We could all use an extra dose of happiness in these chaotic times, and Santa Fe offers plenty of places to help you cultivate happiness at the end of the day. Whether it’s Happy Hour, Social Hour or Reverse Happy Hour, many of Santa Fe’s favorite restaurants and bars give you the chance to toast the day’s end with discounted drinks and food.
Shakespeare wrote about happy hour sometime around 1599 in “King Henry V,” where the title character says, “Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour/That may give furtherance to our expedition…” Centuries later, during World War I, soldiers in the U.S. Navy started organizing regular Happy Hour Clubs at sea that included movies, music, dancing, wrestling and boxing. The practice spread to Naval bases in California and, in 1959, the “Saturday Evening Post” ran an article on military personnel and government contractors employed by missile-tracking facilities in the Atlantic and the Caribbean who “spend too much during ‘happy hour’ at the bar” (hopefully they were off-duty when imbibing.)
So when you’re looking to celebrate the end of the day, here are a few spots in Santa Fe where you can take part in a time-honored tradition. Sit back, relax and enjoy discounted refreshments with friends, family or colleagues. You might meet a new acquaintance, discover an unfamiliar craft cocktail, or test out pairings of food and wine. However you do Happy Hour, raise a glass and make a toast, and you’re sure to feel happier before it ends. Just be sure to drink responsibly.
The Agave Lounge at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa holds a Readers’ Choice award from the “Santa Fe Reporter” for the Best Happy Hour in Santa Fe, which takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays with discounts on food and drinks. Settle in at the bar, at a table in the elegant lounge or in sleek seats around modern fireplaces and enjoy craft cocktails, house margaritas, wine, and more. Pair your drink with prosciutto or margherita flatbreads, patatas pravas, spicy mac-and-cheese, and other upscale fare.
315 Restaurant & Wine Bar is famous for its selection of fresh oysters served over ice with rice wine mignonette, cocktail sauce, horseradish and lemon. They go well with discounted select wines by the glass, champagne, craft beer or cocktail specials. You can also order from the diverse menu, which includes French Soup Gratineé, Smoked Trout Rillettes, or gourmet cheese and charcuterie boards. The wine bar is a popular place for Happy Hour so you’ll mix right in with a crowd of revelers enjoying delicious fare in the ambiance of a true French bistro. 315 hosts Happy Hour daily from 4 to 8 p.m., excluding Monday, when the restaurant is closed.
The Anasazi Bar & Lounge is known for its Silver Coin margaritas, local craft beers, classic cocktails, and a wide library of tequila to choose from. Take a seat at the bar or relax in the handsome lounge in leather chairs and comfy couches, surrounded by rock ledge walls, vigas, and eclectic art. Pair your drink with the charcuterie and fromage plate, which includes an assortment of cheeses and charcuterie, whole grain mustard, and crackers, or with Anasazi beef and cheese sliders with Santa Fe onion, chile-jam, and pancetta. Order the chicken pastor nachos to share with your group.
The Living Room Lounge at the Inn and Spa at Loretto celebrates Happy Hour Tuesday, thru Saturday, from 4 to 10 p.m. You can sink into a cozy couch or chair in front of a fire and sip draft beers, fine wines, and signature custom-crafted cocktails while listening to mellow live music. Order from the Lounge Menu and savor Green Chile Arancini, Beer Battered Fish Tacos, or thick and spicy Loretto Sliders, and more besides.
Did you know the Plaza Cafe Southside hosts Happy Hour daily, from 4 to 6 p.m.? You should, because this offspring of the iconic downtown Plaza Café, which opened in 1947, is beloved by locals for its food and friendly atmosphere. Happy Hour features drink specials — margaritas, local beer, wine, and more — and half-price appetizers such as the Chicken Quesadilla with chipotle salsa, and the Plaza Nachos, made up of layers of beans, chipotle salsa, chile con queso, chorizo, jalapeños, and tortilla chips.This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead