Transcending the divide between dress slacks and work boots, the workday is a bit less monotonous for everyone when the horizon includes a properly poured cocktail and a tasty bite to pair it with. While the genesis of the promotion probably involved some cheap finger food and a bottle of suds, the tradition has developed into a daily congregation – a celebration of the end of a productive day, capped off with a toast and some conversation. Befitting of this early evening ceremony, these following places have a lock on small plates and cocktails that are worth looking forward to come quitting time.
2920 Bristol St,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Quietly operating as one of Orange County’s most consistent dining destinations for nearly two decades, Memphis Café remains a stylish modernization of Southern comfort on a plate. Churning out Southern staples like Gumbo, Shrimp Po’Boys, and Mac N Cheese with brilliant regularity, everything about Memphis remains inviting. When it comes to happy hour, a carefully crafted cocktail (you’d want to run with bourbon in a place like this) and maybe a set of savory Southern crab cakes will ensure you make the trip back time and time again.
136 E Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
Embracing the harmonious relationship between good whiskey and a healthy serving of pork, Executive Chef Cody Storts might convince even the most skeptical that a plate of Crispy Pig Ears equals good eatin’. Boasting a diverse selection of locally brewed and hard to find craft beer in addition to bartenders with an affinity for brown liquor and quality ingredients, Hopscotch Tavern delivers with their take on happy hour, with Social Hour. From Blue Crab Tots to Pork Belly Rillettes, the food and drink will ensure there’s plenty to talk about at the table.
211 W 2nd St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Located in the heart of Santa Ana’s Arts District, this Mexican inspired tavern doesn’t rely on the Hat Dance hokiness of most standard chips and salsa destinations to hook their loyal in. Running with their Siesta Hour from 3pm to 6pm during the week, we can sum this up with five simple words – Bacon wrapped blue cheese dates. A simple $4 drink menu offering sangria, a house draft, or maybe a simple shot of bourbon only reinforces the notion that sometimes less is more. However, if the Butterscotch Pot De Crème available, moderation goes out he window.
190 S Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
Established as one of Orange County’s very first gastropubs to adhere to the concept from kitchen to bar, Chef Greg Daniels and the team at Haven in Old Towne Orange know their beer. Of the 14 tap handles in the building and the 100+ different bottles on-hand at any time, the pint possibilities are endless. When it comes to the eats however, Haven’s take on pub grub manages to keep things interesting without coming off as pretentious. From deviled eggs to house marinated olives and the table centerpiece in Haven’s Charcuterie Plate, whatever your drinking pleasure, there is a portion of something amazing to pair with it.
The Slidebar Rock N Roll Kitchen
122 E. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
In this case, size does matter. Extending Happy Hour from 3pm to 8pm on weekdays, this is a deal for the folks that put in the extra time when it comes to their workday. Welcoming their new Executive Chef Oge Delkan formerly of Santa Ana’s Chapter One The Modern Local, half off drafts and cocktails are paired with Korean Steam Bun tacos and Spicy Duck Confit Nachos – an edgy twits on comfort food classics. Complete with rock themed drinks and décor on par with a Hard Rock with soul, Downtown Fullerton is on the map.