Four years ago I moved back to Orange County and quickly realized that Happy Hour was a popular social event here…and kind of big deal.  Working prior to this in Las Vegas nightlife, I didn’t really understand why all of my friends in OC constantly wanted to meet up for Happy Hour? 

I always thought of Happy Hour as a little added bonus if you happen to be at the right place at the right time.  Definitely not an occasion I would actually make my plans around and according to.  So I started google searching “Best Happy Hours in Orange County.”  Unfortunately at that time, I was not finding the information I wanted.  Not many happy hour menus were posted on websites.  I began to wonder if only locals were in the loop on where to go.  I obviously missed that memo when I rejoined Orange County society.  


    What I was looking for in an amazing happy hour is a good mix of cocktail and food options.  Preferring quality over quantity.  Location and ambiance are a huge part of the experience as well.

I spent most of my life in the hospitality industry so I guess I am slightly pickier than the average bear, but it probably makes me qualified to write about it.  

 Over the last few years I have hit up many Happy Hours in Orange County (there are seriously so many spots).  I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface, but I have certainly tried!  

In my long and boozy search for the perfect OC Happy Hour, I found the following…my Favorite Top 5.  (See Below)



  • Now that Summer is here…the busier all happy hours will be.  Although we enjoy nice weather year around, people come out in droves to OC beaches and restaurants from May until September.
  • Most importantly remember, after all, it is a discount your receiving so you should tip accordingly (like you are paying full price).
  • Also don’t be a muppet and show up 5 minutes after Happy Hour is over and still expect to receive it.
  • If you are looking for a more low-key, quiet happy hour…head in to happy hour towards the beginning of the week.
  • If you like crowds and people watching… head in on a Thursday or Friday towards the end of happy hour and you will get what you came for.

Whichever Happy Hour spot you choose to catch, choose your company even wiser.  These spots won’t disappoint, but your blind date might.


1. MESA, Costa Mesa

Mesa, Costa Mesa
Courtesy of Mesa, Photographer-Anne Watson

2. TANNER’S, Huntington Beach

tanners hb
Courtesy of Tanner’s HB

3. Tommy Bahama’s, Laguna Beach

Tommy Bahama's Laguna Goat Cheese
Courtesy of Tommy Bahama’s Laguna Beach, Macadamia Encrusted Goat Cheese with Mango Salsa….yum!

4. SOL Cocina, Newport Beach

Sol Cocina Newport Beadh
Courtesy of SOL Mexican Cocina

5. The Corner, Huntington Beach

Courtesy of The Corner HB

7. Related


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