Calgary's Best Happy Hours
Because we’re happy, we bring you this expansive list of where to drink and eat after a day at the office
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.
When: Weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m
1410 Bier Haus offers local draft beer, highballs and 6-ounce glasses of house wine for just $5 on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. The kettle chips are free, and daily food specials (Mondays, $13 burgers) are on offer.
(1410 17 Ave. S.W., 403-229-1410, 1410bierhaus.ca)
When: Every day from 3 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, anyway) to $6 during daily “halfy hour,” add half-price tacos and the party is on.
(2116 4 St. S.W., 587-353-2656, anejo.ca)
When: All day on Sundays
Calgary’s classic pub and restaurant with a sunny, rambling, near-year-round patio, rolls out a different daily beer special for $5. On Sundays, an all-day happy hour includes all local draft pints, Caesars and 5-ounce glasses of wine also for $5. Feel like staying a while (and calling a cab)? There are highballs for $4.
(140 10 Ave. S.W., 403-264-6959, bottlescrewbill.com)
When: 3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 9.pm. until close Monday through Thursday; 10 p.m. until close, Friday and Saturday
Cibo, the lively, casual, two-storey Italian joint, brightens 17th Avenue S.W. with $5 pizzas, $4 scodellina, and $4 wine and beer. And, if you like a late-night bargain, you can get the same happy hour deals Monday through Thursday after 9.pm. and Friday and Saturday after 10 p.m.
(1012 17 Ave. S.W., 403-984-4755, cibocalgary.com)
photograph by jared sych
When: Weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m
Nothing beats pizza after a hard day’s work, except maybe a pizza with a $5 glass of wine, craft beer, bubbles and bar snacks.
(Chinook Centre, 403-457-7677, doublezeropizza.ca)
When: Monday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. and all day on Sundays
Situated in Inglewood's Fire Hall #3, built in 1907, the Hose & Hound can douse your thirst with $4.95 domestic beers and premium well highballs Stay too long and you may see some ghosts that haunt the old fire station.
(1030 9 Ave. S.E., 403-234-0508, thehose.ca)
When: Every day from 4 to 7 p.m
The Kensington Pub, or K-Pub as it’s known to regulars, offers $1 off pints and 10 per cent off highballs and wine daily (including Sundays!). The English-themed, Kensington-area pub offers daily food features to go along with the drinks, too.
(207 10A St. N.W., 403-270-4505, kensingtonpub.com)
When: Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 7 p.m.
Charlene and Clint Pellerin serve up some of the best wings in the city (Wednesdays and Fridays, $8.75 a pound) to go along with $4.95 bottles of domestic beer or highballs, Tuesday through Saturday. Try the dill pickle or the ginger wings.
(2808 Ogden Rd. S.E., 403-264-4441)
photograph by jared sych
When: All day on Mondays and from 3 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
National’s four locations (8th Avenue, 10th Avenue, 17th Avenue and Westhills) offer a lively come-one, come-all atmosphere and daily happy hour deals. Beer is 25 cents per ounce ($5 for 20 ounces and $3.50 for 14 ounces) and oysters are $1.50 each.
(550 17 Ave. S.W., 403-229-0226; 341 10 Ave. S.W., 403-774-2739; 180 Stewart Green S.W., 403-685-6801; 225 Stephen Ave. S.W. (+30 level), 403-237-5556; ntnl.ca)
When: Weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m
At both locations (Connaught and downtown), The Pig & Duke rounds out its porky menu with $5 happy hour on weekdays. Get pints of Royal Lager and locally brewed Tool Shed's Cow Killa, tall cans of Village Brewery's Reservoir Pigs Pilsner, domestic bottles, highballs and house wine. Balance that with a personal plate of pulled pork nachos for $5 (add pork belly for $4 more) or indulge in daily food specials in this casual neighbourhood pub.
(1312 12 Ave. S.W., 403-245-8487, 503 4th Ave S.W., 403-452-0539, pigandduke.com)
When: Weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m
Attached to its big brother Bonterra, Posto pours half-price wine and $5 pints on weekdays, along with appetizer snacks like perogies and meatballs for $2.50 each. 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)
When: Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m at the Hotel Arts Pool (seasonal)
Bask by the Hotel Arts pool (in warmer weather) and enjoy Raw Bar’s Friday specials from 4 to 7 p.m featuring $4.99 glasses of prosecco and pints and $1 oysters. Or slip inside to the cozy confines of Raw Bar itself Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. for half-price small plates and $5 house wine, draft beer and classic cocktails (choose from a Martini, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Negroni, Margarita or Moscow Mule).
(119 12 Ave. S.W., Hotel Arts, 403-206-9565, rawbaryyc.ca)
When: Monday through Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Schooners rings in happy hour early with a 2 p.m. start Monday through Saturday ( 10 a.m. on Sundays.) During these relaxed hours in Patterson, selected domestic pints, bottled beer and well highballs are an enticing $4.50 and glasses of wine are $5.25. The nautically themed Schooners also has daily food specials (half-price wings on Sundays!)
(6416 Old Banff Coach Rd. S.W., 403-240-2424, schoonerspub.com)
When: Weekdays from 2 to 5 p.m
Scopa has a neighbourhood following in the Tuxedo-Crescent Heights area for its creative Italian cuisine and casual setting. And on weekdays from 2 to 5 p.m., it’s packed with regulars enjoying $5 glasses of house wine and prosecco, draft beer and well highballs. The happy hour food menu includes $3 bruschetta and olives, $5 arancini, $7 caprese, $10 burgers and a $12 steak sandwich. Plus, pizzas are just $10 after 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Sundays, and after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
(2220 Centre St. N.E., 403-276-2030, scopacalgary.com)
When: Weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Charming, engaging and a little bit grungy, the Ship & Anchor’s status as a Calgary landmark includes daily happy hour deals featuring discounted draft beer and tall boys (prices vary) and $4.05 highballs.
(534 17 Ave. S.W., 403-245-3333, shipandanchor.com)
When: Weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m.
As Irish as it comes, St. James Corner counts down the seconds to the next St Patrick’s Day. You can help knock off two hours on weekdays with select beer, wine and highballs for $4.
(1219 1 St. S.W., 403-262-1157, stjamescorner.ca)
When: Weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
Prime yourself for the theatre or a concert at the Calgary Centre for Performing Arts with a pre-show visit to Teatro. Enjoy half-off the light bar menu while sipping on a Peroni beer or a highball for $5 or house wine for $7.
(200 Stephen Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012, teatro.ca)
photograph by jared sych
When: Every day from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. until close
Like to lighten the day with a little vino? Check out Vin Room's "Twice as Nice" happy hour for $7 wine and $5 tapas, daily. There's also $5 prosecco and truffle popcorn all day on Tuesdays. 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; 8561 8A Ave. SW, 587-353-8812, vinroom.com)
When: Everyday from 3 to 6 p.m. and all day Mondays
Wurst, a Mission anchor with a Bavarian tone, rolls out half-litre steins of domestic and import brew for $5, half-litres of draft wine for $12 and half-price appetizers.
(2437 4 St. S.W., 403-245-2345, wurst.ca)
[Editor's note: This article was last updated on April 19, 2018]