The trend of “happy hour” — lowered drink prices usually between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. — began as a way for restaurants, pubs and bars to boost sales during slow times.
Today, the concept also means lower priced, smaller portion bar food menus. Many desert area restaurants offer early and late happy hours; some places even have happy hour all day long in the bar.
We’ve scouted out some great happy hour meal deals for plenty of food and drinks at reasonable prices:
Mr. Lyons Steakhouse
The new reimagined Mr. Lyons Steakhouse evokes both the old Hollywood glamour for which Palm Springs is famous as well as a more laid-back vibe in The Lounge.
In this more casual setting, savor a classic cocktail or something new and seasonal, and enjoy a taste of prime rib medallion with baked potato, fresh ground beef burger with bacon jam aioli, and classic sides like iceberg wedge, onion rings and hand cut fries.
Happy hour food and drinks at
Mr. Lyons’ The Lounge is from 4 to 7 p.m. 233 E. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 327-1551,
The Amigo Room, Ace Hotel
The dark and gritty throwback bar, The Amigo Room at the Ace Hotel, is a cool place to chow down on charred shishito peppers, a mojo or pollo verde taco, crispy calamari with pickled vegetable and smoked chile aioli, a puffy, cheese-filled quesadilla with pico de gallo and pickled serrano chili, or a classic chips and salsa.
Speaking of throwback -throw back a pint of Modelo, a beer and shot combo, house made sangria, or ante up $25 for a bucket of beer. 701 E. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 325-9900, acehotel.com/palmsprings
Taco Tuesday at El Jefe
Probably one of the longest running Taco Tuesdays in the Greater Palm Springs area is at El Jefe, the Mexican street-food inspired bar and cantina at The Saguaro.
Street food tacos include the Nopales (fried paddle cactus) with baby portabellas and black beans; and the Mexican beer-battered mahi-mahi fish tacos with remoulade, coleslaw and avocado spread.
Braised pulled chicken is tucked into soft tortillas with tomatoes, crema, and chive and fennel salad for the Chicken Tinga Tacos.
Heft a frosty draft beer, sangria or Cantina Margarita to wash down your tacos.
Taco Tuesday specials are available from 6 to 9 p.m. 1800 E. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, (760) 322-1900, thesaguaro.com/palmsprings
Lulu California Bistro
Lulu California Bistro was also one of the first restaurants to offer all day happy hour in the bar from 11 a.m. to closing, as well as a late night happy hour Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Every day find a substantial menu with reduced prices for a sharable feast: From Lulu’s extra-large house made chips with herbs and kosher salt, hummus with celery sticks and crisp focaccia bread to Cobb or chicken salad, classic Margherita or pepperoni pizzas.
Lower priced well drinks, select domestic, imported and micro-brew beers and house wines are also on tap during happy hour. 200 S. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs (760) 327-5858, lulupalmsprings.com
Prime Seafood at Mitch’s
on El Paseo
One of the more eclectic and romantic places for happy hour is Mitch’s on El Paseo with its large, covered outdoor patio overlooking the lush back lawn and fire pits.
Chilled poached shrimp combined with diced tomato, onion, cilantro, cucumber and lime Clamato sauce are the makings of the Shrimp Gazpacho. Mini ahi poke tacos come with diced ahi tuna, mango, sesame poke sauce, chukka salad, and avocado on mini wontons.
Devour Hawaiian style braised short ribs sliders with cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, spinach and tomatoes, served with seasoned fries.
Anything shaken, stirred, blended, uncorked, or poured is available from the bar during happy hour. 73-951 El Paseo, Palm Desert, (760) 779-9200, mitchsonelpaseo.com
Atop the Gardens on El Paseo, find “Island Time” from 3 to 6 p.m. every day with small plates served in the bar only. Enjoy some of the restaurant’s best loved items such as their “world famous” coconut shrimp with papaya-mango chutney; the spicy ahi poke Napoleon with capers, sesame and guacamole layered with crispy flatbread; juicy cheeseburger sliders; and macadamia crusted goat cheese with mango salsa, sweet soy served with flatbread.
Wines, beer, rum concoctions, signature cocktails and martinis are available during happy hour, 3 to 6 p.m. 72-595 El Paseo, Palm Desert, (760) 836-0188, tommybahama.com/restaurants/palm-desert
Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill
Two family-owned and operated Stuft Pizza Bar and Grill restaurants in La Quinta and Palm Desert are favorite locals’ spots for good reason: A wide mix of contemporary American food and drinks at reasonable prices, and lively, well-priced happy hours from 3 to 6 p.m. daily.
Choose from over 30 combinations or create your own small pizzas and get $2.50 off the regular price.
Asiago mac and cheese, rib bites, veggie spring rolls, street or Baja fish tacos, chicken lettuce wraps and Kung Pao chicken, and date and bacon flatbread are some of the food specials during happy hour.
Draft beer pints start at $2.50 and mugs at $3.75; select wines by the glass and well drinks start at $4. 78-015 Main, Old Town La Quinta, (760) 777-9989. 72-840 Highway 111, Westfield Mall Palm Desert, (760) 610-7990, stuftpizzabarandgrill.com
Out on Avenue 60 at Monroe, Bistro 60 at The Golf Club at La Quinta offers a breakfast, lunch, happy hour and a tiered-priced three course dinner.
Dishes from the $5 Bar Bites are anything but “bite-sized.”
The Bistro fish ‘n’ chips is a full order of Ling cod dipped in Stella beer and chipotle batter, served with fresh French fries and jalapeno tartar dipping sauce.
A large flour tortilla stuffed with blackened chicken and melted mozzarella cheese, garnished with sour cream, guacamole and green salsa is the satisfying chicken quesadilla.
Draft beer at $2 to $3 includes Fat Tire, Stella and Coachella Brewing Company. House wines, well drinks and the Bistro margarita are $4 to $5.
Happy hour: 3 to 6 p.m.; live entertainment nightly from 5 to 8 p.m. 60-151 Trilogy Parkway, La Quinta, (760) 501-0620, bistrosixty.com