Charleston has plenty of drink deals, but some are worthier than others 

The Happiest Hour

Jonathan Boncek

Drinks and Barsa's paella make for a winning Happy Hour recipe

When I'm on a budget (please see: always) there are two indulgences I never cut out. No matter how broke I am, I refuse to give up on buying coffee and I refuse to give up buying booze. Those drinks taste better when you buy them. I swear, they do.

But if I had to choose between the two ... booze wins. There are expensive ways to drink in Charleston, wallet-friendly ways to drink in Charleston, and, of course, there are dirt cheap ways to drink in Charleston. Sorry folks, but I can't give you advice on drinkin' dirt cheap, because as thrifty as I try to be with booze-buying, at the end of the day, I like the good stuff. When the sun's still up I want more than a tall boy and a shot of house whiskey (nothing against that combo).

So here we are, at the not-too-much, not-too-little drink discussion. The question is: Where do we drink? And once we get there, what do we swill?

The I-Can't-Believe-This-Is-The-Price Happy Hour

click to enlarge The Edmund's Oast house cocktail may be on draft, but it still gets a finishing touch - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • The Edmund's Oast house cocktail may be on draft, but it still gets a finishing touch

We're lookin' at you Edmund's. The Oastest with the mostest serves up one of our favorite happy hours in town, with a $4 food and drink menu. You can try a craft beer, wine, or (our preference) a boozy cocktail on draft and can catch a solid buzz. Incroyable! Oh yeah, and the food — it varies all the time, so check Edmund's social media before heading there or just wing it. The plates are small-ish portions, but if you're living that true happy hour life, you're only looking for a few bites anyway.

Location Details Edmund's Oast
Edmund's Oast
1081 Morrison Dr.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 727-1145
Dinner & Weekend Brunch.
Modern American and Pubs + Taverns
click to enlarge Champagne 
and oysters on the half shell 
at Pier 41 - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Champagne and oysters on the half shell at Pier 41

The Aphrodisiac's Happy Hour

Did someone say $1 champagne and $1 oysters on the half shell? Mt. P's Pier 41 offers this crazy good deal; yes, it does mean that you can snag a glass of champagne and an oyster for $2. The champagne ain't bad — and from our experience the bartenders are heavy-handed and quick to offer refills. And the oysters are fresh, this is a seafood joint, after all, and come from varying locations on the East Coast. Better than sex? We'll let you be the judge.

Happy Hour daily, 4-6 p.m.

Location Details Pier 41
Pier 41
1039 SC Hwy. 41
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 388-4433
Seafood
click to enlarge A glass of rosé and a small plate (below) is the way to do Stella's after work - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • A glass of rosé and a small plate (below) is the way to do Stella's after work

The Rosé Fiend's Happy Hour

click to enlarge Small plate from Stella's - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Small plate from Stella's

Calling all lovers of pink wine — Stella's serves more than stella' (we had to) Greek food. Their happy hour, a.k.a. meze ora, features $10 carafes of red, white, and rosé. The best part isn't even that the carafe is a healthy enough dose for two drinkers — it's that the wine is actually damn good. If you're more of a beer connoisseur, you can snag Stella original or cider on draft for $4 or bottles of Mythos Green or Aris Lager, also topping out at $4. Speaking of $4... that price point also applies to yummy small plates like Loukaniko, Greek sausage with grilled orange peel, fennel, herbs, and tzatziki; Garides and Skordalia, grilled shrimp with a puree of garlic, bread and lemon; and Caprese Elliniko, roasted red pepper, feta, basil, and EVOO. We could go on — both Stella's regular menu and meze ora offerings are extensive — but you get the idea: this place rocks.

Happy Hour (meze ora) daily, 4-6 p.m.

Location Details Stella's
Stella's
114 St Philip St
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 400-0026
Lunch, (Mon.-Fri.), Dinner (Mon.-Sat.), Sunday Brunch
Greek

The Big Group Happy Hour

You know it, you love it: Barsa. The Spanish tapas spot has been kickin' it in Charleston for a while now, and for good reason. If you've never been, let me make it easy for you. Step one: If at all possible, go to Barsa on a nice day, and sit on the patio. Look up, take in the greenery, the twinkly lights. Ahhhh. Order a $5 house cocktail or a glass of wine for $2 off (that leaves you with several $4 and $5 options) and an order of half-off paella. That means you and a pal (or three) can split a veggie paella for $15. Boom.

Happy Hour daily, 4-7 p.m.

Location Details Barsa Tapas Lounge & Bar
Barsa Tapas Lounge & Bar
58 Line St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 577-5393
Lunch & Dinner
Tapas Bar

The Tourist-y But Fuck it We Love it Happy Hour

I visited Pearlz the first week I moved to Charleston four years ago and the place has held a special place in my heart ever since. Because $4 glasses of wine will always have my heart (RIP Social, you are sorely missed). In addition to the cheap-but-totally-drinkable wine, Pearlz offers $4 pints of their beer and $5 Bloody Marys, making every post-work event at Pearlz feel a little more like brunch. Get tourist-y and slurp an oyster shooter for $4 and fill your wine-belly with $5 pork rinds or grilled mahi tacos (my personal go-to). West Ashley's location serves up the same HH as downtown, making your Avondale to East Bay hopping all the more convenient.

Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 4-7 p.m.

Location Details Pearlz
Pearlz
9 Magnolia Road
West Ashley
Charleston, SC
(843) 573-2277
Dinner
Seafood and Bar
Location Details Pearlz
Pearlz
153 E. Bay St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 577-5755
Dinner
Seafood and Bar

The Margarita Happy Hour

There are some days when all I want is a margarita. On the rocks with salt, give me one that isn't too sweet and has plenty of tequila and hell, just give me one in a mason jar. YoBo Cantina Fresca — God bless them — serves up just that for $6 during happy hour. If your idea of a baller happy hour is getting out under $10, well buddy, this is the spot for you. Granted, you may want to add some chips and salsa ($2.50, bottomless) in there to stave off the tequila spins, but then again, you could also fill your tum with a years-old protein bar you found in your car beforehand — like a real adult.

Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 4-7 p.m.

Location Details YoBo Cantina Fresca
10 Windermere Blvd.
West Ashley
Charleston, SC
(843) 793-2824
Lunch & Dinner.
Mexican

The Bougie Happy Hour

Yeah, we know, Circa 1886 is a pretty fancy spot. But did you know they have $5 happy hour drinks every Monday-Friday? Sidle up to the bar for the aptly titled "5 for 5 at 5" when you can pick from five different wines (one sparkling, two white, and two red) and five specialty cocktails from 5-7 p.m. Who knows, maybe after a glass of vino or two you may decide you have the funds to stick around for dinner. That lamb rack with artichoke baba ganoush, smoked paprika rub, yogurt bernaise, cucumber cous cous salad, and patty pan tomato kabob probably looks pretty good through rosé-colored glasses.

Happy Hour Mon.-Fri., 5-7 p.m. 

Location Details Circa 1886
Circa 1886
149 Wentworth St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 853-7828
Dinner (Mon.-Sat.), Closed Sun.
Modern American

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment