High on the list of traditional activities during economic hard times has always been watching movies–and hitting the bars. This town is, happily, very good for both. But it's really no fun to toast the movements of the Dow with a $15 martini, so save a penny at one of Los Angeles' many watering holes and head for a happy hour. No longer set for just the stereotypical end of the business day crowd, LA bars and restaurants offer happy hours at various times, with specials on drinks, entertainment and food.
In a city where too many bars charge too much for a cocktail, here is a list of the best offers Los Angeles has for those looking for a good deal. Half-price beers? Free shots? $3 appetizers? You're sure to find a pal in the crowd with whom to commiserate and clink drinks; just nudge your way into a spot at the busy bar to order first.
The Food Network's “Too Hot Tamales” Chefs Mary Sue Miliken and Susan Feniger opened Ciudad downtown and they can't keep people away from their Latin inspired fare. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4-7 with $3 tacos and 1/2 price Margaritas, Mojitos, Sangria, and Wine. It's a great place for a drink before a show downtown or after a long day at work.
Ciudad, 445 S Figueroa Street, (213)486.5171
9. Copa d'Oro
This Mediterranean-style lounge uses fresh, seasonal produce to provide an eclectic menu. A Santa Monica neighborhood favorite, they offer $5 cocktails from 5-8pm Monday through Saturday and all night on Monday nights, with choices ranging from a Dark and Stormy, a Moscow Mule, and a Pisco Sour.
Named Best of L.A. for it's happy hour by LA Weekly, Boho has some deals that can't be beat. From 4-7pm weekly, Boho offers both 1/2 priced beer and pizza. Located at Sunset and Ivar, in the heart of Hollywood, this kitschy-style lounge is a great place to grab a drink before a movie at the Arclight or before starting your night out in Hollywood.
Boho, 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323) 465-8500
7. The Edison
They say this recession is just like the Great Depression. Drink in that same style at downtown's The Edison Cocktail Hour. This bar is home to the Thursday night happy hour from 5-7pm where bartenders serve signature cocktails at Depression age cost, 35 cents(one per person). Just make sure to bring millennium age money for any other drinks you want to buy.
The Edison, 108 W 2nd St, (213) 613-0000
6. Figaro Cafe
With a daily happy hour from 5-7pm, this French bistro along Vermont Avenue ranks high in the LA happy hour list. With half-priced Kir Royals, Kronenburg, and champagne and wine by the glass, they also offer a limited bistro menu($3-5) including escargot, mussels, garlic fries and a mini burger. Sit outside to people watch, eating escargot and sipping on a Kir Royal, and feel a bit French while still in LA.
Figaro, 1802 N. Vermont Ave, (323)662-1587
While it may look like a total dive bar, Barney's Beanery offers over 130 beers and has a great happy hour, putting it in the running as one of the top ten. Seven days a week, from 4-7 pm, Barney's offers half-priced appetizers,$3 beers, and $3.50 well drinks. Play a few rounds of pool and enjoy the atmosphere. And on Tuesdays after the original happy hour, drink tall cans for $3 from 7pm to 1:30am to get into the true spirit of things.
Barney's Beanery, 8447 Santa Monica Blvd, (323)654-2287
4. Cha Cha
Sunday brings a crowd out for Bloody Marys at this East side favorite. Bathed in the red glow of muted neon lights, a mix of Polynesian and Day of the Dead-esque decorations cover this bar. Happy hour is daily from 5-9pm, with $2.50 well drinks and $1.50 PBR, but Sunday it's happy hour all night long, with $3 citrus Bloody Marys until 9pm. Enjoy free fooseball and $1.50 PBR on Tuesdays all night. Save a few bucks for the ridiculous vending machine, complete with Cha Cha t-shirts, wrestling superstar trading cards, and comic books. Oh yeah and the amazing photo booth.
Cha Cha, 2375 Glendale Blvd, (323) 660-7595
3. Big Wangs
Hidden in a strip mall in the heart of Hollywood on Caheunga, this sports bar may look a bit divey, but they have a happy hour that kicks everyone out of the water. Monday nights from 4pm to close, buy a pitcher of beer and get a free one topping pizza. Tuesday nights from 4pm to close it's $1 sliders and $4 Screwdrivers and Cape Cods. Wednesday nights from 4pm to close enjoy chicken wings for 25 cents and watch as the bar tenders spin a Wheel of Beer to choose a beer for the night priced at $2.50. Thursday and Friday nights from 4-7pm head to Wangs for $2.50 appetizers. And every night of the week, when you are craving a late night drink, Big Wang's has a late night happy hour from 10pm-midnight with $3 Coronas, $3 well drinks and $5 you-call-its.
Big Wangs, 1562 N Cahuenga Blvd, (323)464-2449
When your wallet may be feeling a bit light, this jazz restaurant is sure to make anyone feel special during their weekly happy hour. On Monday through Friday from 6-9pm, not only is the specialty cocktail menu half priced (with drinks as low as $5), but they toast you with a complimentary flight of three cocktail shooters, in flavors like absinthe and St. Germain, peach ginger, and Grey Goose Citron and orange juice. Monday nights the chef sweetens the deal by offering $3 gorditas and on Bluesy Tuesday's there is a menu of appetizers under $10 items.
The Foundry on Melrose, 7465 Melrose Avenue, (323) 651-0915
With the boisterously loud call of the blow horn, there is no hiding happy hour at this locals hang out. On Monday-Friday the bar offers $3 drafts, well drinks, and glasses of wine, and then, quite awesomely, on Tuesday-Thursday from 11-12 all the drinks are half priced. Located on the Franklin strip near the Upright Citizens Brigade, it's the perfect place to grab a drink before(or after) heading to a comedy show. On tap beers include Stella, Fat Tire, and Guinness and the friendly bar tenders make a mean margarita. Try the hot wings, although if you do, you won't be able to resist them every time you go back.
Birds Rotisserie Chicken Cafe, 5925 Franklin Avenue (323) 465-0175