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China Chilcano (Image: Farrah Skeiky)

Enjoy craft cocktails on the cheap at these 15 happy hour spots

Cocktail prices in the city have been steadily creeping up over the last several years, and at this point, it's darn near impossible to grab a classy drink with friends without blowing your budget for the whole month. Thankfully, bars and restaurants are taking pity on our wallets and offering up some unbelievable drink deals that won't have you nervously checking your bank account balance after every sip.

Here are 15 happy hours to take advantage of right now:


The subterranean sister restaurant to Ambar Clarendon offers six different signature cocktails for $6 each from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, including the Serbian Sombrero with pink peppercorn tequila, jalapeño triple sec, sour mix, rose water, and Mexican salt. Small plates like prosciutto croquettes and salmon tartar are $5.

Bar Pilar

This local watering hole has several creative cocktails starting at $6, including one of their signature slushies: Apple Bottom Jeans with cardamom-infused rum, cider, cinnamon, and simple syrup. Affordable cocktails and bar snacks all under $10 are available from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Casa Luca

You can experience one of the Trabocchis’ luxe restaurants on a budget with happy hour at Casa Luca. The menu includes a few cocktails for $7, like the Ortolano with cucumber-jalapeño vodka, Broker’s gin, agave, and lime. Plus, slurp $1 oysters and cacio e pepe for $7. These prices are available Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m.

China Chilcano

Happy hour at China Chilcano is known as “Pisco Hour,” and it happens every day from 4-6 p.m. Sip Peruvian cocktails like a Pisco sour or a Chilcano for just $5, while snacking on $3 chicken skewers and $5 shrimp-pork dumplings.

Colada Shop

This Cuban café’s already low prices drop even more during happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. All cocktails (except the Coki Beach) are $6, and empanadas are $2.

Del Campo

Chef Victor Albisu’s sleek South American spot has happy hour daily from 5-7 p.m. with a variety of $6 cocktails, like the Mono Loco with Azul tequila, watermelon-strawberry purée, and ginger. On the food side, there are bites, empanadas, and sandwiches ranging from $4 to $22. Highlights include the $6 spicy tuna ceviche and the $10 slow-roasted prime beef ribs.

El Techo

There’s no shortage of cocktails to choose from during happy hour at Rito Loco’s trendy rooftop oasis, El Techo. On Monday through Friday from 5-7 p.m., try $7 specialty drinks like a mezcal margarita or the Lion’s Tail with Old Overholt rye, allspice, honey, and lime. Snack on $7 nachos with your choice of meat (steak and shrimp are an extra $2).


For an affordable but high-quality happy hour in Dupont Circle, look no further than Firefly. From 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, there’s a wide selection of $7 cocktails, including standbys like palomas and Moscow mules, as well as originals like The Firefly with vodka, dandelion-basil cordial, and lavender cabernet. Munch on $3 fish tacos, $5 truffle fries, or $9 beef tartare.


This truly seasonal farm-to-table favorite on Barracks Row has dubbed their happy hour “Happy 7s,” and it takes place from 5-7 p.m. every day. All of their regular cocktails (plus draft beer and the wines of the day) are just $7. This includes the Old Crandad with Old Grandad bourbon and cranberry and the Ginger Spice with Old Overholt rye, ginger, and pear liqueur. In addition, there are always several food selections from the dinner menu for $7. Check social media for announcements about all-night "Happy 7s" on snow days or during stints of great weather.


Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Shaw outpost just launched a new happy hour called “Sticks Till 6.” Monday through Thursday from 5-6 p.m., guests can enjoy an $8 spritz of the month or an $8 cocktail, along with a variety of meat skewers (1 for $3 or 4 for $10).


Chef Tim Ma’s beloved crème fraîche wings are a highlight of Kyirisan’s happy hour at just $5. To drink, there’s a rotating list of seasonal cocktails for $6. Favorites include the Don’t Worry, Climate Change Is a Myth with gin, cranberry, ginger, and lime and the Jade Vesper with gin, shochu, shiso tincture, and cocchi.


Guests interested in trying a drink at this cocktail tasting menu bar can now do so without making a reservation and investing in a full $35 flight. Nocturne just launched a new walk-in program where you can order individual drinks for $12. The hours for these casual sessions are Tuesdays starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays starting at 12 a.m.

Passion Fish

Both locations of Passion Fish (Reston and Bethesda) host happy hour from 3-7p.m. Monday through Friday. Cocktails are just $5, including hurricanes, margaritas, mules, and more. There are also $5 bites like a trio of oyster bloody mary shooters and crab and rock shrimp nachos.

Pitango (Adams Morgan)

At the Adams Morgan location of this gelato shop and café, there’s an aperitivo happy hour from 4-7 p.m. daily. Sip classic Italian cocktails like a negroni or an Aperol spritz for $6, as well as cicchetti (bar snacks) like mini sandwiches with charcuterie and cheese for $5.

Truxton Inn

This destination for serious drinkers only drops their regular cocktail prices on Sundays, but you can take advantage of the deal any time of day. Every Sunday, all of the bar’s cocktails are $10 (except the upscale Truxton Inn Manhattan, which is still $20). Their regular happy hour offers a $6 standard old fashioned from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 4-7 p.m. Thursday through Friday.