Orange County Happy Hour
Credit: Katie Oswald

17 Orange County Happy Hour Spots That’ll Cure Your Work-Week Woes

Spice Up Your Weeknights With These Stellar Local Happy Hours

Dining in Orange County can get a little pricey, especially when stunning oceanfront views are included, but there’s a little thing called happy hour that everybody loves. We’ve made it easy for you by rounding up some of our favorite discounted bites and sips. So once it’s time to clock out, head over to one of these eateries and break up that mid-week monotony. And if you’re not local to OC, you’re in luck—some of these restaurants even do happy hour on weekends!

 

Cafe Sevilla

When: 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday + all-night happy hour on Tuesday

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Orange County Happy Hour
Credit: Café Sevilla

This Spanish-style tapas bar brings a bit of its hometown heritage to Costa Mesa with an enticing menu of all the paella and brochetas you can eat. Cafe Sevilla is no copycat, delivering unique, authentic dishes reminiscent of its native culture. Ever heard of a Barcelona-style flatbread? Sample the manchego cheese masterpiece for yourself alongside a Mezcal Old Fashioned. Alternatively, order the grilled Pulpo Romesco with octopus and hazelnut sauce for a dinner that couldn’t be more perfect! Their “Tapas Bar Live” transports guests into the streets of Spain with soulful Latin and Salsa serenades. Saturdays get spicy at Cafe Sevilla with their Flamenco dinner shows, held over a three-course feast featuring the flavors of Spain. It’s the happiest of happy hours at this Spanish tapas bar with discounted drinks (hello, $6 sangrias!), tasty fare and Latin music from Wednesday through Sunday. Did we mention tapas are 50% off and tacos start at just $8?! Swing by on Tuesdays for their all-night happy hour—a great way to take advantage of the discounted menu!

Location: Costa Mesa

 

OUTPOST Kitchen

When: Tuesday-Friday from 3-6 p.m.

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outpost kitchen
Credit: Katie Oswald

Tucked within renowned retail destination South Coast Plaza, OUTPOST Kitchen in Costa Mesa is an Aussie-inspired restaurant set in a bright and stunning space. With a dream of bringing the charm of 1970s Australian beach cafes to Southern California, visionary, entrepreneur and tastemaker Jay Lewis created OUTPOST, which has become a staple in the Orange County community for health-conscious fare. Fresh, organic and responsibly sourced ingredients make up each dish on the menu, and the restaurant even partners with local purveyors, such as Santa Monica Seafood, Crema Artisan Bakers and Tanaka Farms. On the happy hour menu, diners will find a curated selection of craft cocktails, wine and small plates. Start with a peach mojito or a crisp glass of Wither Hills sauvignon blanc for a refreshing sip, then order the flat top Popcorn, bruschetta or grilled teriyaki skewers to share with the table. If you’re feeling decadent, the honey truffle halloumi with sumac spice, szechuan pepper and honey truffle is a must-try in our book. But no matter what you choose to snack on, you’ll be pleased to know that everything is under $12—this is a happy hour in Orange County that won’t break the bank!

Location: Costa Mesa

 

Tavern at the Mission

When: Monday, 4 p.m.-close, Tuesday-Friday, 4-6 p.m. (in the bar area and dog-friendly patio)

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Overlooking the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, Tavern at the Mission joins the Tavern family with its cozy new location in the rustic town of San Juan. This is the kind of eatery where you can bring your dog and meet friends on the patio or lounge by the fireplace with an after-work cocktail. Chef David Wilhelm knows the importance of a good happy hour, and his Booze & Bites menu does the deed. If you’re feeling fancy, order the duck liver and cognac mousse, or go big with the steak and mashed potato martini—served in (you guessed it) a martini glass.

The booze menu is not shy either, offering a large selection of tap beer, wine by the glass and a few choice cocktails. To truly appreciate the spirit of this place, order the Tavern Cheeseburger Combo: a half-pound prime Angus sirloin burger, served with your choice of draft beer or a glass of wine. Starting every Thursday and lasting throughout the weekend, the patio features live music—one reason among many to come and enjoy the view! 

Location: San Juan Capistrano

 

Solstice Seasonal Kitchen & Bar

When: Monday-Friday, 3-5:30pm (in the bar area)

Orange County Happy Hour Spots
Credit: Kimberly Bustamante

Small bites and special sips are the weekday social happy hour theme at Solstice Seasonal Kitchen & Bar. Solstice invites you to “experience the peak”—a reference to the ingredients they select at the height of each season. The cocktails also rotate based on seasonality, and they even have a Zero Proof Un-Cocktail selection for those who want the juice without the gin. For those who sidle up to the bar after work, you can select from an extensive list of discounted wine, beer and spirits. Or consider the Plum Sangria, which would pair well with the Deviled Egg Mason Jar and salmon crudo. 

Location: Irvine

 

Starfish

When: 3-6 p.m. daily

Do you hear what we hear? That’s right, Opium Hour is calling from one of Orange County’s hottest seafood-forward hotspots. With locations in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, Starfish takes happy hour to a whole new level with a curated selection of Insta-worthy cocktails and creative small bites, available from 3-6 p.m. daily. “Swim” up to the bar for half-off starfish libations, $8 House Hot Sake and $6 wine and well cocktails. Celebrating the flavors of Asian coastal cuisine, their Opium Hour menu is bursting with exotic seafood delicacies, like their Sunset Roll, Singapore Bamboo Roll and Crab Wontons.

Locations: Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

 

Avila’s El Ranchito

When: Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m.

Avila’s El Ranchito
Credit: Ed Visions

Avila’s El Ranchito recently launched a happy hour menu, and now you know where to find us any weekday afternoon on the Balboa Peninsula! Let’s start with the discounted margs—the Fresca Skinny is $10, and the Fresca Skinny Cadillac is $12. Pair it with crispy tacos (shredded chicken or beef) for $5 or some Chingolingas for $10. Is your mouth watering yet?! Other happy hour specials include $2 off all craft margaritas and $5 Dos Equis Amber or Lager. A local favorite that offers authentic Mexican fare, this family-owned and operated restaurant never disappoints. 

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Locations: Newport Beach (check their website to find other locations’ happy hour specials)

 

Craft House

When: Monday + Tuesday, all day (bar area), 4-6 p.m. (dining room and patio),
Wednesday + Thursday, 4-6 p.m. (entire restaurant), Friday, 3-5 p.m. (entire restaurant) and Saturday + Sunday, 2-4 p.m. ( restaurant)

Orange County Happy Hour Spots
Credit: Sharon Williams

This Dana Point favorite offers elevated American fare and a selection of extremely rare whiskeys. If you’re a whiskey connoisseur, this should definitely be on your list! Food portions are generous and great for sharing; you’ll want to bring the whole gang for happy hour—or as Craft House calls it, social hour. Their happy hour might just be the best in town, and it happens every day of the week during select times. The Craft House Lite is $5, an Aperol Spritz is $7 and the Shoot + Brew, made with Four Roses bourbon, is just $8. Flavorful birria tacos are $8, and the spicy tuna crispy rice is $9. For only $6, you must try the chile verde fries, which are loaded with pork, crema, cotija, cilantro and lime. Pop in for the next big game, a family celebration or an after-work rendezvous with the crew.  

Location: Dana Point

 

The Cannery

When: Wednesday-Saturday, 4-6 p.m., and Sunday, 3:30-6 p.m.

Pull up a seat at The Cannery’s upstairs Jellyfish Lounge to experience their extensive happy hour menu. Their sushi offerings change with each catch and also depend on what’s in season. Indulge a little and order their toro with truffle butter and uni or a tuna flight. When it comes to drinks, try their discounted classics, like the barrel-aged Negroni or the Moscow Mule. We also love the Poolside, a cocktail made with fresh cucumber, lemon, agave and your choice of the following: Wheatley vodka, Roku gin, Los Vecinos mezcal or Siete Leguas Blanco tequila.

Location: Newport Beach

 

SOL Mexican Cocina

When: Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 3-6 p.m.

corona extra wine
Credit: Mary Carol Fitzgerald

Get a taste of Baja California right here in Newport Beach. SOL adopts traditional Baja-style cooking, where everything is made from scratch (including all 24 types of salsa). The agave bar features a rotating roster with over 80 of Mexico’s finest tequilas and mezcals, so you already know their margaritas will blow you away. Food and drink specials starting at $5 include the tableside Grilled Sweet Corn, House Margarita, Guacamole, Watermelon Margarita and more.

Locations: Newport Beach, Irvine

 

Tavern House Kitchen + Bar

When: Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 3-5 p.m.

Tavern House Kitchen Bar
Credit: Marie Westphal Morales

With the glistening Newport Harbor as your backdrop, you’ll enjoy happy hour with a view at Tavern House. This elevated neighborhood restaurant has been recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant by the Surfrider Foundation, so you can indulge in their expansive seafood selection without guilt. Get some bang for your buck and order the charred Brussels sprouts—only $10 during happy hour! They come with smoked bacon, pine nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup. Other discounted dishes include the burger and beer for $15, while the fish and chips and coconut-crusted shrimp go for $13. Pair your bites with any well drink for $8. Happy hour every day of the week? Count us in!

Local Insight: To see Tavern House’s full happy hour menu, click here.

Location: Newport Beach

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The Blind Pig

When: Tuesday-Friday, 4-6 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 3-5 p.m.

Orange County Happy Hour Spots
Credit: Vinny Nelson

We adore an eatery that understands the importance of wellness, especially when it’s combined with beer. Welcome to The Blind Pig, where it’s not unheard of to pair pints with pilates. This comes as no surprise when you consider the creator’s inspiration behind the restaurant—”built on a couple beers and a dream.” You’ll find slightly different happy hour options at each location, but the vibe promises to be the same. And who can resist the all-time happy hour standby? Their hand cut fries are available on all menus. In addition to happy hour, both locations celebrate the middle of each week with Tiki Taco Tuesdays, Whiskey Wine Wednesdays and Kill the Keg Thursdays.

Locations: Rancho Santa Margarita and Yorba Linda

 

Hendrix Restaurant and Bar

When: Daily, 4-6 p.m.

Hendrix wants you to be happy. And what better way to find happiness than to celebrate with their happy hour. Hendrix Restaurant and Bar is a comfortable neighborhood restaurant that specializes in rotisserie meats, such as the rosemary and lemon roasted chicken and porchetta. But every day around dusk, they bring out some classics—think dishes like an iceberg wedge and fried calamari–at a discount. Mondays are for martinis, Tuesdays are for tacos, Wednesdays are for wine—and every day from 4-6 p.m., you’ll find discounts on beer and wine. Or if you’re hanging with the crew, consider a batch cocktail. One order of the Hendrix mai tai or Scratch Margarita is enough for five to six people. Just add ice!

Location: Laguna Niguel 

 

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar

When: Monday-Friday, 4-7 pm.

Credit: @mangiagigi / Gia Luciano

Situated at the base of the pier in sunny San Clemente, The Fisherman’s is a staple of this small beach town. With its weathered wooden beams and nautical decor, this seaside restaurant exudes a rustic charm that mirrors the sea-to-table dishes it serves. Weekdays from 4-7 p.m., guests can enjoy rotating happy hour specials, including excellent discounts of drinks like margaritas, mai tais and select draft beers. Whether you’re lounging at the bar enjoying some oysters or perched at a window table, observing the waves as you savor a pair of fish tacos, The Fisherman’s is the perfect place for a golden hour bite.

Location: San Clemente

 

Mozambique

When: Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 3-5 p.m.

Orange County Happy Hour Spots
Credit: Katie Nguyen

This upscale, three-level restaurant draws inspiration from South Africa’s vibrant coast, bringing bold, flavorful food all the way to Laguna Beach. Choose to dine in the Durban Room, a speakeasy lounge on the first floor, in the dining rooms on the second floor or on their panoramic roof deck. Get a South African pie or some peri-peri prawns, each for $19 during happy hour, and any well drink for $10 or house wine for $8. They even have a Halal menu with dishes like samoosas and peri-peri chicken.

Location: Laguna Beach

 

2145 Eats 

When: Mondays, 3-8:30 p.m., and Wednesday-Friday, 3-6 p.m.

With an emphasis on Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza, 2145 Eats is a longtime OC favorite, having made the Orange County 75 Best Restaurants list every year since 2018. This eatery is also the perfect place for a date—not only for the food but also because most of the seating is under the stars. As you might suspect, happy hour includes a selection of pies, as well as a few small plates like garlic Parmesan fries and falafel. Discounted drinks include draft beers and wine by the glass, or go for the bottle—an easy thing to do at 25% off all happy hour wine!

Location: Costa Mesa

 

Louie’s by the Bay

When: Daily, 4-6 p.m., and Wednesdays all night

Louie’s by the Bay is a cozy, elegant Italian restaurant located on Mariner’s Mile with dreamy views of the bay. Their happy hour goes beyond just small bites and tapas—the Fritto Misto comes with a generous portion of shrimp, calamari, zucchini and lemon served with spicy marinara sauce for just $11. You can also get other full-sized meals like cacio e pepe and Wagyu beef sliders. Plus, the house Negroni, a local favorite, is just $10 during happy hour.

Location: Newport Beach

 

Prego Restaurant

When: 3-6 p.m. daily (bar area only)

There’s a reason this Italian kitchen’s moniker translates to “You’re welcome!” You’ll be saying it all evening at Prego’s Social Hour after feasting on their Calamari Calabrese, Pizza Piccola and Sausage Ravioli. Paired with an Aperol Spritz or Pinot Grigio, and you’re in for a foodie experience that’s molto bene! Italy’s culinary scene is just as much about the people as it is about the food. Located at The District at Tustin Legacy, Prego’s “Social” bar is open daily from 3-6 p.m., where guests can mingle over $10 seasonal small bites and house-crafted beverages starting at just $7.

Location: Tustin

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