Everybody delights in a great Happy Hour – especially those that include yummy bargain eats along with their drink specials. An increasing number of budget-conscious travelers (and locals, too) are turning Happy Hours into dinner dates. So, when considering San Diego lodging options, it makes savvy sense to investigate your hotel’s HH scene. Here’s a sampling of what’s available:
Andaz San Diego, in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter, calls its HH “Happier Hour.” Ranch & Coast recently named it San Diego’s very best HH – for good reason. Enjoy the party from 5 until 8 PM Mondays through Fridays in three hotel venues: Quarter Kitchen, Ivy Rooftop, and the Ivy Wine Lounge. Specialty cocktails, usually priced at $15, go for $5. In the Wine Bar, taste five select wines for $5. Food offerings, half-off regular prices, include fresh burrata in a jar, with mint walnut pesto, heirloom tomatoes and grilled country bread – for $7. Chow down on a short rib and roasted tomato pizza for $7 – or a blackened salmon sandwich for $8. Sushi-grade ahi/Alaskan king crab tartare runs $7.
At Odysea, the stylin’ dim-sum lounge at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, get half off well drinks, draft beer and food offerings during twice daily HHours from 4-6 PM and 10-Midnight. Snack on steamed shrimp shumai or beef picadillo dumplings for $3. Or opt for an oven-roasted turkey panini, layered with Gruyere, avocado, bacon, tomato, lettuce and served with fries – all for $6. The “Vela Tasting Board,” for $8, includes artisanal cheeses, air-dried meats, olives, hummus and rustic bread. Late night HH offerings include the tasting board, a club sandwich with chips for $5.50 and either a grilled chicken/feta wrap or a chicken Caesar salad for $6.
On Shelter Island, Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites stages a fab HH from 5 until 7 PM daily in its Backstage Lounge. Get full portions of offerings on the bar menu – at half price: Choose lemon pepper calamari with sweet chili dipping sauces for $4.75; jumbo shrimp skewers or a toothsome BLTA with fries for $5; a half-pound burger layered with horseradish-havarti and grilled onions, with fries or coleslaw for $5.50, or a warm shrimp and scallop salad made with spinach, avocado, mango and pickled ginger – for $7.50. (There’s no HH on Concerts by the Bay nights.)
At the new Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant, smack in the heart of Old Town State Historic Park, HH is offered from 3 until 6 PM seven days a week. Visitors can sip draft beers or house wines for $3.50 each; cocktails for $4.50. The “Drunken Pescador” includes a fish taco and margarita for $6.95; for two bucks more, get a “Steer & Beer” – a draft with a half-pound Angus burger.
In North County, Arterra at the Del Mar Marriott stages HH every day from 4 until 7 PM. Along with $6 premium drafts, $7 glasses of wine and specialty cocktails for $8, enjoy extra-crispy roasted garlic parmesan fries for $5, pizza-like tomato/mozzarella flatbread or a “cold pizza” (smoked salmon, grapefruit sections, slices of avocado, watercress and crème fraiche on flatbread) for $9 each. HH calorie counters can sip 50-calorie Cosmos or “No-jitos,” for $8 – and add a big bowl of lightly sauteed and seasoned edamame for $3. After 5:30 PM, there’s a selection of bargain-priced fresh sushi ($4-$11). There’s indoor and outdoor seating.