I looooove me a good happy hour. Eating out with friends or for a date has always been a great treat but a hard way for me to spend my cash. “What? I can make this for $2 at home!” I would think in my head. But the drop in restaurant attendance during the recession lured a number of relatively fancy-pants and pricey national establishments to introduce happy hour deals. Now you can enjoy fine dining at (relatively) frugal prices!
Since every state has different happy hour laws, some menus may vary slightly, and call ahead to confirm times.
Here are 6 11 fine dining happy hour deals around the country:
1. McCormick & Schmick’s: This steakhouse offers a great food and drink menu seven days a week, both afternoons (4-6p weekdays, 3-6p weekends) and late night (10p-12a Mon – Sat, 9-11p Sunday). Sample menu (Seattle location) offers appetizers (including hummus, sliders, seafood, and spinach dip) range from $2.99-4.99 and $5.99 will get you a full meal of fish tacos or cheeseburger and fries. Happy hour food is available with a minimum $3.25 drink purchase per person; drinks range from domestic draft beer ($3.50), imported/craft beer ($4.50), well spirits ($4), wine and cocktails ($6), and martinis ($7). Other locations appear to offer slight changes to the menu at similar prices.
2. Morton’s Steakhouse: Morton’s Bar Bites menu starts at $6, sample menu items include truffle fries, crab cake BLTs, and mini prime cheeseburgers available for purchase in the bar. Drink prices range from about $5.50 for beer to $8 for cocktails. Their Power Hour website is an easy way to confirm local times and menu items; some locations offer the deals Sun – Fri, others include Saturday, and in Scottsdale, AZ, you can order from the Bar Bites menu anytime!
3. Fleming’s: I found this one when I had a $50 gift card that I knew wouldn’t even feed me, much less my husband too, on a date night. Luckily, Fleming’s has their “5 for 6 ’til 7” menu in the bar. Five offerings in each category (cocktails, wines, and appetizers) for $6 each, until 7pm. They also have an entree cheeseburger or shrimp for $6 and a featured beer at a discount. Due to liquor laws, though, drink specials not available in TN, Charlotte, NC, OK, RI, or UT… but if you eat enough pan crisped pork belly or sweet chili calamari, you may not notice.
4. The Palm: PrimeTime at The Palm steakhouse will get you 50% off items in the bar on the PrimeBites menu from 5-7pm, Sun-Fri, at participating locations. No discount on drinks, but offerings include Nova Scotia lobster and bacon fondue, crabcakes, and steak sliders.
5. Ruth’s Chris Steak House: The Sizzle, Swizzle, Swirl menu of food and drinks is available in the bar, weekdays, for $7 each at participating locations. Includes yummy cocktails, wine, beer, and entrees such as steakburgers, smoked salmon, and ahi tuna. Call ahead for times.
6. PF Chang’s: It’s not quite Morton’s Steakhouse, but I’ll still take a good deal at this pricier Chinese joint. Many locations offer their “triple happiness hour” with drinks, dim sum, and “street fare.” Beers are around $3, sake $4, wines and cocktails $5-6. Most dim sum offerings are $4-6 for food like lettuce wraps, dumplings, and crab wontons. Street fare includes egg rolls, spring rolls, and spare ribs for $3-6. Hours vary, in Washington the happy hour is available from 3-6 Mon – Fri.
7. Brio Tuscan Grill: Ivette says, “Brio Tuscan Grill has a great happy hour until 7pm Mon-Fri.”
8. Claim Jumper: Myke says, “Claim Jumper has a great happy hour with good choices ranging from $2 to $8 in the bar.”
9. Tommy Bahama: Jean says, “Tommy Bahama restaurant locations have Island Time Happy Hour (usually 3-6pm daily) in the bar with drink and appetizer specials. Selection may vary by location.”
10. Yard House: Jean says, “Also, the Yard House has a great happy hour (Monday – Friday 3pm – 6pm) with special prices on drinks and 1/2 price select appetizers. These are generously sized, great to share.”
11. Macaroni Grill: Rachel says, “Macaroni Grill is a good happy hour!”
What are your favorite happy hour restaurants?