Any pub or restaurant can offer a few half-hearted drink specials, roll out some frozen fish sticks and call it “Happy Hour.” But true Happy Hour magic? Well, that my thirsty friends, is the province of establishments that understand what the term really means. There are seemingly countless Galveston bars and restaurants promising a great happy hour experience, and here are a few of my favorites.
Featuring award-winning margaritas—their blueberry basil lemon margarita took home the honor of “Best Margarita in Texas” during Galveston’s 2015 Texas Margarita Festival—Lucky also knows how to throw a top notch happy hour. From its Martini Mondays featuring $7 you call it martinis, to daily Happy Hour specials that include $2 frozen margs, to Taco Tuesday, during which 10 percent of all drink sales benefit the Resource & Crisis Center of Galveston County, this place throws a great party and has its heart in the right place, too.
Taquilo’s Tex Mex Cantina
Happy “Hour” is an all-day affair that runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday. A big reason why Taquilo’s has become a must visit for happy hour devotees is the $4 Cuervo house margaritas, along with specials on draft beer, well drinks and wine. They also serve up world class margaritas—try the watermelon or the caliente, their signature jalapeno marg—along with some delicious warm chips and legendary green salsa, and chances are you’ll become a regular.
Olympia Grill at Pier 21
Waterfront dining, outstanding Greek dishes and great drink specials combine to create a memorable Happy Hour experience. There’s a reason why they won numerous awards in the 2016 Galveston.com Best of the Island Awards, including “Best Happy Hour.” Specials include $2.50 beers and daily $3 cocktails, while the menu goes above and beyond standard bar food, including wonderfully unique Greek nachos and a decidedly bold and audacious take on fried mushrooms.
Located in the middle of The Strand district, Yaga’s has become an island Happy Hour mainstay thanks to daily specials including $10 margarita pitchers, $1 off all draft beers and great bottled beer deals ($2 domestic and $2.50 imports). Plus, Yaga’s prides itself on creating the most fun and downright chill vibe on the island. The Happy Hour menu is loaded with bites that have woven themselves into the local fabric, including the Caribbean pork nachos and the flauta bites.
Daiquiri Time Out
Thanks to its never-ending quest to make the best drinks in Galveston, DTO has forged a reputation as the Galveston drinking person’s Taj Mahal. Happy Hour is the perfect time to sample some of the amazing drinks created by the professional mixologists manning the bar. Whether you go with the Suffering Bastard and its unique blend of bourbon and gin, or the Zombie, a simply splendid daiquiri that marries various rums, pineapple juice and passionfruit, or a traditional drink like the Manhattan made with loving care, you’ll leave wondering why all Happy Hours aren’t like this.
A key member of the five-bars-in-one good time conglomerate called Island Famous, The Spot is as much a frame of mind as it is a bar. Located on the Seawall and just steps from the sand and surf, this place is about as casual as you can get. In fact, if you dared to wear a shirt and tie I’m not so sure they’d even let you in! Happy Hour features an abundance of daily specials, including $4 margaritas and $2 Longnecks. Don’t even think about leaving before trying the signature calamari—it’s that good.