Happy hour is called "happy" for a reason; it's probably going to be the happiest part of your day, should you choose to partake.
In South Florida, we have no dearth of happy hours to keep us floating through the week. Especially in Fort Lauderdale, where you can find dozens of restaurants from the beach strip to Las Olas and Himmarshee Boulevard offering deals aplenty.
To sort through them all took some heavy drinking (and munching), but it was worth it. From half-priced oysters and cocktails to four-for-one drink specials and happy hours that start at 11 a.m., there's a little bit of something for everyone.
So here you go: the ten best happy hours for noshing, imbibing, and countless other "happy hour" offerings in Fort Liquordale.
10. Lulu's Bait Shack
17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 561-463-7425, or visit lulusbaitshack.com.
If you’re looking to drink on the cheap after a day at the beach, Lulu’s Beach Shack at Beach Place is your spot. This fun and festive upstairs tavern on the city’s oceanfront strip offers a great happy hour with a prime view. You can order Creole/Cajun bar food plus fishbowl-sized cocktails any time of day, but the deals come into focus five days a week with $2 domestic drafts, $2 house wine, $2.50 well cocktails, $3 house margaritas, and $1 off all bottled beer. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
9. Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille
620 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-467-2555, or visit WildSeaLasOlas.com.
Whenever fresh seafood is involved, the dinner tab is usually high. Not so during happy hour at Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille, where you can get 50 percent off cocktails, beer, and wine — as well as select oysters — five days a week. The best day to go, however, is Thursday, when the bar offers half-priced drinks and oysters all night long. Standard happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
8. Tap 42
1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-4900, or visit tap42.com.
Since Tap 42 opened in 2012, it’s been one of the best bars for bellying up to order craft brews and creative craft cocktails. Aside from its ever-changing selection of microbrews, Tap 42 offers affordable deals on bar food and unusual libations during its weekday happy hour. Get $3 off all drinks (yes, all drinks, including signature cocktails, bourbon, and shots). And Wednesday is ladies’ night from 7 to 9 p.m., when women can order free drinks off a select menu that changes weekly. Monday just might be the best happy-hour-deal day of all, when the restaurant offers its eight-ounce Prohibition burger for $5 from 4 to 11 p.m. Happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
7. 5 O'Clock Charlies
425 S. Fort Lauderdale Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-533-4480.
There’s happy hour, and then there are happy hours. That’s the way they like it at 5 O’Clock Charlies in Fort Lauderdale. This beachside dive bar offers plenty of deals every day (and pretty much all day long). You can throw back two-for-one well drinks and shots and get a $1 off premium cocktails and craft and bottled beers (the bar offers 22 taps). There’s also a full menu of half-priced appetizers, including Buffalo chicken dip, Gouda and cheddar quesadillas, fried calamari, and a fried shrimp basket. Happy hour is offered twice daily, from 3 to 8 p.m. and again from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
6. Grille 401
401 E Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-767-0222, or visit grille401.com.
Boasting two bars, Grille 401 kicks off every night with a jam-packed happy hour. It gets especially busy on the 800-square-foot outdoor deck, one of the best spots on the strip to enjoy the South Florida sun. You can get half-priced cocktails such the cucumbertini, the passionfruit margarita, and the Laverne & Shirley (the bar’s take on a Dirty Shirley, made with Grey Goose vodka, Sprite, and grenadine and garnished with filthy cherries). There’s also a large selection of bar bites priced from $6 to $8, including wood-fire grilled artichokes, Kobe beef sliders, and Buffalo shrimp. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-656-3663, or visit suviche.com.
Happy-hour options abound on Las Olas Boulevard, but none is quite as bustling as SuViche’s, when the restaurant’s indoor/outdoor Peruvian pisco bar transforms into a raging after-work gathering spot. Order two-for-one drinks such as homemade macerados (fresh berries, herbs, and spices infused into pisco), chilcanos (macerados mixed with ginger ale and bitters), and cocktails like the chicha maracuya (purple corn macerado mixed with passionfruit juice and Peruvian chicha morada). Tuesday, you can also order buy-one-get-one half-priced sushi rolls all day. And don’t leave without a shot or two of drunken gummies: a shot glass full of pisco-soaked gummy bears. Happy hour runs from 3 to 7 p.m. daily.
4. Louie Bossi's Ristorante Bar Pizzeria
1032 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-356-6699, or visit louiebossi.com.
Come happy hour, Louie Bossi’s is the place to be. The restaurant is packed to the hilt nearly every night of the week, but it’s the bar and lounge area that really gets jumping. It probably has something to do with $2 off specialty cocktails. More specials abound on different days of the week, with half-priced martinis Monday and $1.50 meatball sliders from 4 p.m. to close. Then, on Wednesday, get half-priced bottles of wine under $99 with the purchase of an entrée. Bonus points for the half-priced happy-hour pizzas, a secret that those in the know aren’t too quick to share. Happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. daily at the bar only.
525 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-368-4705, or visit coladahouse.com.
There’s more than just coffee and Cuban pastries at Colada in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village. The happy-hour offerings change throughout the week, starting with 15 percent off any alcoholic beverage from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Hungry? Pair your drink with a number of small bites, featuring a new special each day. Happy hour begins with $10 mojito pitchers Monday and continues with $10 sangria pitchers on Tired of Taco Tuesday, when you can order $3 chicharrones. On Waffle Wednesday, get tres leches waffles and a craft beer for $10. On $3 Thursday, order select beer and the 3 Little Piggies (bacon-wrapped maduros) for $3 per order. And everyone’s favorite weekday is Frita Friday, when you can order a classic frita burger with fries and a beer for $10. Saturday might just be the best, dubbed Colada Saturdaze, when bottomless mimosas, sangria, and beer are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekday food and drink specials are offered from noon to close.
2. Bull Market
210-A SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-523-1213, or visit bullmarketbar.com.
Bull Market owner John Todora says he designed the restaurant’s happy hour to be one of the best in South Florida. It’s so popular, in fact, the bar recently expanded into the space next door (now dubbed Bull Market Gastropub), which means more room and reserved seating for parties of ten to 20 people. It also means two-for-one on pretty much everything behind the bar, available Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hungry? Bull Market also offers $3 tacos and $4 and $5 appetizers such as sliders from 4 to 7 p.m. The best part, however, is the grilled-cheese shots available only during happy hour: a grilled-cheese sandwich made with four cheeses, sliced, and served in a shot glass filled with tomato-basil soup. And for one lucky patron, the whole happy hour could even be free when “name day” goes down daily. If your name is on the board, you drink free during happy hour.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Himmarshee Block Party
Multiple locations along Himmarshee Street in downtown Fort Lauderdale: Public House, Rok:Brgr, TacoCraft, PizzaCraft, and Apothecary 330. Visit JEYGroup.com.
What’s better than a really good happy-hour deal? A really good happy-hour deal that’s interchangeable at multiple restaurants for a giant block party’s worth of deals. Starting this month, Himmarshee Public House (201 SW Second St.), Rok:Brgr (208 SW Second St.), TacoCraft (204 SW Second St.), PizzaCraft (330 Himmarshee St.), and Apothecary 330 (330 Himmarshee St.) will offer a special two-for-one-drink happy hour that’s redeemable at any of the five locations (guests will receive a wooden chip upon purchase of their first drink). Guests will be able to choose from a variety of select cocktails, wines, and craft beers at each location. To add to the happy-hour glee, each restaurant will also introduce an all-new bar bites menu with a selection of dishes priced at less than $10 each. Featured dishes include short-rib sliders at Rok:Brgr, calamari at Public House, polenta fries at PizzaCraft, and the chips and salsa trio at TacoCraft. Happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.