Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
This city dining room is all about the ambience: flickering candles, smooth jazz, smoother waitstaff. Its tables are highly sought-after but don’t forget Hubert’s fine Pincer Bar, where between 3pm and 5pm, your Duck Parfait with Hubert baguette ($7) or Croque Monsieur ($5) can be accompanied by $11 Negronis, $6 Dubonnet Highballs or $6 house wine. Photo by Daniel Boud.
15 Bligh Street, Sydney
The Moat, Melbourne
Tucked under the State Library, this cosy den is perfect for a post-cram-session tipple. On weekdays between 4:30pm and 6pm and Saturday between 5 and 6:30pm, bottled beer is $6, house wine is $8 and selected cocktails cost $12. Makes you almost want to study.
176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Old Man’s, Bali
Right on the beach in trendy Canggu with an excellent view of the surf, Old Man’s is all beach umbrellas, beanbags and fairy lights. Between 5pm and 6pm, there’s two-for-one drinks.
Pantai Batu Bolong St No.117X, Canggu
SEE ALSO: The Complete Guide to Eating Out in Bali
La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, New York
Yes, the French nom may challenge your pronunciation skills but this wine bar is actually eminently approachable. Anyway, there’s no time to practice French when you’re sampling one of the more than 1600 drops on offer. Between 5pm and 6pm weekdays and 3pm and 4pm weekends, there’s US$5 (about $7.40) off all wine by the glass and US$5 selected snacks.
249 Centre Street, SoHo
Freni e Frizzioni, Rome
Rome has an excellent aperitivo scene. Essentially, it’s a pre-dinner drink and snack but some of the city’s venues offer such a robust buffet you can almost forgo dinner entirely. This Trastevere bar runs aperitivo between 7pm and 10pm, and people generally fan across the piazza with their drinks, chatting and snacking.
Via del Politeama, 4, 00153
The Friend, Los Angeles
In a city where having a glass of wine with lunch elicits worried glances and surreptitious mentions of 12-step programs, The Little Friend in hip Silver Lake offers sweet relief. Happy hour goes till 9pm every night and includes US$5 ($7.40) house wine, US$7 ($10.40) Aperol spritzes and $US8 ($12) mezcal Margaritas.
2611 Hyperion Avenue, Silver Lake
Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney
For $4, Frankie’s will sell you a beer, a glass of wine, a spirit or a slice of pizza. This subterranean pizza hangout also has a $15 all-you-can-eat pizza option. And best of all, it’s available seven days a week between 4pm and 6pm. That’s a pretty good deal, any way you slice it.
50 Hunter Street, Sydney
Victoria Bar, Berlin
Rated among the world’s best bars, Victoria Bar is a gorgeous, Art Deco-styled space with a sophisticated cocktail menu to match. With happy hour stretching to the very civilised 9:30pm, this Tiergarten favourite offers cocktails such as the Elderflower Royal 2009 (gin, St Germain Elderflower, champagne) for €9.50 ($15) and Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne for €10 ($16) a glass.
Potsdamer Straße 102, 10785
Oscar’s Steakhouse, Las Vegas
Happy hour at Oscar’s at the Plaza can be a full meal: between 5pm and 7pm, a very American offering of shrimp cocktail, black Angus burger and crab cakes is discounted and the drinks menu includes US$7 ($10.40) wine and US$3 ($4.5) beer.
Plaza Hotel & Casino, 1 South Main Street
This pub claims to be the highest-altitude Irish pub in the world. Lofty claims aside, it has TWO happy hours, one from 7-8pm and another from 9:30pm to 10:30pm, and a menu of Irish favourites if you’re sick of ceviche.
Calle Truinfo, Plaza de Armas, 124
Le Dude, Paris
An homage to The Dude, the protagonist played so eloquently by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, this bar sandwiched between the bobo Canal Saint Martin and arty, gritty Belleville, is as eccentric as its namesake. At happy hour, pints cost a formidable €2.5 ($4), pastis and wine is €1.50 ($2.40) a glass and cocktails are €5 ($8). And of course, the White Russians are spot-on.
214 Rue Saint-Maur, 75010
When in Rome, the aperitivo of choice is a spritz – try an Aperol version or something with Campari. At Doppiozeroo (try saying that times fast after three spritzes), sip cocktails until 9pm, and don’t forget to sample the spread of mini pizza, panini, thin slices of Parma ham, handmade pasta and even dessert (two words: Nutella doughnuts).
Via Ostiense, 68, Lazio
Badfish has eschewed happy hour and gone with Angry Hour instead. This Prenzlauer Berg bar is owned by a couple of North Americans – one Canadian, one American – who offer half-litres of craft beer and pickle-back shots for €2 ($3.2) between 5pm and 7pm. We really can’t see much to be angry about.
Stargarder Strasse 14, Prenzlauer Berg
Touche Hombre, Melbourne
This happening little joint brings the streets of Mexico City to inner Melbourne – with prices to match. On weekdays between 3pm and 5pm, house wine, Tecate beer and Dos Blockos Pale Lager are $5. Add two Tiny Tacos to your order for grand total of $10.
233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Verlaine, New York
With a happy hour they’re claiming as New York’s best, this Lower East Side bar, named for the 19th century poet Paul Verlaine (whose penchant for absinthe was well known), has specials from 5pm to 10pm seven days a week. Think US$7 ($10.40) house wine, US$7 lychee martinis and US$4 ($6.50) Narragansett beer.
110 Rivington Street, New York
Brouwerij’t IJ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In what could be the most Dutch touch ever, the Brouwerij’t IJ is located in the base of a windmill. It’s a brewery offering hearty, full-bodied ales and typical snacks such as sausage and cheese. When happy hour rolls around, locals and visitors alike stroll over to this pub to the east of the city for naturally brewed beers for just a few Euros.
Funenkade 7, 1018 AL
The Social, London
This retro-styled bar is all wood panelling and cool art located in the heart of Central London’s Fitzrovia. Every day until 8:30pm, pints and mixed drinks are £3.50 ($6.70), which, in this town, is a legit bargain.
5 Little Portland Street, Fitzrovia
Le Diamant, Paris
What better place to spend “apéro” hour in Paris than a local bar with prices as refreshing as the mojitos? Le Diamont in Butte aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement has a long, generous happy hour. From 5pm until 9pm, there’s €4.5 ($7.30) pints and €5 ($8) cocktails.
56 Rue des Cinq Diamants, 13th arrondissement
Triple George Grill, Las Vegas
Monday to Friday, the Triple George Grill offers happy hour from 11am until 7pm. So, depending on your jet-lag, or how long you spent at the blackjack table, you could have brunch-time US$5 Bloody Marys, dinnertime US$5 pinot or a late-night US$6 martini.
201 North 3rd Street
Bar Clementine, Sydney
Every day between 3pm and 6pm, this neighbourhood gem serves $6 mixed drinks – think G&T, Campari and soda or white port and tonic. Glasses of rose are $8 and an expertly crafted negroni or martini is $12. To accompany the aperitifs is a sophisticated list of snacks: a half-dozen oysters for $18, chickpea chips with shaved pecorino for $9 and a $24 charcuterie plate perfect for grazing.
1/52 Harris Street, Pyrmont
169 Bar, New York
A true dive the way only New York can do them, 169 Bar has a storied past (it opened in 1916 and was known as “the bloody bucket”) and the carpet to prove it. Its gloriously kitsch interior is complemented by drinks with prices from the past. The US$3 ($4.50) beers are popular but some technology that’s very 2020 enables customers to text in their bar orders so they don’t have to queue.
169 East Broadway, New York
Chez Georges, Paris
In the midst of chichi Saint Germain des Pres is Chez Georges, a cellar bar that’s been an institution in the neighbourhood for decades. Expect dancing on the tables, soulful renditions of Edith Piaf songs and bottles of wine for €20 ($32). The vaulted, cave-like interior makes for an atmospheric evening – as do the copious bottles of Sancerre.
1 Rue de Mail, 1st arrondissement
Yapa, Los Angeles
This Japanese/Peruvian mash-up cocktail bar is so LA, which loves a fusion. From Wednesday to Friday till 7pm, make the most of its US$8 ($12) cocktails (classics such as Moscow mules and daiquiris) and the little US$7 ($10.40) butifarra sandwiches (beef asado with salsa criolla; pork with pickles).
236 South Los Angeles Street, Suite G, Little Tokyo
Louis, Tel Aviv
Here’s the deal at Louis, a cool spot across the way from historical Rabin Square: 1+1. Buy one drink, get the next one free. The only rule is that you have to finish the first drink in order to obtain your second. The bar also has 50 per cent off food such as pizza, burgers and a “Sloppy Yossef” – and they offer it between 4pm and 9pm every day.
Malkhei Yisra’el Street 4
Bar Square at the Andaz, Singapore
Singapore ain’t cheap, especially for booze. A bottle of beer in a hawker market won’t set you back too much but a cocktail at a bar? It’s a little on the pricey side. At the Andaz Hotel, there are great views from the rooftop Stork Bar – but just a few floors down on 25, the Bar Square has the same views (of the magnificent Marina Bay Sands) and a happy hour that runs from 5pm to 9pm and has 50 per cent off all drinks. Shh! It’s our secret.
5 Fraser Street
Kettner’s Townhouse Champagne Bar, London
Get a little fancy at this Soho hotel bar where the extensive champagne list includes some of the world’s finest fizz. Never fear: take a stool at the glorious semi-circular bar and order a £5 glass of house wine ($9.60) or £8 cremant ($15), on special between 5pm and 7pm daily.
29 Romilly Street, Soho
The Magician, New York
This dimly lit Lower East Side joint on Rivington Street is cash-only with extremely affordable drinks and a cool LA noir vibe. At happy hour (5pm to 8pm daily), well drinks are US$4 ($6) and pints US$5 ($7.4) – and if the bartender likes you they might waive the fee. Don’t forget to tip and if you’re offered a Mind Eraser, proceed with caution.
118 Rivington Street, New York
Ototo, Los Angeles
This Echo Park saké bar opened in 2019 and quickly became the LA cool-kids drinking den of choice. Its happy hour special is a doozy: for US$18 ($27), you’ll score a glass of chilled saké and a chicken katsu sando. It’s only available weekdays between 5:30pm and 7pm.
1360 Allison Avenue, Echo Park
The Holly Bush, London
After an invigorating ramble on Hampstead Heath, head over to The Holly Bush, a centuries-old pub replete with crackling fires, cosy corners and comfy chesterfields. Between 6pm and 8pm each weekday, cocktails are two-for-one.
22 Holly Mount, Hampstead
Pica Pica Bar, Lima
Pisco y marisco (that’s pisco, the local liqueur, and seafood) is the order of the day at Pica Pica Lounge in Miraflores, a charming modern bar that offers two-for-one pisco sours during happy hour.
Calle Berlin 334, Miraflores
Casa da Cachaça, Rio
This old-school botequim is a neighbourhood gem. The shelves are stacked with cachaça, the menu heavy on cod fritters and local musicians – some of whom have been frequenting the bar for years – regularly break out their instruments for an impromptu gig. Happy hour offers vary, but no matter the price, this place is where the locals drink – and they know their cachaça.
Avenida Mem de Sá, 110A, Lapa
Pair your banh mi with an ice-cold bottled beer, cider or house wine for $4 between 4pm and 5pm, $5 between 5pm and 6pm and $6 between 6 and 7pm, Monday to Friday. If you’re not after a baguette stuffed with goodies or a fragrant pho, grab some snacks: $6 will score you spring rolls, chicken ribs or rice paper rolls.
530 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Everson Royce Bar, Los Angeles
In the downtown Arts District, the concrete exterior of this bar gives nothing away; the neon sign stating “BAR” is slightly more expansive. Once entry has been gained, however, it’s bustling, with a long row of banquettes and an excellent Astroturf-covered patio. Tuesday to Friday it offers US$8 ($12) cocktails such as the Pomegranate Paloma (pomegranate tequila, grapefruit, lime, soda), US$9 ($13.40) Boilermakers (a Modelo beer with a shot of tequila) and discounted beer, wine and mixed drinks. There’s also a US$10 ($14.90) burger and fries to soak it up.
1936 East 7th Street, Arts District
The Stack, Cape Town, South Africa
Every day of the week, The Stack, an elegant bar done up in shades of emerald and fuchsia, all cocktails are ZAR 40 – about $4. After a few of their bespoke cocktails – think Smoked Negronis and Burnt Orange Old Fashioneds – you can wander over to award-winning The Stack Bistro for dinner.
7 Weltevreden Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Octave Roofop Lounge and Bar, Bangkok
In a city of fantastic rooftop bars, it takes a lot to stand out. Octave gets our vote for the stunning 360-degree views, the neon-lit circular bar, and the happy hour of half-price cocktails that lasts between 5pm and 7pm.
Bangkok Marriott Hotel, 2 Ban Kluai Nuea Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana
Rooftop Bar & Terrace G, Japan
Shinjuku’s a mecca of super-cool spots but this rooftop bar is a cut above. The people-watching is great, the view from the 13th floor of the Granbell Hotel is excellent and the happy hour (5-7pm) includes beer and bourbon (not together) for 500 yen ($6.80). Next door, you can see the Park Hyatt, made famous in Lost in Translation. Kanpai!
2 Chome-14-5 Kabukicho, Shinjuku