News & Politics

Delicious Deals at Happy Hour

It’s not just for dollar beers anymore. If you hit these top restaurants at the right time, your plate will be piled high—with not a mozzarella stick in sight.

Clyde’s golden-crusted crab-and-artichoke dip hits the spot after a long day. Photograph by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg.

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Clyde’s (nine area locations; This local chain of preppy saloons serves $6 versions of its creamy crab dip, hefty Buffalo wings, and classic burger—each usually $9.25—Monday through Friday; times vary by location.

Dino. A grazing-friendly spread of olives, cured meats, and other antipasti is free Sunday through Friday from 5:30 to 7 at Dean Gold’s Cleveland Park wine bar. Cocktails, beer, and wines by the glass are 25 percent off, and three-ounce wine pours are $3 to $9.

Hank’s Tavern & Eats. Geoff Tracy’s hangout is best known for its towering burgers. From 3 to 7 daily—and all night Monday and Tuesday—you can dive into one for $5.99. On the side are $2 Buds and $3 frozen margaritas.

Johnny’s Half Shell. The big-band music is turned up high at the festive marble bar that fronts Ann Cashion’s Capitol Hill seafood room. Weeknights from 4:30 to 7:30, load up on $2.50 sliders and miniature tuna sandwiches, $5 plates of gravlax and grilled squid, and $6 shrimp and grits, a Cashion standard. Draft beer is $5.50 a pint.

Spice Xing. Weeknights from 5 to 6:30, Sudhir Seth’s color-splashed restaurant in Rockville Town Square serves $3-to-$4 Indian bar snacks such as deliciously kid-like chili-cheese toast, chicken-filled kati rolls, and fiery tandoori wings. Drinks are equally good deals: Beer is $2.50 to $3.25, cocktails and wine $3.25 to $4.

Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-312-8888). This casual Clarendon spot offers a raft of specials between 5 and 9: On Tuesdays, burgers such as a chicken patty and a half-pounder bound with pork fat are half price; Wednesdays, fried pickles are $2.50 a plate and wings 50 cents each; Thursdays, nachos piled with chicken or chili are $5; Fridays, sliders are $1.75. Drink specials change each night: Bottles of wine are half off on Mondays, for instance, Bud and Miller beers $2 on Thursdays.

Urbana. This subterranean restaurant/lounge in Dupont Circle’s Hotel Palomar offers raw-bar specials—$1 oysters, $5 wine, $4 Peronis—daily from 4 to 7 and Monday through Wednesday from 10 to 11. Pizzas—duck prosciutto and quail egg, smoky Rogue Creamery blue cheese with bacon and onions—make nice shares for $8.

Vidalia. The leather chairs are super-cushy in this mod-Southern restaurant’s wine lounge, but Tuesday from 5:30 to 6:30, the place to be is at the bar, where you can nibble on olives, cheese puffs, and, best of all, the free canapés that sail out of chef R.J. Cooper’s kitchen. One night we had four-star tempura asparagus and, with nobody else around, made a meal of smoked tofu cubes wrapped in Kobe beef. Weeknights from 5 to 7, wine specials range from $7 to $9 a glass.

Willow. Entrées at this relaxed white-tablecloth dining room in Ballston hover in the high $20s. But at the comfortable bar, a menu of flatbreads, spring rolls, sliders, and other appetizers for $5 each is offered Monday through Saturday from 4:30 until closing. Weekdays, an array of cocktails, beer, and wine by the glass is $5 from 5:30 to 7:30.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.