Best Happy Hours for 2019

EatDrinkDeals has released its list of the 10 Best Happy Hours for 2019.

As many savvy restaurant-goers know, bargain prices on drinks and appetizers can be found at casual and even upscale places by sitting at the restaurant bar during happy hour.   Casual restaurants like P.F. Chang’s (No. 3 in our list) and Carrabba’s (No. 2) offer some of the best deals but even the finest restaurants like Ruth’s Chris and Fleming’s (our number 9 and 10 spots) offer great values on fine food and premium drinks.

EatDrinkDeals staff members have sampled happy hour at dozens of restaurants and have found the best deals.  Some of our favorites are:  Cod Sliders for $6 at Bonefish Grill; Shrimp Scampi or Calamari for $6 at Carrabba’s; a California Roll at P.F. Chang’s for $6;  and a $10 Prime Burger at Fleming’s Steakhouse.

Here are details on the best happy hour deals of 2019.  Note: Most Happy Hour deals are available only at the bar and only during Happy Hour times. Prices, menu items, participation and hours may vary by location; you may want to call your favorite location in advance to confirm details.  Do you want to have great deals like these emailed directly to you? Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

The Best Happy Hour

EatDrinkDeals found one restaurant that stands out from the rest in the quality of its happy hour specials.  Our pick for the Best Happy Hour of 2019 is Bonefish Grill.  With fine seafood and beef appetizers offered for just $6, Martinis and cocktails for $5, and with everyday availability, Bonefish Grill’s Happy Hour tops our list.  Rounding out the top five happy hours in our 2019 list are Carrabba’s Italian Grill, P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, and Red Lobster. The complete EatDrinkDeals Top 10 Happy Hour list is below.

  1. Bonefish Grill
  2. Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  3. P.F. Chang’s
  4. The Cheesecake Factory
  5. Red Lobster
  6. Chili’s
  7. Ruby Tuesday
  8. TGI Fridays
  9. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  10. Fleming’s Steakhouse

No. 1: Bonefish Grill

Happy Hour at Bonefish GrillBonefish Grill’s everyday Happy Hour is a popular attraction for restaurant-goers with its seafood appetizers for $6 and cocktails for $5. Every day – including weekends – Bonefish has special prices on select menu items and a selection of handcrafted martinis and cocktails, mixed drinks, wines and draft beers. The Bonefish Grill Happy Hour begins at 4 pm daily; end times vary by location but typical end times are 6 or 6:30 pm.  Deals are good only at the bar. The Bonefish Grill Happy Hour Bar Bites menu as of October 2019 includes the following small plates priced at $6 each. Our favorites are Crispy Cod Sliders and Wagyu Beef Sliders (each priced at $6) and any of the $5 martinis.

  • Crispy Cod Sliders (2) – Cod on a savory potato bun, with Bonefish’s signature sauce, tomatoes & lettuce
  • Wagyu Beef Sliders (2) – Served on a savory potato bun, dressed with Bonefish’s signature sauce, tomatoes & lettuce
  • Shrimp Toast – A twist on traditional Dim Sum, flash-fried dusted with sesame seeds and paired with sweet chili dipping sauce
  • Crispy Calamari (small) –Flash-fried with peppers and served with crispy noodles & a sweet, spicy Asian sauce
  • The Cure – Old Bay seasoned fries layered with ooey-gooey Mozzarella cheese sauce, roasted shrimp, “red gravy”, and finished with crispy bacon and green onions.

The Bonefish Grill Happy Hour Drink Specials include:

  • Draft Beers $1 off
  • House Wines $4
  • Select Spirits $6 (Single Liquor Mixed Drinks):  Absolut, Tito’s, Bacardi, Dewar’s, Jack Daniel’s, Maker’s Mark, New Amsterdam

Although not a part of Happy Hour, Bonefish Grill also offers their signature Bang Bang Shrimp for just $7 on Wednesdays. Bonefish Grill’s happy hour food specials are available only in the bar area, while drink specials may be available throughout the restaurant. You can find more details on the Bonefish Grill Happy Hour in our article, Bonefish Grill Happy Hour. Bonefish Grill has about 210 locations in the U.S.

No. 2: Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Carrabbas happy hour specials: calamari, shrimp, tomato caprese The Happy Hour at Carrabba’s Italian Grill stands out with outstanding quality and value.  The Italian dining chain offers generous-sized seafood and Italian style appetizers at half price during its every day happy hour.  Carrabba’s also has exceptional deals on wine, beer, and cocktails. At most locations the Carrabba’s Happy Hour is 4 – 6 p.m. every day in the bar area.  Carrabba’s Happy Hour menu as of October 2019 includes the following.

  • Half Price Appetizers Get these appetizers and small plates for half price:
    • Calamari, Shrimp Scampi, Calabrian Roast Wings, Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata Cheese, Mozzarella Marinara, Mussels in White Wine Lemon Butter, and Zucchini Fritte.  Full price for these appetizers is $10 to $12, but you can get them at happy hour for half price, or $5 to $6.
    • Our favorite half-priced apps at Carrabba’s are Shrimp Scampi, Calamari, and Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata Cheese, all of which come in generous sized portions.
  • Carrabba’s Happy Hour drink specials include:
    • $5 Specialty Cocktails: Pomegranate Martini, Blackberry Bellini, Sicilian Prickly Pear Margarita and Sparkling Tuscan Lemonade.
    • $5 Premium SpiritsAbsolut, Beefeater, Bacardi, Altos Plata, Jim Beam, Crown Royal and Dewar’s.
    • $4 Well Spirits
    • $3 Draft Beers (Stella Artois, Sam Adams, Blue Moon and Bud Light).
    • 9 oz glass of wine or sangria for the price of a 6 oz glass.  Our favorite drink specials are Red Sangria and Blackberry Bellini.

You can find more details on the Carrabba’s Happy Hour and more Carrabba’s deals in our Carrabba’s Specials article. Carrabba’s Italian Grill has about 250 locations

No. 3: P.F. Chang’s

A close second for our choice of the best happy hour of 2019 is P.F. Chang’s.  Known for exceptional Asian cuisine, P.F. Chang’s offers small plates for $3 to $6 and wines and cocktails for $6 during its happy hour. Happy Hour appetizers at PF ChangsP.F. Chang’s Happy Hour times vary by location, but most locations offer it from 3 – 6 pm every Monday through Friday at the bar. Here’s a typical Happy Hour menu as of October 2019; prices may vary slightly by location.  Our favorite P.F. Chang’s happy hour specials are the $6 California Roll and $6 Sangria. $6 Small Plates: Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Potstickers, Spicy Tuna Roll, California Roll, Crispy Green Beans. $5 Small Plates: House-made Pork Egg Rolls, Cecilia’s Shrimp Dumplings, Asian Mac & Cheese, Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts, Vegetable Spring Rolls, Hand-Folded Crab Wontons. $4 Small Plates: Kimchi Fries, Cecilia’s Pork Dumplings $3 Small Plates: Tempura Poppers, Changs BBQ Spare Ribs, Rick’s Northern-Style Spare Ribs

Drink Specials

  • $4 Craft Beer by the Bottle
  • Pitchers of beer $8
  • $6 Sake by the Jar and Wine by the Glass
  • $6 Cocktails by the Glass or $17.95 by the Pitcher: Asian Pear Mojito, Sake Sangria, Red Sangria, Organic Agave Margarita, Aperol Spritzer, Pink Grapefruit Spritzer, Lillet Spritzer.

You can find more details on the P.F. Chang’s Happy Hour and more P.F. Chang’s deals in our ongoing article, Happy Hour at P.F. Chang’s. P.F. Chang’s has about 210 locations in the U.S.

No. 4: The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory has a Happy Hour at most locations with appetizers and small plates starting at $6.95. Typical times for the Cheesecake Factory Happy Hour are 4 pm – 6 pm Mondays through Fridays in the Bar.  Happy hour specials not offered in the main dining area. The Cheesecake Factory Happy Hour menu will vary by location but below is a typical example.  Our favorites are the Happy Hour Burger ($6.95) and Mojito (also $6.95). Small plates, Snacks and Appetizers for $6.95:

  • Happy Hour Burger
  • Roadside Sliders
  • Fried Chicken Sliders
  • Pork Belly Sliders
  • Warm Crab and Artichoke Dip
  • Factory Nachos
  • Tex Mex Eggrolls

Where allowed by law, some locations also have drink specials such as Cosmos, Margaritas and Mojitos for $6.95, select wines for $6.95 and select draft beers for $4.50. You can find more details on the Cheesecake Factory Happy Hour in our article, Cheesecake Factory Happy Hour. The Cheesecake Factory has about 200 locations.

No. 5: Red Lobster

The Red Lobster Happy Hour is Monday – Thursday from 3-6 pm at participating locations.  Here are the current (as of October 2019) Red Lobster Happy Hour deals.  Prices may vary based on location.

  • $6 Appetizers: Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Half Lobster & Langostino Pizza, Mozzarella Sticks and Chicken Breast Strips.

You can find more details on the Red Lobster Happy Hour in our article, Red Lobster Specials. Red Lobster has about 700 locations.

No. 6: Chili’s

You can find Happy Hour specials on food and drink at most Chili’s locations.   Chili’s Happy Hour specials are good only in the bar (not in the main dining area). Happy Hour times and specials vary by location but a typical Chili’s Happy Hour schedule is:

Chili’s Happy Hour / Photo courtesy Brinker International
  • Happy Hour on Food Items: Mon – Thu: 3 PM – 7 PM & 9 PM – Close, Fri: 3 PM – 7 PM, and Sun: All Day
  • Happy Hour on Drinks: All day every day, in the bar only

Typical food specials at the Chili’s Happy Hour include:

  • $3 Fried Pickles or Chips and Salsa.
  • $4 Awesome Blossom Petals, Crispy Cheddar Bites, or a half order of Texas Cheese Fries.
  • $5 Fresh Guacamole or White Spinach Queso.
  • $6 Southwestern Eggrolls or Boneless Wings.

Typical drink specials at the Chili’s Happy Hour include:

  • $3 Small domestic draft, well drinks
  • $4 House wine, Classic Margarita, Small Premium Draft, Large Domestic Draft
  • $5 Large premium draft, Long Island Iced Tea

In addition to its happy hour specials, Chili’s has an ongoing $5 Margarita of the Month special. You can find more details on the Chili’s Happy Hour and more Chili’s deals in our Chili’s Specials article. Chili’s has about 1,600 locations.

No. 7:  Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday offers a Happy Hour every day with $4 appetizers, $2 drafts and $3 margaritas.  Good at most locations from 4-6 pm and 9 pm to close, the Ruby Tuesday Happy Hour includes these specials:

  • $4 Select Appetizers: Cheddar Cheese Queso & Chips; Spinach Artichoke Dip; and Mozzarella Sticks (half order)
  • $2 All-American drafts
  • $3 Traditional or fruit-flavored Ruby-Ritas
  • $4 Berry Red, and Strawberry Rose Sangrias
  • $5 Ruby Relaxer

In addition to the Happy Hour specials, Ruby Tuesday has an every day $5 menu featuring beer, wine and cocktails.  Get these specials all day every day at Ruby Tuesday’s: You can find more details on the Ruby Tuesday Happy Hour and other Ruby Tuesday deals in our ongoing article, Ruby Tuesday Specials. Ruby Tuesday has about 600 locations.

No. 8:  TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays has an every day happy hour called The Fridays Five with $5 cocktails and appetizers. The Fridays Five menu, good all day every day, includes a variety of $5 beer, wine, and premium cocktails, and a variety of $5 bar bites including wings and sliders.  The menu varies by location but typical Fridays Five features include: $5 Cocktails:  Fridays Mojito, Fridays Long Island Tea, Fridays ‘Rita, Angry Apple Punch, Pumpkin Spice Mule. Beer: – $3 Blue Moon Belgian White, $5 Sam Adams Octoberfest Wine: Pumpkin Spice Sangria, Cupcake Rosé, Canyon Road Cabernet Sauvignon Appetizers (available in the bar only; deals vary by location, typical deals are shown) – Loaded Cheese Fries – Skillet Queso Chips – Boneless Wings – Cheeseburger Sliders – Loaded Chicken Nachos

You can find more details on the TGI Fridays Happy Hour in our article, TGI Fridays $5 Specials. TGI Fridays has about 570 locations in the U.S.

No. 9:  Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse – the high-end steakhouse chain – has a happy hour with specially priced drinks and menu items at most of their locations.

The Ruth’s Chris Happy Hour – called Sizzle, Swizzle, Swirl – is available at differing times depending on location, but common times are 4:00 – 7:00 every day but Sunday.  Some locations have extended Happy Hours during the holidays. Happy Hour specials are good only at the Ruth’s Chris bar. Food items on a typical happy hour menu start at $9 and include the following as of October 2019.

  • Prime Burger with Fries:  A USDA Prime burger broiled in the Ruth’s Chris oven and topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion, and served with seasoned fries.
  • Steak Sandwich with Fries: Slices of tenderloin finished with house-made béarnaise sauce and served on a fresh-baked roll with seasoned fries.
  • Seared Ahi Tuna: Blackened slices of sushi-grade Ahi complemented by a sauce with hints of ginger, mustard and beer.
  • Spicy Shrimp: Tender shrimp lightly fried and tossed in a spicy cream sauce.

Drink specials include a Classic Cosmo, Pomegranate Martini, and Ruth’s Manhattan. You can find more details on the Ruth’s Chris Happy Hour and more Ruth’s Chris promotions in our Ruth’s Chris Specials article. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse has more than 130 locations in the U.S.

No. 10:  Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, another upscale steakhouse, has happy hour specials on food and drinks at most of its 70 locations.  The Fleming’s Happy Hour, where available, is typically offered at 5 to 7 pm nightly in the bar; some locations begin happy hour at 4 pm. The Fleming’s Happy Hour menu varies by location but but usually includes these food and drink specials.  Our favorites: the $10 Prime Burger and $8 Blueberry Lemon Drop:

Fleming’s Happy Hour Signature Bites

  • $6: Potato Tots, Crispy Castelvetrano Olives
  • $9 Calamari
  • $10 Prime Burger
  • $12 Beef Carpaccio
  • $19 Filet Mignon Sandwich.

Fleming’s Happy Hour Beer, Wines

  • $5 Blue Moon Seasonal
  • $7 Benvolio Pinot Grigio
  • $8 Avalon Pinot Noir, Drumheller Cabernet Sauvignon
  • $10 Boen Chardonnay.

Fleming’s Happy Hour Cocktails

  • $8 Old Fashioned*, Blueberry Lemon Drop
  • $9 Alpine Flight Plan
  • $10 Solstice Vodka and Tonic.

You can find more details on the Fleming’s Happy Hour and more Fleming’s promotions in our Fleming’s Specials article. Fleming’s Steakhouse has about 70 locations in the U.S. That’s our list of the Top 10 Happy Hours for 2019.   You an many more deals by browsing our complete list of Happy Hour articles HERE.

About National Happy Hour Day

National Happy Hour Day is celebrated in the U.S. on November 12 but the history and creator of the holiday are unknown. Happy Hour itself does have a well-documented history; here is what Wikipedia says about it:

Happy Hour History

Happy Hour 1920s style (Shutterstock)

One possible origin of the term “Happy Hour,” in the sense of a scheduled period of entertainment, is from the United States Navy. In early 1913, a group of “home makers” called the “Happy Hour Social” organized “semi-weekly smokers” onboard USS Arkansas. By June 1913, the crew of Arkansas had started referring to their regularly scheduled smokers as “Happy Hours.” The “Happy Hours” included a variety of entertainment, including boxing and wrestling matches, music, dancing, and movies. By the end of World War I, the practice of holding “Happy Hours” had spread throughout the entire Navy. The idea of drinking before dinner has its roots in the Prohibition era. When the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act were passed banning alcohol consumption, people would host “cocktail hours”, also known as “happy hours”, at a speakeasy before eating at restaurants where alcohol could not be served. Cocktail lounges continued the trend of drinking before dinner.

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