5 Downtown Tucson Happy Hour Spots to Quench That Desert Thirst!

January 26, 2015

The combinations at Elliott's are endless!

The combinations at Elliott’s are endless!

by Liz Felix

Whether you’re looking to unwind from a stressful work day or just looking for a spot with some great drink specials, these local favorites are just a few watering holes that Downtown Tucson has to offer for Happy Hour.

Happy Hour: 4-7pm, 7 Days a Week

It’s cool, it’s jazzy, and the drink specials are crazy good. With Tucson’s largest selection of infused vodkas, Elliott’s has options for even the pickiest of drinkers. Strawberry, habanero, bacon, and coffee bean are just a few of the flavors they offer, and you can even mix them, creating your own unique concoction! Beware, the curiosity of combining flavors can get a little addictive, leading to public displays of celebration, followed by being asked to leave because your rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” is making people uncomfortable (which is a huge surprise to you because you’ve been told you should be a contestant on The Voice).

You’ll probably be hungry, why not try Elliot’s jalapeno boats?

You’ll probably be hungry, why not try Elliot’s jalapeno boats?

If you’re not the creative type, you can leave it to the pros and go with one of Elliot’s house infused specialty drinks like their Jalapeño Vodka-rita with jalapeño vodka, triple-sec, sweet and sour, agave nectar and some orange juice.

Happy Hour Specials:
$3 House Infused Vodkas
$3 All Beer
$2 Wells
$1 Off All Wine

Food: Yes! Just to name a few: $5 Duck Sliders and a $2 chocolate covered bacon strip.

Find out more at elliottsoncongress.com.

All of your senses will be pleasantly surprised at Unplugged.

All of your senses will be pleasantly surprised at Unplugged.

Happy Hour: 4-6pm, Monday-Saturday
Reverse Happy Hour: 12-2am, Friday and Saturday

Unplugged is the kind of place that makes you realize that life is all about taking the time to sample the finer things in life, like a nice glass of wine… or two. The wine bar is small but it has big character and great style. Once you’re in, you’re hit with the soft sounds of jazz playing over the location’s beautiful glowing display of wine bottles, a perfect blend of the senses.

Found a wine you’d like to take home? Unplugged offers its wine selection at its retail location, Wine Depot, on Grant Road but soon, you’ll be able to pick up your favorite bottle at their Downtown location, too.

Happy Hour Special:
$2 off all alcoholic beverages
Tuesdays only: ½ priced flights

Food: Yes! Perfect place to get your cheese plate on. Bruschetta, caprese and salmon sliders.

Find out more at unpluggedtucson.com

“After School Specials” (HH): 4-7pm, Monday-Friday

Well vodka, fresh cucumber and mint, sweet and sour with a splash of lemon, only $3 at Playground!

Well vodka, fresh cucumber and mint, sweet and sour with a splash of lemon, only $3 at Playground!

If you really want to see Downtown Tucson move all around you, there’s really no better place than Playground. Right on the corner of Congress and 5th Avenue, Playground has an open seating area that’s excellent for people watching or gazing at one of those picturesque Tucson sunsets.

Usually known as a popular destination for nightlife, Playground transforms itself into a relaxing, yet hip and sophisticated “sandbox” perfect for Downtown meetups or for watching the latest Wildcats game.

Playground bartender Amanda Sierra likes to offer her patrons a little more for their money, kicking up the standard everyday happy hour cocktail and dressing it up for Sunday church. Using high-quality well spirits, like Evan Williams whiskey, Amanda adds her own twist to classics like the Kentucky Mule. Who said a three dollar drink had to taste cheap?

Happy Hour Specials:
$3 wells,
$3 drafts,
$5 glasses of wine
$3 off our appetizers

Food: Yes! Wings, hummus, burgers. You get the idea.

Find out more at playgroundtucson.com.

Don’t want wings while you're sipping a Playground cocktail? Go with the Veggie Nachos.

Don’t want wings while you’re sipping a Playground cocktail? Go with the Veggie Nachos.

Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails
Happy Hour: 4-6pm, 7 Days a Week

With a list of accolades including being named top chef in the Southwest in 2000 by The James Beard Foundation, you could easily justify four star menu prices for Chef Janos’ restaurant Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails, but that’s really not the case when it comes to their happy hour menu.

You can indulge in upscale eats like Moroccan braised goat with apricot sauce, or go a little more traditional but with a fine dining twist with the Oaxacan fries with mole and roast pork.

Happy Hour Specials:
$2.50 Drafts
$5 house white and red wine
$4.50 select cocktails

Find out more at downtownkitchen.com.


The pomme frites at Maynards are the perfect snack to much while sipping a cold beer after a long day.

Maynards Market & Kitchen
Happy Hour: 4-6pm, Monday-Saturday

Happy hour at Maynards will take you on a tiny culinary adventure. How does Double-blanched pommes frites with local cheese curds, duck confit, roasted duck gravy and cracklins sound? And the sound only gets sweeter when you notice it’s only $7!

Seven is the lucky number at Maynards with most of their happy hour food items priced at only seven bucks. From steak tartare to a unique potato pizza with a garlic cream base, grana padano and fresh rosemary, you’ll wonder why you ever deprived yourself of such wondrous meals.

Happy Hour Specials:
$7 food items
Special prices on wines by the glass, draught beer, wells and select cocktails

Find out more at maynardstucson.com.