A nicely made cocktail should fetch a fair price. Support your Dallas mixology scene. But for those days when $18 is too high a price (as in the case of the absurdly expensive $18 prickly pear margarita at Stampede 66 — come on already), happy hours are your friend.
The best HHs let you drink cheaply, and at hours that are convenient and user-friendly. Even better when they offer the opportunity for a little snacking on the side.
These are some of the new and best happy hours in Dallas:
New North Dallas location of this revered Oak Lawn steakhouse has a food-friendly happy hour served at the bar, patio, and rooftop. Cocktails are $2 off but it's 50 percent off on food. Snacks include cheese board, avocado toast, chicken wings, ceviche, brisket taquitos, Wagyu-Angus sliders with Gruyere cheese and onion rings, crab-stuffed jalapenos, prime rib French dip, and meatloaf sandwich. Can you say $6 nachos? Al's runs later than the usual happy hour, allowing you to turn this into an early dinner. Hours: Sunday–Friday 3–7 pm.
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
If you've passed the newest location in Uptown Dallas of this sushi mini-chain at 6 pm on a Saturday and wondered, "Hey, what's with the crowd?", it's because Blue celebrates one of the best happy hours in town. Cold sake is $2, a house margarita is $3.75, and prices on sashimi and sushi rolls are crazy good. It also runs late: until 6:30 on weekdays, and is available at their two other locations — in Fort Worth and Preston Hollow Village — as well. Hours: Monday-Saturday 3-6:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 10-11 pm, Sunday 12-8 pm.
Bowl & Barrel
Combination bowling alley-tavern recently moved its "Happy Hourly" drink specials up an hour to begin at 3 pm. The pricing cleverly moves with the hours: From 3-4 pm, every drink on the menu is $3. From 4-5 pm, drinks are $4. From 5-6 pm, drinks are $5. That gets you cocktails such as their refreshing Tres Agrios — with Ketel One vodka, Mandarine Napoleon, and fresh grapefruit juice — at a third of the original price. Hours: Monday-Friday from 3-6 pm.
Tapas restaurant chain opened its first location in Texas at the Legacy West district in Plano, with a happy hour that's available every day, including weekends. It gets you half-price on all beer, wine, house liquor, and specialty cocktails. Also on weekends: There's a Spanish brunch with $6 mimosas and sangrias until 4 pm. Hours: Daily 5-7 pm.
This wine-and-charcuterie bar is one of the bar offerings at the Legacy Hall food hall in Plano. Located on the first floor, it offers barstool and small-table seating. The menu is short and sweet, with three boards themed as Spain, America, and Italy. And during happy hour, the wine is super-cheap: $3 a glass for white or red, chardonnay or cotes du rhone blend. Hours: Monday-Friday 4-6 pm.
The French Room Bar
New bar at the recently reopened restaurant at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas has introduced a new happy hour with classic cocktails priced at $8, plus $5 beers and $12 glasses of wine. Note: These are not just your table-red house wine. Wines include Crémant de Loire sparkling rosé, Pouilly-Fumé white, Côtes du Rhône red. Cocktails include old fashioneds, Manhattans, martinis, and negronis. Snacks include oysters, cheese, and ham and Gruyere bread with cherry compote. Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 4:30-6:30 pm.
A good excuse to visit the new location of this upscale Mexican restaurant mini-chain — which just opened in Addison at 5280 Belt Line Rd. — is by partaking of their weekday happy hour. This is not to say that you need financial incentive to visit Addison. Totally not saying that. Everything is $5: guacamole, queso, house margaritas, house wine, and house wells. Hours: Monday-Friday 3–6 pm.
Niwa Japanese BBQ
Deep Ellum eatery specializing in Japanese barbecue has a generous happy hour with $6 for original cocktails, $5 for canned beers, $6 for sake, $6 for wine by the glass, and $5 call drinks. They also offer a deal on their yakiniku grill-your-own meat option: It's either $9 for two meats or $14.50 for three meats, served with rice. Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-6 pm, Tuesday 4 pm-10 pm, Friday-Sunday 2-6 pm.
Fearing's bar has a new happy hour that lets you rub elbows with Ritz-Carlton's upper crust on the cheap. There are $7 drink specials on weekdays, but if you're on the prowl for some snacks, Thursday is the day to go, when they offer street tacos for $3, and stay open an hour later. The Rattlesnake is also probably the only bar in town in which the menu is updated by a 5-star chef: Dean Fearing regularly rotates in new items such as tuna tostadas with avocado mousse. Hours: Monday-Friday 4-7 pm, Thursday 4-8 pm.
Ross & Hall
New-ish kitchen and beer garden on Ross Avenue goes cheap with $3 beers and $3 drinks, plus $4 for house wine. They also support a four-day work week, offering happy hour prices all day on Friday. Hours: Monday-Thursday 3-7 pm, Friday 11 am-7 pm.