The celebratory clink of ice tumbling into a perfectly chilled Collins glass; the swish of a shaker as it combines fresh squeezed juices and craft spirits; that moment when the foam atop your IPA tickles your nose with hoppy goodness. These sensory delights—and the comforting, farm fresh food that accompany them—are staples of SLO County’s thriving happy hour offerings. Whether you’re unwinding with your coworkers on a sea-swept patio in Pismo Beach or sharing tapas creekside in downtown SLO, these happy hour specials are meant to be savored with gusto (and as many friends as you can muster).
It’s no wonder why fertile Paso Robles is ground zero for farm fresh cocktails paired with the best local eats mother nature can provide. Latin inspired La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant bolsters its already blissful offerings with a unique daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. featuring signature cocktails (like their Pumpkin Sour with brown sugar syrup, egg white, and fresh lemon juice) for just $9. You can also snag $2 off world class wines by the glass and $1 draft beers, many of which are both local and global. When served alongside South American style pizzas, pork sandwiches, ceviche, sliders, and empanadas, you are well on your way to an amazing after-work hangout sesh.
If the finest local, organic produce is what you seek, Thomas Hill Organics is your new happy hour mecca. Belly up to the bar at the cozy lounge or grab a table in their sun dappled courtyard and order up a few cold drinks with a side of culinary creativity (don’t miss Half Off Wine Tuesdays for half off bottles under $100).
“Meet me at Mason Bar for barrel aged bourbon and lobster corn dogs!” How quickly would you respond to this text? If the answer is “ASAP,” then you’ll want to head out to the rustic-chic Arroyo Grande hangout Sunday through Thursday when you can enjoy $1 off barrel aged cocktails and draft brews, $5 brussel sprouts, $5 quesadillas, and $3 chips.
Swank SLO restaurant Foremost Wine Company is shaking things up with low-key happy specials Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring local DJ Malik on the turntables and plenty of shareable plates. You’ll also get your fill of specials on creative cocktails as well as rotating sparkling, whites, rosés, and reds for just $5. Oh, and don’t forget those sizzling hot ‘zas crafted by Los Alamos cult classic Full of Life Flatbreads for $10 (flavors like beef sausage, goat cheese, grilled peaches and fresh arugula make for a dinner worthy app).
Make it a special occasion with twinkle lights and creekside dining at SLO’s Novo Restaurant & Lounge, where a vibrant, locally inspired menu meets a worldly wine list that shines beyond compare. Each Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m., grab drink specials that delight. Plus, on Wine Wednesdays, enjoy free tastings from local wineries from 5 to 6 p.m.
If you’re like most of us working stiffs, you’re stuck inside all day. Why not punch out early and break free for drinks under a clear blue Central Coast sky? Watch the sun sink behind undulating golden hills on the patio at Big Sky Café. Where else can you can you order a flight of two local pinot noir wines for $10.50 or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc flight for just $8.50 (available through mid-October)?
The Grill at Hunter Ranch located in the heart of Paso Robles Wine Country is good for more than golf. Grab filling bites like popcorn shrimp or bacon and cheddar skins for $4 paired with $4 house wine, $3 domestic bottles, and $5 specialty cocktails every day from 3 to 6 p.m.
Shareable, world cuisine-inspired plates, a posh patio, and tons of live music makes Luna Red a SLOcal favorite (sip on $5 well drinks, sangria, and draft beer and nosh on $5 bites that include house smoked fish tacos, lamb sliders and roasted sesame eggplant dip).
Enjoy the small town charm of the Village of Arroyo Grande with patio dining at family-friendly Rooster Creek Tavern, which offers $4 small plates, $2 off draft beer and $1 off well drinks from 4 to 6 p.m. every Monday through Friday. Tip: You might actually see a rooster moseying around town, so keep your eyes peeled!
When it comes to quintessential California beach towns, Pismo Beach takes the cake (the crab cake, that is). Grub down on fresh seafood while basking in a breathtaking coastal view at SeaVenture Restaurant, where two small plates gets you the third one free and everything tastes better with discounted drinks (Monday through Thursday, 4 to 6 p.m.).
If wine tasting, art galleries, and quiet beach strolls are your thing, Cambria is your destination for happy hour rejuvenation. Robin’s Restaurant combines global flavors with select rotating craft beer, fine wine, and handcrafted soup specials Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.
Pack your large-brimmed hat and a pair of sunnies and get down with one of the liveliest seaside bars in town at the Marisol at the Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. Each Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., enjoy small bites and select $5 glasses of wine, or order off the lounge menu where classic cocktails and ocean delights collide in a spray of lemon and tartar sauce.
If you want to get as close to the ocean as possible (without getting wet) head down to 60 State Park Restaurant, located at The Inn at Morro Bay and just a few yards from lapping Morro Bay waters. Relax with $2 off beer, wine and well drinks from 3 to 6 p.m. daily.
Nothing makes you feel like a SLO County native than imbibing in the local craft beer, fine wine, and hard cider crafted by local folks who live and work right here in SLO County. The Apple Farm Restaurant and Inn has been a mainstay of Central Coast hospitality for decades, and for good reason (their cookies are pure love in the palm of your hand). Feel that warmth when you stay at their cozy inn, where guests can enjoy a glass of wine provided by a rotating winery of the month during a special Guest Reception (winemakers and winery representatives are also known to make an appearance, too).
Speaking of wine-centric stays, none could be more so than Cello Restaurant at Allegretto Vineyard Resort, nestled among Paso’s illustrious grape vines. A little known secret: You don’t have to be a guest to enjoy free wine tastings each Friday and Saturday in the plush resort’s designated wine room.
If you want to watch the game and kick back with a cold one, hit up Milestone Tavern, SLO’s newest casual craft beer hangout (daily from 4 to 6 p.m. get $2 off craft beer, wine, and cocktails and nibble on $6 bites like chili cheese fries, a small pepperoni pizza or addictive queso dip).
Beer and burger lovers will rejoice at the sight of Eureka's “hoppy” hour selections, which span $2 off draft and bottle beers, $2 off wine, and meaty apps that range from $3 to $10. Psst! Get 50% off wine every Tuesday and Bloody Marys for just $5 every weekend.
The words “SLO Brew” have meant one thing in SLO for decades: live music, hot food, and cold craft beer. The newly expanded SLO Brew has kept its promises to that end, serving up house made craft brews and even whiskey to boot! Each Thursday at 10 p.m., imbibe in Thirsty Thursdays, where you can get two well drinks for the price of one (Tuesdays bring their legendary pint night, where pints start at just $2).
Whether you’re a penny-scraping college student or just a fan of a good stiff drink and a well-priced bite, Mother’s Tavern offers up a down home, casual experience that feels like home. Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., head to MoTav for tater tots, tacos, hummus, nachos, and sliders all under $4. Gulp that comfort food down with $1 off bottled beer, $2 off draft pints, $2 off specialty drinks, well and call drinks, $6 off draft pitchers, $15 off margarita pitchers, $4 house wines, and $18 mojito pitchers.