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Don't let the size of the list intimidate you

From left: Mahi Mahi Taco, Filet Mignon Taco, Grilled Shrimp Taco (at Puesto La Jolla)
From left: Mahi Mahi Taco, Filet Mignon Taco, Grilled Shrimp Taco (at Puesto La Jolla)
Place

Solare Ristorante Lounge

2820 Roosevelt Road, NTC Promenade, San Diego

Solare

I can’t think of a better way to spend a lazy afternoon than on the gorgeous patio of this chic Italian eatery. Sip Solare’s Blood Orange Daisy, a sophisticated twist on a traditional margarita or a refreshing Off to the Races, gin, Carpano Antica, Fernet Branca, lemon, and prosecco. Try the Polpette, beef and veal meatballs braised in delicious thick tomato sauce or Arancino con ragú di Prosciutto e funghi, saffron arancini stuffed with Parma prosciutto ragú and porcini mushrooms alongside for $5 each. Cocktails and beer are $2 off, well drinks, house wines and tapas are $5. 3–6:30pm Tuesday–Saturday, 4:30–6:30pm Sunday, closed Mondays.

Place

Puesto

1026 Wall Street, San Diego

Place

Puesto at The Headquarters

789 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego

Puesto

In San Diego, nothing says “Happy Hour!” like tacos and margaritas. Puesto wisely pares its “Perfect” margarita down to the basics, Frida Kahlo tequila, lime, and agave syrup, to better showcase their top-notch tacos. I can’t resist the Drunk’n Pig, layers of cerveza adobo pork, chicharones, and corn-tomatillo salsa, or the Rajas, crisply fried cheese, rajas (oyster mushrooms, corn and poblanos), avocado, and tomatillo fresca. Lamb barbacoa is well worth the $1 upcharge. Margaritas are $5, tacos are $3 (small upcharges for premium fillings). Taco Tuesday features $2 tacos and $3 Dos Equis Lager cans, Wednesday costars half price wine bottles and $6 red or white sangria.

Place

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

8970 University Center Lane, San Diego

Place

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

380 K Street, San Diego

Fleming's

Fleming’s scores with two daily happy hours. Early, I love the Clover Club, gin, lemon, raspberry syrup, egg white shaken cold and frothy, and the house made burrata plate, creamy cheese, toasted baguette slices, roasted cherry tomatoes and a tangle of nutty arugula. Late, my sweet tooth craves the Chocolate Lava Milkshake, a boozy, frosty version of a molten chocolate cake enhanced by Maker’s Mark, or perhaps the Deconstructed Balvenie S’More. I’d be seriously remiss if I didn’t also recommend the juicy bacon cheeseburger, available on both menus. Early: Five cocktails, five wines and five appetizers, $6 each. Late: Eight drinks or wines, eight apps, $9 each. 5–7pm, 8–10pm daily.

Place

Bleu Bohème

4090 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Bleu Boheme

Bleu Boheme features nearly 30 wines on their happy hour menu alone, but don’t let the size of the wine list intimidate you — the servers are happy to offer a taste. Appetizer buckets of mussels, one of eight sauces, slabs of crusty bread, and a glass of Saint Cosme “Little James” Basket Press n/v are wonderful. Charcuterie and pâté plates are also excellent, gnocchi, brussels sprouts, duck bacon in white wine sauce, or the onion tart are rich and delicious. Half price au pichet (quarter- or half-liter) wines, martinis, bottled beer (decent selection); appetizers are $10.95 for generous portions. 5–6pm daily.

Place

Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

2202 Fourth Avenue, San Diego

Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant

Cocktails made with ultra fresh ingredients reign in this sleek gastropub. The “drink of the day” is a good choice; I had a Carnivale Swizzle, cachaça, absinthe, lime, cane syrup and an Angostura float that hit all the right flavor notes. Strong and balanced, just the right bitter edge. Pair it with a beautifully presented cheese board at $4.50, or, for a mere $3.75, try a tiger shrimp ceviche tostada or a juicy cheeseburger slider and house-made potato chips. The specialty cocktails are $2 off, glasses of house wine or the daily draft are $5.50. 4:30–6pm Monday through Friday.

Place

Half Door Brewing Company

903 Island Avenue, San Diego

Half Door Brewing Company

Just a few weeks open, Half Door Brewing Company’s already making its voice heard in a city with beer attitude to spare. I’m currently partial to the toasty, caramelly Roarks Red Ale and a crunchy, savory Scotch egg on the side. Cocktails lean to Irish whiskey, as befitting a proper Irish pub. The Five Points Manhattan — Poitin Irish Moonshine, sweet vermouth, bitters, Laphroaig rinse is earthy and bracing enough to make your worst day melt away. Beer runs $5–$6, well drinks and well wines are $5, cocktails are $6, food ranges from $5–$9. 4–6pm Monday through Friday.

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From left: Mahi Mahi Taco, Filet Mignon Taco, Grilled Shrimp Taco (at Puesto La Jolla)
From left: Mahi Mahi Taco, Filet Mignon Taco, Grilled Shrimp Taco (at Puesto La Jolla)
Place

Solare Ristorante Lounge

2820 Roosevelt Road, NTC Promenade, San Diego

Solare

I can’t think of a better way to spend a lazy afternoon than on the gorgeous patio of this chic Italian eatery. Sip Solare’s Blood Orange Daisy, a sophisticated twist on a traditional margarita or a refreshing Off to the Races, gin, Carpano Antica, Fernet Branca, lemon, and prosecco. Try the Polpette, beef and veal meatballs braised in delicious thick tomato sauce or Arancino con ragú di Prosciutto e funghi, saffron arancini stuffed with Parma prosciutto ragú and porcini mushrooms alongside for $5 each. Cocktails and beer are $2 off, well drinks, house wines and tapas are $5. 3–6:30pm Tuesday–Saturday, 4:30–6:30pm Sunday, closed Mondays.

Place

Puesto

1026 Wall Street, San Diego

Place

Puesto at The Headquarters

789 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego

Puesto

In San Diego, nothing says “Happy Hour!” like tacos and margaritas. Puesto wisely pares its “Perfect” margarita down to the basics, Frida Kahlo tequila, lime, and agave syrup, to better showcase their top-notch tacos. I can’t resist the Drunk’n Pig, layers of cerveza adobo pork, chicharones, and corn-tomatillo salsa, or the Rajas, crisply fried cheese, rajas (oyster mushrooms, corn and poblanos), avocado, and tomatillo fresca. Lamb barbacoa is well worth the $1 upcharge. Margaritas are $5, tacos are $3 (small upcharges for premium fillings). Taco Tuesday features $2 tacos and $3 Dos Equis Lager cans, Wednesday costars half price wine bottles and $6 red or white sangria.

Place

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

8970 University Center Lane, San Diego

Place

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

380 K Street, San Diego

Fleming's

Fleming’s scores with two daily happy hours. Early, I love the Clover Club, gin, lemon, raspberry syrup, egg white shaken cold and frothy, and the house made burrata plate, creamy cheese, toasted baguette slices, roasted cherry tomatoes and a tangle of nutty arugula. Late, my sweet tooth craves the Chocolate Lava Milkshake, a boozy, frosty version of a molten chocolate cake enhanced by Maker’s Mark, or perhaps the Deconstructed Balvenie S’More. I’d be seriously remiss if I didn’t also recommend the juicy bacon cheeseburger, available on both menus. Early: Five cocktails, five wines and five appetizers, $6 each. Late: Eight drinks or wines, eight apps, $9 each. 5–7pm, 8–10pm daily.

Place

Bleu Bohème

4090 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Bleu Boheme

Bleu Boheme features nearly 30 wines on their happy hour menu alone, but don’t let the size of the wine list intimidate you — the servers are happy to offer a taste. Appetizer buckets of mussels, one of eight sauces, slabs of crusty bread, and a glass of Saint Cosme “Little James” Basket Press n/v are wonderful. Charcuterie and pâté plates are also excellent, gnocchi, brussels sprouts, duck bacon in white wine sauce, or the onion tart are rich and delicious. Half price au pichet (quarter- or half-liter) wines, martinis, bottled beer (decent selection); appetizers are $10.95 for generous portions. 5–6pm daily.

Place

Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

2202 Fourth Avenue, San Diego

Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant

Cocktails made with ultra fresh ingredients reign in this sleek gastropub. The “drink of the day” is a good choice; I had a Carnivale Swizzle, cachaça, absinthe, lime, cane syrup and an Angostura float that hit all the right flavor notes. Strong and balanced, just the right bitter edge. Pair it with a beautifully presented cheese board at $4.50, or, for a mere $3.75, try a tiger shrimp ceviche tostada or a juicy cheeseburger slider and house-made potato chips. The specialty cocktails are $2 off, glasses of house wine or the daily draft are $5.50. 4:30–6pm Monday through Friday.

Place

Half Door Brewing Company

903 Island Avenue, San Diego

Half Door Brewing Company

Just a few weeks open, Half Door Brewing Company’s already making its voice heard in a city with beer attitude to spare. I’m currently partial to the toasty, caramelly Roarks Red Ale and a crunchy, savory Scotch egg on the side. Cocktails lean to Irish whiskey, as befitting a proper Irish pub. The Five Points Manhattan — Poitin Irish Moonshine, sweet vermouth, bitters, Laphroaig rinse is earthy and bracing enough to make your worst day melt away. Beer runs $5–$6, well drinks and well wines are $5, cocktails are $6, food ranges from $5–$9. 4–6pm Monday through Friday.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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