The strip of bars and restaurants along Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach is perhaps one of the best outdoor dining destinations in all of South Florida.
Best of all, when it comes to drinking, there's just as much variety as there are drinks to be made. All you need to do is decide what you're in the mood for, and which bar is right for you.
Feel like a pitcher of sangria? Head to Cabana. Want a good margarita? Caliente Kitchen has just what you need. Have your sites set on a high-class cocktail? The Office will shake one up. Or will it be just a beer? Try Tryst, with its awesome craft beer selection.
But wait. What's that? You have better ways to spend $12 for a pint of some fancy microbrew, or the $15 you'll drop for that prickly pear margarita? We get it -- who wouldn't rather just stay home with a 6-pack?
That's why Charlie's taken the time to search out some of the BEST happy hour deals on Atlantic Ave. This way, you can still have your drink -- or two, or three -- without breaking the bank.
Here's a list of the Top Three Places to Head for Happy Hour in Delray Beach:
Start out your day at Hurricane, Delray's "locals" spot. Off the beaten path, this liquor-only bar is the one place on the Ave. you won't have to worry about impressing anyone while you get your pre-party drink on. Show up in shorts and a t-shirt, and prepare to get sloshed.
Sloshed because here you can get to it early: Hurricane's happy hour starts at 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and lasts straight through to 7 p.m. That means 2-for-1 on all domestic bottles, well drinks and house wines.
Plus, with live music every night except Monday (9 p.m. to 2 a.m.), if you decide to stay awhile, there's guaranteed to be a good crowd.
Caliente has a daily happy hour Monday through Thursday featuring 2-for-1 on any of their specialty margaritas, martinis or mojitos from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Throw in $2 tacos (shredded chicken, pork or beef with lettuce, cheese and sour cream and salsa on the side), and that makes for a pretty awesome happy hour.
But the REAL deal here is on Friday, when you can get 3-for-1 drinks (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.), and a free taco for every round you go through.
The only stipulation? You have to drink all three before 7 p.m., or before you qualify for another round of three. (If you don't finish all three, you've lost the deal, and probably your buzz). Think you can keep up?
Whether you can pound them back, or not -- this is one deal you shouldn't miss. Why? Because Caliente is a true tequila bar, with 16 varieties of margarita, 13 different martinis and eight specialty mojitos. Bartender Bobby Lating's favorite: the Black Raspberry Mojito ($10), made with raspberry rum and fresh muddled blackberries.
In fact, every specialty drink -- from the sangria to the margs -- is made using fresh muddled or pureed fruit. Even the margarita mix is made fresh, daily. It's what makes drinks like the Watermelon Margarita ($12), Sauza gold tequila, triple sec, agave nectar, fresh lime juice and fresh sliced melon, a steal when you're getting three for the price of one.
New hotspot restaurant and bar, Atlantic Ocean Club, has a pretty sweet deal when it comes to happy hour, too. No need to worry about catching it Monday through Friday, either -- this place celebrates all week long, starting at 3 p.m. every day and lasting straight through to 7 p.m. That means half-price on well liquor, bottled and draft beers, and wines by the glass.
But the best part of this happy hour isn't just the drinks. It's also the eats to go along with it. Snag yourself some amazing food for half-price, as well, with specials on small plates of their Bar Harbor Maine crab cakes ($7), steamed Blue Hill Bay mussels ($6), Florida BBQ pork ribs ($6), and ceviche ($6).
So what are you waiting for? Now that most of the season patrons have flitted back to their northern nesting grounds, you'll be people watching with a cool -- and, best of all, affordable -- drink in hand for some of that good ole' summertime drinking.