Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat on your way home from work or an affordable night out with friends, happy hours offer the perfect solution. They are also a great way to try out a new restaurant before committing to a full meal. Northern Virginia is full of fabulous happy hour options, so check out some of these hotspots , in no particular order, for your next evening out.
Bar Louie in Crystal City runs happy hour specials from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. during weekdays. Enjoy half off flatbreads and select appetizers, like fried calamari, chicken wings, and loaded tater tots, in the restaurant’s elegant setting. Martinis, wines by the glass, and 14 ounce drafts of beer are all available for $5.50 or less. Night owls can take advantage of the same food specials from Sunday through Thursday beginning at 10 p.m. to close.
This hip restaurant preps its food fresh each day and offers a wide range of wine, cocktails, beer, and music to go along with it. Happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday through Friday and features $3 well shots, $2 off of all beers, and a $5 PBR and shot special. Put together your own charcuterie board with craft meats and cheeses, or enjoy a selection of bar bites and apps with your drinks.
Alta Strada Restaurant
Alta Strada is a neighborhood pasta joint that serves up heaping dishes of homemade Italian favorites. During its daily happy hour, which runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., diners can enjoy specials on pizza, bar snacks like blistered shishitos and meatballs, and beer, wine, and cocktails for $8 or less each.
This casual space for burgers and bites takes its happy hour seriously. Snag a barstool to enjoy $4 beer and house wine, half-off oysters, $3 off starters, and $5 off burgers and chicken dishes from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you end up staying out late, the oyster and burger specials repeat from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday night trivia starts on the deck just as happy hour ends on Mondays, and Tuesday night diners can take advantage of half-price wine specials.
If cheese is your favorite food, you are in luck. Cheesetique’s Del Ray and Shirlington locations can satisfy your craving with weekday happy hours, where you will get $2 off on all starters, draft beers, cocktails, and glasses of wine from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Hank’s Pasta Bar
It is always pasta night at Hank’s, an Old Town Alexandria hangout that regularly features Italian-inspired specials alongside its regular happy hour offerings, which are available on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Try a beer or house wine for $5, a cocktail for between $6 and $8, and discounts on crostini, grilled sardines, and more.
Union Street Public House
Union Street Public House serves up a weekday happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in its classy Taproom. Savvy drinkers entertaining a crowd can take advantage of the Tuesday night buy one bottle, get one for $1 special on wine beginning at 5 p.m., while daily specials include $2 discounts on draft beers and wines by the glass and $5 house spirits. When it comes to food, Union Street’s menu offers $5 sliders and other discounted apps and flatbreads.
Rustico provides the perfect happy hour setting with its outdoor seating options and warm interior. The local Italian favorite offers $2 discounts on beer, $5 glasses of wine, and discounted apps from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday. Snack on pretzels, cheese and herb risotto tots, chicken wings, and more along with your drink of choice.
For a unique happy hour experience, try out Ambar’s selection of Balkan specialties. Happy hour happens from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday at the bar. For just $5 each, diners can sip on selected beer, cocktails, wines, and rakia, a Balkan liquor. Apps are also just $5 and include veal and vegetable soup, spiced fries, hummus, and kebabs.
If Ambar is looking too crowded, pop into BaBa, located in the basement. Velvet banquettes make the place feel like a speakeasy, and $5 small places like salmon tartare and prosciutto croquettes up the elegance. House wines are $5 each and cocktails are $6 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Galaxy Hut specializes in craft beer and comfort food like grilled cheese and hot dogs, with arcade game tables to entertain you as the evening passes. Their happy hour, which happens from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. each night, features discounted pints and pitchers along with half-priced tater tots with the purchase of any pitcher.
Mussel Bar can start or end your night, with happy hour specials from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close every day. Inspired by a Belgian roadhouse, Mussel Bar serves half pots of mussels for $13 and $11 pizzas to accompany discounted beer and cocktails and $5 rail drinks.