Best Happy Hour in Boston

Boston's 10 Best Happy Hour Hot Spots Where Food's the Focus

Happy hour is the happiest hour of the day, and not just for the flock of white collar workers who leave Boston offices as soon as the clock strikes five, but also for tourists, students, the blue collar crowd, and those just looking to save a little money on good food.

Drink specials aren't exactly allowed for happy hour in Boston, but bars have found ways around the rule by offering things like half priced appetizers, and beer that seems to always be on special. For Boston restaurants, this law is a plus, as they tend to have a busier bar scene than table scene early on weeknights with people waiting to score a spot where they can indulge in happy hour specials.

Take high end steakhouse, Morton's  as an example and indulge in their inexpensive "Bar Bites" with a great glass of wine. Or enjoy Estragon's "Tapa's Blitz" where for a few weeknight hours you'll be able to order a decent selection of their delectable food for a fraction of the price of dining at a table- but you must forgo the reservation as bar spots at Estragon are first come first serve. 

When the mood hits to enjoy a pos work libation be sure to check out 10best's picks to make your hour a happy one.


The Living Room

The very name of this lounge makes you feel comfortable and ready to settle in for a relaxing evening. Guests enjoy the strains of jazz and blues music as they sit back and sip on their drink of choice, perhaps a dry martini or a gin and tonic. Comfortable couches and chairs and warm colors make this spot a cozy and relaxing one. This room also hosts a notable Sunday jazz brunch and offers a great dining option. It's located on the waterfront and provides a great view of the harbor.Beyond it's hip evening vibe, the Living Room offers menu specials from 4-6pm daily.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: The Living Room serves half price appetizers, Monday-Friday, 4-6pm and $3 Coors Light drafts daily.

Jessica's expert tip: The Living Room livens up, especially on weekends; arrive early and enjoy half price appetizers and stay to enjoy the scene.

Read more about The Living Room →

Clarke's makes for a pleasant destination after a long, hard day at the office. It boasts a casual atmosphere and plenty of friendly servers and bartenders to help you have a good time. The bar offers cocktails and a good array of bottled and tap beers. Basic bar food proves satisfying, and burgers, sandwiches, and nachos provide indication of the menu's range. Occasionally, live bands and vocalists perform. With $3 beer specials you'll be saving a little while throwing back a cold one after a long hard day. If you're lucky enough not to be working, enjoy a drink early in the evening at Clarke's before the younger crowd come sin.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Clarke's offers $3 beer specials on Miller Lite draft, PBR draft, and Rolling Rock bottles

Jessica's expert tip: Clarke's heats up as the night wears on drawing a younger crowd when the sun sets.

Read more about Clarke's →

The place where "everybody knows your name" (originally the Bull and Finch Pub) is a must for many first-time tourists. Although the interior isn't quite like the famous TV set, they do have a gift shop with memorabilia from the show. The menu offers sandwiches, pastas and salads many named for "Cheers" characters. Favorites include "Cheers" burgers, buffalo wings and award-winning Bloody Marys. You'll find locals mixed among the tourists enjoying time together at bar made popular by a TV show. Even if you don't drink, stop in for coffee and savor the charm and, perhaps, a slice of Boston cream pie!

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Cheers offers half price apps Monday-Friday from 4-6pm at the bar of both Beacon Hill and Faneuil Hall.

Jessica's expert tip: Cheers is a tourist attraction, if you want the authentic experience be sure to visit Beacon Hill.

Read more about Cheers - Beacon Hill →


Whiskey's has been a Boston hot spot for years. Here, hoards of 20 somethings gather to eat drink and socialize. $3.00 bar bites let you eat for next to nothing Monday-Friday from 4-7pm. And wings are always a treat at .$25 each Sunday - Thursday: 11:30am - 9:00pm and Friday & Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm- at the bar only. The social scene is a happening place to meet locals, after work and until the wee hours of the night. The crowd is mostly made up of laid back, young, single professionals looking to let loose after a hard day at work, as well as those coming out to enjoy their night in the crowded space that really gets going after 10pm. Whiskey's is not a fancy place, but that does not stop the women you'll find here from looking their best.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Whiskey's is the ultimate dive bar serving good food, at great prices during happy hour.

Jessica's expert tip: Whiskey's is famous for their wing specials during happy hour.

Read more about Whiskey's →

Sitting at the bar of McCormick and Schmick's after 5pm any day of the week you'll find a cross section of individuals seeking post work stress relief. The low prices of the bar bites allows the people perched there to save some money while filling their belly and actually enjoying the snacks that are served by a friendly waitstaff. Your seat at the bar ensures your savings so get here early, find a seat and don't give it up because you won't find the same deals in the more formal dining area. Once happy hour ends, the bar crowd tends to dwindle and McCormick and Schmick's returns to being just another restaurant bar.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Prices on McCormick and Schmick's happy hour menu top out at $5.99.

Jessica's expert tip: Pop into Faneuil Hall for a more touristy fun bar vibe.

Read more about McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant →

Don't be tempted by the patio seating because that is the one place you can't enjoy Grendel's cheap eats during happy hour. Instead, make your way inside and head down the stairs to one of Harvard Square's well frequented bars. Students flock to Grendel's to stretch their budget on 1/2 off menu items from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm every evening, as well as 9:00-11:30pm Sunday- Thursday. A minimum drink purchase is required to cash in on these happy hour specials. And Grendel's is thrifty because your order must be in their system before the end of happy hour or you'll be paying full price so arrive early, beat the crowds and enjoy!

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Grendel's Den draws a Harvard crowd; you'll find an eclectic mix of personalities enjoying cheap eats and cold drinks.

Jessica's expert tip: Outdoor seating is ideal in great weather but the happy hour specials are only offered inside.

Read more about Grendel's Den →

Restaurants in Boston serve their share of food specials to compensate for the lack of drink specials in the city. Most lean towards the typical bar food-burgers, fries and other fried delights, but at Estragon you'll find an impressive selection of their delectable tapas for $1.00, $3.00 and $5.00 Monday-Thursday from 5-7pm at the bar. The tapas served here are just as good as those you'll get while seated at a table and are just a fraction of the price. An extra good deal since Estragon is heralded by locals as one of the best Tapas restaurants in Boston, and it is often very busy.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Tapas at happy hour prices are awesome at Estragon, and are only served at the bar without a reservation.

Jessica's expert tip: Indulge in the Tapas Blitz to save some cash and spend the extra on one of their specialty drinks.

Read more about Estragon →

Haru Sushi
Photo courtesy of Provided by Regan Communications

Haru Sushi, located just outside the Prudential Center, is the place to stop for happy hour. Serving a selection of sushi and hot appetizers, a small sampling is the equivalent of a meal. A seat at the bar from 3-7pm or after 10pm gets you the good stuff. Check out the menu, loaded with items like tempera fried string beans served with curry salt, filet mignon yakitori, lobster pot stickers and two types of wings you will be aptly filled while enjoying one of their specialty cocktails. Fuel up to shop the Prudential Center or neighboring Copley Place, or make this your first stop for a night on the town.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Haru offers sushi specials that save you money, fill you up and pair well with their delicious drinks.

Jessica's expert tip: Sample a few happy hour specials to get the most out of your experience.

Read more about Haru Sushi →

Set in the Seaport District, Morton's offers a prime location for diners wanting a seaside setting, but not necessarily the seafood. Known as a favorite of midwestern raised friends, Morton's serves steak in style. And this location even allows for dining al fresco when a steak is what you crave but the weather is simply too nice to sit inside. However, for the happy hour crowd, Morton's does something extra special- allowing bar diners the chance to sample their high end fare without the high price tags. Morton's bar bites are a small selection of steakhouse specialties served slightly differently than they are in the more formal dining room like mini crab cake blts and petite filet mignon sandwiches.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Morton's offers an upscale spot for those who want a happy hour without the hassle of a crowded bar.

Jessica's expert tip: Bar bites are a great way to sample Morton's fare without a hefty price tag.

Read more about Morton's The Steakhouse - Boston Seaport →


Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

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