The holidays are fast approaching, along with the dreaded seasonal budget crunch. With so many gifts to buy, donations to be made, and groceries to be ordered, few of us have enough left over for a night on the town. But as usual, Austin’s happy hours are here to step in with positively festive specials on food and drink.
Cisco’s Restaurant Bakery
This east side institution may be one of Austin’s oldest restaurants, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a few new tricks up it sleeve. In September, the eatery introduced evening hours for the first time in its almost 70 year existence. Along with dinner came a daily happy hour from 3-7 pm featuring half-price nachos, queso, and guacamole and deeply discounted drinks like $3.50 drafts, $4 red wine glasses, and $5 margaritas. If even that’s too rich for your blood, dive into your couch to finance $1 Pearls.
This ranch-chic eatery near the Mueller development has been one of Austin’s favorite happy hour haunts since it first debuted in May 2011. Now, a revamped menu launched in early November gives locals plenty of new treats to try. Every Monday through Thursday from 5-6:30 pm, enjoy fresh bar snacks like a hot dog with mustard onions, pickled pepper, and celery seed or crispy tempura grilled avocado with garlic, shallots, furikake, lime, and camp bread for half-off, along with old favorites like crispy green beans with sambal aioli.
This classy East Austin Italian joint shines with one of the most creative happy hour snack menus in town. From 10 pm-midnight on Friday and Saturday and 4:30-6:30 Tuesday through Sunday, enjoy nibbles like whipped cannellini beans and Parker House rolls for $3, sourdough bruschetta and crispy green tomatoes for $4, and coal-roasted acorn squash for $5. Pair the dishes with a glass of wine, cocktail, or beer — all $2 off.
Joann’s Fine Foods
Following in the grand tradition of McGuire Moorman Hospitality happy hours, this swanky diner treats everyone like friends and family every weekday from 3-5 pm. The entire food menu — from hashbrown nachos loaded with black beans, queso, charred tomatillos, and sour cream to green chorizo and pulled pork tamales — is 25-percent off. Beer, wine, and cocktails like the refreshing Pink Peppercorn Paloma are all $2 off.
Work off some steam from 4-7 pm by playing table tennis at this downtown hot spot’s weekday happy hour. The sweet promotions include $2 off a rotating list of selected draft beers; $4 cans of Bishop Cider Co.’s Crackberry, Maui Brewing Company blonde lager; and Oasis Texas Brewing’s 2.13 Pale Ale; and a $8 glass of mystery frosé. Wearing an ’80s-style sweatband is strictly optional.
Lakeway Resort & Spa
Head out to this Lake Travis retreat for a happy hour that makes every day a celebration. Featuring the Sofia line from Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Lakeway Resort’s sparkles with flutes of brut rosé or Blanc de Blanc offered for $7 or less. For the best deals, get there at 4 pm when bubbles are $4. The price goes up a buck each hour until 7 pm.