Happy Hour: Double Trouble at the Willows

Alexis Katsilometes
Pork belly doughnuts are a compelling happy hour lure at the Willows.
Forgive us for saying this, but there is one difficult part of happy hour: deciding what to drink. We are known to sit in our bar stools, dazedly stare at the menu and mull over the merits of a perfect Manhattan, a salt-rimmed margarita, or a well-crafted draft beer. Thankfully, the Willows forces us to make a decision. The lively SOMA gastropub is divided into two distinct parts: one room is reserved for mixed drinks, and the other, for beer and shots. They divide, and boy do they conquer.

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Happy Hour Goes Korean at Namu Gaji

Michael Kim
Tillie's Union Ale from Magnolia Brewery

There's not really such a thing as a bad happy hour. When a couple of bucks are knocked off a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail, a feeling of contentment washes over us, and we're able to forget the obstacles, transgressions, or missteps of hours past. When an establishment throws discounted food into the mix,this satisfaction is turned into sheer bliss, especially when these options include inventive, untraditional versions of tacos and fries.

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Happy Hour: Simple Satisfaction at Salumeria

Categories: Happy Hour

Alexis Katsilometes
During the most trying of workdays, dreaming of an impending happy hour is all that keeps us toiling along. But sometimes the idea of heading to a crowded bar where you'll inevitably have to battle for the bartender's attention makes you want to act out that printer-smashing scene from Office Space. Some days you don't want to be sardined with 100 of your soon-to-be-closest friends against some super-posh, sustainable piece of reclaimed wood. Some days you just want to drink your glass of rosé in peace. On those days, you can find respite at Salumeria's new Bryant Street location.

See also: Salumeria's $12 Sandwiches Are Worth Every Shekel

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Happy Hour at the Corner Store: Booze, Bites, and Burgers

Categories: Happy Hour

Alexis Katsilometes
Happy hour: two little words that have the power to inspire true feelings of contentment and bliss upon their mere mention; words that will improve even the worst of days; words that can draw you to the Corner Store at the intersection of Geary and Masonic six days a week.

From 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday-Sunday, the 15-month-old spot offers two and a half hours of discounted libations. All draft beers, wines on tap, and well drinks are $2 off. The restaurant also features two $7 cocktails: Ruby Sue, a balanced blend of gin, Aperol, lemon, honey, and egg white; and for those seeking something a bit more spirituous, the Fantastic Sam, a blend of whiskey and Olympia lager.

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Happy Hour Eats: $1 Dumplings and Kimchi Cocktail Oysters at E&O Asian Kitchen

Rhys Alvarado
Butternut Squash Dumplings, Indian Corn Fritters and a Sutter Punch at E&O Kitchen's happy hour.
You rarely ever hear the words "Union Square" and "one dollar" in the same sentence. So when I heard of E&O Asian Kitchen's $1 happy hour, I had to check it out.

On a late afternoon, I entered low-lit bar and restaurant near the Stockton Tunnel with woven seating and small booths that divide the space. I pulled up a seat at the nearly empty bar as Neo soul played and I was kindly greeted by the bartender who immediately shook up my Sutter Punch ($6).

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Happy Hour Comes With Plenty of Choice at SoMa StrEat Food Park

Categories: Happy Hour

I had planned to meet a friend after work last Friday. She suggested happy hour, something that I never refuse. But she also wanted to eat, and this friend who shall remain nameless, well, she's picky -- the vanilla ice cream sans toppings and noodles with only butter type of picky ... the worst kind of picky.

So after much back and forth, we finally agreed on the SoMa StrEat Food Park, where virtually any preference can be satisfied.

See also: Food Truck Rally Review: SoMa StrEat Food Park
SOMA StrEat Food Park: The Ultimate Restaurant Mash-Up

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La Stazione's Happy Hour is a Haven for Caltrain Commuters

Categories: Deals, Happy Hour

Alexis Katsilometes
Two months ago, I was completely unaware of La Stazione's existence. Then a job in the South Bay made me instantly (and intimately) familiar with Caltrain, the Dogpatch, and this Italian, micro-coffee and wine bar on the corner of 22nd and Pennsylvania. Around 6:45 most mornings, I stumble bleary-eyed through their doors for a cup of life-saving, Ritual coffee before my 40-minute commute to Menlo Park.

See also: Happy Hour at Two Sisters Bar & Books Lasts All Weekend

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Happy Hour at Two Sisters Bar & Books Lasts All Weekend

Yelp/Erin M.
The cozy window reading nook at Two Sisters.
If you think that happy hours are strictly weekday affairs, Two Sisters Bar and Books in Hayes Valley would like to respectfully disagree. In addition to offering discounted drinks 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday, the bar also offers a weekend happy hour. Its homage to day drinking spans from 1 to 4 p.m. because, as co-owner Mikha Diaz explains, "It is happy hour in New York City" -- a placed once lived in and still very loved by both sisters. So grab a seat, maybe even a book, and cozy up to their bar for a much-needed drink.

See also: Two Sisters Bar and Books: Small Plates, Big Ambiance
Two Sisters' Eclectic Brunch Is a Haven with Personality
Meal For Every Mood: Hayes Valley

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Happy Hour at Waterbar Tonight: Oysters with Author Rowan Jacobsen

Categories: Happy Hour

Photo courtesy of Waterbar
Rocky Nook oysters from Waterbar
We've got warm weather and a more-than-usual festive vibe in the City today. One room with a view that always tickles our happy hour fancy is Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero South), nestled under that often-pretty Bay Bridge light show. 24/7 you get straight up dramatic views of the water. Add a bivalve expert and the scenic outing now takes on the kind of food-scholarly tone we live for: oyster writer and James Beard award-winner Rowan Jacobsen is at Waterbar tonight and will be shucking oysters on the patio from 5 to 6 p.m. while debriefing tipplers and those who love them on his book A Geography of Oysters.

See also: Shuck and Jive: Drakes Bay Oyster Company Forces a Redefinition of Environmentalism
Matchmaking At The 2013 Oyster Wine Competition
5 Things You Didn't Know About Oysters

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Celebrate Summer With Boozy Events This Week

Lou Bustamante
Summer is here, and while in the Bay Area it might not necessarily mean warm weather, it does mean that there will be plenty of festivities to celebrate. From cocktail-inspired gelato to restaurant celebrations and martini contests (making them, not drinking them), there are plenty of ways to kick off the new season.

Gelateria Naia Happy Hour
Where: Gelateria Naia, 520 Columbus (at Stockton), 677-9280
When: Mon. June 17, 7 p.m.
Cost: $10, tickets available online

The rundown: You scream for gelato and sorbet. You love cocktails. You need to be at tonight's Gelateria Naia Happy Hour. Taking inspiration from the bar, the crew at this North Beach spot is featuring over 20 different boozy gelatos (all you can eat) for an easy ten spot. Choose from combinations like Whiskey Shot & Beer (21st Amendment Beer gelato swirled with St George Spirits Single Malt gelato), St. George Spirits Terroir Gin Gimlet, Lagunitas Stout & TCHO Chocolate, Bananas Foster (St. George Spirits Agua Libre Rum). And it wouldn't be a party in San Francisco without Fernet gelato.

See also: Drink of the Week: Enjoying The Rebound Fling at Ice Cream Bar
Drink of the Week: A Smokin' Pair at 15 Romolo
Drink of the Week: Tennessee Margarita at Pican

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