Happy hour might be one of American drinking culture’s best contributions to society. You get to kvetch about work, sip discounted drinks, nibble on finger foods, and generally still make it to bed on time. But if you work something resembling a 9 to 5, actually making it to many of the city’s happy hours (which frequently offer an hour or two in the weekday 2pm–6pm range) can prove unfeasible. Here are five that you can catch and enjoy.
2–7pm every day
The Diller Room feels like a downtown happy hour should: a polished wood bar and leather booths so your work attire doesn’t feel too out of place, a touch of neon and a non-sequitur-like tiki-streak in the cocktail menu. It knocks a couple dollars of most food menu items—$6 pepperoni pizza, $6 BLT sliders—and draft pints are $4, while house wine and well drinks are $5. And you read that right—the happy hour runs five hours daily.
Cafe Hitchcock’s gone through some changes since it opened last summer. Dinner service dropped away, as did any weekend hours. But it’s still one of the best and cheapest places to grab a drink bite and a drink in the neighborhood. It’s also become one of the most hashtagable: Hey there, $5 shot of bourbon and a Rainer, $6 glass of rose brut, $5 avocado toast, and $7 charred Brussel sprouts with cranberries and bleu cheese. Feeling hungrier? Get a kickass Cubano sandwich for $9.
There are plenty of reasons to swing by Mr. West. Its all-day cafe vibe is easy to slip into at any hour. Its menu overflows with the sort of light, sharable things you really want to eat at happy hour: cheese, charcuterie, chips, pickles, olives, and almonds. And the hours are good and the deals inviting. But the main reason is this: they have a solid wine list and knock $10 off the bottles and $2 off glasses during happy hour.
4–6pm and 10pm–2am Monday through Saturday, all day on Sunday
JarrBar’s tiny tucked-away space on Western Avenue transports you right to northern Spain, and its late-night happy hour only intensifies that feeling. You probably know by now that JarrBar does tinned fish and cured meats and cheeses. There’s a jamon on the bar that they shave by hand. In very Spanish fashion, the Happy Time menu keeps it simple and essential: $2 marinated olives; $6 cured Spanish meats; $4 house sherries, draft beer, or cider; and $6 shot and a beer.
Yes, this Pike Place cocktail temple’s happy hour runs only a couple hours, but its later slant makes it ideal for 9-to-5'ers to grab one of their heavily discounted drinks. $4 off all house cocktails, but this being Zig Zag, I'd recommend a martini, Manhattan or old fashioned—all $8 each. You can get an $8 Manhattan plenty of places during happy hour, but I dare you to find a place that does one with more venerated craft than Zig Zag. And it’s right across the street from JarrBar, so if you play it right you can happy hour from 4pm-2am with only a 3 hour pause in between.