“Going downtown” for drinks in SLO with friends is a quintessential experience for any legal aged Cal Poly student, but can really take a toll on the minimum wage/student loan wallet. Luckily, there was this wonderful phenomenon created called “Happy Hour.” It’s a “happy” hour, because it makes you happy… by saving you money. These are the seven of the best college happy hours in downtown SLO for cocktails on a budget.
3-6 p.m. every weekday
Luna Red’s happy hour is a San Luis Obispo favorite. If you’re into $6 cocktails, house wine, draft beer and traditional red sangria (why wouldn’t you be??), Luna Red is your place. Their outdoor patio overlooks the SLO mission and creek, a gorgeous view to soak up the sun while you also soak up the savings on drinks. And it’s not just all about the drinks…Luna Red’s happy hour also includes food menu items like certain small plates including their famous bacon wrapped dates and chili con queso.
3-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday
If you’re feeling extra fancy, Novo offers happy hour from 3-6 p.m. Monday-Thursdays in their lounge, with $5 well drinks, house wine, craft beers on draft and select domestic beers. They also offer a reduced price on eats with $6 spring rolls, calamari, and more.
Pint Night at Frog and Peach/SLO Brew
While it’s not during the traditional “happy hour” time, Tuesday nights are still very happy hours if you’re into SLOcal beer, with pints ranging from $2-4 when you bring your own pint glass to Frog and Peach, SLO brew, and a few other participating pint night joints around downtown. Just remember to bring your own pint glass!
2-5 p.m. Monday to Friday
Why wait until 10 p.m. when you can grab a drink $4 draft beer or $4.50 well drink on the patio creekside from 2-5 p.m.? Their food specials include a personal pizza and asiago cheese twists for $3.50.
4-6 p.m. from Monday to Friday
MoTav has a daytime happy hour with specials from 4-6 with $3 tacos, taquitos and quesadillas and $4 house wines. Or go all out with your friends for a $15 margarita pitcher. Enjoy a drink, while it’s still free entry (you’ll just have to wait to dance on their staircase until later in the night, though).
Charlie’s Place Bottomless Mimosas
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays
Again, while not a traditional hour of happiness according to Jimmy Buffet and Toby Keith (it IS always five o’clock, somewhere…), you can still break out the Hawaiian shirt for an mid morning adventure to Charlie’s Place on Sunday’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for their famous bottomless mimosas and hangover burrito to feel pretty happy (or if you were dancing on that staircase at MoTav, at least a little better than you did when you woke up?).
Blast 825 Taproom
Blast boasts 43 self serve taps that you can enjoy at their happy hour for a lower price from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close on Thursday. They also have some pretty sweet student deals. Tuesday at Blast is $5 pizza night with a valid student ID card (wow, this is also pint night downtown, what a coincidence…). Then, on Sundays for $22 you get bottomless mimosas along with a massive breakfast burrito to wash down/flush out whatever Saturday night shenanigans probably weren’t on any happy hour list, but were still a really fun time…
This is only a small look into the enormous selection of SLO’s many happy hours. Go out and enjoy these establishments and never stop looking for more ways to stretch out your college budget and responsibly grab yourself a reasonably priced drink and appetizer. And of course, let us know if you want some extra company, because after all, they’re not called happy hours for nothing.