The Best Happy Hour Spot in (Almost) Every State

The Best Happy Hour Spot in (Almost) Every State

The idea that hours can be happy goes back centuries: Medieval sundials were often inscribed with the motto “Horas non numero nisi serenas” — I only count the happy hours.

 As for the kind of happy hours we like to count today — the periods when bars and restaurants offer discounted drinks and food — that idea has a far more recent origin, and an unexpected one at that.

 The first “happy hour” described as such was a weekly opportunity for sailors in the U.S. Navy to relax and let off steam during the calmer moments of World War I. There may have been alcohol involved at first, but the Navy soon issued an order banning drinking on shipboard.

Instead, these happy hours would have involved music, maybe a movie screening, maybe a boxing match. (These days, what people watch during happy hour would more likely be college or pro team sports, for instance at the best bar to watch football in every state.) 

 Some sources link happy hour to pre-dinner drinking during Prohibition (if you weren’t allowed to drink in restaurants, maybe you’d get loaded ahead of time — like dissolute teenagers knocking back a few stiff ones before the prom), but there’s no evidence that speakeasies gave discounts or offered half-price nachos.

24/7 Tempo has researched happy hours in the 42 states that permit them, with or without restrictions, to come up with a list of the best happy hour spots in (almost) every state. 

Source: Courtesy of Carrigan's Public House

Alabama: Carrigan’s Public House
> Located: Birmingham

The happy hour specials at this gastropub in downtown Birmingham include pizza, beer, and Jameson for $10 each from 5 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, and $5 old-school cocktails from 4 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.

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Source: Courtesy of Vines & Hops

Arizona: Vines & Hops
> Located: Scottsdale

No curtailment here. This craft beer and wine bar runs its happy hours all day long from Sunday through Tuesday and from 1 p.m. opening till 7 p.m. the rest of the week. Wines from $5 and up, beers from $4.50, and food items from $2 (potato chips or corn nuts) to $9.50 (burrata with pesto) are featured.

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Source: Courtesy of

Arkansas: The Pantry West
> Located: Little Rock

The festivities at this Czech- and German-accented restaurant run Monday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m., with $4 well drinks, $5 wine, $1 discount for draft beers, and select appetizers for $4.

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Source: Courtesy of

California: The Morrison
> Located: Los Angeles

Happy hour at this purveyor of burgers and Scottish-style pub food goes from 2 to 7 p.m. daily. Craft beers on tap are $6 and a selection of cocktails is available for $7.

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Source: Courtesy of Angelo's Taverna

Colorado: Angelo’s Taverna
> Located: Denver

At Angelo’s, which calls itself “Denver’s original pizza and oyster bar,” happy hour is a double-barreled affair, extending daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. until closing (10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, midnight Thursday through Saturday). The special menu includes $1 oysters ($2 if they’re chargrilled), $2 sliders (meatball, sausage, or Caprese), $6 one-topping eight-inch pizzas, $4 well drinks, and $2 off wines on tap — and more.

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Source: Courtesy of Oyster Club Connecticut

Connecticut: Oyster Club
> Located: Mystic

The bar at this first-rate restaurant in touristy Mystic is small, friendly, and non-touristy. Happy hour runs daily from 4 to 6 p.m., with $1 oysters among other specials. The adjacent outdoor space, the Treehouse, does happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. whenever it’s open — Friday through Sunday only, and only in good weather — also with $1 oysters as well as $6 wine specials and $2 off all draft beers.

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Source: Jillian B. / Yelp

Delaware: Skipjack Dining
> Located: Newark

A casual restaurant specializing in seafood in “the other Newark,” Skipjack features $5 small plates dishes and $1 off draft beers, wines by the glass, and cocktails for its happy hour, daily from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Source: Courtesy of Beaker & Gray

Florida: Beaker & Gray
> Located: Miami

With an eclectic menu and an imaginative cocktail program, Beaker & Gray fuels its happy hours — plural — with $5 beer, $6 wine, $7 cocktails, and $5 to $7 snacks (yucca fries, adzuki bean falafel, etc.). The deals are offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and also, in reverse fashion, Sunday through Thursday from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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Source: Courtesy of The Ordinary Pub

Georgia: The Ordinary Pub
> Located: Savannah

The “reimagined pub fare” at the Ordinary extends to such unusual happy hour(s) dishes as poached salmon and crab spread, pork belly sliders, and wontons with Asian salsa ($8 to $9). To drink, there are $5 house wines and draft beer and cocktails priced $5 to $9. Instead of calling their discount periods “happy hours,” however, the pub divides them into apéritif hour, from 3 to 7 p.m., and digéstif hour, from 10 p.m. until closing — Monday through Saturday in both cases.

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Source: Courtesy of The Surfing Pig Hawaii

Hawaii: The Surfing Pig Hawaii
> Located: Honolulu

One of the shorter happy hours around the country, the Surfing Pig’s runs from 4 to 5.30 p.m., Monday through Friday. House wines, draft beers, signature cocktails, and assorted bar snacks (street tacos, smoky cheesy mac, etc.) are all $1 to $2 off the usual prices.

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Source: Courtesy of Bittercreek Alehouse

Idaho: Bittercreek Alehouse & Red Feather Lounge
> Located: Boise

Once you learn that the proprietors here consider serving local and ethically produced food their priority, you won’t be surprised to hear that their weekday discount eating and drinking session (3 to 5.30 p.m.) is called the Low Power Happy Hour. For this, they “unplug & turn down the lights to reduce our energy footprint,” inviting patrons to “drink by candlelight and know you are saving the planet while doing it.” Expect $3 beers (“except the really expensive ones”), $5 wine, $6 braised local pork poutine, and the like. There’s also a late night happy hour, from 10 to 11.30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The food menu is slightly larger for the late shift and there’s a $5 bartender’s choice “fancy cocktail” added to the drinks.

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Source: Courtesy of Community Tavern

Illinois: Community Tavern
> Located: Chicago

This popular restaurant with its contemporary America menu — one Yelper calls it “Super cute, modern, and classy” — hosts a happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring $1 oysters and $25 bottles of wine.

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Source: Courtesy of Pullman Bar Diner

Iowa: Pullman Bar & Diner
> Located: Iowa City

Pullman calls its happy hour “community hour.” It runs from 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays, with $5 highballs, as well as $2 off all draft beers and $3 off all craft cocktails and wines by the glass. There’s also a “shift beer” (the beer trade’s name for the brew given workers when their shift ends). In this case, it’s a choice of Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Hamm’s, or Coors with a shot of Short’s Whiskey on the side — all for $6. A small discounted food menu is also offered, ranging from bread & butter pickles for $3 to a cheese and charcuterie board for $12.

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Source: Courtesy of Mort's Martini Bar

Kansas: Mort’s Martini and Cigar Bar
> Located: Wichita

Mort’s — also known as Mort’s Cigar Bar or Mort’s Martini & Cigar Bar — has a lengthy happy hour, stretching from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day but Sunday, when the place closes at 10 p.m. Drink specials vary day by day, but include half-price martinis on Mondays, $4 house martinis and $3.50 domestic bottled beer on Tuesdays, and “Come check out what’s new!” offerings on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Source: Joseph T. / Yelp

Kentucky: Couvillion
> Located: Louisville

An enthusiastically Southern-style restaurant — its name means a kind of rich, thick Cajun fish stew — Couvillion offers $5 draft beers ($2 for Miller Lite), $6 wines by the glass, and $6 cocktails (including a margarita or a Sazerac) for happy hour. Actually, happy hour lasts all day Monday, then from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday. (The place is closed Tuesday and doesn’t have a Saturday happy hour.)

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Source: Courtesy of Bacchanal Wine

Louisiana: Bacchanal Wine
> Located: New Orleans

This stylish wine and cocktail bar, which promises “Mediterranean living / New Orleans style,” runs its happy hour all day long, from its 11 a.m. opening until 5 p.m. All wines by the glass are $5, beer at the bar is $1 off, and there are classic mixed drinks for $6.

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Source: Rosie Q. / Yelp

Maine: Tomaso’s Canteen
> Located: Portland

A bar serving a wide array of beers, wines, and cocktails, along with “elevated bar food,” Tomaso’s features not just a happy hour, but “7 Hours of Happiness,” every weekday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. That means $2.50 red hot dogs and $6 Italian sausage sandwiches, washed down with Narragansett or Miller Lite tallboys for $2.50, Sierra Nevada Torpedo tallboys for $3.50, or $5 Ice Pik Vodka drinks.

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Source: Courtesy of Clavel

Maryland: Clavel
> Located: Baltimore

At this family-owned taquería and mezcalería, happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, with $4 off what Food Network has called “their killer house margaritas,” and also on “the beyond-inhalable queso fundido.” One Yelp reviewer confessed, “We had a party of 5 and ended up ordering 4(!) queso fundidos during happy hour because we could not stop.”

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Source: Courtesy of Butcher's Union

Michigan: Butcher’s Union
> Located: Grand Rapids

Butcher’s Union’s “happy hour is the best of any joint in the area,” one local customer wrote on Yelp. Food specials are hearty (candied bacon deviled eggs for $5, beef enchiladas for $7, etc.), and there are $6 cocktails, $4.50 wines, and $3.50 craft drafts.

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Source: Courtesy of Emmett's Public House

Minnesota: Emmett’s Public House
> Located: Saint Paul

“This place is great for a happy hour,” wrote one Yelp reviewer of this affable Irish pub. “They have good drink deals and decent deals on food.” Snacks like corned beef sliders and Jameson sticky wings are $3 off (they’re usually $12 and $11, respectively). Local beers are $4.50 a pint, house wines cost $5 a glass, and The Big E — a local pint and a shot of Tullamore Dew — is $7.50.

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Source: Courtesy of Charred: a Steak & Oyster bar

Mississippi: Charred: A Steak & Oyster Bar
> Located: Ocean Springs

This Gulf Coast restaurant, just across the bay from Biloxi, acknowledges its name at happy hour (2 to 5.30 p.m. weekdays) with half-price oysters and, on Tuesdays, $3 steak tacos and half-price drinks at the bar.

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Source: Courtesy of Retreat Gastropub

Missouri: Retreat Gastropub
> Located: Saint Louis

A Yelp reviewer enthuses, “Go for happy hour! Best deals and always space!” It’s an all-day affair every Monday, and then runs from Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. (Retreat is closed Tuesday.) The $6 food offerings include mac and cheese, fried risotto balls, and pork toasts. Beers are $4 to $5, house wines are $7 a glass or $24 a bottle, and there is a selection of classic cocktails (including old fashioned, Negroni, and piña colada) for $6.

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Source: Courtesy of PLONK!

Montana: Plonk
> Located: Missoula

Such unusual happy hour dishes as Spanish sardines with saltines, halibut and garbanzo fish sticks, and tamari-glazed pork shoulder buns are on the menu here. Selected cocktails are $5 to $9 and wines are $5 to $7. The hours are 3 to 5 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. to midnight daily. The same hours apply but the menu is different at Plonk’s second location, in Bozeman.

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Source: Courtesy of Stirnella Bar & Kitchen

Nebraska: Stirnella Bar & Kitchen
> Located: Omaha

A gastropub serving “internationally inspired dishes with Omaha flavor,” Stirnella goes all out with its happy hour choices. There are cocktails for $6 to $7, wine for $5 a glass or $25 a bottle, draft beer for $3, bottled or canned beer for $4, even a choice of organic teas for $4. The food ranges from $5 chop salad to $15 burrata with peas and country ham, with a $6 ribeye and foie gras slider and some $12 popcorn chicken in between.

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Source: Courtesy of Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar

Nevada: Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar
> Located: Las Vegas

Mordeo calls its early evening discount sessions, held Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., “social hour.” The food is a selection of pintxos (Basque tapas), like skewered scallops ($6), beef tartare ($5), or goat cheese with figs ($4). The drink deal is that if you buy one of anything at full price, you get a second one for 50% off.

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Source: Courtesy of Dante's Bistro Bar & Grille

New Hampshire: Dante’s Bistro Bar & Grille
> Located: Barrington

Described by one Yelper as “[a] hidden treasure on Route 125,” this Italian restaurant and wine bar holds its happy hour Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., featuring half-price draft beers and $5 martinis.

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Source: Courtesy of Cellar 335

New Jersey: Cellar 335
> Located: Jersey City

Happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at this tiki bar and restaurant. The discounts are $2 off all cocktails, beers, and wines, and 20% off Korean-style wings, charred edamame, and smoked “brocc-amolè.”

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Source: Courtesy of Terracotta Wine Bistro

New Mexico: Terracotta Wine Bistro
> Located: Santa Fe

Happy hour here is an all-day event, with a large selection of wines for $6 a glass until 6 p.m. One Yelp reviewer describes Terracotta’s happy hour as “pretty basic, but nice,” while another calls out those $6 glasses as “[a]n incredible bargain.”

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Source: Courtesy of Amélie

New York: Amélie
> Located: New York

From 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings only, this West Village wine bar serves staff-curated three-wine flights (or construct your own) for $12. Small plate food specials, beginning at 4 p.m., include chicken liver mousse or escargots for $10. “You really can’t go wrong with the happy hour deals,” according to one Yelp reviewer. (The place has two siblings, one on the Upper West Side, one in San Francisco.)

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Source: Courtesy of The Starving Rooster - Bismarck

North Dakota: The Starving Rooster – Bismarck
> Located: Bismarck

Both here and at the Rooster’s Minot location, happy hour stretches from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. until closing, seven days a week. House wines and domestic pints are $3, various other beers and cocktails range from $4 to $6, and food specials include a Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese sauce for $3 and a flatbread pizza for $6 — as well as $2 off on all other appetizers.

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Source: Courtesy of Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey

Ohio: Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey
> Located: Cincinnati

At this Southern-inflected comfort food place, happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Select cocktails, draft beers, and wines are 50% off and there’s a choice of $5 brews as well.

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Source: Courtesy of Palomar

Oregon: Palomar
> Located: Portland

This stylish Cuban-flavored bar and restaurant offers happy hour specials Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. — including croquetas for $1 each, vegetable fritters for 50 cents apiece, Modelo beer for $2, rosé for $6, and regular or frozen daiquiris for $7. “Happy Hour Heaven!” exclaimed one Yelper.

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Source: Courtesy of Tria Cafe

Pennsylvania: Tria Cafe Wash West
> Located: Philadelphia

A wine, cheese, and beer bar, Tria advertises: “No televisions, karaoke, entertainment or other modern diversions” and invites customers to “Talk, sip, bite, repeat.” Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., the establishment offers three wines, one beer, and one cheese and meat board for $5 each — and assures its patrons that they’re “the good stuff, not typical happy hour ‘bargains.'”

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Source: Courtesy of Moe's Crosstown Tavern

South Carolina: Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
> Located: Charleston

“For those who don’t know,” offers one Yelp reviewer, “Moe’s Crosstown is pretty much an institution around Charleston.” That reputation is probably helped by the $1.75 PBR draft beer and the $5 mozzarella sticks, onion rings, black bean dip, and more, available at happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Also on the menu, $4 shots of Grand Marnier, Jameson, Fireball, Rumpleminz, or Jägermeister — and there are discounts on other liquors and beers, too.

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Source: Courtesy of Independent Ale House

South Dakota: Independent Ale House
> Located: Rapid City

There’s a range of extravagant pizzas here, along with 40 beers on tap. The happy hour scene involves $1 off wines by the glass and draft beers from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday — but on Monday nights, the wine discount is 50%.

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Source: Courtesy of Urban Stack

Tennessee: Urban Stack
> Located: Chattanooga

There are lots of burgers on the menu here, and one of the happy hour food specials is a $12.99 slider flight, allowing customers to choose small versions of three of their favorites. Other choices include fried chickpeas ($2.99) and 3 Little Piggies chili ($3.50 a cup, $5.99 a bowl). Happy hour goes from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with half-price drink specials all night Thursday.

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Source: Courtesy of BCK Houston

Texas: BCK
> Located: Houston

“I highly recommend you stop by for their Happy Hour,” wrote one Yelp reviewer, and another, who did just that, thought “the service was fantastic and so was the atmosphere” at this self-described “funky eatery providing familiar throwback comfort eats from the 80s & 90s.” The festivities run daily except Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m., and involve $3 beer, $7 old fashioneds, wines at 50% off, and assorted $5 appetizers (plus duck tacos for $2.50).

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Source: Dani P. / Yelp

Virginia: Stella’s
> Located: Richmond

Instead of a happy hour, this well-known Richmond establishment, featuring “rustic and modern Greek cuisine,” hosts a “meze ora” Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Meze are small snacks — Greek tapas, if you will — like homemade lamb and beef meatballs, fig and goat cheese crostini, grilled octopus with fried artichoke, and grilled Greek sausage. A changing variety is specially priced during meze ora, as are house wines (including retsina), special beers, and a cocktail of the evening.

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Source: Randell S. / Yelp

Washington: Zig Zag Café
> Located: Seattle

This Pike Place Market hideaway, famous for its cocktails, does happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Martinis, Manhattans, and old fashioneds are $7, house wines are $5 a glass, draft beer is $3.50, and there are assorted small plates available for $4 to $12.

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Source: Courtesy of

West Virginia: Tin 202
> Located: Morgantown

A visitor from Indiana told Yelp readers that she “was super surprised to find such quality in Morgantown” — a town of about 30,000 people in the north-central portion of the state — and numerous reviewers single out the bartenders for praise. Happy hour goes from 5 to 6.30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and 4 to 6.30 p.m. Sunday. Select wines are $5 a glass, there’s $1 off all draft beers, and gin and tonics and old fashioneds are $6. Various food specials are available.

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Source: KC S. / Yelp

Wisconsin: Swingin’ Door Exchange
> Located: Milwaukee

“Favorite bar food in Milwaukee, hands down…on the bottom floor of one of the most beautiful buildings in Milwaukee,” according to one Yelper. And the Swingin’ Door’s proprietors describe the place to Yelp as “very casual…with a great mix of patrons…from all walks of life.” From 5 to 7 p.m. here, Monday through Saturday, PBR cans are $3 and $5 (depending on size) and select cocktails are $4. Food choices change daily — for instance, $2 Chicago hot dogs and $2.50 chili on Mondays and all-you-can-eat mussels on Wednesdays.

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Source: Mecca S. / Yelp

Wyoming: Born in a Barn
> Located: Laramie

Wings and burgers are the focus here, where happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday and all day long (11 a.m. to 10 p.m.) on Saturday. Discounts are $1 off all beers, $2 off all single well drinks, and $3 off all double well drinks.

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Findings and Methodology

Happy hour in the sense we know it today seems to have developed in the years after World War II, and by the 1970s, had become a widespread phenomenon — a way for anyone selling alcohol (wine bars, cocktail lounges, taverns, eating places) to boost their early-evening sales.

 Of course, people are likely to drink more if drinks are cheaper — and maybe even to stay on after happy hour discounts expire for the night. The fact that happy hours encourage increased alcohol consumption — binge drinking, if you will — is responsible for the fact that eight states actually ban happy hours. Those are Alaska, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont. There are movements in some of these to end the ban, however — for instance, an attempt earlier this year, as yet unsuccessful, to return happy hour to Vermont.

Many other states, while not forbidding happy hours completely, have placed restrictions on their length, on the extent to which drinks may be discounted, on how happy hours may be advertised, and/or on the kinds of promotions that may be offered. There are no limitations, happily, on the bargain-priced food that can be offered, and this tends to be casual, familiar fare — perhaps involving some of America’s favorite comfort foods

On the other hand, length restrictions notwithstanding, it should be noted that “happy hour” virtually always lasts for several hours. Some places even offer “reverse happy hour,” starting late in the evening and extending until closing time.

 24/7 Tempo began its choice of the best happy hour spots by compiling a list of bars and restaurants whose listings included the keywords “happy hour” on Yelp. To be considered, the establishments needed to be in or near a city with a population of at least 100,000 people, though in states with few or no cities of this size, bars in smaller cities were also considered. They also needed to have been reviewed at least 50 times, and have an average rating of 4 or more stars. Relatively expensive places (listed with “$$$$” or “$$$”) were not considered.

Drawing from this initial list, we consulted the establishments’ own websites and numerous local and national review sites to find the places offering the most interesting and/or most extensive happy hour specials and the most appealing prices, focusing on those known for the quality of their food and/or drinks when possible.

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