Happy Hours Happen at San Diego Hotels

San Diego Marriott Del Mar

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.

Humphry's Backstage

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.

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About Alison

I’m a junkie. Addicted to travel. Logged 15 years as Travel Editor at the San Diego Union-Tribune – a labor of love. But always appreciate coming home to my favorite city: San Diego. My newest labor of love is an app – San Diego Essential Guide – a tool that lets me share with other travelers what I love most about my hometown.

How would you describe your ideal San Diego Day?

I’d meet girlfriends at South Mission for a low-tide walk along the ocean front to Pacific Beach. Before heading back, we’d hit a boardwalk restaurant for an eggs Benedict breakfast.  We’d spend the afternoon at La Jolla Shores with our boogie boards – sun and fun in 72-degree-plus waves.  I’d meet my husband for a sunset picnic on a grassy oceanfront bluff at Coast Boulevard Park. We’d end up at Humphreys Backstage Live on Shelter Island, dancing the night away.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

Can’t think of anyplace I wouldn’t want to be seen in San Diego – except maybe Lindbergh Field, if it would help me speed through security and avoid the body scanner.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguini and red wine?

Dad was a commercial fisherman, so I’m spoiled. Give me barely seared ahi, fresh crab or a fish taco.

What’s your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Fishing – it’s in my blood. But I’m happy doing anything where I can smell saltwater: paragliding from Torrey Pines, kayaking the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, riding my boogie board, picnicking on the beach, chillin’ at a Summer Pops concert.

Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player?

I’m downloading more apps than music these days. My iPod is full of funky Old School stuff – the best of MJ, Gap Band, Gnarls Barkley, Cameo, Hammer and lots of old Motown sounds: Temptations, Four Tops, The Miracles.

2 thoughts on “Happy Hours Happen at San Diego Hotels

  1. If you get a chance I would recommend that you pay a visit to the new Cosmopolitan Hotel. I think you will appreciate the quality resources and services you get for your money.

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