By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Happy hours: Every day 4-7 p.m.
Bar Food Beyond Pretzels
221 W. Parker Road, Plano • 972-881-0705 • bavariangrill.com
What makes Stein Hour so happy at this German restaurant? It's not just the half-liter steins of Bavarian hell und dunkel (light and dark) lagers in the communal biergarten. You also can choose a little plate of sausage, crispy meatloaf frikadelles, goulash and more to snack on with each glass for just 95 cents each. Those not into such rich food and drink can enjoy happy hour specials of $1 off select drafts, $2.75 domestic longnecks and $3.25 Löwenbräu Originals.
Happy hours: Tuesday through Saturday 4-7 p.m.
Blue Mesa Grill
7700 W. Northwest Highway • 214-378-8686 • bluemesagrill.com
House wine, margaritas, mojitos, the Sangria Blue Swirl and martinis are all $4, bottled beers are $3.25 and just $2.25 for drafts—including two very summer-appropriate craft brews, Abita Pale Ale and Boulevard Wheat, on our visit. But let's face it: The real reason you're going to visit is for the complimentary quesadillas and fresh salsa and tortilla and sweet-potato chips. It's OK, the bartender isn't judging you. Just make sure to get there before 7 p.m., when the free munchies disappear. If you miss them, console yourself with a snifter of premium tequila.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 4-7:30 p.m.
4444 McKinney Ave. • 214-253-2666 • theburgergirl.com
This new joint is the inaugural location of a planned franchise of Burger Girls, something of a Hooters-esque breastaurant chain except with tasty, fresh burgers and addictive hand-cut fries instead of mediocre wings. (Although, judging by the servers we've seen, "rear-staurant" might be a more fitting description than breastaurant, if we may coin a term.) Along with daily drink specials, happy hour features $2 beer cans, $12 buckets of six and $4 calls. Best bet is to go Friday for $1 sliders and $10 buckets.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 4-9 p.m.
1520 Elm St. • 214-752-0141 • campisis.us
The original "Egyptian Lounge" Campisi's location on Mockingbird Lane may be a Dallas landmark for its thin-crust pizza and the time-capsule red Naugahyde, but it doesn't have a happy hour. Instead, head to the downtown location (and other select outposts of the local chain) for drink deals like $2.50 domestics, house wines and margaritas and $3.25 imports. Best of all, you can snack on free pizzas from 5-7 p.m.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m.
4544 McKinney Ave. • 214-559-2489 • chuys.com
With its eye-searing colors and strings of lights, Chuy's has been the template for many a lesser Tex-Mex chain, but the peppery creations are worthy of the loud decor. Particularly the queso, which is free during happy hour. But if you've just dropped a wad of cash across the street at the Apple Store, load up on the chips and dip and save your dinero for the drinks—$3.50 for margaritas or $2.50 for domestics.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m.
700 E. 15th St., Plano • 469-229-0838
Fresh Gulf-style seafood and awesome hushpuppies are the main appeal for this humble but highly recommended, family friendly seafood joint. A diverse neighborhood crowd enjoys happy hour, too, with $1.50 draft pints (including a very tasty pale ale from Kona that goes perfectly with crab cakes) and $3.50 margaritas.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 3-7 p.m.
Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck
300 Reunion Blvd. E. • 214-741-5560 • wolfgangpuck.com
You might have thought celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's Asian fusion creations were out of your price range, but even our own Cheap Bastard could afford one of the tapas-sized dishes available at happy hour. For the oh-so-appropriate price of $5.60, try the Kobe beef sliders or tempura spicy tuna sandwiches, a signature cocktail and enjoy the view from 560 feet in the air.
Happy hours: Monday through Friday 5-7 p.m.
600 W. Davis St. • 214-948-3672 • gloriasrestaurants.com
The challenge at a Mexican restaurant (or Mexican/Salvadorean, in this case) is not to fill up on chips. And it's even more difficult at the Gloria's chain, where complimentary smooth refried black beans accompany the salsa at the Oak Cliff original and 10 other DFW locations. Happy hour includes $3 domestics, $3.25 imports and $2 off most drinks, plus discounts on various specialty cocktails, including $3 mojitos and margaritas and $5 swirls, strawberry or mango margaritas. Really thirsty? For $6, order a 32-oz. Regia, a crisp Salvadorean lager that pairs with anything on the menu—or just bean dip.
Happy hours: Sunday through Thursday all day
8687 N. Central Expressway (inside NorthPark Center mall)
214-369-7600 • konagrill.com
If you ever walk into a restaurant and see the dining area nearly deserted while the bar has butts crammed into every seat, chances are it's happy hour. Such is the case during happy hour and late-night reverse happy hour at this sushi and fusion restaurant (and pickup joint), when you can get half-priced appetizers and various drink specials on cocktails and sake bombs. Discounts apply at the bar and patio only, though, and even on a Monday night you'll need to be aggressive to secure a spot amidst the other beautiful twenty-something North Dallasites and mall employees.