I don’t know about you but I absolutely love summertime in Los Angeles. Yes it gets hot, yeah traffic still sucks but that all melts away when you step into an awesome happy hour and leave all the city drama behind.
But what makes an awesome summer happy hour, you ask?
Well, first I look at the atmosphere, like having an killer rooftop view or outrageously entertaining decor.
Second I check out and approve the menu because who wants a watered down drink or a bland discount taco? NOT me!
Lastly I look at the price (but don’t skimp on the quality). If the thought crosses mind “Woah, that’s a really good deal for tasty it was…” then I know I’ve succeeded in finding a winning spot.
Sound like your kind of jam? Time dive into your summer.
List starts after the jump (in no particular order)
1. EMC Seafood & Raw Bar
There’s nothing like digging into oysters and throwing back a couple of cold beers on a hot summer day. Koreatown’s EMC is a seafood hotspot drawing it’s crowd with their deal on Happy Hour oysters modestly priced at $1. Don’t worry about quality here, their oysters are briny and fresh! Happy Hour draft beer and wine will also be on special for $5. EMC also has a reverse happy hour which runs Sunday through Thursday from 10:00pm to close.
2. Good Times at Davey Wayne’s
Throwback bar, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, guarantees to transport’s you to the ’70s where you’ve been invited to a neighbors homes for some summer night drinking and Texas BBQ. Enter through the large refrigerator door inside of a garage that’s actually holding a real sale of vintage items.
When you make it through the doors music from Marvin Gaye and the Eagles are blasting and the nostalgia continues onto the drink menu serving up Mai Tais, Hurricanes and cocktail’s like “Tiny Dancer” and “The Regal Beagle,” beer is served in a orange mug emblazoned with the words “#1 DAD” on it! Monday through Fridays happy hour runs from 4:00pm – 8:00pm, Saturdays through Sundays 2:00pm – 6:00 pm.
The bar keeps up the theme with live entertainment including bands, a rollerskating duet and even a trampoline show. Outside next to a camper, you can order up some Texan-styled BBQ, find a hammock chair to sit in and know that life is all groovy.
3. Villains Tavern
Villains Tavern lures you in with it’s eclectic vintage decor and artisanal drinks. The huge wrap-around patio with an outdoor stage for live events like blues, folk, soul and bluegrass performances makes this place a fun and lively spot for summer. Happy Hour runs from Tuesday through Sunday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm. You will find a lengthy list of libations for $8 until 8:00pm. with nom food specials for just $5.
4. Ortega 120
What kind of summer list would this be if I didn’t find you the best margarita out there? At Ortega 120 you’ll find a famous house margarita featured in Esquires Best Bars in America and our very own Best Spots To Get A Margarita. It’s a 16-ounce pour that could totally double as two cocktails. Their weeknight happy hour runs Monday 4:00pm to close, Tuesday through Thursday 4:00pm – 6:00pm, Friday through Sunday (SCORE! a weekend Happy Hour) 3:00pm – 5:00pm. A margarita will cost you $5 during Happy Hour BUT opt for the pitcher ($20) you won’t regret it, or maybe you will but thats the next day, live in the moment!
Dinner is served amigos! Come in and try our weekend specials, and we've got you covered from start to finish with our coctel "Pisco y Pina"…Kappa Pisco, fresh pineapple, lime, lemon, agave…fort course, Bruschetta de Camarones! Shrimp, roasted pineapple, zucchini, peppers, baby tomatoes and pineapple sauce…second course, 8oz Yellowtail, quinoa, dirty rice, roasted garlic, cotija, artichoke, creamy caper sauce and of course there's always room for dessert! Mexican Coke Float with Ibarra chocolate, vanilla ice cream, Mexican coke #ortega120 #redondobeach #especiales #coctels #comida #tequila
5. The Virgil
This cocktail bar and venue has a later running Happy Hour than most bars out there, happening from 7:00pm – 9:00pm nightly and Tuesdays til midnight. Their menu has $5 drafts, $6 wines and wells and $8 craft cocktails, I prefer the Eastside a cucumber gin concoction with lime juice, mint – shaken and served up.
The drinks are tasty but there are two other reasons it made the list – the entertainment options are vast and I have to say really entertaining (If you ever get to catch The Super Serious Show I suggest you go), dance parties, storytelling and comedy shows happen all week if not every night at The Virgil.
The thing that topped if for me was the taco truck parked outside, The Virgil allowed guest to actually bring in their order to accompany their libations. My kinda place.
6. Copa d’ Oro
Copa d’Oro in Santa Monica makes some of the best craft cocktails in the city. If you order a Vodka Tonic here you are truly missing out. The bar sources fresh organic produce from local farmers and premium ingredients from around the world. Order their Caribbean Collins, a dark rum, passion fruit, fresh lime mixed with ginger beer it taste like summertime. Happy Hour drinks start at just $5 happening all night on Monday and 5:30pm – 8:00pm Tuesday through Saturday.
7. Big Bar at Alcove
Big Bar offers hand-crafted cocktails prepared with fine spirits, fresh juices, fresh herbs and house-made syrups. The charismatic bartenders always treat the process of crafting the perfect cocktail with the utmost respect so rest assure you are in for a real treat. The weekly Happy Hour runs from 2:00pm – 7:00pm with beers for $5 and cocktails for $7. Since big BAR is conjoined with Alcove, the kitchen has special sliders on Happy Hour to accompany your drink.
8. SPiN Ping-Pong Club and Rooftop Bar at Standard Downtown
The Standard Hotel’s SPiN Ping-Pong Club and Rooftop Bar offer two different happy hour options in one venue. Relax and take in the epic views on their rooftop OR play some ping pong at SPiN. Just don’t forget to wet your whistle, drinks start at $5 for Happy Hour and happens every Monday through Friday from 4:00pm – 7:00pm
9. Backhouse Restaurant
Meat on a stick for a $1.50? Don’t mind if I do! Backhouse in Koreatown serves up traditional Japanese yakitori, robata and sushi in a modern setting. The deals on chicken, beef, veggie and bacon-wrapped yakitori skewers really can’t be beat, prices range from $1.50 to $4.50 for the “special” stuff. This is the newest location of Backhouse and is located at Zion Market on the 3rd floor. Enjoy your meal on the balcony and get a nice view of K-town free of charge. Happy Hour is daily from 4:00pm – 6:30pm with similar specials running later from 10:00pm to close. Drink specials include $4 wells and house wines, $3 drafts, $5 hot sake and house sangria and $6 lychee martinis.
Unobstructed views of downtown and a very clear view of the neighboring Central Library Perch’s aperitif-hour seems to have all the summer essential in check. The French inspired menu consist of 10 appetizers like creamy truffle cheese french fries and melange de noix the chefs creation of spicy herbed mixed nuts. Beers are $5 and cocktails are $7. Oh, and did I say the views are free?
Honorable Mentions (a few others you might like)
Here are a few other summer happy hours you might like!
- Gracias Madre
- Stir Market
- Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
- Dukes Malibu
- Casa Vegae
- El Condor
- MessHall Kitchen
- Petty Cash Taqueria
Want even more Happy Hour options? Checkout our 12 Spots for The Best Happy Hours in Downtown L.A.