, wine and craft cocktails — will run you $4 to $6. Start with $2 Matagorda Bay oyster shooters, kicked with vodka, house bloody mix, lemon oil and chives; or go for the balsamic-parm Brussels spouts ($5.50) and edamame spinach dip ($8) to share.
1230 West 20th, 713-333-5531
Happy hour: Weekdays until 8 p.m. + daily specials
You’ll have to head to this party spot early if you want the best seat in the house, and that seat is actually more like a swing set sitting pretty at the patio’s center. Get $4 “Big Ass Lite Beers,” $5 Deep Eddy specials and $2 off all whiskey, plus daily specials like the newly debuted Tuesday Night steak night and weekend crawfish boils (during the season). Be sure to check out the rotating lineup of food trucks, from Sticky’s Chicken and Coreanos to the Taqueria Barba Taco Truck.
2048 Colquitt, 346-319-5919
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 7 p.m.
Housed in a 1930s-era bungalow, this casually cool neighborhood spot offers happy hour specials alongside a lineup of bumpin’ beats, from ’70s classic rock to Outkast. Get $5 red and white wines by the glass, plus a $5 beer and shot special. Then there's the pièce de résistance: half-price oysters. Tack on a few shareable plates, from the dukkah-spiced house “chex mix” to beer-battered sweet potato tots with harissa and goat cheese (the dishes may not be happy hour deals, but the price is right).
The Union Kitchen – Ella
3452 Ella, 713-681-0022
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m.
TUK’s fresh-faced Ella location has a weekday happy hour worth leaving work early for. Get $5 house wine, $4 draft beer; $4.50 premium draft selections and $5 cocktails, including martinis, French 75s and margaritas. As for the grub, $5 small happy hour plates include sliders, chicken quesadillas, Frito pie, hummus and spinach and artichoke dip.
1777 Walker, 713-400-3330
Happy hour: Monday through Friday, 3 to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This brand-new stunner from powerhouse restaurateurs Tracy Vaught and chef Hugo Ortega showboats a brand-new happy hour, with weekday offerings and Saturday hours to boot. Get reduced-price wood-roasted Gulf oysters dolloped with mole Amarillo and cotija cheese or tomatillo mignonette, plus $6 to $7 libations, from the Hugo Rita and Mojito Clásico to The Houstonian, a bourbon cocktail via sister restaurant Backstreet Cafe that gets kissed with praline, vermouth and Mexican spice syrup. Beer selections will run you $3.50 to $4, while select red, white and rosé wines are $22 per bottle (or $6 a glass).