Best Happy Hours in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara’s culinary landscape showcases an enticing array of happy hour deals, from elegant coastal spots to vibrant downtown joints. Whether you’re new to our seaside city or a seasoned Santa Barbara traveler, exploring these establishments offers an authentic and distinctive taste of Santa Barbara’s dynamic food and drink scene during the happiest hours. From the tranquility of Montecito and the historic charm of Goleta, to the eclectic Funk Zone and scenic Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara’s happy hour culture embodies a signature mix of relaxed elegance and innovative flair.

Read on as we journey through the city’s best kept happy hour deals, uncovering stellar drinks, mouthwatering bites and unique atmospheres that truly capture the spirit(s) of Santa Barbara—and be sure to check out these other places to grab a cocktail in Santa Barbara, too.

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BEST HAPPY HOURS IN SANTA BARBARA

Santo Mezcal

Experience the vibrant flavors of Santo Mezcal, near the eclectic Funk Zone on State Street. From Monday through Thursday, 1-5 p.m., patrons can sample $8 bites, including refreshing ceviche and an exceptional shrimp chimichanga. Margarita lovers will rejoice at the famous, expertly crafted drinks starting at $8, with a broader cocktail list at $9, complemented by $4-$5 beers and $7 wine glasses—truly showcasing Santo Mezcal’s dynamic appeal.

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Secret Bao

Immerse yourself in an innovative culinary adventure at Secret Bao, located near the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Its Wednesday through Sunday happy hour, from 5-6 p.m., offers $6 deals on the restaurant’s famed pork belly bao and KFC bao, in addition to flavorful garlic noodles and dumpling specials that rotate seasonally. Pair your meal with discounted beverages like the K-Town Mule, a twist on the classic cocktail featuring soju—a Korean liquor made from either rice or sweet potato. It’s no secret: Secret Bao offers an exciting fusion of traditions and flavors that can’t be found anywhere else in Santa Barbara.

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La Paloma Café

Uncover the storied, local charm of La Paloma Café in downtown Santa Barbara. Its happy hour, Monday through Friday from 5-6:30 p.m., features $8 cocktails offered inside the bar section of the restaurant—don’t miss trying the paloma! Pair your drink with popular tapas like the single-serving nacho plate, generously topped with the restaurant’s savory slow-cooked pinquito beans. La Paloma Café encapsulates the essence of Santa Barbara’s unique culinary landscape and rich history.

Photo credit: @lapalomasb via Instagram

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The Cruisery

Embrace the lively spirit of Santa Barbara at The Cruisery on State Street. Happy hour beckons Sunday to Friday, 3-7 p.m., with late-night deals on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m.-12 a.m. Imbibe in drink specials from $7, like the Whiskey Smash, Riviera Sunset or Lemon Drop mini-tini. Its Early Birdie cocktail, a refreshing blend of vodka, mint, lime, orange juice, simple syrup and pineapple juice, is just $6. Complete the experience with delectable tapas like kung pao sprouts, mini chimichangas and baked burrata starting at just $7.

Photo credit: @sbgoodeats via Instagram

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Milk & Honey

Relax into the enticing ambiance of Milk & Honey, where daily happy hour extends from 5-6:30 p.m., and a late-night happy hour Thursday through Saturday from 9:30-11 p.m. For just $9, you have a choice between crafty drinks and delectable tapas, including two-per-plate tacos or the intriguing ‘Date with a Pig.’ For those seeking variety, its sister restaurant, Alcazar Tapas Bar, presents a similar menu, reinforcing their shared commitment to creating culinary experiences to write home about.

Photo credit: @twohungrybroads via Instagram

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Dusk

At Dusk inside Drift Santa Barbara, the golden hours of 3-5 p.m. are graced with an enticing happy hour (Sunday through Thursday), beckoning visitors and locals alike. Savor $10 signature cocktails like the refreshing paloma, classic martini and zesty margarita, or opt for the a curated selection of $12 beer and wine. And for the true epicurean, the fresh oysters on the half shell—garnished with mignonette and micro cilantro—are a steal at buy-one-get-one free.

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Flor de Maíz

Enjoy beachside dining at Flor de Maíz on the picturesque Cabrillo Boulevard. Its Monday through Friday happy hour, from 2-5 p.m., serves up $8 bites including mole nachos and pork empanadas. Margaritas, a house specialty, range from $8-$10, adding zest to an extensive $10 craft cocktail list, accompanied by $4 beers and $5 wine glasses. With its stunning views, Flor de Maíz offers a truly quintessential beachside Santa Barbara dining (and drinking!) experience.

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Roof Top Bistro & Bar

Experience panoramic views at Roof Top Bistro & Bar, the open-air hotspot atop Hilton Garden Inn Santa Barbara/Goleta. The daily 4-6 p.m. happy hour presents can’t-miss offers: $5 draft beers, $6 wines and appetizers starting at $5. The menu features an assortment of flatbreads, garlic herb fries and savory sliders. Overlooking Goleta, this (literally) elevated venue provides an inviting atmosphere, stunning views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and, if you time it right, a sundown spectacle.

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The Leta Bar

Dive into the diverse flavor profiles at The Leta Bar in The Leta Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, where daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m. invites relaxation. Patrons can savor $10 cocktails such as the classic margarita or the gin-based Bees Knees, enjoy $7 house wines or opt for a straightforward $4 beer. Pair your drink with a quick bite of one of the bar’s discounted happy hour appetizers like Buffalo wings ($11), pulled pork sliders ($16) and a colorful hummus platter ($10). The Leta Bar encapsulates the refined simplicity and coastal Californian atmosphere that Santa Barbara exudes.

Photo credit: @theletahotel via Instagram

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Finch & Fork

Elevate your happy hour experience at Finch & Fork at Kimpton Canary Hotel. Its daily 4-6 p.m. happy hour includes $5 beers and $8 signature cocktails such as the Maple Old Fashioned, classic daiquiri and Tommy’s Margarita. Finch & Fork’s happy hour also offers bites like deviled eggs, croquettes and salmon sliders, starting at $6. For savvy patrons, Thursday evenings offer an irresistible deal—$1 oysters from 4-9 p.m. These enticing discounts paired with the elegance of Finch & Fork make for a richly satisfying happy hour experience in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.

Photo credit: Kimpton Canary Hotel

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Local Montecito

Delve into the serene ambiance of Local Montecito, situated on Coast Village Road. Its happy hour runs from 3-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, offering $10 classic and well cocktails, $12 martinis and $5 beer. Don’t miss the $10 mimosas and regional house wines at $12. Snacks, starting at $8, range from street corn and maple-glazed wings to ceviche tostadas. And on Monday nights only, Local offers 30% off the entire cellar list. The outdoor setting with fire pits and comfy couches adds to the venue’s elevated charm.

Photo credit: @localmontecito via Instagram

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Saint Remy

Experience Saint Remy in downtown’s Courtyard by Marriott, Santa Barbara. Its daily happy hour—yes, weekends, too!—is from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Guests can explore a selection of discounted signature cocktails ($4 off the regular price), draft beers and wines by the glass ($5 off the regular price). If hunger strikes, Saint Remy’s $13 gourmet burgers and artisanal flatbreads offer a fitting addition to the spirited ambiance.

Photo credit: @saint_remysb via Instagram

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La Playa Azul Café

Savor vibrant Mexican dishes and margaritas galore at La Playa Azul Café, located near El Presidio de Sánta Barbara State Historical Park. Its happy hour, Tuesday through Sunday from 3-6 p.m., offers bites ranging from mini soft tacos to chilaquiles. The discounted margarita list features refreshing flavors like guava, roasted pineapple and habañero mango, along with classic cocktails such as a piña colada and mojito. With an outdoor patio adorned with stunning bougainvillea and basked in sunshine, La Playa Azul Café provides a delightful ambiance coupled with an unbeatable happy hour experience.

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Santa Barbara FisHouse

Uncover Santa Barbara’s oceanic bounty at Santa Barbara FisHouse, where weekday and Sunday happy hours begin at 4 p.m. and run till close, with an earlier start on Saturday at 2 p.m. Delight in cocktails starting at $6.50 and wines from $6 a glass. The seafood-focused menu features half a dozen oysters on the half shell for $8, fish and chips for $12, local rockfish ceviche and calamari each for $9—a true seaside feast.

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HONORABLE MENTION

Though happy hour is only offered at this cocktail bar just once a week, we couldn’t pass up sharing the delicious specials you can score if you happen to be passing through Santa Barbara on a Thursday.

Lab Social

Discover the dual charm of Lab Social in the Haley Corridor, operating as café by day and cocktail bar by night. Its exclusive happy hour, offered on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m., boasts $9 cocktails, $5 drafts, $7 wines and delectable $12 flatbreads. The espresso martini, made with in-house roasted beans, is a must-try—a testament to the spot’s coffee-making prowess, inherited from its Cajé roots. At Lab Social, innovative cocktail craftsmanship complements the relaxed speakeasy vibe for a unique, unforgettable experience.

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