If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post
This week, we're moving on to the finest bars and restaurants in Houston's downtown.
Batanga Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This sultry lounge and patio pops off during the weekday happy hour. Come for $5 sangria, mojitos, or red and white wines by the glass, $3 select beers, and $4 tapas. We love the big, meaty Castilian-style pork ribs in a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar glaze, crisp and smoky patatas, and mojo-marinated chicken and plantains.
MKT Bar Monday through Friday 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Check out this charming little bar, located right inside Phoenicia Specialty Foods, for live music, $3 to $4 local brews, $5 house wines by the glass, and $6 bar bites. The menu includes housemade plantain chips with mango salsa and za'atar-dusted hand-cut fries with spicy Moroccan ketchup, but look out for special events like the Monday Fun & Games Night -- featuring $16 craft beer pitchers and $2 off pizzas; and Tuesday Steak Night -- featuring a chimichurri steak, salad, and twice-baked potato or fries for $12.99 (both daily specials are available from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.).
The Blue Fish Daily 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Unwind with $4 Sapporos, house sake, well drinks, and house wines by the glass at this Bayou Place sushi joint. Another $5 will get you a selection of handrolls, crab potstickers, seafood tempura, and more. There's even a mini version of the restaurant's famous "Ahi Tower." If you're craving something sweet, finish it all off with $3 chocolate spring rolls or mochi ice cream.
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The Grove Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bar & Patio
Located in downtown's charming Discovery Green, this stunning eatery is the perfect place to relax and throw back a few. Sit at the bar or patio to nosh on $4 snacks -- like chili-and-lime chicharrones, fried pickles, and wild mushroom mac' and cheese; or $8 bar bites -- like al pastor or grilled beef sliders and tuna tacos. You'll find $2.50 select domestics, $3.50 wells, and $5.50 houses wines by the glass, but may we suggest the killer housemade cocktails? A raspberry margarita, sangria, or dirty martini will cost you just $5.
OKRA Charity Saloon Monday through Friday 4 to 6:30 p.m.
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Downtown's most striking bar offers $3 drafts, $4 wells, and half-priced wine by the glass during their weekday social hour. And while food isn't on the happy hour menu, a selection of $5 bar bites -- including pickled and fried okra, beef jerky, and three kinds of waffle fries -- won't break the bank. If you're really hungry, hot and fresh panini stuffed with goodies like salami, fresh mutz, and smoked pork are sure to please. The sandwiches are $9 each, but hey, it's for charity!
For our guide to the best cheap lunch spots by neighborhood, see here.
For our guide to the best brunch spots by neighborhood, see here.