Happy Hour

December 2, 2006

Finding great happy hour spots around town has recently become something of an obsession for my wife and me. I’m not talking about things like a buck off selected appetizers, or $3 well drinks. We’re looking for nice restaurants that offer really good food at a steep discount if you happen to show up at odd hours.

We live in Eastlake, so there’s a strong local bias, but I thought I’d share what we’ve learned so far. If you have any recommendations, we’re always looking for new places!

Serafina on UrbanspoonSerafina
– We tried Serafina’s happy hour for the first time last night. We had the plin (little pork-stuffed pastas), the crostoni (they use the word “quivering” in their description of the buffalo mozzarella) and the calamari (sauteed, not deep fried). All three were great, and each was less than $5. The happy hour runs 4-6pm on weekdays.

Ponti Seafood Grill on UrbanspoonPonti
– This is probably our favorite happy hour spot. You can cozy up at a little table by the fireplace. We usually order the salmon quesadillas (fantastic), the tempura prawns (yum – ask for some soy sauce and wasabi), the calamari and the fish and chips. There are half a dozen other items on the happy hour menu, and all of them are 5 bucks (except the fish and chips – worth it at $10). The other thing that’s nice about Ponti is the hours. Happy “hour” goes 4-6:30pm and then again from 9-close, 7 days a week.

Matador on UrbanspoonMatador
– It’s over-crowded, over-hip, and I wouldn’t bother for a normal dinner. But what a great happy hour! Tortilla soup, spicy prawns, nachos and guacamole and wonderful fish tacos. A bunch of other items. $4 each! Just 4 little bucks. Amazing. The hours aren’t bad – 4-6pm and 10pm-1am, 7 days a week.

Chandler's Crabhouse on UrbanspoonChandlers
– This used to be an exceptionally good deal. Some of their best food, including the Tempura Prawns and Asparagus (wonderful), was on the happy hour list. Alas, they realized they were giving away the store. Still it’s a nice deal for the food they still offer (some sushi, calamari and crabcakes) and it’s fun to sit on the deck in summertime (oh so long ago). Happy hours 3-6pm and 9:30pm-close.

McCormick & Schmick's Harborside on UrbanspoonMcCormick & Schmicks
– Attention, bargain-hunters. McSchmicks has the cheapest happy hour we’ve found yet. Mountains of food for just $1.95. A big cheeseburger: $1.95. Fish tacos? $1.95. Quesadilla? $1.95. There’s only one small problem with this otherwise perfect arrangement. The food’s not all that good. Happy hour runs 4-6pm and 9-11pm. Except Friday’s and Saturday’s – then it’s from 8pm-10pm.

Of course, there are a ton of other places. I like Seattle Weekly’s happy hour guide, but it’s not comprehensive. Perhaps Urbanspoon should include a happy hour page…

Update: The Culinary Fool just pointed me to another, much more comprehensive, happy hour listing – SevenNites. Check it out!


6 Responses to “Happy Hour”

  1. The Ravenous Reviewer Says:

    You’re right on about Happy Hour! It is one secret that very few people know about. I have to say my favorite is Ponti’s Seafood because of tastey upscale menu items and cozy table for two near the fireplace. A real deal with class!

  2. ben Says:

    Nice work Ethan- I would add Ray’s happy hour (good food, good price) and Wasabi Bistro.

    I’ve also emailed you a compiled list of happy hours by neighborhood, which is slightly dated… I’m not sure of the original credit, but I edited a bit and added hyperlinks (in Excel). I think this spreadsheet is in the public domain, but I’ll try to track down it’s source.

  3. Carrie Says:

    Hey Happy Hour Hunters: We would like to invite you to check out Happy Hour at our new restaurant in downtown Redmond, Watercress Asian Bistro. We have $2 wells, daily drink specials and most appetizers are half price. Check out our ratings and come for Happy Hour and stay for dinner. Happy Hour Daily from 4:30-6:30 at 16505 Redmond Way, Redmond 98052

  4. bussiness Says:

    What a really incredible piece.

  5. I couldn’t think you are more right..

  6. nikon d5100 Says:

    Thank god some bloggers can write. My thanks for this article.

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