It’s anyone’s guess where happy hours come from. Some scholars say it was coined during Prohibition, when patrons would hit up a speakeasy before a nonalcoholic dinner while others say it has military roots.
Whatever the origin, the weekly tradition has been perfected in San Antonio, where locals can have a budget-friendly blast any day of the week.
Blue Box Bar
This Pearl watering hole calls its daily deals a happy hour, but they're available almost all evening. On Tuesday through Saturday, it lasts from 4-8 pm, extending to all day on Sunday and Monday. Blue Box is generous with it prices, too. Draft beers are $6; domestics are $3; and cocktails like Bee’s Knees, banana daiquiris, and Negronis range from $6-$9. To really get the party started, order a shot for $3.50.
Bombay Bicycle Club
This funky bar and restaurant has the solution for those who struggle to make it out early for happy hour deals. Each Wednesday from 7-9:45 pm, Bombay offers juicy cheeseburgers for only $5 a pop with the choice of fries or chips. Need something to wet the whistle? Order a well drink for $3 all day.
This seafood spot calls its weekday specials “the happiest hours ever,” and it ain’t lying. From 3-7 pm Wednesday through Friday, and all day Monday and Tuesday, guests can grab spicy jalapeño ceviche, shrimp cocktails, nachos, or tuna carpaccio for $5.99. Call some friends, and share a beer bucket of five domestic or Mexican beers for $12.50 a pop.
From 4-6 pm Tuesday through Friday, this popular eatery near the Pearl offers a curated $7 drink menu that riffs on the classics. The Rumble in Paris, Texas, is a French 75 that switches out gin for Balcones whiskey, and the Red Rooster kicks up the traditional Old Fashioned with chipotle and smoked chile bitters. Both pair beautifully with the $10 Hot Dawg, an angus beef frank topped with pico de gallo and Fritos that’s big enough for a full meal.
The Hoppy Monk
Mondays don’t have to be a drag — especially for those who can get to this gastropub for the all-day happy hour. Start the week with $4 drafts selected from cult Texas breweries like Southern Star, Community, or Blue Owl. Or guests can skip the suds entirely. A quarter of classic cocktails, including a solid margarita, are priced between $5-$6 and a rotating house red or white wine is $6 per glass.
This renovated former convent in the King William District provides a perfect backdrop for selfies, but take them before the daily reverse happy hour from 10 pm to midnight. With $5 local pints, $4 house Cabernet or Chardonnay, and $6 signature cocktails, guests might soon get a buzz. But don’t worry about that. The $7 specialty pizzas and a few glasses of water are a surefire hangover preventative.
This Beacon Hill charmer’s happy hour is available from 4-6:30 pm every day with the exception of Monday, when they are closed. Go early in the week for the best seats, and feast on $5 dishes like garlic fries, cheese bread, chicken fingers, or one of the best Caesar salads in town. The drinks are budget-minded as well. Enjoy $4 draft beer, $3 bottled brews, or a curated selection of wines by the glass for only $5.