The only thing better than good food and refreshing bevvies is getting them at a discount. With Boulder being home to so many taphouses, craft breweries, and great restaurants, it’s hard to offer a complete list of all of Boulder’s best happy hour deals. Let’s be honest — we’d lose you way before you were done reading the list. That’s why we created this tl;dr version to showcase the best of the best Boulder happy hours. The following is a dozen of the best places to go for happy hour in Boulder, according to popular vote, popularity in general, and this lifelong Boulderite author’s personal preference. Ready? Here we go…
Twisted Pine is one of many breweries that offer great happy hour deals on their delicious pitchers and pints, brewed right there on the premises. They’re known best for their excellent Hoppy Boy IPA, bitter and yummy as can be, and their rich, almost dessert-like brown ale.
Snack wise, you’ll find plenty to cheaply (and tastily) fill your belly: everything on their menu is tasty, but Twisted Pine is known for its pizza, and their one-topping happy hour pies are all the rage amongst Boulder pizza lovers. Having incredible craft beer to pair with it? That much happier a happy hour.
Along with the normal after-work type afternoon times, Twisted Pine has all-day happy hour on Mondays AND Tuesdays (!) as well as a partying late-night happy hour each day.
Japango is one of the best sushi and Japanese food joints in Boulder, and it’s easy to see why: some of the best chefs in town creating the most delicious contemporary as well as traditional dishes, plus the largest selection of Japanese whiskeys in Colorado. What’s not to love?
Japango offers not one, not two, but THREE different happy hours (not even counting Mondays, which is happy hour all day)! There’s the lunch happy hour (11am-3pm every day), afternoon happy hour (3-6pm every day), and one of the most popular late night happy hours Boulder has to offer. Every night from 10pm-midnight, enjoy slammin’ deals on both food and drinks, and cut a rug dancing to the accompaniment of DJs each Friday and Saturday during these late night happy hour times.
Mountain Sun Pub & Breweries won this year’s Boulder Weekly Best of Boulder second-place award for Best Happy Hour. Why did Boulderites vote for them? Simple: the excellent beer, at a discounted price.
Don’t get me wrong: the pub grub at the three Boulder County Mountain Sun family pubs (Mountain Sun downtown, Southern Sun on Table Mesa, and Long’s Peak in Longmont) is some of the best around: they’ve won awards for their burgers, and for the meatless diners among you, their tempeh reuben is something special. But it’s the beer that keeps Boulder thronging all the Mountain Sun pubs, and if we can get a couple of bucks off our favorite pints and pitchers? So much the better.
Mountain Sun’s happy hours are 4-6pm and 10-close on weekdays. They’ve also got a happy hourish deal all day Tuesdays, called T-shirt Tuesdays. Ask your (award-winning) friendly server for the deets.
Under the Sun is more of a restaurant-style place than a casual pub. As such, their happy hour boasts a lot of their unique fare, like their famous wood-fired pizzas and tasty-healthy small plates. Happy hour at Under the Sun is a little different than its sister pubs, too: all day on Monday, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
NOTE: Remember: all the pubs and restaurants in the Mountain Sun family take cash or check only (that’s right: no cards accepted), but they all do have an ATM on the premises in case you forget.
Backcountry’s tap selection is almost bar none in Boulder (see what I did there), and their happy hour deals rock. Each weekday from 3-6, their multiple (over 60, and always rotating) taps go way down in price, and their tasty and well prepared pub grub also goes on special. Being a pizza restaurant mainly, it’s a good idea to get a cheap slice at happy hour, enjoying the woodfired yumminess paired with any number of local and international beers, all on special.
Not content to keep their happy hour only on weekdays, Brasserie TenTen has a happy hour every day of the week! And it’s a good thing, too: the array of French small plates and amuse-bouches available at crazy happy hour prices makes it necessary to get to their happy hours every day of the week, just to sample it all.
Brasserie TenTen won the Boulder Weekly Best of Boulder third place award for Best Happy Hour, and once you go sample their bone marrow, cheeses, charcuterie, escargots, or magnifique veggie fare, with a perfectly paired (and nicely priced) happy hour wine, you’ll see why Boulder gave them their votes.
And then you’ll have to go back for more.
The Mediterranean Restaurant (which everyone calls The Med) is known for doing a lot of things very well. But what it’s probably best known for is its huge, stellar, galactic array of tapas. And you can see pretty easily why they were voted first place in Boulder Weekly’s Best of Boulder awards for Best Happy Hour. It just makes sense: a delicious selection of house wine specials, the best sangria in town, and more tapas than you can shake a pepper grinder at. It’s win-win (gold medal award win, that is).
The Med has your normal late-afternoon happy hour times all week, but they also have a kickin’ late night happy hour, too: 9-close Monday-Saturday, and 8-close on Sundays.
Upslope’s two locations (one up north on Lee Hill Road, the other ornamenting the Flatiron office park) both sport some of the best patios in Boulder on which to enjoy a craft beer, and they both also have Boulder’s best food trucks pulled up to them constantly, live music, and both the taprooms and the patios are dog-friendly!
Upslope’s beers are popular across the county, particularly their IPA and Craft Lager, but if you go to happy hour at either taproom, you can sample some unusual and even otherworldly brews that you won’t find in other pubs’ taps, or in stores.
Happy hour deals on Upslope’s delicious brewskies happen from 11:00am to 2:00pm Monday through Friday.
Want a long list of whiskey to choose from? Want expertly grilled and smoked local meats? Want to chow on the best wings in Boulder? Then hie thee hence to Pearl Street’s West End Tavern, one of several fantastic happy hours on that end of the mall.
West End has got an afternoon happy hour 3-6pm on weekdays, and a hopping late-night happy hour Thursdays through the weekend—Boulder’s nightlife often populates the bourbon-flowing West End, as the place to be after hours.
Tequila more your preferred poison? Well then, Tahona Tequila Bistro is for you: a huge tequila list, coupled with some of the best Mexican food in the city, makes Tahona a regular spot for many Boulderites looking for a fiesta in a snack and sip. Tahona has won awards both for its food and especially for its margaritas—they purvey the highest of quality in the tequila arena, and if you can get these culinary works of art at low happy hour prices? Sign us up.
Tahona’s happy hour is all night on Mondays; 4-6pm Tuesdays through Thursdays; 3-6pm Fridays & Sundays; and 11:30am to 6pm Saturdays. Oo. Brunch happy hour, anyone?
Worried about a fish-specific restaurant located in mountainous, landlocked Boulder? Don’t be—Jax has been putting Boulder on the map for years, making the national news not only for its celebrity chefs (such as Hosea Rosenberg of Food Network fame), but also about its activism in regard to sustainable seafood issues and best fishing practices.
And anyway, you have to try their Oyster Shooter. Trust me—I’ll do one with you next time we go to happy hour. Scared of it? That’s okay— Jax’s bar is big and plentiful as the sea, and let’s not forget about their renowned eats. And fish in Colorado (unless we’re talking local rainbow trout) ain’t cheap, normally. Bring on the happy hour deals!
Jax’s happy hour is all night Mondays and the rest of the week from 4-6pm.
The thing that makes License no. 1 special is the fact that it’s Boulder’s first legal liquor license, and it’s been decorated inside to look like a cozy, classy speakeasy. Located below the historic Hotel Boulderado (which also has a good happy hour at its Corner Bar), License no. 1 has rich leather seats, comfy nooks and corners where you can snuggle up with your drinks, and more than one gorgeous bar to pony up to.
What to drink at License no. 1? It’s all good, and the bartenders are top notch, but what they’re really known for is their craft cocktails, using local and artisan ingredients to concoct delicious happy potions (at happy prices, too).
License no. 1 has its happy hour daily from 5-7pm, and often has live music on the weekends.
For a college casual type of affair, and food that is scrumptious anytime, Half Fast Subs is the way to go for some of the best sammies in the city. Their creamy club is a highlight, but they’ve got everything you could wish for in a sub, from portobellos and tempeh to excellent meats and cheeses, and they’ve got a list of cheesesteaks a mile long. Half Fast has got what you have the munchies for, and then some.
For happy hour discounted deliciousness, go to Half Fast from 3-6pm every day. The other cool thing is? Half Fast is open very late most days—sometimes as late as 1am. They’re a hangover cure before the hangover sets in.
Have a favorite haunt for happy hour that didn’t make it onto this list? Just drop a comment on this post to share your favorite place to enjoy a happy hour discounted sip or snack, so the rest of the Boulder community can raise a glass with you next time they’re out.
(This article modified from a post by Kristin Kuchar, 2015).