Level Up Lounge
2431 J St., Sacramento
Hours: 5 p.m.-midnight Sunday, 4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday and Wednesday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday
Happy hour: 4-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 5-8 p.m. Sunday
The real steal: During happy hour, enjoy $3.50 draft beers and well cocktails, $2 off all signature cocktails such as the Pink Ginger, $2.50 Bud Light and Coors Light and $2 Black Star beer.
They also offer $5 appetizers, including samosas, fried tofu, Korean barbecue pork sliders, and kimchi fried rice. The $2 fish tacos are a house favorite and are made with a white panko fish, mandarin salsa and a garlic cilantro chipotle sauce.
The vibe: The Level Up Lounge and Thai Basil are in the same building, but have separate menus and separate kitchens. You enter via Thai Basil and climb upstairs to the lounge, where a mirrored wall features the weekly specials, and the bar top itself lights up and changes colors.
Signature drink: The Pink Ginger is the house favorite, and you can enjoy it for $6.50 during happy hour. This sweet-and- citrusy cocktail is made with Beefeater Wet Gin, basil, fresh ginger, Crème Yvette and simple syrup.
Bathroom Break: The private bathroom at the top of the stairwell is very spacious and features a burnt-orange sink.
Alternative libations: The Ron Burgundy named after Will Ferrell's character in the film "Anchorman" is made with Glenlivet Scotch whisky, Drambruie, honey, fresh sage, lemon juice and simple syrup, and is topped with soda water. This robust drink has just a slight sweetness to it. The earthiness comes from the Scotch whisky and the sage, while the lemon and honey balance out the drink.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE CHEAP
De Vere's Irish Pub
1521 L St., Sacramento (916) 231-9947 217 E St., Davis (530) 204-5533
Hours: 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
Happy hour: 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
The deals: During happy hour, select from $3 bottled beers and draft beers such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Firestone Walker DBA Tri Color IPA, and Paulaner Hefeweizen. It also has $4 house spirits, the house red and white wines, and the Wee Ginger. The Big Ginger is $8, and they are both made from Jameson and Ginger Ale.
You also can split $12 pitchers of all draft beers except Guinness, Boddingtons, and specialty craft beers.
Appetizers range from $2 to $7 with options such as the buttered pretzel, which is made with a house sausage, pimento beer cheese and mustard.
The Station Bistro and Lounge
1100 Orlando Ave., Roseville (916) 722-2405
Hours: 4 p.m.- 2 a.m. daily
Happy hour: 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday
The deals: The Station has an exterior made out of old railroad cars and an interior feel of an elegant train car from the 1940s and 1950s. During happy hour enjoy $2 domestic draft beers and $3 well drinks and house wine by the glass. It offers rotating appetizer specials such as the bacon-wrapped shrimp for $1 to $3 off. Appetizers on average are $4 during happy hour.
City Sports Bar and Grill
155 Browns Valley Parkway, Vacaville (707) 455-7827 ext. 112
Hours: 10 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
Happy hour: 3-5 p.m. daily, 10 p.m.- midnight Sunday through Thursday
The deals: This restaurant is inside the Stars Recreation Center, so you can go bowling or play pool beforehand to work up a thirst for your favorite drink.
Happy hour deals are the same for both regular and late night happy hour with $2.50 draft beers and well drinks. Appetizers range from $3.50 to $3.95 with options such as wings, nachos, quesadillas and potato skins.
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