Cheers! #ChefAdrian, #SassySofie and I have officially been in Charleston for one month today! My oh my how time flies! This also means I’ve been at my new job for one month, #SassySofie and #FrankieTheFrenchie have been frolicking for 30 days and #ChefAdrian has made the most delicious meals almost every night. But what we’ve really taken advantage of is the amazing Happy Hour specials Charleston has in abundance– several more options than Chicago! Over our one month, we’ve discovered quite a few, so here’s to my first post as a Charlestonian featuring our favorites spots to sit and sip.
Until 2015, it was illegal to call drinking specials “Happy Hour” in Chicago. While many bars and restaurants got creative with titles of their discounted eats and drinks, there is nothing that resonates more than a true Happy Hour after a serious work day. So coming to Charleston, where it’s known as a “Happy Hour city”, there are unbelievable discounts of great quality, price and environments made for unwinding. Here is a list of our favorites (so far!):
Our new Lost Lake, we’ve already been to South Seas (too) many times for their Happy Hour, which includes a Mai Tai and egg roll for 7$ Tuesday through Saturday, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.! Tucked between Meeting and King Street in Wraggborough, this container-style bar has a great, sprawling outdoor space with a walk-up tiki bar, while completely decked out inside with hightop and bar space. Small, but mighty, we love hiding from the crowds and hitting up this funky Polynesia getaway before heading out to dinner.
I can’t say enough great things about The Gin Joint. For the longest time we’ve tried to make it in, but it never happened until recently. This upscale cocktail spot, The Gin Joint’s happy hour wins the unique variety award for sure. Choose between either a light or dark alcohol $5 signature cocktail, an ever-changing $5 craft beer and amazing rotating appetizers for $6, Monday through Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The appetizers are filling, the drinks are incredible, and the atmosphere is lively.
This was the very first Happy Hour revelation we had several years ago when visiting. Offering $1 oysters from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and drink deals like $5 glasses of rosé and fish bites with kimchi aioli for $8, you. can. not. beat. this. Nestled in the stunning 19th-century cigar factory along Charleston’s Cooper River on East Bay Street, it’s raw and industrial look softened by perfectly placed greenery, it’s the perfect place to dine-in with friends.
Stella’s gets our “wow” award thus far. Coming from our ethnic abundance in Chicago, we’ve been craving all the cuisine varieties and Stella’s did not disappoint with it’s extremely authentic Greek masterpieces. Set in this old-world vibe, we loved everything about the atmosphere, food and drinks, including their $4 plates of grilled sausage and $10 carafes of wine Monday through Saturday 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. But, stay for the grilled octopus. It will not disappoint!
When I was here over Christmas break last year, I embarked on a Happy Hour tour– by myself– and started at Rarebit. Out of the seven (yes, seven.) destinations on my list, Rarebit was the only place I stayed for several drinks. With their Happy Hour starting Tuesdays through Fridays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. featuring $5 Moscow Mules, Greyhounds or Long Island Iced Tea, house red, white, and cava for $5 and $4 draft beers, its hard not to stay for a few in this mid-century modern style eatery and diner bar.
Should be called “Brunch All Day”, because damn, thats where it’s at! While I’ve always started with their Nitro cold brew, definitely indulge in their hours of happiness from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily which features wine, mimosas, “brunch punch,” and, of course, Miller High Life. Dine for breakfast or actual brunch all day and make sure to get any carb on the menu– biscuits, pancakes or fries– they do it up right.
“Tu” technically meaning “your” in Spanish, I promise you will need to let out your pants after dining here. As the second restaurant from the makers of Xiao Bao Biscuit (yum!), the restaurant is (literally) housed in two contrasting buildings: the larger dining room in a historic Charleston home and the other in a modern space with a bright dining room, small bar and outdoor patio. Get there for their early bird special served daily from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. where all food and beverage items are $7.
If you’re traveling in, I highly recommend starting your day/night with any Happy Hour options offered downtown. There seems to be new ones popping up all the time, so I’ll be sure to update this list as they do!
Cheers to many more months ahead!