The Happiest Hour: The Best of 2015 (So Far)

In case you haven’t noticed, we really love happy hour, and the Mile High city has more than enough options when it comes budget-friendly deals on the best food and drinks. With laid back vibes and patio-friendly weather, summer is the best season to indulge in late afternoon sips and bites – and that’s why we’ve put together this list of the best happy hour eats and drinks of 2015 (so far), so that you can get out and enjoy them before August says goodbye.

Adult Bottled Sodas at North County

Photo by Molly Martin.
Photo by Molly Martin.

Where: 94 Rampart Way, Denver

Neighborhood: Lowry

When: Happy hour is available all day on Mondays, Tuesday-Saturday 3 p.m.-6 p.m. & 9 p.m.-close

The Low Down: We don’t have to tell you all of the reasons why Denver is an amazing place to live. The scenery, the relaxed attitude, the beer… but there is one thing missing: the beach. If you’re craving that ocean-side feeling but can’t afford a plane ticket, just head to North County where San Diego beach cuisine comes to Colorado. During happy hour, you can score an adult sodas for $1 off the regular price. Bottled in house and served with a tag telling you when it was made and by whom, these lightly carbonated beverages in varieties like the grapefruit-based Paloma and strawberry lemonade are ideal summer sippers.

Also Try: The charcoal grilled oysters ($2/each), carne asada fries ($9, available for $8 all day on Fridays) and the strawberry margarita ($6).

The Lap Dog at Interstate Kitchen & Bar

Photo by Camille Breslin.
Photo by Camille Breslin.

Where: 1001 Santa Fe Dr., Denver

Neighborhood: Santa Fe Arts District

When: Everyday, 4-6 p.m. & midnight-1:30 a.m.

The Low Down: Biting into a juicy bratwurst is one of those quintessential summer meals. But if it’s just too hot to fire up your grill, head to Interstate Kitchen & Bar for its take on this classic. For only $2, you’ll get a mini-brat served with house made giardiniera and deli mustard. The best part? Instead of a bun, this brat is served on a buttery piece of crustless toast, a touch that adds a whole new level of tastiness to this simple but flavor-packed choice.

Also Try: The deviled egg ($1), pulled pork slider ($2) and the “Cooler of Cold Ones” (five cans – barkeep’s choice, served in a mini cooler, $9).

New Saigon Cocktail at Linger

Photo by Lindsey Bartlett.
Photo by Lindsey Bartlett.

Where: 2030 W. 30th Avenue, Denver, CO

Neighborhood: Highlands

When: Available in the bar area Tuesday-Friday,  4-6:30 p.m.

The Low Down: Linger, with its expansive rooftop patio, eclectic decor and street-food inspired menu, is a popular spot anytime of the day – but especially for happy hour. That’s because it offers a wide variety of food and drink options for just $5 each. Mix and match to create your ideal happy hour, but don’t miss the New Saigon cocktail. Sweet, spicy and fresh all at once, this ultimate summer libation combines gin, lime, cucumber, black pepper and Thai basil for a cocktail that’s packed with flavor.

Also Try: The roasted beet salad ($5), pork belly bun ($5) and the Old-Old Fashioned cocktail ($5).

Seasonal Bruschetta at Spuntino

Photo by Camille Breslin.
Photo by Camille Breslin.

Where: 2639 West 32nd Ave., Denver

Neighborhood: Highlands

When: 5-6:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday & Sunday 

The Low Down: At this Italian-inspired Highlands eatery owned by the husband and wife team of Elliot Strathmann (general manager) and Cindhura Reddy (executive chef), fresh and local is the focus. Spuntino’s menu is filled with items that show off both the quality of the ingredients and the homestyle comfort that comes with food made with care. During happy hour, always be sure to order the seasonal bruschetta for just $2.50 each. From cheeses to house-pickled veggies and fresh produce, these tasty toasts always deliver a creative take on this Italian classic.

Also Try: The house made porchetta (available with the antipasti option, $5) and a bartender’s choice cocktail (selections change regularly, $5).

Pappardelle Bolognese at Luca

Luca 167
Photo by Lindsey Bartlett.

Where: 711 Grant St., Denver

Neighborhood: Governor’s Park

When: Tuesday-Friday, 5-6:30 p.m.

The Low Down: When those summer storms roll in and the comfort food cravings hit, there’s nothing better than a warm bowl of pasta. At Luca’s happy hour, you can get your Italian fix without having to empty your wallet. This Governor’s Park staple has several delicious food options for under $7, but you can’t go wrong with the bolognese. Housemade noodles are served with a rich, slow cooked, meaty sauce that deserves to be savored – plus it’ll only cost you $6.

Also Try: The calamari ($6), chef’s salumi plate ($7) and the negroni ($5).

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