Robert. A. Heinlein once said “to enjoy the flavor of life, take BIG bites.” I say go all in. Try things. And do it for less!
It’s no secret that I love craft cocktails and killer food. For me, exploring that aspect of traveling is one of the best parts! I love checking out the local flavors on all of my trips. Word of mouth, a spontaneous Yelp pick.. many of my favorite experiences begin unplanned and with an open mind.
Yes, eating out can be tough on the wallet, but it doesn’t have to be. In recent years, I’ve become increasingly skilled at scouting out happy hours for FOOD. If you’re willing to eat a bit early or a lot late (reverse), you can score a great meal at an even better price. Honestly, you don’t even have to travel far to find them!
I practiced this trick many times while on a recent vacation to Steamboat Springs.
It started with Tapas. FOR ONE DOLLAR.
Let’s be real… I ate a lot more than that! With $1 tapas, you can afford to splurge at Mahogany Ridge’s happy hour. The ghost chile wings and curry samosa (above) were some of my favorites. Plus, they make you feel like you’re actually getting something of substance. Each order comes with at least a couple pieces. Mahogany is also a fully operational brewery, so it’s worth noting that drinks are half price. I went for the Honey Blonde beer, but a lot of people like the Alpenglow ale.
435 Lincoln Ave.
Happy hour: 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Just steps away from Mahogany, I found this southern gem – LOW, as in low happy hour prices.
Mosey on down to this gourmet – meets soul food – scratch kitchen on Lincoln Ave. in downtown for a happy hour that extends 30 minutes later than Mahogany. Actually, don’t mosey – RUN. LOW Country Kitchen is so freakin’ good. Order the $2 chicken biscuit. It’s sandwiched with creole aioli and pepper jelly. Follow that with a $3 order of hush puppies. Yum.
By this point, you’ll be thirsty. Order up a specialty cocktail and sip it down slowly. I can vouch for The Charleston – peach brandy, pineapple and blueberries are just a few of the ingredients. Basically, it tastes like summer on a Georgia porch. Oh yeah.. and it’s only $7 before 6 p.m.
Restaurants tend to come and go quickly… they lose their flavor in the ever revolving door what’s “hot now.” LOW opened in spring 2014. I have a feeling it’s going to stick around.
LOW Country Kitchen
435 Lincoln Ave.
Happy hour: 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Still hungry? No problem. Head to E3 Chophouse and order the $14 steak burger… for $7!
I loved this place and so did the guys on our trip. E3’s is only about 2 years old. The vibe is cool and the wrap around patio is pretty sweet at sunset.
Also, if you’re looking for a full meal, this happy hour is unbeatable. All food is half off. Lobster mac for $7? Yes please! Steak burger with fries for $7? Heck yeah… $6 sliders, plus fries? C’mon… it doesn’t get much better than that! The craft cocktails are also delish… just don’t do what I did and assume they’re on special (they’re not). But – there are plenty of drinks deals to be had, like $4 craft beers and $3 domestics.