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. When looking for the ideal happy hour, patrons are after the best quality, price, and an environment made for unwinding. Sip and socialize at one of these 13 proven Charleston hot spots known for elevated beverages and crave-able after work munchies.Read More
13 Essential Charleston Happy Hours
It’s 5 p.m. somewhere
1. On Forty-One
Find an extensive happy hour Tuesday through Saturday from 4-7 p.m. just past Boone Hall Plantation at On Forty-One. From $2 domestic beers to $5 Moscow Mules, this neighborhood eatery has late afternoon-drinkers covered. The entire appetizer menu, which is filled with Southern favorites, like hush puppies and fried oysters, is also $2 off.
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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 their 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.
4. Rappahannock Oyster Bar
No Charleston happy hour list is complete without oysters, and Rappahannock Oyster Bar, located in the converted Cigar Factory on East Bay Street, features $1 bivalves weekdays from 4-7 p.m. Oysters from their farms are also half off, and selected bar snacks, beers, and wines are offered at reduced prices.
5. 492 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
$4.92 — that’s how much each happy hour beverage costs Tuesday through Friday at King Street eatery 492. Scrounge up some loose change and head in for handmade cocktails, local drafts, and the 492 Roots, Rock, Rum Punch.
6. 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
7. 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 5-7 p.m., featuring sliders, tots, and a pork belly BLT. 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 5-7 p.m., and specialty cocktails like the habanero-infused Sugar and Spice martini are $3 off.
9. 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.
10. Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House
This hidden French Quarter tap house has a focus on local beers and sophisticated pub food. The weekday local’s happy hour offers up half-priced local flights, drafts, and “beer food” appetizers. Additionally, the restaurant hosts nightly food specials, like the Tuesday $6 burger night, from Monday to Thursday.
11. Circa 1886 Restaurant
Patrons looking for a memorable happy hour should head to fine dining establishment Circa 1886, which is located in the carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion. The stunning restaurant offers a “5 for $5 at 5” happy hour special featuring five selected wines and specialty cocktails like the Matilda, a combination of honeysuckle vodka, grapefruit, and prosecco.
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12. The Gin Joint
Every drink is an adventure at this dimly lit East Bay Street cocktail bar. The Monday-Thursday happy hour menu is sure to be filled with delicious libations containing ingredients patrons have never heard of. Stop in with an open mind ready to be wowed by a made from scratch, locally sourced cocktail.
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 3:30-6 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.