Best Happy Hour’s

Taking to $5 glasses of wine and $1 tacos, is always a good thing.  Sharing with you the “best of the best.”

Forge in the Forest

Here’s where you can take the party outside.  Forge has an appealing four-sided outdoor fireplace in a garden setting with probably the best happy hour steak nachos for $8, accompanied by glasses of wine for $5.  Dog-friendly, with it’s own doggie menu for Fido.

Mon-Fri. 4-6pm.     5th Ave @ Junipero St.     .       831.624.2233

Sandbar & Grill

Underneath Monterey’s Municipal Wharf #2 is Sandbar.  A place where locals go for happy hour fresh-catch seafood.  It feels and sounds like the wharf as you descend beneath the boardwalk to a small seafood joint facing the harbor, as seals bark in the background.   $5.95 calamari or steamed mussels and $4 well drinks.

Mon-Fri, 4-6pm        9 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey     .     831.373.2818


Who would’ve guessed such a cool restaurant would pop up in old Salinas.  While drinks and wine are full price, the attraction here is the complimentary servings of Country French appetizers, served family style.  Quiche, briny potato salad, greek olives, pickled beets, sliced meats and lima beans. Great wine choices and excellent service.

Daily 3:30-6pm   228 Main Street, Salinas   .   831.424.5555

Baja Cantina

Good Mexican happy hours are hard to find in Carmel.

Baja Cantina in Carmel Valley serves up $1 tacos and $5 margaritas.  The building and interior are loaded with vintage metal signs, helmets and industrial cool.  Their happy hour menu also offers steak or chicken skewers for only $3.50.  The street tacos are filled with either carnitas, chicken, steak or veggies.  Well drinks are $4 and tequila shots are $5.  Great place to catch a 49er’s game as they have more than eight television screens throughout the bar and restaurant.  Outside patio with fireplace

Mon-Fri. 3-6pm       7166 Carmel Valley Rd.     .     831.625.2252

Rio Grill

The combination of good wine and top-notch appetizers make for a delicious happy hour marriage. Great bar and friendly bartenders set the backdrop for $4/6 glasses of vino to pair with grilled shishito peppers, deviled eggs or tri-tip sandwiches. Take note of the Sunday happy hour from 4-10pm. A bar where seasoned Carmelites gather to shoot the breeze and sip good wine.

Mon-fri: 4-6:30     Sundays: 4-10             101 Crossroads Blvd.               831.625.5436

Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen & Bar

What could be better than dining over the water while watching kayakers and sea otters in Monterey Bay.  Schooner’s bar opens to the deck and serves happy hour throughout the entire room.  The menu has a nautical flair, offering such dishes as Captain’s Pizza, Crab & Artichoke Bruschetta, Crispy Calamari and Oysters (Friday’s Only).  Drink Specialties are Schooner’s Mai Tai, Bourbon Twist and Citrus by the Bay.  $3 beer, $5 galley bites and $7 specialty drinks.  (831) 372-2628

Mon-Fri. 4-6pm  .  Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa  .  400 Cannery Row