6 Dynamite Happy Hours That Showcase Monterey Bay's Hospitality Industry


Let’s get real for a second — who doesn’t love a good happy hour?

The happiest of hours in the Monterey Bay tend to fall between 3pm-7pm, and happy hour hunters are always on the lookout for the best hangouts to celebrate. Fortunately, the staff of the Monterey Bay Food Tours (and our friends) are part of that squad, so let’s kick back with a drink and have a chat over some appetizers for a minute. If you’re on the lookout for a great spot to hang at the end of a long day (or the beginning of a long night,) here are six dynamite locations that prove why the food scene in Monterey is so unforgettable.

Montrio Bistro

Let’s cut straight to the chase when it comes to the happy hour at Montrio Bistro: It’s every day from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

I repeat.

It’s every. day.

Their drink menu covers the standard $5 well drinks, but we can also get some $5 wine and $5.50 beer on tap, so who’s complaining there? They also have a selection of specialty cocktails for $6.50, so be sure to give yourself some room for those. We like the Campfire.

Appetizers run from $4-7 and include offerings like crispy artichoke hearts (yum), the soup of the day, oatmeal crusted brie (oops, I ordered 3), and… well, there hasn’t been anything we haven’t enjoyed and it’s a local’s favorite so see which one speaks most to you!

Sandbar & Grill

If you’re a sucker for a good ocean view, the Sandbar & Grill definitely has the best one on this list. Seafood fans will love their fresh catch fish of the day and calamari, and happy hour fans will love the community feeling!

The happy hour here runs Monday-Friday from 4-6:30 p.m.

Drinks on this menu include $4.25 for a pint of any draft beer, a selection of $7 wines by the glass, and also $5 well drinks. No specialty drinks here, but hey, sometimes a whiskey and coke or a gin and tonic gets the job done just fine.

The food on the happy hour menu includes their calamari (we’re suckers for a good calamari), steamed mussels, fish tacos, and soy-ginger glazed salmon, just to name a few. If you do the chowder walk on the wharf and decide the Sandbar and Grill has the best, you can also get a bowl of it off their happy hour, too.


We hardly ever need a reason to visit Hula’s Island Grill. Not only do they have great drinks all the time (see: 6 Incredible Whiskey-Based Drinks in Monterey Bay), but you can also get almost the entire menu on happy hour prices!

Even better, they, too, have happy hour every. day.

Sunday-Monday it runs from 4-6 p.m., Tuesday is ALL NIGHT HAPPY HOUR from 2 p.m.-close, and Wednesday-Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

You’re likely to catch us there on a Tuesday.

The drinks on the menu are $6 for a regular and $12 for a double (and, really, one double is all you need.)

Appetizers (or “pupus” here) include their incredible sweet potato fries, mac and cheese, seaweed and seared ahi, edamame, shrimp rolls… yeah, we could go on, but we promise, there’s plenty to choose from!

La Playa

Okay, so here’s one for you:

On Sundays, from 5 p.m.-5:10 p.m. (yes, you read that right), La Playa Carmel has ten cent happy hour (yes, you read that right.)

Let’s immediately dive into the stipulations.

  1. You can only pay with dimes.

  2. It’s ten minutes long.

  3. You must pay in exact change or you don’t get served.

  4. But, seriously, ten cent well drinks, draft beers, and select wines? That’s almost as good as the 30 minute all-you-can-drink happy hour in Vegas!

Get those dimes ready and we’ll see you for ten minutes on Sunday!

Starlight 65 Rooftop Lounge at Vesuvio’s

Anybody else a sucker for a good rooftop bar? Well, the Startlight 65 Rooftop Lounge at Vesuvio’s Restaurant hits the spot for us.

Wednesday-Sunday, from 4-6 p.m., you can enjoy the late afternoon or early evening from this rooftop bar with $7 well drinks and wine selections and $8 martinis.

Those prices, however, drop down to $4 for the well drinks and wine and $5 for the martinis if you add some food, which we highly recommend you do either way.

From burgers (beef and vegetarian) to pizza to chicken sandwiches, their happy hour food is much more entree-centered than appetizer, and we don’t have any complaints there!

Just beware of Carmel’s 2 hour parking limit.

Peter B’s Brewpub

Not only is Peter B’s Brewpub one of the best (and first) breweries in the area, we also talk about the building, and the hotel it’s attached to, a little bit more on our upcoming Haunted Monterey Food Tour for Halloween!

Happy hour lovers get a double-dip here: Not only is happy hour every. day. from 4-6:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday also has a late night happy hour from 9:30-10:30 p.m.

Check out the brewery onsite and enjoy their beer for $5 pints during the happy hours (we love the peach beer so much it isn’t even funny.)

You could also pay $5 for well drinks or $6 for wines, but why not try out what they’re best known for?

Seriously, we love the peach beer so much it isn’t even funny.

Have you tried out any of our top spots? Which are some of your favorites? Anything you think we missed? Let us know in the comments!


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