The restaurant scene in Santa Monica is one that’s truly fit for all kinds of cravings from Brian Malarkey’s seafood centric Herringbone to Carolos Tomazos’ Greek inspired Inotheke to the global Mozzarella bar Obicà.
Sufficed to say, a diverse set of offerings is great news for happy hour enthusiasts… as long as you know where to look.
That said, our goal with this list was simple: To present a curated rundown of the best happy hours in Santa Monica offering a range of cost options from the super casual to fancy-pants high end.
Some are weekly. Some are late-night. A few even last all day.
And what could be happier than that?
Enjoy the rundown, numbered only for reference, presented in no particular order.
1. The Independence
Tuesday through Friday between 3 to 7 p.m. guests can relax with some handcrafted drinks and a menu large enough to satisfy for dinner. Market salads and sandwiches range $9-$11 and bar snacks like Smoked Whitefish Toast, oysters and Parmesan Truffle Fries range $5-$9.
FIG at Five hour happens seven nights a week from 5 to 6 p.m. where almost everything is half off the entire menu excluding steaks and a few seafood items. That still leaves over 20 choices to during happy hour, from steamed clams to bucatini pasta.
This globally inspired farm-to-table restaurant hosts happy hour seven days a week from 5 to 7 p.m. in their downstairs bar and lounge. Drinks include $5 drafts and select bottles, $6 wine by the glass and $7 cocktails like Moscow Mule and Eastside. You’ll find an Asian inspired flatbread topped with Char Sui Pork, a duo of shrimp tacos drizzled in bacon-chipotle sauce and seared tuna salad run between $5-$12.
4. Santa Monica Seafood
One of the best seafood markets around also serves a killer early happy hour in their cafe Monday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. Snack on $2 oysters and a handful of other items like crab cakes, fritto misto and ceviche for around $5.
This Mediterranean eatery serves a delicious happy hour daily from 5 to 6:30 p.m. if you’re willing to eat at the bar. Order a couple of Greek bites ranging$4-$6 with options like the lamb meatballs, Gigantes, and Shrimp “Saganaki” flat bread. Pair it with a glass of “Happy Beer” for $5 or a Greek red or white for just $6 and you got yourself one fine meal.
Mercado’s happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on the weekends at the bar and communal tables. Drink specials include $4 Modelo Especial and $8 Hibiscus Margaritas paired with a special food menu ($5-$11) that includes jumbo sea scallop encrusted with pepitas, carnitas nachos and Choriqueso a mix of cheeses, chorizo, poblanos and mushrooms served with a side of fresh chips.
7. Solidarity LA
The recently renamed establishment (formerly known as Warzawa) serves their signature Polish cuisine during happy hourTuesdays through Friday from 5-7 p.m. The list delicious offerings includes $4 pierogis in a variety of stuffing, $5 small bites like Kopytka (Polish gnocchi) and chicken paprikash sliders. House beer is just $3, house wine $5 and a daily cocktail special is $5.
Freshly shucked $1 oysters can be found at Herringbone every Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. in their bar and lounge area with drink specials starting at a cool $5 and small bites like the Grilled Pork Belly, Avocado Toast and Truffle Soy Ginger Glaze Chicken Wings all ranging $3-$12.
9. Obicà Mozzarella Bar
This Italian hot spot hosts a Aperitivo Hour everyday from 4 to 7 p.m. at their bar where small plates of Arancini rice balls, deep fried Mozzarella di Bufala, mini pizzas and stuffed olives with beef range between $6-$10. House red and whites are $6, beers $5 and classic Italian cocktails are a cool $8.
10. Sushi Roku
Happy hour at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica is served Monday through Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and on the weekends from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sake, martinis, beers, sakes and wine are all just $5 and small bites like popcorn shrimp ceviche, sushi rolls and Robata-yaki skewers for $3-$6.
11. The Upper West
You’ll find happy hour at The Upper West every day from 5 to 7 p.m., with the deals extending to 10 p.m. on Mondays. Nick Shipp’s eclectic modern American dishes range from Braised Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps to Fried Texas Sweet Corn Fritters. All bar eats run between $6-$9, with limited rotating beers on draft for $5-$6, plus house or sparkling wines at $5-$6 and special cocktails for $6.
12. The Lobster
From a ginger honey bourbon to a rum martini, you’ll find an excellent list of $6 cocktails during this ocean view spot’s Happiest Hour running Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oh, and while you’re there you might try some their food offerings, including $12 lobster rolls, $9 crab taquitos or $2 oysters of the day.
13. Locanda del Lago
Locanda del Lago, a family owned Italian restaurant with Northern roots, offers a pretty sweet happy hour that runs from 4 to 7 p.m. throughout the entire room Sunday through Thursday and in the bar only on Friday through Saturday. Drinks include specialty cocktails ($9), premium wines ($8) and imported beers ($4). The farm-to-table happy hour menu features savory appetizers with some solid discounts such as the Filet Mignon Carpaccio ( just $10!) and mains like pizzas and burgers for $13-$15. One last thing: If you come on a Tuesday you’ll find that happy hour runs all night long!
14. Bodega Wine Bar
At Bodega Wine Bar happy hour is all day on Mondays and 5 to 7 p.m Tuesday through Friday, with an additional late night hour from 10 p.m. to close Sunday through Thursdays. With that many deals in place it won’t be hard to catch one of them on any given day! Grab some wine, beer or soju for $4-$6 a glass, pizzas for $8 and appetizers for $6. On top of the happy hours they also celebrate a few other things every week. Tuesdays they offer $2 tacos and half-off beers, and on Wednesdays you can pick a bottle of red or white for just $20. Oh, and Sundays they play board games all night long!
15. The Misfit
Happy hour from noon to 7 p.m. daily seems a bit crazy at first but when you’re craving a drink on the cheap at 3 p.m. in the afternoon you’ll be glad The Misfit is there for you. On top of that if you come on a weekday before 4 p.m. you’ll catch the Bar Fly Lunch Deal, $6 on daily specials like a tuna ahi burger or heirloom brown rice bowl.
16. Enterprise Fish Co.
Directly across from the beach sits Enterprise Fish Co. offering their seafood-centric happy hour Monday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Oysters are $1.50 and if you like oyster shooters they have three different kinds for just $2-$4 a pop. You can grab a wide variety of restaurant favorites like the shrimp quesadilla for $6 and premium plates like a lobster roll for $15. Pair it all with a cold beer on drought or bottled for $4-$9.
Where are your favorite happy hours in Santa Monica? Let us one your picks for the best in the comments below!