Picking the ten best happy hours in Broward County is damn near impossible. There's so much to choose from: the awesome martini bar you love to hit up on Friday, the sports bar where you get pitchers of beer for next to nothing, and the dive bars on the water that make the work day seem like a bad memory.
It's hard work, but we've found a few of the best around so you don't have to. This list is based on the best deals overall. Each spot serves a good drink, cheap eats, and all at a fraction of the regular price. Here's our list of the ten best happy hours in Broward County.
1. Blondies Sports Bar. A solid happy hour list wouldn't be complete without at least one all-day, free-for-all feature from a dive located smack in the middle of the city's oceanfront tourist strip. That's where Blondies Sports Bar shines: a beachside pub with indoor and outdoor seating that specializes in cold beer, pub grub, over 40 flat-screen TVs, and a game room/pool hall. Here, the daylong deal is offered from noon to 10 p.m. featuring $2.75 draft beers, $3.75 imported beers, and buckets of Miller Lite or Corona for $18 to $20. Come Tuesday, $1 beef or chicken tacos pair well with cheap beer at the bar, and play pool for free Thursday's from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. 229 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-728-9801; itsbetteronthebeach.com.
2. Truluck's. Truluck's has been known to keep its own crab fishing fleet of boats outside of Naples, Florida, where it hauls in enough crab to provide the chain with seriously fresh claws during season. While that may be a seasonal draw, the year-round steals come during happy hour. The Fort Lauderdale location is beautifully appointed with leather booths inside and glass tables on the terrace, but it's the Stone Crab Lounge that offers happy hour deals daily from 4 to 7:30 p.m. A sprawling menu features over a dozen half-priced cocktails ($6.50 to $9) that include the Voilá!, a combination of vodka, Chambord, pineapple juice, cava, fresh raspberries, and dry ice smoke. There's also the Flirty Dozen, a selection of 12 wines by the glass that includes cava, red, and white options ($6 to $8.50). Select appetizers (priced $2.50 to $12) offer up swanky eats like escargot, shrimp primavera flatbread, and oysters Rockefeller. 2584A E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-396-5656; trulucks.com.
3. Grille 401. When you want a hopping happy hour, there's possibly no better place to go than Grille 401 on Las Olas. Here, happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring buy-one-get-one-free cocktails and half-priced appetizers at the bar (that includes everything from the honey BBQ drumettes, to the grilled artichokes). On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the restaurant offers live music on the expansive patio, where the outdoor-indoor bar makes for awesome people-watching and a great spot to enjoy the best of the sunny South Florida weather. The best part: Grille 401’s craft cocktail offerings just expanded with the addition of three new drinks featuring innovative ingredients, all of which are available during happy hour. Take the Starry Night, crafted with Kappa Pisco liquor, fresh-squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, and cherries. Or try the Blood Orange, hand-crafted with New Amsterdam gin, blood orange purée, and prosecco. And to round off the variety Grille 401’s cocktail menu presents, the Heat Wave gives guests a spicy flavor made with Absolut vodka, Casamigos blanco tequila, and jalapeño-cilantro purée. 401 E Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-767-0222, or visit grille401.com.
4. Brio Tuscan Grille. It might be a multi-location chain, but that doesn't stop us from naming Brio Tuscan Grille one of the best happy hour spots in the area. The deals on food and drinks are offered at the bar at each of the restaurant's three Broward County locations, including one in Pembroke Pines and Hallandale Beach. The menu extends Monday through Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (and again from 9 p.m. to close). For $3.95, guests can order up beef carpaccio, tomato Margherita flatbread, and the new crispy eggplant fries. For a dollar more, priced at $4.95, is the tomato mozzarella salad, sausage, pepperoni and ricotta flatbread, and Brio burger. For $5.95, guests can indulge in full portion appetizer plates, including black pepper shrimp, crispy cheese ravioli, and a roasted garlic, spinach and artichoke dip. If all that leaves you feeling thirst, there are 13 beverage options available at a reduced price, including Italian lemonade and sangria, or Peroni beer for $4. The black raspberry Cosmo, vodka martini, and four Porta Palo wine selections go for $5; and the key lime mojito, mango mojito, classic Manhattan, and Italian margarita are priced right at $6. 499 South University Drive, Plantation. Call 954-370-0491, or visit brioitalian.com.
5. Lola's on Harrison. Do you ever wish happy hour lasted a touch longer? And wouldn't it be nice if it wasn't just reserved for week days? Well, at Lola's on Harrison in downtown Hollywood,both wishes are granted. Here, half-priced drinks are available from 5 to 8 p.m., and half-priced bar bites are served until 7 p.m. These aren't your average well drinks — and you won't be getting disappointing bar food, either. Instead, you can nosh on small plates ($5 to $7) that include one of three tacos like the grilled portobello mushroom (caramelized peppers and onions, tomato salsa, shredded cheese, chipotle chimichurri, and cilantro); angry shrimp and grits with chili oil and fried basil; and ginger- and wasabi-tossed fries. Be careful: stay long enough and you just might drink away your resolve to say "no" to a slice of that famous homemade chocolate and peanut butter pie. 2032 Harrison St., Hollywood; 954-927-9851; lolasonharrison.com.
6. Rooftop. Located on the seventh floor of the One West Las Olas building, Rooftop is Fort Lauderdale's first — and only — rooftop bar and lounge. The 4,000-square-foot open-air patio transports patrons to a garden in the sky, elevated for picture perfect views of the city's Las Olas Boulevard and downtown skyline. It's a great place to celebrate the end of a long workday. If you love half-priced food — especially when it's paired with happy hour drink specials and panoramic views — you'll love Rooftop, which hosts a happy hour with that very deal Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can order up $5 Tito's; $10 specialty cocktails like the Garden Party with Tito's, prosecco, pressed cucumber, and strawberry; and a rotating selection of half-priced bar bites that have featured everything from tuna poke nachos to duck confit-stuffed spring rolls. 1 W Las Olas Blvd Ste. 700., Hollywood; 954-523-1956; rooftop1wlo.com.
7. Southport Raw Bar. Eat fish, you'll live longer. Eat oysters, you'll love longer. Eat clams, and you'll last longer. That's the slogan at the Southport Raw Bar in Fort Lauderdale, at least. And if you want to do all three, you can do it on the cheap during happy hour. The restaurant offers round one happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring food and drink specials complete with a water view. The raw bar happy hour is great for seafood lovers, with specials on Old Bay boiled shrimp, clams on ice, raw oysters, and spicy chicken wings. Get $8 domestic draught pitchers, and half-priced wine, too. Come late-night, the happy hour fires up again Saturday through Thursday, this time from 11 p.m. to close. 1536 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-2526, or visit southportrawbar.com.
8. RA Sushi. Lively music, a vibrant crowd, inventive cocktails, and the best sushi this side of Japan. What more could you ask for? A good happy hour to enjoy it all, that's what. Order up some of the best sushi in town, including their signature rolls or Japanese-inspired cuisine. Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., offerings include select sushi and sashimi, priced from $3.29 to $8.99; $3.75 hot sake, $4 well drinks and Sapporo, $5.75 cocktails, and $6.75 for wine. If getting a bite to eat is more of what you're after, enjoy specials on select sushi, tapas, and appetizers like the RA'kin shrimp, pineapple cheese wontons, spicy shishito peppers, calamari tempura, and more. Then, from 10 p.m. to close, the same specials happen all over again. 201 SW 145th Terr., Pembroke Pines. Call 954-342-5454, or visit rasushi.com.
9. GG's Waterfront Bar & Grill. For all its uninterrupted miles of oceanfront shore and cozy Intracoastal coastline, Florida never seems to have quite enough waterfront restaurants. And, in Hollywood, longtime eatery GG's has evolved into the type of place you go for fresh seafood and alfresco dining, enjoyed with cocktail in hand on a mild South Florida evening. Do it during happy hour, offered daily from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. (at the bar only). Mixed drinks neat or with a single mixer go for $6.50 apiece; bottled domestic beer is $3.25; and $7.50 martinis include a Manhattan, Cosmo, and a sugar-rimmed skinny margarita. The best part is the boatload of seafood specials, however: dozens of small plates and raw bar offerings priced $10 and under, including stone crab claws (in season), Cedar Key steams, house-smoked fish dip, ceviche, and peel-and-eat shrimp. 606 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; 954-929-7030; ggswaterfront.com.
10. Frankey's Sports Bar. Located in The Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Frankey’s is a new breed of sports bar — a classy and modern take on the traditional experience featuring daily sports action. There’s no better place to catch the game and win big with the establishment's never-ending drink and happy hour specials. Happy hour runs Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. featuring $3 domestic beer, $4 house wine and craft/import beer, $5 well drinks, $6 margaritas, and $7 martinis. Heading out for some action on the weekend? You'll still get a deal. Drink specials on Saturday and Sunday go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and include $7 mimosas, bloody marys, or a glass of prosecco or sparkling rose wine. Come late-night, the same deals apply during the bar's reverse happy hour, served up every day from 11 p.m. to close. Last, but certainly not least, Frankey's offers a list of all-day-everyday drink specials, including $6 singles and $8 doubles (with Fireball whiskey, Skyy vodka or El Toro tequila). 900 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach. Call 954-464-2333, or visit frankeysbar.com.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.