The 13 Best Happy Hours at Chain Restaurants

antoniodiaz /

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

Happy hour can be a great way to unwind and spend some time with friends on the cheap. Half-price appetizers or $5 cocktails make it easy to enjoy an early evening out without breaking the bank.

While most bars and taverns post their happy hour drink or appetizer discounts online, many restaurants don’t always advertise their happy hour times or specials. Yet many people prefer the ambiance of their favorite chain restaurant to a stand-alone bar.

We did some digging to unearth the best chain restaurant happy hours. Here are the details we found about their food and drink deals, as well as start and end times.

We’ve listed national chains here; check the Living on the Cheap network site in your area to find out about happy hour specials at local establishments.


Applebee's restaurant
Ken Wolter /

Applebee’s doesn’t seem to advertise an overall happy hour, but we found several locations that do indeed have happy hour specials in the bar area from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and a late-late happy hour until 9 p.m., with half-price deals on appetizers.

They usually have monthly drink specials as well.

Call ahead to make sure your local Applebee’s participates in the happy hour.


Jonathan Weiss /

Contact your local Benihana for happy hour times and dates. Happy hour is available in the sushi bar and lounge for dine-in only.

Menu items vary and can’t be combined with any other promotion.

BJ’s Restaurants

BJ's Brewhouse
Ken Wolter /

BJ’s Restaurants offer happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Available in the bar only, drink specials may vary according to location.

You can also enjoy select food specials Sundays through Thursdays from 10 p.m. to close.

Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill
Jonathan Weiss /

The Hand-Crafted Happy Hour at Bonefish Grill starts daily at 4 p.m., and end times vary by location.

Check for location-specific deals, but most offer $5 margaritas and cocktails, $5 house wines and $1 off draft beers.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings
Susan Montgomery /

Call your local Buffalo Wild Wings to find out about their specials and happy hour times.

Most locations’ happy hours begin at either 5:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. and offer trivia with free food rewards.


Jonathan Weiss /

The hours vary according to location. Some locations offer happy hour specials all day, every day, but check your local Chili’s to make sure.

Happy hour is only available in the bar area. Chili’s also has a Margarita of the Month for around $5, available all day every day.

McCormick and Schmick’s

McCormick and Schmick's
Bruce VanLoon /

The happy hour at McCormick & Schmick’s takes place weekdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at most locations nationwide. Specials include bites starting at $4, $5 well spirits, $6.50 wines by the glass and $7.50 Gold Margaritas.


Morton's The Steakhouse
Andriy Blokhin /

Morton’s is more expensive than many of the restaurants listed here; however, they have a bar menu that offers some reasonably priced appetizers like cheeseburgers and shrimp cocktail.

Some locations participate in Morton’s Power Hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (food and drink deals) and from 9 p.m. to close (food only).

Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse
Jonathan Weiss /

Outback Steakhouse doesn’t advertise a specific happy hour, but usually features drink specials of some kind.

At the time this was published, they were offering $6 cocktails all day, every day.

Sonic Drive-In

Sonic Drive-In
Ken Wolter /

You don’t have to have alcohol in your drink for it to be happy hour. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily, get half-price drinks and slushes at Sonic Drive-In.

If you order through the Sonic app, you will get drinks and slushes for half price all day, as well as half-price cheeseburgers every Tuesday after 5 p.m. (Find out about all the great deals at Sonic Drive-In.)

Steak ‘n Shake

Steak 'n Shake
Jonathan Weiss /

Another chain with an alcohol-free happy hour is Steak ‘n Shake. Get half-price shakes and soft drinks from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell
Ken Wolter /

Fast food restaurant Taco Bell wants to get in on the happy. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day, the chain’s Happier Hour features $1 medium fountain drink beverages and regular freezes.

T.G.I. Fridays

TGI Fridays
Kaesler Media /

Get $5 drinks and apps off T.G.I. FridaysFive Friday menu all day, every day. The chain also features monthly drink specials.

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