There are a whole bunch of reasons why you might need a Happy Hour in Downtown LA. You might want to reward yourself for reading approximately 17 Wikipedia pages and getting exactly zero work done this afternoon. Or maybe you’re in the middle of your self-guided tour of Blade Runner locations and need a breather. You could be pre-gaming a Lakers game or LA Phil concert. The point is, you need a drink, and preferably one on the affordable side. These are the best places to do it.
It always feels like a bit of a party at this Tex-Mex spot on 4th St., especially during the twice-daily Happy Hours. The margaritas are strong and very good, and the nachos are legitimately great, not just the thing you order because you know everyone will have some.
The Deal: $9 margaritas and wine, $5 micheladas, $4 beers, food discounts
When: Weekdays 5:30 - 7pm, Monday - Thursday 10 - 11pm, Friday 11pm - close, Weekends 3 - 5:30pm, Sunday 9 - 10pm
Imperial Western is a huge bar inside Union Station with a full brewery attached. There’s no discount on drinks, but they have $1 oysters during Happy Hour that are fresher than you’d ever expect to find at a brewery.
The Deal: $1 oysters
When: Weekdays 4 - 7pm
Broken Spanish is an upscale Mexican spot that’s not far from the Staples Center. For Happy Hour, they discount a handful of dishes, along with some fantastic $8 cocktails.
The Deal: Food discounts, $9 cocktails, $4 tequila or mezcal shots, $5 beers, $8 wines
When: Weekdays 5:30 - 7pm
ERB has the best burger in LA, so we don’t really mind paying good money for it. But we don’t have to, because during Happy Hour they do a deal on the burger plus fries for $10. Head to the fantastic back patio, which will be filled with people drinking fancy cocktails and wine from the very good list.
The Deal: $7 cocktails and wines, $10 burger and fries combo, free chips and salsa
When: Weekdays 5 - 7pm
Wolf and Crane is a fantastic neighborhood bar in Little Tokyo, and a fun place to dance any night of the week. The music is good, there’s always a crowd, and Happy Hour runs all night on Sundays.
The Deal: $5 beers, house wine and well liquors.
When: All night Sunday, weekdays 5-7pm
The views are reason enough to go to this multi-level bar in Pershing Square, but it certainly helps that cocktails are $7 during the weekday Happy Hour. When you’ve got visitors in town, take them here to listen to them ooh and ah at the LA sunset over affordable drinks.
The Deal: $5 Kronenburg, $6 wine, $7 cocktails
When: Weekdays 4 - 6pm
A fantastic dive bar in the Toy District, the Escondite always has a lot going on at once, including sports games on TV, a live band, and a couple aggressively making out on the patio.
The Deal: Food discounts, $5 draft beers, $4 beer cans, well drinks, and wine
When: Weekdays 5 - 8pm
This swanky underground bar gets very crowded on weekends, but it’s a surprisingly chill place for a well-made tiki drink after work.
The Deal: $8 cocktails, $6 wine, $4 High Life
When: Daily 5 - 7pm
Baco Mercat has a comfortable, neighborhoody feel and pretty excellent food. Sit at the bar for discounted small plates and $5, actually nice-tasting, wine on tap.
The Deal: Food discounts, $8 cocktails, $5 draft beer and tap wine
When: Monday - Thursday 5:30 - 7pm
This little wine shop and bar is in an arcade on Spring Street, and feels like a fancy Parisian thrift shop inside. The Happy Hour rotates through different glasses from the all-French wine list, but we’d recommend the “sommelier’s choice” - a $15 flight of three pours that the bartender picks for you.
The Deal: Rotating wine deals, $15 wine flights
When: Sunday - Friday 5 - 7pm
Bar Clacson, a very Italian bar next to Grand Central Market, is a great place to drink campari cocktails and take out your aggression toward your work nemesis on the indoor bocce court.
The Deal: $5 cocktails, beer, and wine
When: Daily 5 - 7pm
You and your parents just spent four hours at Grand Central Market deciding what to have for lunch. Get a beer at Golden Road Brewery’s stand before you have to have the same back and forth all over again to figure out dinner.
The Deal: $5 select beers, $7 house wine, food discounts
When: Weekdays 3 - 6pm
Barcito is a great low-key spot near the Staples Center in a part of DTLA that lacks casual, non-chain Happy Hour places. It’s particularly affordable, since you can get a drink plus some bar snacks for $9.
The Deal: $9 combo includes either cocktail, shot and beer, or wine, plus three snacks.
When: Weekdays 4 - 7pm, Saturday 5 - 7pm
This ’70s-themed bar in the Historic Core is a great place to have one too many beers for a weekday, and during Happy Hour you can get something close to a full meal (a sandwich and a beer) for $11.
The Deal: $1 off draft beers, $2 off micheladas and wines, $11 beer and sandwich combo
When: Daily 4 - 7pm
Brack Shop is an upscale sports bar with one of LA’s best beer lists, so it’s a great place to watch sports - especially seeing as this place is nowhere near LA Live. There are shuffleboard and ping pong tables to cheer you up after the Chargers blow another fourth quarter lead, and Happy Hour runs all night Monday.
The Deal: Food discounts, $8 or $9 cocktails, $5 beer, $7 sangria
When: All day Monday, Tuesday - Sunday 3 - 7pm
If you and everyone else in your office need a place to go drink whiskey, Casey’s will have space. It’s a bar full of locals where you can order Jameson shots at 5pm on a Tuesday and the bartender won’t bat an eye.
The Deal: $2 off appetizers, $1 off draft beers
When: All day Sunday, Tuesday - Saturday 3 - 7pm
The French dip sandwiches at this DTLA institution are good, but at Happy Hour you’re really here for the $1.57 serving of tater tots. The $6 Old Fashioneds don’t hurt, either.
The Deal: Food discounts, $9 Manhattans, $6 Old Fashioneds, well drinks, and beers
When: Weekdays 3 - 7pm, all day Tuesday
This bar on 6th Street is dark and divey, and has some good $5 draft cocktails. Happy Hour goes until 8pm, so it’s a great spot to grab a drink while you wait for the line up the block at Kazunori to calm down.
The Deal: $5 draft cocktails, food discounts
When: Weekdays 5 - 8pm, Weekends 1 - 8pm
The aggressive Mardi Gras theme at Little Easy can be overwhelming, but it’s also ideal for a night when you want to get a little rowdy drinking whatever combination of alcohol is in a hurricane.
The Deal: $4 Kronenburgs, $5 wine and well drinks, $6 hurricanes, food discounts
When: Weekdays 4 - 8pm
New Jalisco is a classic, cash-only gay bar with great drag shows and $2 beers.
The Deal: $2 beers
When: Monday - Thursday 1 - 7pm
There are a bunch of Plan Checks across town, and the one in DTLA is exactly what you’d expect if you’ve been to any of the others: excellent Southern-ish food, great Old Fashioneds, and a Happy Hour that runs pretty much all day Monday through Friday.
The Deal: $5 select draft beers and house wine, $6 Old Fashioneds, $8 cocktails, food discounts
When: Weekdays 11:30am - 7pm
Another spot that leans heavy on the NOLA theme, Preux & Proper has some great Cajun food and good cocktails involving lots of rum. Happy Hour only happens on the bar side of the restaurant, but it still stays quiet enough for a date where you can actually hear the person across from you.
The Deal: $7 wine and beer, $9 cocktails and frozen daiquiris, $11 small plates and po’boys
When: Daily 4 - 7pm.
This massive - and beautiful - restaurant-in-a-cathedral is generally pretty expensive, but during their two hour-long weekday Happy Hour drinks are cheaper and a bunch of appetizers are discounted to $11. If you’re going to the Ahmanson or Disney Concert Hall, this is the ideal pre-concert drinks spot.
The Deal: $11 appetizers, $6 Peronis, $9 cocktails, $11 wine
When: Weekdays 5 - 7pm
If you like whiskey, then you know about Seven Grand. There’s an excellent selection of hard-to-find whiskeys and $6 cocktails during Happy Hour.
The Deal: $5 beers, $6 cocktails
When: Sunday-Friday 3-8pm, Saturday 2-8pm
If you always go to the same mediocre red sauce place before heading to the Staples Center, it’s time to mix it up. This modern Italian restaurant is a block away and serves pretty good cocktails.
The Deal: Food discounts, $7 cocktails, $6 well drinks, $8 wine, $7 sangria, $2 off beer
When: Daily 5 - 7 pm
If you work Downtown, this is a good option when you want to vent about your boss after work, because the cocktails are strong and the beer and wine selection will keep anyone in the office happy.
The Deal: $6 beers and wine, $8 cocktails
When: Weekdays 3 - 7pm
Bacaro has a $20 open bar, all you can drink in 90 minutes, deal that’s available all the time, but during Happy Hour they add in a food special too. Everything except dessert is $2 off, which is a pretty good deal if you’re looking for something near USC and you’re OK being surrounded by USC seniors.
The Deal: $2 off all food except desserts
When: All day Monday, Tuesday-Thursday 5-7pm
This massive, vaguely Irish bar gets pretty messy later on at night, but during Happy Hour, it’s a fun place to watch sports and eat Irish nachos (potato chips, bacon, and cheddar cheese).
The Deal: Food discounts, half-off draft beers, wine, well cocktails
When: Daily 3 - 7:16pm
Rossoblu’s daily Happy Hour lets you eat truly fantastic pasta for a lot cheaper than it is on the regular menu. You’ll have it with some very good wine in a beautiful Fashion District space.
The Deal: Food discounts, $8 spritzes and wines, $10 negronis
When: Daily 5 - 7pm
Far Bar in Little Tokyo has some great bar snacks and $6 boilermakers, and is a very good place to let your Monday get extremely out of hand. The food is just OK, but after your fourth Sapporo you’re going to be very happy to have the wings.
The Deal: $8 draft cocktails, $9 cocktails, $6 wine glasses and draft beer, $3 Sapporo and sake
When: All night Sunday and Monday, 3 - 7pm Tuesday - Friday