Happy hour’s good, but hora feliz es mejor. Get in on the fiesta at these 10 Mexican cocinas and cantinas, where the deals and steals on your favorite sips and snacks from the land of masa and agave not only rock on Tuesday but keep rolling all week long.Read More
Where to Make Every Day Taco (and Tequila) Tuesday in Denver
Every neighborhood needs a comfy old-school joint like this family-friendly Southeast Denver (and DTC) mainstay, where such beloved local traditions as burrito-style Mexican hamburgers, egg roll-wrapped chiles rellenos, and gravy-like green chile abound. Many of the drinks are pink, thanks to La Fogata’s trademark cranberry juice–spiked sweet-and-sour mix. That includes their signature margarita, which goes for $2 off regular price on Margarita Mondays. (It’s made with Cazadores Reposado, also featured in the Deer & Beer, accompanied by a pint of you-call-it draft brew.) Add to that happy hour snacks like queso fundido and chili-cheese fries for $4.25 or less, and Monday doesn’t look so blue after all — in fact, you’ll be in the pink here.
Any trip to this Baja-themed Lowry hot spot amounts to a staycation. Bright and breezy inside and out, it specializes in such beach-worthy provisions as oysters, ceviche, and fish tacos, washed down with equally sprightly libations. But it’s especially chill during happy hour, which is practically always — from open to close on Mondays and twice on Tuesdays through Saturdays, when both the bar and kitchen offer up a wide range of bargains (don’t miss the mussels and fries or the rock lobster tacos) — and if it’s Tuesday, don’t miss any of the other tacos either, which come for a buck off regular price. With the savings, you could even splurge on a flight of tequila shots: North County carries a full line of more than 30 brands, so you’ve got plenty to pick from.
7 Leguas Mexican Grille
You can’t ever go wrong with BOGO house margs or $2 beers, which means you can’t go wrong at this Hale fixture (or its sibling further down East Colfax) during happy hour Monday through Friday afternoons. Though it doesn’t offer any food specials, most menu items are well under $20 to begin with, including the excellent aguachile, tacos de discada, and chalupa deluxe. And, for that matter, none of the cocktails crack the $12 mark — with the priciest being a full 28 ounces — so you really can’t go wrong with them either. Case in point: the Disaronno margarita, with its almost tiki-like touch of amaretto.
This family-run institution has seen its share of changes over the decades, including a relocation to the CBD in 2016. But what hasn’t changed one iota is all that matters: the classic Mexican comfort food it serves up alongside myriad margarita options. The margaritas run the gamut — on the rocks or frozen, flavored or float-topped, well or upgraded with your choice of tequila in variously sized pours. Of course, the more you explore, the more you’ll need a nosh or two to absorb the alcohol — weekday happy hour to the rescue, featuring popular appetizers like the mini chiles rellenos and tacos dorados for (at least) half-off the regular price.
What happens at this LoDo stalwart stays at this LoDo stalwart — perhaps because no one who comes here can ever quite remember what happened (the margaritas here are that famously fierce). So stop in for after-work happy hour, when the bars are jumping both upstairs and down and the sprawling patio’s packed, to find out for yourself what happens while knocking back, say, a kicky jalapeño marg alongside an array of super-cheap eats such as chorizo-potato molotes (stuffed, fried masa pockets) and tequila-shrimp tacos. Then come back Thursday night and make more semi-memories over $4 house margs and half-priced quesadillas.
With its splashy mural, open kitchen, and indoor/outdoor bar, this southwestern sizzler in LoDo’s Dairy Block sets the stage for a party that starts the second you get there. Kick back with a humdinger of a cocktail like the Blade Scorpion and let the games begin. When the slow burn of Cazadores Reposado, green Chartreuse, pineapple, ginger, and chile bitters begins to set in, you can turn to happy hour snacks such as Frito pie and bison tacos to help soothe the (delicious) sting. On Tuesdays, a build-your-own-tamale cart makes the rounds to enliven the vibe all the more.
With its trademark mix of eye-popping color and wink-wink kitsch, this Lakewood link in an Austin-based chain has got convivial atmosphere to spare. It’s only enhanced by the interactive flair of the punchy Tex-Mex fare. Strut your style by building your own margaritas and Texas tinis around your favorite tequila. Then belly up to the complimentary nacho car — actually the tail end of a vintage auto that doubles as a steam table during weekday happy hour — and customize a plate of loaded chips. (And then do it all over again at the Chuy’s in Westminster; a DTC branch is underway as well.)
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El Camino Community Tavern
A casa away from casa for Highland Square habitués, this ever-hopping watering hole has earned its spot on the neighborhood’s short list of go-tos with its dark and funky decor, laid-back attitude, and consistently killer specials. Twice-daily happy hour includes margaritas galore — both coin-style and infused with pineapple, cucumber, and other rotating flavors — as well as tequila shots, with or without a cerveza chaser (you’ve got to love the Deer & Beer, a one-two punch of Cazadores Blanco and Miller High Life). At $5 to $6 a pop, the price is right on snacks like jalapeño bottle caps and green chile nachos, too. And then there’s Taco Tuesday, when street-style tacos go for a buck apiece all day long.
Everything about this long-standing faux hacienda in Lakewood is huge: Take the place itself, which practically glows with brightly painted walls and chairs, ceramic tiles, and neon signs. The menu, which spans at least a dozen pages, from parrilladas and molcajetes to seafood cocktails and stews. The portion sizes, which are downright embarrassing (delightfully so). And the energy, especially on weekends when the mariachis rove and the karaoke machine lights up. This is one time when the entertainment value of prime time outweighs the economic value of weekday happy hour (though two-for-one margs are nothing to sneeze at). Come grab some liquid courage in the form of a pineapple-spiked margarita or a Special Drink with tequila, Squirt, and a dash of salt, then get ready to rock the mic like un jefe.
Kachina Southwestern Grill
Kachina Cantina’s Westminster sibling has got its own thing cooking for happy hour — and well beyond. Both in its Taos-chic lounge and out on the spacious patio, it delivers mucho bang for the buck not only from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., but also 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday — which means you’ve got some marathon merrymaking to do over a round (or three) of Navajo tacos and drink specials like the Prickly Pixie with Cazadores Reposado Tequila, prickly pear purée, and triple sec.