What are the two best words in the English language? No, not "free money" (although we'll take that). It's "happy hour."
For us workers of the world, happy hour is the one thing we have to look forward to. It's a chance to take a break after work and toss back a few with friends. But even though most bars and restaurants offer some kind of deal, all happy hours are not created equal.
We've done our research (which involved spending many weeknights at bars munching on chicken wings and drinking draft beer and house wines) and come up with a list of the ten best happy hours in Miami.
From killer views to extended menus, these are the places offering the best bang for your buck -- both food- and drink-wise.
See also: Ten Best Margaritas in Miami
10. Bread + Butter
Chef/owner Alberto Cabrera has teamed up with mixologist Rob Montero to launch a fantastic weekday happy hour. Every Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., there's a plethora of bites in the $3 to $5 price range, including B+B pickles; Hialeah-style warm peanut cones; chilindron de chivo empanadas with goat cheese cream, dry apricot chimmichuri, and coriander leaves; toston tostadas topped with chicharrones, refried black beans, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cotija cheese; a double bacon frita with American cheese, onions, B+B pickles, mustard, ketchup, and papitas; fried chicken thighs drizzled with Buffalo honey sauce and served with buttermilk drop biscuits; and Big Al's beef jerky. Drink specials include a rotating $3 cocktail of the week and half-priced beers and wines. Every day is a value, but make it to B+B on Frita Fridays and add $3 fritas to the mix.
9. Bocce Bar
Don't call it happy hour; call it aperitivo hour. In any language, however, Bocce Bar offers dolce specials every day from 4 to 7 p.m. Sip an aged negroni ($6) or end the workday with a refreshing aperol spritz ($6) while enjoying an insalata di mare ($7) alfresco. Maybe the mood will strike and you'll stay for dinner. Maybe you'll get into an impromptu game of bocce ball. Either way, you'll be living la dolce vita.
Still one of the most amazing happy-hour deals in Miami, Doraku continues to show us the way to happy-hour heaven. Every day at exactly 5 p.m., every seat in the house mysteriously fills up as beachgoers, office dwellers, and deal seekers flock for $4 sake and $3 California rolls. And it doesn't stop there. Edamame ($2), lychee martinis ($5), and tuna tataki ($6) are some other deals to be had. Happy hour is served daily from 5 to 7 p.m. (but get there early to snag a seat).
Here's a happy hour with choices, choices, choices. From 5 to 9 p.m. every day, you can basically eat like a king on the cheap. Hummus ($4), chicken skewers ($4), meatballs ($4), cheeseburger sliders ($6), bacon-wrapped shrimp 'n' grits ($6), and dates ($6) are just the tip of the happy-hour iceberg, so to speak. Wash it down with $3 beers, $5 wines, and $6 mojitos, dirty martinis, and caipirinhas. Get there Monday for "double happy hour," when all well and call drinks, wines, and bottled beers are two-for-one from 9 p.m. until closing.
Richard Hales' Blackbrick serves happy-hour specials Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Three bucks gets you special bites from the "secret menu" like "fake pork rinds" with Sichuan hot sauce. What's a fake pork rind? It's made from Chinese flatbread starter dough that's wok-fried until it puffs up. There's also bok choy with bourbon chicken liver mousse, chicken wings with Chongquing explosive chili, and a wok-fried Homestead vegetable bun. Cocktails for $8 seal the deal for this happy hour.
5. The Corner
The Corner wants you to enjoy their cans during the bar's happy hour. Every Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., cans of beer are just three bucks. We're not talking Bud Light, either. There are about two dozen beers to choose from, including Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale, Magic Hat #9, and Blue Point Toasted Lager. If you're just not into beer, well cocktails are half-priced. If you're hungry, Chicago dogs are only three bucks. If even $3 seems like too much money, PBR drafts are $2.
Sure, a lot of restaurants offer happy-hour deals -- but how many have their own booze fairy and alcohol-fueled slurpees? At the Federal every Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., allow Booze Fairy Emily Brown to mix you her own crafted wine- and champagne-based cocktails ($5 each). Unlimited house red, white, rosé, sparkling, and sangria runs only $15 per person, and craft beers are $3. There's also a bunch of $5 snacks to munch on, like "stick to your gut" bacon with maple syrup, smoked local fish dip 'n' chips, creole spiced popcorn, Buffalo pig wings, and Federal "biskits." Now that's a deal with a fairy-tale ending.
There are two ways to go about the Cheek's happy hour, which is offered Tuesday through Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. Either eat your way through the bites offered, which include $2 beef cheek sliders, poutine topped with braised brisket ($8), and crispy pig ear lettuce wraps ($8), or partake of chef Jamie DeRosa's nightly "family meal." For ten bucks, you'll get an entrée, sides, dessert, and old-school soda pop -- all served on a red tray (just like in the lunchroom). Add a few $4 beers or $8 cocktails and you've got one value-priced meal.
Want to play a little game? Khong's happy-hour prices start at $4 and go up the later it gets. In plain-speak, that means from Monday through Friday, get to Khong between 4 and 5 p.m. for a selection of $4 drinks and food items. Order between 5 and 6 p.m., and items are $5; between 6 and 7 p.m. you'll pay $6. Happy-hour drinks include red or white wine, Chang beer, Tak Tak punch, and a drink called the Killer B. Food items include korat beef jerky, yaso shrimp, Thai-style chicken wings, crispy minced pork belly, house-made Chaing Rai sausage, and crispy roasted peanuts.
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We know, we know. You go to the Rusty Pelican for Mother's Day and birthdays, but why, oh why, don't you take advantage of its amazing weekday happy hour? Every Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., the lounge at the Pelican offers some of the best deals in Miami -- with arguably the best view in South Florida. Sip $3 beers and $5 well drinks and wines as you watch fish frolicking. Eye the boats sailing in Biscayne Bay while you chow down on ahi tacos ($5), Rusty Mickey D sliders ($5), spicy tuna rolls ($5), fried calamari ($9), baked crabcakes ($7), avocado fries ($7), and foie gras and goat cheese empanadas ($9). When was the last time you saw foie gras on a happy-hour menu? Yeah. That's what we thought.