Calgary’s Best Happy Hours

We bring you an expansive list of where to drink and eat on the cheap, every day of the week.

Lonely Mouth. Photograph by Jared Sych.

With files from John Gilchrist, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Alyssa Quirico, Jaelyn Molyneux, Colin Gallant, Mariah Wilson and Chris Landry

It’s the happiest hour of the day. Or the happiest couple of hours. Maybe even a bit more.

Since 2016, bars and restaurants in Alberta can offer happy hour deals any time, day or night. They can present deals as low as $2.75 for an ounce of spirits, $1.75 for a five-ounce glass of wine, $2.75 for a 12-ounce bottle or can of beer, or $3.20 for a 20-ounce pint. (The old two-for-one specials are verboten.)

It would be great to see that pricing occasionally — especially $1.75 for a good cabernet — but seldom do bar owners go that far in the discounts. Drawing customers with deep-discount drinks is frowned upon in the industry. Instead, we see a few bucks off drinks at happy hour and often some food specials. (Wednesday wing night, anyone?)

But where to spend those precious hours? Happy hour is all over the map, both literally and figuratively. So, to help you find your happy place, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite happy hour haunts.

 

Añejo

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. until close

More than a hundred tequilas lining the back bar give a less-than-subtle hint that Añejo might be a good place for a margarita or a straight shot of high-end agave juice. Drop that price (for the margarita and bottles of beer, anyway) to $6, or half price for all tequilas, add in $3 tacos and the party is on.

2, 2116 4 St. S.W., 587-353-2656, anejo.ca

 

Barbarella Bar

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join this Amalfi Coast-inspired restaurant for its Aperitivo hour daily, and get half off all beverages and pizzas. Barbarella Bar’s menu of spritzes, classic and shaken cocktails pair perfectly with the pie of your choice.

240 8 Ave. S.W., barbarellabar.ca

 

Blanco Cantina

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. until close

Make happy hour a little happier at any of Blanco Cantina’s three locations. Order margaritas and cervezas for $6, and get half-price tequila — even the top-shelf ones, if there’s something you have had your eye on. Of course, no margarita is complete without a taco, which Blanco has for $3 each in seven different varieties.

723 17 Ave S.W., 403-228-1854; 1140 Kensington Rd. N.W., 403-454-9602; 8545 Broadcast Ave., 403-455-3796, blancocantina.ca

 

Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub

When: Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This classic pub and restaurant rolls out impressive happy hour specials on beer and hi-balls; $3 at 3 p.m., $4 at 4 p.m., and $5 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. There are also $5 glasses of wine, Caesars and shots of Jameson and tequila, if you’re looking to spice up your afternoon a bit.

140 10 Ave. S.W., 403-264-6959, bottlescrewbill.com

 

Buffo

When: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday

During happy hour, this Italian ristorante offers Trolley 5 brews, bellinis and glasses of wine for $5. Prosecco starts at $6. Plus, look for discounts on bites like polenta fries, salumi board and more. Visit this spot with friends to eat and drink to your heart’s content.

6455 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-351-2316, buffocalgary.com

 

Cannibale

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Cannibale is one of the most popular spots in Bridgeland to go for a cocktail (and a shave in the attached barbershop). During its daily happy hour, cocktails are $10 — you can choose between a few classics, or ask the bartender about the feature cocktail. There’s also select beer, wine (red, white or rosé) for $6, or the beer and a shot deal for $8.

831 1 Ave. N.E., 403-454-5808, cannibale.ca

 

Chairman’s Steakhouse

When: Weekdays 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the lounge only

Ease out of your work day with $12 classic cocktails — think a Caesar, Tom Collins and more — and $6 domestic drafts or $8 pours of red or white. You can also order some snacks from the lounge menu, like steak tartare or chicken fried oysters, since everything is 20 per cent off during happy hour.

2251 Mahogany Blvd., 587-291-9898, chairmans.ca

 

Chilitos Taberna Mexicana

When: From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Nothing says like happy hour quite like a margarita, so why not head to Chilitos to grab one for $6? This Mexican restaurant also offers wine and pints of Dos Equis for $6, and tequila and mezcal shots at half price. All these deals are complemented by street tacos for $3.50 each, or other shareable snacks.

1309 17 Ave. S.W, 403-228-5528, chilitos.ca/taberna

 

Cibo

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Cibo — the lively, casual, Italian joint — has $5 glasses of Italian wine and draft Wild Rose beer during its afternoon happy hour, plus $6 mimosa and Caesars. Don’t miss the appetizers, like meatballs or arancini, starting at $6.25.

2220 Centre St. N.E., 403-276-2030, cibocentre.com

 

Cleaver

When: All day from Sunday to Thursday, 10 p.m. to close Friday and Saturday

Cleaver’s happy hour is practically a whole happy day. During the advertised hours, you can get $5 sliders, $10 pizettes, and $6 cocktails, wine and beer.

102, 524 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-1211, cleavercalgary.com

 

Donna Mac

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

During its happy hour, Donna Mac has some excellent deals on snacks, including the famous fried chicken sandwich in slider form for $5, or the restaurant’s gouda and porcini cruller doughnuts for the same price. To join the food, select beers and wines are $6 each and bottles of wine are half off.

1002 9 St. S.W., 403-719-3622, donnamacyyc.ca

 

Double Zero

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m

Nothing beats pizza after a hard day’s work, except maybe a $12 pizza with an $8 glass of wine, draught beers for $6 or cocktails, like an Aperol Spritz or espresso martini, for $10.

Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Tr. S.W., 403-457-7677, doublezeropizza.ca

 

Free House

When: Tuesday to Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the last hour of service

Stop by Free House — a casual, multi-floor beer hall with rotating taps — during happy hour for deals on all craft beers. The deals include $6 per pint, glasses of wine that are $3 off per glass, or $12 signature cocktails. To accompany the beverages, grab a snack from the extensive snack menu. Choose from options like ricotta toast with honey and pistachio ($5), Brussels sprouts with speck and raclette cheese ($10) or lamb skewers and labneh ($11).

1153 Kensington Cres. N.W., 403-452-1339, freehouseyyc.com

 

Goro + Gun

When: Weekdays from 2 to 5 p.m.

Its handy downtown mall location makes Goro + Gun an ideal spot for a post-work tipple, and the Japanese restaurant’s happy hour menu has turned Goro into a hot spot on weekday afternoons. Wine, sake, Sapporo beer and sake bottles for 25 per cent off are all on deck, but the happy hour highlight is a long list of $10 appetizers, including favourites such as sushi rolls, sashimi, takoyaki and and even $10 bowls of ramen.

Scotia Centre, 225 7 Ave. S.W., 403-237-5596, goroandgun.ca

 

Gringo Street

When: All day from Sunday to Thursday

Cleaver’s Latin sister restaurant and next-door neighbour offers a $19.50 taco platter and a $5 feature cocktail, beer and white/red wine, plus aguardiente and tequila shots for $5. If sweeter cocktails are your thing, grab a margarita or mojito for half price.

101, 524 17 Ave. S.W., 403-474-1411, gringost.com

 

The Guild

When: Daily from 2 to 6 p.m.

This stylish restaurant is making it easier to enjoy a bottle of Chandon Rosé with friends for $35, $5 pints of Trolley 5 draught beer or a $10 old fashioned. You can also order six- and nine-ounce glasses of wine for $6 and $9, respectively.

200, 8 Ave. S.W., 403-770-2313, theguildrestaurant.com

 

Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar

When: Monday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

After strolling through the Fairmont Palliser to its Hawthorn restaurant and lobby bar, you’ll be greeted with a $10 happy hour menu, including draft beer, house wine and snacks, like carrot hummus or buttermilk fried chicken. You can channel old world glamour when you visit Hawthorn for a mid-day pick-me-up.

133 9 Ave. S.W., 403-262-1234, hawthorndiningroom.ca

 

Home & Away

When: Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and all day Sunday

This sports bar is the place to be if you want to catch an afternoon game paired with $4 snacks like tacos and sliders, plus excellent deals on drinks — Home & Away offers house lager, wines and highballs for $4.25, with more special happy hour deals on Fridays and Sundays.

1207 1 St. S.W., 403-455-9789, homeandawayyyc.com

 

Hose & Hound

When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and all day on Sundays

Situated in Inglewood’s Fire Hall #3, which was built in 1906, the Hose & Hound can douse your thirst with $6 domestic beers and premium well highballs.

1030 9 Ave. S.E., 403-234-0508, thehose.ca

 

Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

When: Weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m, and Sundays from 4 p.m. to close

Inside the lounge during happy hour at Hy’s, sparkling wines are 40 per cent off, feature cocktails are 30 per cent off, draft beer and highballs are $6, and featured red and white wine is $9 a glass. The sharing and snacking menus are also discounted, with 30 per cent off deals on items including cheese toast, a prime beef burger and oysters.

The Core, 8 Avenue and 3 Street, 403-663-3363, hyssteakhouse.com

 

Klein/Harris

When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close from Tuesday to Saturday

The result of a partnership between executive chef James Waters and “cocktail curator” Christina Mah, Klein/Harris is half restaurant, half lounge — quite literally, as the room is bisected into two sections, just like the name. The “happiest hour” offers discounts on wine, beer or sangria (all $6), and deals on large and small format cocktails. For food, small plates are $10, like the crispy pork shoulder bites or the house-ground “happiest hour” burger.

113 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8100, kleinharris.com

 

Last Best Brewing & Distilling

When: Monday to Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and drink deals all day Sunday

Last Best’s wide selection of house brews, available for $6.50 during happy hour, are consistently flavourful and go especially well with its upscale bar snacks, like root vegetable fries and beer nuts, all for $5. The daily happy hour specials on both food and drink are best enjoyed if you belly up to a padded stool at Last Best’s long and brassy bar.

607 11 Ave. S.W., 587-353-7387, lastbestbrewing.com

 

Lonely Mouth

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

If you have a hankering in the late afternoon for some Japanese udon, Lonely Mouth Bar is the place to go. The happy hour here includes kake udon and cold udon soups for half price, alongside crispy hand rolls for $4. Complement your food with a Dandy Brewing rice lager, sake, or Japanese whiskies for $10.

528 17 Ave. S.W., lonelymouthbar.com

 

Lulu Bar

When: Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This warm wood-and-teal oasis offers patrons a break from the hustle and bustle of city life in a laid-back atmosphere. Lulu Bar offers “Honolulu Hour,” with $3 off all of its draught beers, $11 cocktails from the well-crafted cocktail menu (excluding tiki cocktails), and half-price bottles of wine and sake, under $65.

510 17 Ave. S.W., 403-930-5707, lulubar.ca

 

Maven

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Proving that brunch doesn’t need to be a morning-only meal, Maven offers happy hour deals during the last two hours of its day. During that time, enjoy dishes like fry bread with cream and berries or the restaurant’s signature Tembeling Road noodles — all for just $9. A selection of cocktails, beer and wine are also on for $9.

1006 17 Ave. S.W., 403-457-7898, mavenyyc.ca

 

Modern Ocean and Modern Steak

When: Monday to Friday; Southport and Stephen Avenue locations, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Kensington, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Modern Steak (and Modern Ocean, which operates out of the Kensington and Southport locations) offers great happy hour deals at its three locations on weekdays. Share half-price bottles of wine and sparkling wine with friends, or grab a Moscow mule, Aperol spritz or old fashioned for $7.

100 8 Ave. S.E., 403-244-3600; 10606 Southport Rd. S.W.,403-300-1424; 107 10A St. N.W., 403-670-6873; modernsteak.ca, modernocean.ca

 

National

When: Tuesday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for all locations; plus, 9 p.m. to close at National Westhills.

National’s four locations (8th Avenue, 10th Avenue, 17th Avenue and Westhills) offer a lively come-one, come-all atmosphere and great happy hour deals. Beer, wine and NTNL classic cocktails are all offered for $5. Grab a few beverages with friends and share a pizza, which is $21 for pepperoni, Hawaiian or cheese.

Multiple locations, ntnl.ca

 

Native Tongues Taqueria

When: Weekdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Plates of street-style tacos are most people’s go-to order at Native Tongues, but the contemporary Mexican restaurant’s daily happy hour offerings give customers a chance to explore some other food options (plus a few standard drinks) for less. The happy hour menu is small but mighty, featuring a tuna, salmon, prawn or pollo tinga tostada ($7.50), quesabirria ($6 a piece) and a hamburger that has garnered quite a following. Plus, wash it all down with the quintessential margarita for $12 or a spicy-rimmed AGD beer for $6.

235 12 Ave. S.W., 403-263-9444; 829 49 Ave. S.W., 403-454-8976, nativetongues.ca

 

Olea

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Olea’s menu is inspired by Mediterranean and Western European fare. During its happy hour, find deals on shareable foods, including a selection of $7 pinchos like the speck ham croquetas or roasted mushrooms. Plus, pizzas are discounted to $18. Complementing the Mediterranean fare are discounted wines and beers ($6), plus a rotating feature cocktail or the Olea Collins for $10.

1520 14 St. S.W., 403-454-4535, oleayyc.com

 

Orchard

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Spend your afternoon amongst the plants and gorgeous decor at Orchard, which offers happy hour deals that are as enticing as the space. Enjoy a mimosa for $6, or try one of the cocktails or a glass of wine for $9.

134, 620 10 Ave. S.W., 403-243-2392, orchardyyc.com

 

Pat & Betty

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Pat & Betty doesn’t skimp on the happy hour service. Grab a bottle of wine or a cocktail from the menu for half price, and go all-out-fancy on a budget, with 20 per cent off oysters and caviar.

1217 1 St. S.W., patandbetty.com

 

The Pig & Duke

When: Weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Pig & Duke rounds out its menu with a variety of happy hour items for $5. Get craft pints like locally brewed Tool Shed’s Cow Killa or Bowes Raspberry Ale, domestic bottles, highballs and house wine all for the $5 happy hour pricing. Plus, try personal nachos or boneless pork bites in your choice of sauce, also for $5.

1312 12 Ave. S.W., 403-245-8487, pigandduke.com

 

Posto Pizzeria and Bar

When: Wednesday to Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m, all day Sundays

Located beside its big brother Bonterra, Posto pours half-price bottles of wine and $6 pints, along with a can’t-miss deal of $15 pizzas. The location, just a short stroll south of the tracks from downtown offices, is a plus, too.

1014 8 St. S.W., 403-263-4876, posto.ca

 

Proof

When: Daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m

One of Calgary’s most cosmopolitan cocktail bars, Proof takes the art of the mixed drink very seriously, and the lounge’s daily happy hour lets patrons enjoy an uncompromised level of quality on the (relative) cheap. Spend your early evenings gazing upon the impressive and elegantly arranged wall of liquor behind the bar while sipping on $7 glasses of house wine, $6 beers and $8 classic cocktails, as well as small buns and baos offered at $14 for three or $20 for five.

1302 1 St. S.W., 403-246-2414, proofyyc.com

 

Ship & Anchor

When: Weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Charming, engaging and casual, the Ship & Anchor’s status as a Calgary landmark includes daily happy hour deals featuring discounted draft beer and highballs ($1 off) as well as daily shot specials.

534 17 Ave. S.W., 403-245-3333, shipandanchor.com

 

Social Beer Haus

When: Monday to Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close; All day on Sunday

At Social Beer Haus, you can ring in the end of the work day with $6 wine and house lager, along with deals like mac n’ cheese or a half smoked chicken for $12.50.

220 8 Ave. S.W., 403-474-6466, socialbeerhaus.com

 

St. James Corner

When: Weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and all day on Sundays

As Irish as it comes, St. James Corner counts down the seconds to the next St Patrick’s Day. For three hours on weekdays, enjoy select beer, wines and highballs for $5.

1219 1 St. S.W., 403-262-1157, stjamescorner.ca

 

Thomsons Restaurant

When: Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Take a stroll down Stephen Avenue and treat yourself to happy hour at Thompsons, with $8 house wines and $6 pints of Village Blonde, Thunder Meadows IPA or house beers. You can round out your visit by ordering a single burger or chicken wings for $15 each.

112 8 Ave. S.E., 403-537-4446, thomsonskitchenbar.ca

 

Trolley 5

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Trolley 5’s daily happy hour features killer deals on all of its in-house brews, as well as house wines and highballs for $4.25. If you’re feeling peckish, there are daily food specials on the brew pub’s pizza, barbecue, wings and other dishes.

728 17 Ave. S.W., 403-454-3731, trolley5.com

 

Vin Room

When: Daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., all day on Sundays

Like to lighten the day with a little vino? Check out Vin Room’s happy hour: $7 for a sommelier-selected rotation of wine, $6 beer and food deals. The specials on food include $3 snacks at the Mission location, or larger plates like pasta pomodoro or a meatball sub for $8 at the West location. As an added bonus, your dog can join you on the front patio at the 4th Street location and on the whole patio at the 85th Street location.

2310 4 St. S.W., 403-457-5522 and 8561 8A Ave. S.W., 587-353-8812, vinroom.com

 

Vintage Chophouse & Tavern

When: Weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This classy joint has a retro flair and refined atmosphere that’s reflected in its happy hour menu. There’s a special menu of pre-steak appies like prime rib sliders ($10 for two), arancini ($6) or the vintage burger ($14), among others. You can easily pair your food selection with select beers ($6), flavoured or classic martinis (starting at $10), or a glass of house wine (a nine-ounce glass is offered for the price of a six-ounce glass).

320 11 Ave. S.W., 403-262-7262, vintagechophouse.com

[This article was last updated on March 29, 2023]

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