San Diego's 8 Best High-End Happy Hours

By Darlene Horn  |  May 5, 2014

Happy hours aren't all chicken wings, sliders and $1 beers. Some of San Diego’s finer restaurants offer attractively priced bites that are just as delicious as their regular menu items - but available for a song. We did the hard work and discovered lobster pizzas, octopus salad and short-rib panini that put typical happy-hour fare to shame. Here are San Diego's 8 Best High-End Happy-Hour Deals

  • Bertrand at Mister A’s

    Most would think that iconic Mister A’s, atop the Fifth Avenue Financial Center, is out of reach for a meal, but their happy hours are surprisingly affordable with no discount on quality or service. Select from their happy-hour menu specials including a stunning octopus salad served on Yukon potato wafers ($11) and read about our other favorite dishes here.

    Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday, 2:30-6 PM

    2550 Fifth Ave., #406; 619-239-1377

  • Credit: Darlene Horn


    In its former incarnation, AVANT was a white-linen, multiple-course restaurant. Now it pours the same luster into a slightly more casual dining room and menu, complete with thoughtful happy-hour specials. $5 plates include addictive padron peppers that complement any one of their cocktails, like the Dutch Mule (pictured above) at $9.

    Happy Hour: Daily, 4-6:30 PM

    17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr.; 858-675-8550

  • Credit: Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

    Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

    Buffalo-chicken oysters, hickory smoked-pork chop and tomatillo-braised seabass are just a few of Bankers Hill's popular dishes offered at the bar and restaurant's twice-a-day happy hour. Roasted beet and citrus salad, truffled french fries and many others are also yours for just $5.

    Happy Hours: Weekdays, 4:30-6:30 PM; Sunday-Thursday, 9:30 PM-closing

    2202 Fourth Ave.; 619-231-0222

  • Credit: WhisknLadle


    Whisknladle's happy-hour tapas rival anything on the regular menu, but are presented in bite-sized portions. With $5, you have a choice of tapas including their patatas bravas in a garlic aïoli and Catalan shrimp.

    Happy Hour: Daily, 3-7 PM

    1044 Wall St., La Jolla; 858-551-7575

  • Credit: Nine-Ten


    If you can head to La Jolla early, a few of their premium entrees are half-price for happy hour. Order up their signature burger with a side salad or fries for $7.50, or short-rib panini for $6. Even those with a sweet tooth have something to indulge in with the half-baked chocolate cake at $4.50.

    Happy Hour: Weekdays, 3:30-6:30 PM

    910 Prospect St., La Jolla; 858-964-5400

  • Credit: Bice


    Gaslamp’s award-winning Italian restaurant offers the same quality and service during their happy hours, and it’s available every day of the week. Choose from their signature lobster pizza, salmon wrapped in applewood bacon and more only for $5.

    Happy Hour: Daily, 5-7 PM; all day Sunday

    425 Island Ave.; 619-239-2423

  • Credit: Darlene Horn


    One of Downtown’s destinations for rooftop bars also serves up amazing deals from their ecologically sustainable dinner menu. Choose from a variety of $5 specials like little dumplings in hen broth, spiced fried dark-meat chicken and anise lamb meatballs. And cocktails don’t miss out on the fun - they’re all $6.

    Happy Hour: Weekdays, 4-7 PM

    616 J St.; 619-531-8744

  • Credit: Darlene Horn

    Encore Champagne Bar

    Champagne and bubbly evoke refined foods, but if you happen to visit this Downtown hot spot during their happy hour, you can indulge without cramping your wallet. A variety of items - including their pâté de campagne and potato gnocchi - are 50% off the regular price.

    Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday, 3-6 PM and 11 PM-1 AM; Friday, 3-6 PM

    531 F St.; 619-255-5152