No place like home

7 trusty Austin neighborhood restaurants with tried-and-true happy hours

7 Austin neighborhood restaurants with tried-and-true happy hours

Vino Vino Austin cheese plate cocktail
Vino Vino's cheese plate and cocktails are what happy hour dreams are made of. Vino Vino/Facebook

At the end of long day of drowning in emails and spreadsheets, pulling yourself together for a download session with the squad can seem impossible — especially if they want to meet at the latest downtown hot spot.

It’s time to make things easier. Save the culinary exploration for the weekends and convince the crew to meet you in your own backyard. These tried-and-true neighborhood socials bring the happy without the hassle. And the prices are so low you can afford to buy the first round of drinks.

Cafe Malta
This South Austin Mediterranean hideaway’s daily social starts with a toast. From 4-6 pm on weekdays and 3-6 pm on weekends, delight in $4 wine pours, $3 bottles beers, or $4 classic cocktails like a Dark & Stormy or margarita. A small selection of $5 bites are also available, ranging from Smoky Denmark jalapeño sausage to a toasted baguette topped with Manchego cheese and parsley-pecan pesto.

The Cavalier
This cheery Webberville Road offers steals like $5 frozen drinks and $3 fries and deviled eggs every day between 3-7 pm, but the smart set can stretch their pennies even further by lingering a little longer on Mondays and Wednesdays. Begin the week with two-for-one burgers from 7-11 pm, then celebrate hump day with 75-cent wings during the same hours.

Foreign & Domestic
This North Loop favorite’s happy hour remains one of Austin’s best-kept secrets. From 5:30-6:30 pm on Tuesday-Saturday, guests can enjoy $3.50 local beers, $6 glasses of wine, and a variety of budget-friendly dishes like tempura cauliflower with peanuts and red pepper hot honey, a 44 Farms beef cheeseburger, and the restaurant's famous popovers with charred onion butter. All are priced between $4-$8, making a monthly visit a must.

Jack Allen’s Kitchen
In establishing its four locations, this beloved mini chain has avoided the hubbub of downtown and instead parked in underserved areas like Oak Hill and Round Rock. Each outpost provides one of the most longest happy hours in town, making sure commuters don’t miss out. Starting at 3 pm on weekdays, there is a leisurely four hours to sip creative margaritas and nibble on half-price appetizers like red chile fries wth cotija cheese and garlic aioli, bacon-wrapped Texas quail, and JAK’s famous pimento cheese with flatbread crackers.

Nightcap
We like going to this sweet little spot near Clarksville anytime, but the weekday discounts give us even more motivation. On Wednesday through Friday from 5-7 pm, and all night Tuesday, West Austinites can relax with $7 signature cocktails; $6 glasses of house red, white, and bubbles; and $5 beers. Appetizers like roasted shishito peppers, crispy Brussels sprouts, kimchi fries, and hamachi sashimi are also half-off.

Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar
This Four Points eatery proves that Central Austin doesn’t have a monopoly on good eats. And we are hard pressed to think of any restaurant in the city core that offers so many deals. The regular bar and patio happy hour, offering $5-$6 cocktails and globally inspired small plates for $9 or less, runs 3-7 pm Monday through Friday, 3-5 pm on Saturday, and Sunday from 3-9:30 pm. Late night specials kick in 9-10 pm Monday through Thursday and 10-11 pm on Friday and Saturday. But wait, there’s more. Monday offers the additional treat of half-price wine bottles all day.

Vino Vino
With half-off cocktails and $2 wines by the glass, this Hyde Park mainstay’s daily happy hour between 5-7 pm is already a neighborhood favorite. But for the new year, Vino Vino decided to add to the fun. From 5 pm-midnight every Monday, the bar and restaurant is offering a flight of intriguing three-ounce pours for only $20. January’s selection goes international, stopping by Spain for a Jorge Ordóñez Moscatel, Portugal for a Cao Tinto, and California for a fruity rosé.