Downtown Los Angeles's rapidly expanding food and drink scene shows no signs of slowing. New restaurants and bars are popping up regularly, and with so many to hit, it’s easy to stretch budgets. The trick: many of DTLA’s top spots offer happy hour specials on food and drink for thirsty commuters and hungry residents alike. From traditional Chicano eateries to punk rock beer bars, we’ve selected a few of the best happy hour deals around DTLA.
If you can snag a bar seat at the modern Tex-Mex eatery Bar Amá, you might be lucky enough to experience Super Nacho Hour. From 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, hungry guests can munch on a plate of $8 nachos (add five bucks for meat) and sip on $5 micheladas. As if Super Nacho Hour wasn’t great enough, it happens again for sixty minutes before close on weeknights (including Sunday) and from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.
Combining French and Italian influences, Bar Clacson offers a distinctly European food and drink menu and a laid-back atmosphere. Start a game of pétanque—a version of boules similar to bocce ball—and sip on a $5 cocktail, beer, or glass of Lambrusco during Aperitivo Hour, which Bar Clacson hosts each evening from 5 to 7 p.m.
At this South Park spot, you’ll find drink specials during both Aperitivo Hour and its opposite, Digestivo Hour. From 5 to 7 p.m. every day enjoy a refreshing cocktail, boilermaker, or glass of house wine plus a trio of bar snacks. Or, opt for an after-dinner deal; an hour before close each night, choose a meal-settling cocktail, beer-and-a-shot, or a glass of vino along with a sampling of three desserts. Both deals set you back $9, with tip — the bar includes gratuity in all of its menu items.
Though this speakeasy’s entrance may stump you (hint: look for the yellow light bulb at the northwest corner of the parking lot), the deals offered during its so-called Violet Hour won’t. Spend $8 for your choice of a straightforward cocktail (an Old Fashioned, a Margarita) or a very decent glass of rose, or spend an extra $2 for a “Hamm on Rye” boilermaker — that’s a shot of rye whiskey with a Hamm’s tallboy. Violet Hour happens every evening between 5 and 7 p.m. at Birds and Bees.
A visit to Broken Spanish for La Hora Especial is truly special — snack on chile and lime chicken necks for a neatly discounted $6, sip on copitas of tequila or mezcal for $4, or sample a playful $8 cocktail like the Super Barrio Smash Bros, a traditional bourbon smash with Aztec mole syrup. Sit at the bar or corral between 5:30 and 7 p.m. on weekdays to take advantage of food and drink specials.
One of Angelenos’ favorite dive bars, La Cita hosts themed parties every weeknight, complete with $3 Tecates from 4 to 9 p.m. Stop in on Friday evening for “Angry Hour” and enjoy free pizza with punk rock tunes on the jukebox, as well as the usual cheap beer specials.
Venture into the historic core for an unequivocally atmospheric happy hour at Le Petit Paris each weeknight between 5 and 7 p. m. Select from $7 glasses of wine and $5 beers at this traditional brasserie, or opt for a $9 cocktail from the seasonal menu. Indulge in the duck foie gras or truffle french fries at discounted prices while you’re at it.
Located in a former jewelry store on Restaurant Row, Más Malo delivers classic LA chicano fare alongside an extensive list of tequila cocktails. Stop in on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday from 3 to 7 p. m. to enjoy the substantial happy hour menu, including a $5 Mexican pizza or fish tacos, $5 glasses of sangria, and $6 pours of house wine.
Representing downtown LA’s Fashion District, Pattern Bar’s daily happy hour serves up very drinkable $5 glasses of wine and cleverly named cocktails (try the Chanel or the Cartier) from 4 to 7 p.m. This modern spot gets busy in the evening, and local DJs spin on Tuesdays and throughout the weekend.
You’ve got only an hour on weeknights — from 5 to 6 p. m. — to indulge in Redbird’s food and drink specials. Making the trek up to Second Street is worth it, though; the restaurant is super stylish, with an atrium bar and mid-century modern furnishings. Try the Chai Milk Punch ($8) and the roasted shishito peppers ($10) during happy hour.
While its tasty sandwiches offer enough of a reason to visit Spring St. (the meatball sub is a crowd favorite), the $6 happy hour glasses of wine definitely sweeten the deal. Choose from the house red, white, or rose from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, or opt for one of the rotating $4 beer selections.
Featuring live music most nights, The Escondite is dedicated to supporting local artists and maintaining its low-key saloon vibe. Enjoy three hours of specials every weeknight from 5 to 8 p. m, where you can catch a $5 draft craft beer or a $3 appetizer. Stop in on Mondays for happy hour all night, or Triple Threat Thursdays for a $20 beer, shot, and burger combo (after 9 p.m., that is).
Self-described as Little Tokyo’s neighborhood bar, Wolf & Crane provides a contemporary, intimate atmosphere — ideal for acquainting yourself with Japanese whisky. At happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day Sunday), try a local beer or house wine for five bucks, or order yourself a well cocktail for $7.
Not only is Yard House a great spot to catch the game, but it also offers a thoughtful food menu and lots of tasty craft beers on tap — definitely a step up from your typical sports bar. Stop by on weeknights from 3 p.m. to 6 p. m. for a dollar off domestic pints, $2 off craft and imported beers, and tons of discounted appetizers. Do yourself a favor and try the $5 moo shu egg rolls.
This Oaxacan-style cantina located in the historic downtown Santa Fe building boasts more than 400 agave spirits in its rotation — and has the distinction of being the country's first-ever mezcal bar. Stop in after work Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to indulge in the $5 draft margarita, paloma, or mule, or start your day drinking early with the same deal from 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Round out your mezcaleria visit with a trip to the terrace taco stand or stick around to enjoy the live music each weeknight.