Best Happy Hour in the South Bay

The right happy hour can be that carefree oasis between the duties of the work day and the responsibilities of home, a time to hit pause and hang out with affordable drinks and pub grub. But beyond that, it isn’t one size fits all — you might put the emphasis on using the good prices to try that pricy pinot noir you ordinarily wouldn’t, whereas someone else might prioritize having options for reasonably priced appetizers, bites and noshes, if only to make sure the reasonably priced drinks don’t make everyone, well, too happy. Either way, there’s a happy hour out there that fits your personal style. Taking into account the wide range of preferences for style, location and affordability, here are our picks for the best happy hours in the South Bay. 

Feature Photo: Helena Yankovska

South Bay Sushi Map

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Photo: Courtesy of Blue Water Seafood and Crab​

Blue Water Seafood and Crab

Casual and whimsical “East Coast-style crab house” that specializes in crab, oysters, fish and chips, and other seafood greatest hits, as well as a full menu of pub grub and brunch staples. Happy Hour specials include $2 off on draft and bottled beer, $6 house wines and $8 especially drinks, and snacks run $3.50 to $9, including tempura mushrooms, veggie spring rolls, catfish bites and barbecue pork buns. Happy hour is 3pm to 6pm Monday through Friday. Hours are 11am to 12am Monday through Friday, 10am to 12am Saturday and Sunday.

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Photo: Courtesy of Calave


299 California Avenue, No. 115, Palo Alto

Inviting, casual wine bar offering a wide selection of reds, including from California, France, Italy and Argentina, as well as a lengthy menu of Mexican tequilas, Kentucky bourbons and single malts from Scotland. Along with traditional cocktails, craft beer, signature cocktails and a variety of wine flights, Calave also offers a long menu of gourmet bar bites, flatbreads and cheese flights. Happy hour is 4pm to 6pm Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are 4pm to 10pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 4pm to 11pm Thursday through Saturday, 4pm to 9pm Sunday, closed Monday.

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Photo: Courtesy of Mextizo Cantina

Mextizo Cantina

Authentic, sophisticated Mexican restaurant where the menu is heavily based on cuisine from the state of Veracruz. Menu highlights range from the traditional melted cheese flameado to Mextizos’ signature mole poblano to the variety of taco platters, including a seafood combo with tempura codfish, sauteed prawns and sauteed octopus. Happy Hour specials include $4 Mexican bottled beer, $6 well cocktails and house wines and $8 signature cocktails. Bites are $6 to $9 and include street tacos, chicken nachos, mini churros and mini chicken fajitas skillet. Happy hour is 3pm to 5pm daily. Hours are 11:30am to 9pm Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30am to 10pm Friday and Saturday, 11:30am to 9pm Sunday, closed Monday.

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Photo: Courtesy of Rec Room

Rec Room

Lively lounge in the downtown arts, culture and entertainment district with a small-but-creative menu of specialty craft cocktails, draft beers, and gourmet burgers, bites and brunch dishes. Happy Hour specials include $5 single-mix well cocktails, half off on wine by the bottle, $2 off beer taps and small bites. Happy hour is 5pm to 7pm Thursday through Saturday and all day Wednesday. Hours are 6pm to 10pm Wednesday, 6pm to 12am Thursday, 6pm to 2am Friday, 8pm to 2am Saturday, 1pm to 10pm Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday.

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Photo: Courtesy of Rosie McCann's Irish Pub​

Rosie McCann's Irish Pub

Archetypal Irish pub and restaurant with all the decor, fun vibe, whiskey, pints and pub food that usually goes with that. Happy Hour drinks include $5 draft beer pints, $6 well cocktails, $7 house wine and $8 signature cocktails. The pub grub dishes during Happy Hour are $10 and include crab cakes, bacon-wrapped prawns, buffalo wings, tacos and “Irish Nachos.” Happy hour is 4pm to 6pm Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are 4pm to 1am Monday through Thursday, 12pm to 1:30am Friday, 10am to 1:30am Saturday, 10am to 1am Sunday.

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Photo: Courtesy of Tacolicious


632 Emerson Street, Palo Alto

Sister to the hip Mission District restaurant that serves traditional — and not so traditional — street tacos, small bites and sides, along with a cocktail menu that ranges from margaritas to micheladas. The Happy hour specials: $9 house margarita, red sangria, and wine (red, white, rosé or bubbles), and Tecate and Negra Modelo for $4 and $6, respectively. And at $9 each, made-to-order guacamole, “MF Chicken” tacos, dip sampler with guacamole, chile con queso, refried beans. A popular option is the “T-lish Prix-Fixe,” which is a tequila, a Tecate and a taco for $13. Happy hour is 3pm to 6pm Monday through Friday. Hours are 11am to 9pm Sunday through Thursday, 11am to 10pm Friday and Saturday.

More Local Favorites in the South Bay

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South Bay Happy Hour Map

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