As if this colorful Tex-Mex joint wasn't popular enough for its killer enchiladas and house-made tortillas, it also draws in the crowds with free food (you heard it right, free) during happy hour. From 4-7 p.m., Monday through Friday, Chuy's cranks out a complimentary nacho bar (think: chips, salsa, queso, ground sirloin and more) set up in the trunk of a vintage car. To wash it all down, there's margaritas ($4.95-$7.75) as well as Texas martinis ($8.75) and domestic beers ($3.25). Aside from happy hour deals, the restaurant features daily meal specials, plus everything on the regular menu is priced under $15.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Chuy's is the perfect place to get a Tex-Mex fix.
Ilene's expert tip: In addition to Dallas, Chuy's has locations in Addison, Arlington, Denton, Fort Worth, Plano and Southlake.
For those who like to pair their drinking with a little activity, this arcade themed bar has a happy hour that should be right up your alley. In addition to regular happy hour deals (weekdays from 4-8 p.m.; Saturday from 2-6 p.m.), when you can score $1 off drinks along with $7 menu itemsBarcadia offers nightly specials throughout the week. Stop by on Monday for half-priced apps and $6 select cocktails; on Tuesday there's free play on vintage games plus $5 select drinks; Wednesdays bring $6 whisky and free pool; Thursdays are for $6 classic cocktails and on Fridays, they run $6 deals on Old Forester bourbon. Sunday is no slouch either: From 3 p.m. until close, they have u-call it drinks on offer for $5. As for games? You have a pick of everything from Donkey Kong and Mortal Kombat to skeeball, pinball and even giant Jenga. Oh, and did we mention they have a massive beer selection?
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Barcadia is the place to go for booze, bites and vintage arcade games.
Ilene's expert tip: The kitchen stays open until 10 p.m. weekdays and midnight on weekends. Note that anyone under 21 is not admitted after 7 p.m.
Dallas is crawling with cocktail lounges, but this Uptown drinking den is considered one the best in the city, and for good reason. It's a handsome, moodily-lit space with a laid-back vibe and an extensive cocktail list (more than 100 libations) featuring everything from innovative concoctions to prohibition-style classics. Best of all, it boasts a ridiculously good happy hour (all day on Mondays, and from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday), where you can snag many of these tipples for only $4-$7. Not only that, Parliament offers happy hour prices anytime it's raining, and it hosts complimentary artisan cocktail tastings several times a month. As you might expect, the place fills up fast, so come early if you want to find a seat.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: If you fancy good cocktails, Parliament is a must-add to your cocktail bar bucket list.
Ilene's expert tip: You can order food in from State & Allen Kitchen+Bar next door. Note that there is free 3-hour parking behind the restaurant and half-price pizza on offer Monday nights.
What makes this hip, Teddy Roosevelt inspired eatery one of the greatest happy hour spots in town is not just the fact that it's the perfect place to unwind after a day of shopping at the mall, but that it also has two happy hours a day. Weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. until close, is where you'll find discounted bites, like burgers, flatbreads, pizzas, roasted oysters and black truffle mac & cheese all priced under $11. And don't worry, there are plenty of drinks on special to wash down your meal, like $6 cocktails, house wine and wells, $4 beers and $10 frozen drink flights. But the real bonus is that you can take advantage of NorthPark's valet service for free, just make sure to have the cashier validate your parking ticket.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: The Theodore is the best place to go when you're shopping or seeing a movie at NorthPark Center.
Ilene's expert tip: The Theodore also has a kids menu available all day.
Any happy hour that involves $1 sushi is worth considering, but the deal at this cozy, izakaya-style Japanese spot is extraordinary because the sushi is actually good. Not only that, Yama Sushi's happy hour action doesn't even get started until 6 p.m. and it goes straight though to 2 a.m. when it closes. The only drawback is that the sushi deal is only offered on Tuesdays. But that doesn't mean there aren't more specials to behold. There's $2 sake, domestic beer and house wine on offer Wednesdays, and $3 sushi rolls and appetizers (think: shrimp tempura, kara-age and grilled mackerel) up for grabs on Thursdays. And on Fridays and Saturdays, hot sake is $2 and Asahi drafts are $3. Should you wish to venture beyond sushi, the rest of the menu features everything from noodle and rice dishes to grilled specialties like tataki and yakitori.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Yama Sushi is the best place for late night happy hour.
Ilene's expert tip: Note that Yama Sushi has multiple locations in DFW, but only the Dallas locale offers happy hour.
Even after 17 years, this neighborhood haunt of haute cuisine remains one of the hottest tables in Dallas. And it's easy to see why. Its sleek, contemporary interior is pleasing to the eye; the service is seamless, and the food is nothing short of sublime. And while the globally inspired menu may be somewhat inaccessible to the average budget, the restaurant's super-solid happy hour is surprisingly wallet-friendly. Head over to the bar between 5-7:30 pm. Monday through Friday when you can snag half-priced beer, wine by the glass and craft cocktails as well as some amazing deals on food. On Mondays and Fridays, Abacus features half-price bar bites ($5-$7.50); on Tuesdays there's half-price sushi ($6-$12); on Wednesdays you can score $6 buffalo burgers and on Thursdays flat breads are on special for $5.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Abacus is known for its craft cocktails, which are even better during happy hour when they are offered for half-price.
Ilene's expert tip: Follow Abacus on Facebook to find out about food specials and wine tasting events.
Not only is Zatar the place to dine on the best Lebanese fare in Dallas, it also is a great place to come for happy hour, especially considering that everything on its mezze menu is offered for half price. Head here from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, to find everything from baba ghannouj and roasted beet hummus to kibbeh, moujadara croquettes, falafel, kafta sliders and more, priced at $4-$7 each. And don't worry, there are plenty of drinks on special to wash down your meal, including $5 glasses of wine and $6 Lebanese inspired cocktails.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Zatar is the place for exotic Lebanese cocktails that you won't find anywhere else.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to follow on Facebook and check-in on Yelp before coming to see if there are any specials or freebies on offer.
Sure, this high-end Brazilian steakhouse chain may be best known as a mecca for all-you-can-eat meat, but what many may not realize is that Fogo de Chao also puts on an excellent happy hour in the bar. Pop into any of the three DFW locations (including its new global HQ in Plano's Legacy West) during the week between 4:30-6:30 p.m. to imbibe on $4 Brazilian beers, $6 South American wines and $8 crafted cocktails. Hungry? No worries. For only $4, you can dig into everything from braised beef rib or spicy chicken sliders to Picanha empanadas and parmesan polenta fries. And for just $15, you can hit the Market Table & Feijoada Bar too.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: The happy hour at Fogo de Chao is where to go when you're in the mood for authentic Brazilian cocktails and bar bites.
Ilene's expert tip: Note that the Plano Fogo de Chao boasts a Churrasco Bar (on Friday and Saturday nights), which features dry aged meat in an open-kitchen seating at the grill. This location also offers several lower-priced all-you-can-eat meat options.
If money is no object, then by all means, hit Eddie V's, the legendary seafood and steak chain, during dinnertime. But those who may be watching their budget should check out their happy hour specials at the bar instead. And what a happy hour it is. We're talking everything from $1 and $2 oysters to Asian filet mignons, lamb lollipops, steak tartar and blackened fish tacos for $8 apiece. Martinis, margaritas, Manhattans and mojitos for $7? Yeah, they have that too. Score these deals and more from 4-11 p.m. on Mondays, from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 4-10 p.m. on Sunday. That's right, it's happy hour everyday of the week at this place. Bonus: There's free live jazz every evening.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: Eddie V's happy hour is a terrific place to take a date.
Ilene's expert tip: Dinner is also available in the bar.
Dining at Dean Fearing's namesake restaurant inside the swanky Ritz Carlton can get pricey, but the restaurant's Social Hour is an inexpensive way to feast and imbibe without busting your wallet. Specials are served in the Rattlesnake Bar, Monday through Friday from 4 -6 p.m. and include $7 craft cocktails as well as $10 bar bites like lobster tacos, sloppy Dean sliders and bacon-wrapped jalapeño quail. But wait, there's more. Step outside the bar into the hotel lobby any evening at 6 p.m. and you can score complimentary mini margaritas plus guacamole and chips, freshly made by a professionally trained guacamologist. They offer free tequila tastings from the hotel's tequila vault too. Feeling a bit ravenous but don't have a reservation? No worries, Fearing's complete menu can be ordered in the bar.
Recommended for Happy Hour because: The Rattlesnake Bar at Fearing's is the place to go when you want to people watch.
Ilene's expert tip: If you're having dinner here, be sure to check out Fearing's new Butcher Block menu of Texas Wagyu beef. Valet parking is free if you are eating or drinking at Fearing's.