One of the best things about living in Santa Monica?
Having dozens of top-rated restaurants on our home turf and daily Santa Monica happy hours that allow us to sample them all at discounted rates.
So, yes, we've made the happy hour rounds and discovered some hidden gems among Santa Monica restaurants.
Because we can't possible rank them - they're all favorites! - this list of the 19 Best Santa Monica Happy Hours is in alphabetical order.
This indoor-outdoor California cuisine restaurant is the place on Main Street to grab a post-beach libation, with $4 beers, $6 cocktails and wine to wash down discounted appetizers like bacon wrap dates, Spanish octopus with chickpeas and harissa, or a crispy shrimp po boy.
The specials are available daily from 4 - 7 p.m. throughout the restaurant.
2820 Main Street; Santa Monica; (310) 392-1661
Every day is a happy day at this unfussy tavern tucked away in the Edgemar Center for the Arts, where happy hour happens daily.
Enjoy $5 well drinks and house wines to accompany specially priced cheese & meat trays, house-made hummus, Caesar salad, mussels, mushroom pizza and short-rib pizza.
The special is available weekdays from noon to 7 p.m. with food specials 3-4 p.m. on weekends.
2435 Main Street, Santa Monica; (310) 450-3434
What could be finer than sipping a lemon heaven specialty martini and watching the sun set over the Pacific in a laid-back, beach-themed outdoor bar?
Perhaps only getting that - or any of myriad creative specialty martinis - for the happy hour price of $6 while nibbling on lobster corn fritters ($8).
Monday through Friday from 4:30-7 p.m., $6 specialty martinis, $8 hand-crafted cocktails, and $4 beers are on tap, waiting to be paired with calamari with spicy aioli, grilled artichokes, and more priced at $6 to $8 each. Let the good times roll!
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 899-8530
Poolside patio? Check. Happy hour pricing for some of the best eats and libations in Santa Monica? Check.
Relax by the pool after a long (or short) day at work or on the beach with $10 craft cocktails, $5 beer, and $9 sparkling and wine, while nibbling on creative bar fare such as $6 lamb kefta meatballs and $7 BLT sliders on Hawaiian bread. Get happy here from 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. daily.
1819 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica; (310) 260-7511
The new Cheesecake Factory at Santa Monica Place offers happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $6 cocktails, well drinks, wine by the glass and select draft beers; that you can pair with $6 appetizers (with the huge selection you might expect here) including warm crab and artichoke dip, factory nachos, and Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls.
395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica; (310) 260-1296
Coast is a casual, beach-front bar and cafe at Shutters on the Beach where you can enjoy $9 specialty cocktails including berry mojitos and pomegranate wave martinis, $8 wines and sparkling by the glass and nibble on $4 shishito peppers with lime salt and $7 fried calamari while watching the sun set into the Pacific. Sunday through Friday, 4 - 7 p.m. at the bar.
1 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica; (310) 587-1707
Thankfully, Copa d' Oro now hawks a menu until 8 p.m. (and all night Mondays) that features $4 off wine, $5 off cocktails, and $2 off beer and food from the menu.
One of the best ways to end a day spent at the Third Street Promenade just around the corner.
217 Broadway, Santa Monica; (310) 576-3030
Find great prices on traditional Mexican cuisine - and the signature El Cholo margarita ($7) - at Santa Monica's venerable family-run Mexican restaurant. Also half off premium tequila and $6 selected appetizers. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 3 - 6:30 p.m.
1025 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 899-1106
This Santa Monica seafood happy hour is a local favorite from 4 - 7 p.m. daily (with late night happy hours Friday and Saturday 9 - 11 p.m.), with $6 spirits and $1.50 oysters on the half shell, and $8 - $16 premium small plates including lime-marinated fish ceviche, hamachi, and lobster rolls.
174 Kinney Street, Santa Monica; (310) 392-8366
FIG at Five (half of most menu items from 5 - 6 p.m. daily) is widely known as the best happy hour in Santa Monica. Dig into steamed manila clams with vadouvan potato puree and fresh bucatini pasta with heirloom eggplant, asparagus, sundried tomato and pecorino. Plan to arrive promptly at 5 p.m. - the one hour reduced fare bonanza is a big hit with the locals.
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 319-3111
Need a 'study break' (as the Library Ale House euphemistically deems happy hour)? Then ditch class - or work - from 3 - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in favor of sipping 50 percent off beers, $3 wines, and some seriously studious-priced eats like $3 pulled-pork sliders, $6 calamari, and $7 beer-braised mussels. Hall pass not required.
2911 Main Street, Santa Monica; (310) 314-4855
Another great venue for post-shopping rehab (or pre-shopping prep) starts serving up happy hour-priced drinks and eats daily from opening at 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. Voted Best Happy Hour on the Westside by the Los Angeles Times for the deeply discounted well drinks, signature cocktails, sangria, mimosas, beer and wine. You'll find it just a half-block off the Third Street Promenade.
225 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica; (310) 656-9800
From 4 to 6:30 p.m. daily, M Street Kitchen has $3 beers, $5 wines and $6 well drinks to go along with a selection of simple bites, including $5 cheeseburgers or turkey burgers, $2 mahi-mahi tacos and $5 guacamole & housemade chips. Better still, everything on the menu is under $7.
2000 Main Street, Santa Monica; (310) 396-9145
When it come to stellar views and creative cocktails, it doesn't get much better than the Penthouse restaurant atop the Huntley Hotel. Unless you arrive between 4 - 7 p.m. weekdays, that is - when you'll find $4 select beers, $6 wines, and $7 select cocktails to wash down more than a dozen $7 food specials including crispy rock shrimp with Tabasco aioli, halibut ceviche tostadas and short rib tacos.
1111 2nd Street, Santa Monica; (310) 394-5454
Suite 700 atop the iconic Hotel Shangri la is now Onyx Santa Monica. The name has changed but the stellar view of Santa Monica's pristine coastline and Pier remain the same - always worth a visit, especially during workweek happy hour from 4:30 - 7 p.m. You'll find a special menu for your post-work week wind down and discounted cocktails, wine, and beers.
1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, at the Hotel Shangri-la; (310) 394-2791
Come for the killer views from Rusty's Surf Ranch's prime location on the Santa Monica Pier, and stay for the $5 blue iguana margaritas, wine and beer, and tasty bites including $5 fish tacos and $3 clam chowder workdays from 5 - 7 p.m.. This venerable institution is old school Santa Monica in the best sense of the words.
256 Santa Monica Pier; Santa Monica; (310) 393-7437
Local favorite The Lobster does happy hours weekdays from 4:30 - 6:3- p.m., with $6 draft beers, $7 wines, $9 crab taquitos, $2 oysters of the day, and $7 crispy calamari. Fresh seafood and discount-priced drinks at the historic Santa Monic Pier - does it get any better than this?
1602 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica; (310) 458-9294
Coastal Italy meets the Santa Monica coast for $12 craft cocktails and wines ranging from viognier to pinot noir, $9 sangria, and $12 pizzas during happy hours Sunday through Thursday from 3 - 6 p.m. You'll also enjoy drinking in the 180 degree views of the Pacific - no extra charge.
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica; (310) 581-5533
Sushi Roku serves up the best of its best for happy hour daily from 5 - 7 p.m. Start off with $5 cold or hot sake, Robata fusion cocktail or Fuji apple martini, then move along to savor $5 sushi rolls (spicy tuna, California, or vegetable), wasabi bloody Mary oyster shooters, and tuna tatami with mizore ponzu.
A sushi feast to be savored at one of the best happy hours in Santa Monica.
1401 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica; (310) 458-4771
Hungry for more happy hour spots to peruse? Check out the 7 Best Happy Hour Places on Main Street in Santa Monica.