Charleston is and has always been a “happy hour city,” with establishments providing discounted libations and appetizers to get the party started in the late afternoon. But what makes a happy hour essential? Aside from being more than a year old, these Charleston destinations provide the best deals on booze and bites, along with an environment fit for socializing with the group. Next time 4 p.m. hits, head to one of these 18 Charleston establishments.Read More
18 Essential Charleston Happy Hours
Booze and Bites
1. Edmund's Oast
The entire happy hour menu is $4 at 4:30 p.m. at Edmund’s Oast, a brewpub and refined eatery all mashed into one. Sticky peanut wings, spicy pimento cheese balls, and deviled eggs are a few of the snack options to pair with draft beer or an Edmund’s Old Fashioned.
2. The Royal American
The Royal American is the dive bar that dreams are made of. During happy hour, four George Washingtons will get patrons Gennesse and a shot of whiskey or a pitcher of Miller High Life. Enjoy on the spacious outdoor patio and stay into the night for live entertainment, as the bar doubles as a music venue.
3. Moe's Crosstown Tavern
This casual Rutledge Avenue hangout has a generous weekday happy hour in addition to the renowned Tuesday Burger Night. The unpretentious service features PBR for just $1.75 and appetizers like mac and cheese bites and jalapeno poppers for $5.
Happy hour goers looking for an adventurous beverage offering should head to Huger Street in North Central, as Renzo is serving up house beer plus a shot for $6 and a mystery wine selected by the staff. For food, look for chef Evan Gaudreau’s Detroit-style square slices along with small bites like warm olives and Spade & Clover peppers with kefir ranch.
5. Faculty Lounge
Ring the doorbell to this funky Huger Street bar at happy hour to find a mostly locals crowd enjoying $1 Narragansett or reasonably priced well drinks. For just $6, the bartender will make guests the “dealer’s choice” cocktail of the day, which could quite literally be anything imaginable.
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6. Barsa Tapas Lounge & Bar
Head to this Spanish tapas bar for half-priced paella and $5 house cocktails daily from 4 to 7 p.m. The casual yet buzzing vibe makes for an energetic happy hour filled with Mediterranean dishes.
7. The Alley
The Alley’s 8-4-3 happy hour features $8 bottles of wine, $4 local drafts, and $3 appetizers, all to be enjoyed while hitting the lanes or playing classic games like hoop fever or skee ball.
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8. Uptown Social
The entire bar is half price from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, at this Upper King street hot spot. Also look for $2 sliders and additional daily specials during this weekday happy hour.
9. Tavern & Table
Shem Creek’s Tavern & Table offers happy hour Monday through Friday featuring $4 select craft beers and glasses of wine. Go for the drinks, but stay for the discounted snacks like skillet cornbread, “kitchen sink” French fries, or heirloom popcorn—all $6 or less.
Indaco’s happy hour is almost too good to be true, as the eatery offers half-priced pizzas, Monday through Friday, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Grab a $4 Peroni or daily mystery beer to sip alongside the pies and bites like polpette with San Marzano tomatoes and pecorino cheese.
No Charleston happy hour list is complete without oysters, and sometimes happy hour deals give patrons an excuse to try out a classier establishment. Nico on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant offers a “Rose Your Way” special all summer long featuring $5 glasses of Vina Galana from Castilla, Spain. Happy hour goers can also sip discounted Veuve Clicquot and craft beers while munching on oysters, which arrive on the half shell or baked and topped with bubbling cheese.
12. The Rarebit
Most Charleston residents would name the Moscow mule at The Rarebit as the best in town, and the beverage is just $5 at the Tuesday-Friday happy hour. There’s a drink for everyone at The Rarebit’s happy hour, as greyhounds, house wines, cava, and draft beers are also offered at discounted prices. The atmosphere is trendy yet comfortable, and breakfast is available all day.
13. The Macintosh
The Macintosh Bacon Happy Hour is renowned for providing patrons with refined small plates. Currently find a street food series at the eatery, weekdays from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., featuring sliders, tots, and a pork belly BLTs. Enjoy the fare and discounted beverages while feeling fancy in the classy Macintosh setting.
The Monday, Wednesday, Friday O-Ku happy hour is a tough ticket to punch, so patrons should try to book ahead of time. All 18 makimono sushi rolls are half off from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., and specialty cocktails like the habanero-infused Sugar and Spice martini are $3 off.
15. Parcel 32
There’s one necessary reason to check out Parcel 32 for happy hour and that’s the slider-sized smash burger. The patty uses a 3:1 ratio of ground beef to mushroom and is topped with Benton’s bacon and a creamy smash sauce. Wash it down with a $5 daily cocktail or discounted glass of house wine.
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16. CO Restaurant
The happy hour specials at CO are plentiful and ideal for those looking to snack alongside a glass of wine or sake. The $3, $4, $5 food menu consists of Southeast Asian bites like pork belly buns, edamame gyoza, and beef and kimchi dumplings. Happy hour at CO can easily turn into a full dinner, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
17. Cane Rhum Bar
The interior of Cane Rhum Bar has lively tunes and vacation vibes, making it a good place to stop on a warm day. Sip on the frozen Cruzen black strap banana daiquiri — just $7 during happy hour — alongside Caribbean snacks like fried mahi bites.
Sometimes the day just calls for an afternoon margarita alongside snacks that are difficult to put down. On these occasions, head up the stairs to Minero on East Bay Street for a 4:30-6 p.m. weekday happy hour boasting discounted margaritas, $3 PBR pints, and $2 tequila shots. Dive into $5 wings and guacamole once the buzz hits.