Happy Hour is all about the food and creative cocktails at these Orlando restaurants
Happy Hour can be about more than just drinks. Happy Hour provides one of the best opportunities to catch up with friends over a few drinks and shared appetizers, and still be home in time for dinner. If you’re a foodie, like me, you need more than cheap drinks to make your hour a happy one, and several restaurants around town are happy to oblige, offering more than your typical 2 for 1. Here you can enjoy inventive cocktails, craft beers, fun wines and more substantial and creative menu items. If you’ve been telling friends “we should get together someday” why not GO #MakeSomedayHappen at the Top 9 Foodie Happy Hour in Orlando.
1. American Q
** Sadly, this restaurant was closed in 2015.
This Southern Florida BBQ joint is becoming well-known for their amazing parade of BBQ smoked meats and flat-bed buffet, but their craft cocktails are worthy of praise all on their own. During Happy Hour, everyday from 5p-7p, all drinks, beer, wine, shots, you name it, are half price, including 14 creative premium concoctions (Only $5.50!) There is a drink for everyone – from the vodka lover, tequila aficionado to the whiskey drinker. Some of my favorites include Cherry Bacon Manhattan with bacon infused Woodford Reserve, the best I’ve ever tasted, Margarita Thyme with Milagro Tequila, blackberry liqueur, fresh blackberries and thyme, and Dragonfruit Smash with Patron Tequila and muddled dragonfruit, amazingly fruity without being overly sweet. Pair these with tasty appetizers like Swine Candy ($4) (who doesn’t love candied Bacon!?) Deviled crab stuffed eggs ($5.50), Short Rib Sliders ($5), Dragon Poppers ($4) and more. Located at B Resort & Spa, 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL. 407-827-3080.
2. Bonefish Grill
Their tagline is “Happiness starts when you walk in the door” and I have three words to add: Bang Bang Shrimp! On Bang Wednesday, starting at 4pm, get your fill of the tastiest shrimp dish done five ways! Try the Bang Bang Flatbreads ($5), Bang Bang Shrimp ($6), Surf & Turf Burger ($11.90) and pair it with one of their martinis made with fresh juices like Ocean Trust Tropic Heat Martini with homemade infused pineapple vodka, fresh mango, and a slice of jalapeno which packs the sweet heat, and makes you feel good with $1 donated to Ocean Trust, an ocean conservation foundation. The Happier Hours Menu is available Sunday – Thursday, 3pm-6:30pm, with $6 cocktails like Blood Orange Paloma or Classic Sidecar with a Mango twist, Blue Cheese Kettle Chips ($5), Pepper Chicken ($5) and Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos ($6). Happier Hours indeed! Various locations.
3. Cask & Larder
James & Julie Petrakis’ Southern Public House continues to win multiple awards, recently named Esquire magazine’s 2014 Best New Restaurants in America. Happy Hour is a perfect way to enjoy a taste of this fantastic restaurant. Offered daily, including weekends (Monday – Saturday 4-6pm, Sunday 3-6pm), sample $6 craft cocktails such as the Winter Park Mule made with local Winter Park genius vodka, fun wine varietals, and $3 house-brewed beers. The foodie in you will love skipping typical bar snacks in favor of their $2 offerings: oysters with mignonette sauce, Hushpuppy, or Devils on Horseback country ham-wrapped dates stuffed with bleu cheese and drizzled with vincotto. Happy Hour Menu changes regularly. Located on 565 West Fairbank Avenue, Winter Park FL. 321-280-4200.
4. Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi Lounge
This award-winning sushi spot offers a delicious Happy Hour menu with various fresh sushi and grilled items, $3 spirits, $6 wines & cocktails and $3 beers, everyday 5pm-7pm. Sit at the swanky bar or in the patio and “Create your own Sushi” Hosomaki ($4) or Box Sushi ($6) with choice of seafood and toppings. Try the spicy Kobachi handroll ($5), Japanese Sliders ($6), or Robata Grilled Skewers ($4) paired with creative cocktails made with house infused vodka and sakes. The Saké Blossom Cocktail with nigori saké, house-made peach liqueur, cranberry & mint is a winner, and the spicy Bloody Hot Haraguchi with saké, zing zang bloody mary mix, sriracha & wasabi powder rim packs the heat. Located at 7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL. 407-370-3359.
5. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
The chic V Lounge at Eddie V’s features live jazz and happy hour daily, 4:30pm-7pm and all night Sunday and Monday. It’s a lively atmosphere and with $5 Wines and Svedka Cocktails and $1 off drinks, $1 Louisiana Oysters, and a variety of appetizers like Point Judith Calamari and Pacific Ahi Tuna Tartare ($6-11), it is a great opportunity to indulge in a bit of Eddie V’s luxury, at a fraction of the cost. Their wine list is extensive with over 150 bottles, although not all on happy hour prices, it is a wine lover’s treat. Located at 7488 West Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL. 407-355-3011
6. Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
Fleming’s “5 for $6 ’til 7pm” Happy Hour is well known but it continues to be quite a deal for foodies. Nosh on appetizers like housemade burrata, tenderloin carpaccio, cedar roasted mushroom and artichoke flatbread, or a Prime Burger, paired with cocktails like spiced zinfandel lemonade with Tito’s Vodka, Ward 8 with Maker’s Mark, wines and beers all for $6. Now they’ve taken it to the next level with a later happy hour. Enjoy “8 for $9 ‘til 10” with 8 items for $9 from 8-10pm, such as Lobster lettuce wraps, Filet Mignon Flatbread, Ahi Tuna Tacos, slow-braised short rib empanadas and more. See website for locations.
7. Kasa Restaurant
For the most extensive happy hour offerings, Kasa is the place to be. Daily Happy Hour from 5p-7pm offers $4, $6 and $8 selections of appetizers and beverages like their famous Kasa Korn ($4), Edamame Bruschetta ($4), Draft Beers, Sangria, house wine and vodka cocktails ($4). Try the adobo pork and crispy polenta cakes and White Diamond cocktail ($6). On Tasting Tuesdays, the happy hour menu is offered all night. On Unwine’d Wednesdays, they take the all you can eat and drink approach to happy hour for a set fee and add live entertainment from 5p-9pm. A selection of wines, beers and unlimited small bites await ($15 for ladies and $20 for gentlemen). Located at 183 S. Orange Avenue, Downtown Orlando, FL. 407-985-5272
8. Pointe Orlando
Pointe Orlando near the Orlando Convention Center, with its variety of restaurants, is the perfect place to have a progressive happy hour. There are so many great choices, I’ve highlighted some of my favorites. Pointe Orlando is located at 9101 International Drive, Orlando FL.
- * Start with Greek fun at Taverna Opa, daily from 3p-6pm, for 2 for 1 drinks, half priced cocktail pitchers and a selection of appetizers for $3-$4. Try their awesome housemade hummus ($3), Greek meatballs ($3), Spanakopita ($3), Crispy Calamari ($4), and more.
* Walk on down to The Pub for a British happy hour from 3pm-7pm (Monday-Friday) and sample their $3.95 appetizers such as Curry Chips (that’s fries for us Americans!), Young’s BBQ Crisps (that’s chips) topped with cheddar, bacon, scallions and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout BBQ Sauce! Beer Battered Onion Rings & Mushrooms and Pub pretzels are the perfect pairing for a $3 Schooner draught, and $4-$6 cocktails.
* Next stop is RA Sushi for one of the best sushi rolls ever, the Viva Las Vegas roll and a variety of Japanese bites ($3.49-$8.99) and cocktails ($6-$8) from 4pm-7pm (Monday-Friday).
* Right next door is Cuba Libre, where daily from 5pm-7pm, you can escape to Havana with a large selection of $5 tapas like papa rellena, empanadas, tostones, yucca fries, shrimp ceviche, pork belly and more, classic mojitos and fresh infused caipirinhas.
* End the night with late night happy hour at The Oceanaire (daily 5pm-7pm and 9pm-close) with a variety of surf and turf appetizers like blackened fish tacos ($7) to Filet Mignon and Crab Cake Sliders ($8) and $6-7 cocktails and martinis.
9. Roy’s Orlando
Roy’s Orlando offers plenty of Aloha during Aloha Hour. Daily from 5pm-7pm, escape to Hawaii for Happy Hour with the best Hawaiian Pineapple martini in Orlando! Sip Roy’s Island Mai Tai, wines and sakes, and enjoy various appetizers like Red Curry Chicken Samosas, Tempura-crusted Ahi Roll all for $6. Or make it dinner and GO for a more filling Wagyu Burger and Misoyaki Butterfish lettuce wraps($9). Located at 7760 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL. 407-352-4844
GO have a great foodie happy hour with friends!