The 5 Best La Jolla Happy Hour Spots

Happy Hours

Where will you find the happiest La Jolla happy hour? There are definitely plenty of contenders around here. Several La Jolla restaurants have crafted unique menus that keep folks coming back. After a little recon, here are some of our top picks.

1. Best for Unique Appetizers: The Hake

Situated on Prospect Street, just above La Jolla Cove, this spot is prime for those who prize seafood appetizers and award-winning cocktails. The Hake offers fantastic drinks like the Mandarin Mule, an exhilarating beverage after a day on the sand, and the Grand 5 Masts, which won the inventor the Grand Marnier’s Grand Master Competition and had him flown all the way to France!

Food-wise, enjoy $1 clams or choose something from the regular menu. Looking for something to share? We recommend the Grilled Spanish Octopus served with confit potato, chipotle, watercress and grapefruit. It’s as delicious as it is beautiful.

2. Best for Ocean Experience: The Shores Restaurant

If you’re closer to the La Jolla Shores area of town, no need to trek to the downtown La Jolla village. Hit this hidden gem, a happy hour right on the sand. The Shores Restaurant is nestled in the La Jolla Shores Hotel on the beach, so the view is something truly magnificent to behold.

On their happy hour menu, select from a variety of wines, martinis, cocktails and masterfully made appetizers such as Ahi Poke and Beer Battered Baja Fish tacos.

3. Best Wine Spot: We Olive

This is the prime spot for wine lovers. We Olive is most well known for their devotion to olive oil and wine. You can try wines by the taste, glass or bottle. If you’d rather try multiple to decide a favorite, we recommend order the wine flight to give your taste buds some variety. They’ll bring out olive oil and balsamic pairings to try at the same time, too. (If you prefer beer, don’t worry, they offer several craft varieties.)

We Olive, with its unsuspecting wine bar behind the street-facing shop, also offers perfectly paired appetizers such as their Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Plate and We Olive Duo Dip.

4. Best Drink Prices: Hennessey’s

People flood Hennessey’s on St Patrick’s Day, but may not know to rush here as enthusiastically for happy hour. They really should though because Hennessey’s offer great drink deals like Irish Coffee, Black Diamond Margaritas, Mules and more for only $5 each. To balance out the well-made drinks, we recommend trying their $5 appetizers such as Chicken & Jalapeno Quesadilla and Seared Ahi.

5. Best Ambience: Catania

For the ultimate happy hour atmosphere and ambience, we recommend Catania. The rooftop patio overlooking Girard Avenue offers wide views of the city, sky and ocean. Soak up the friendly, happily out-of-the-office atmosphere of people meeting friends, happily chatting and clinking glasses. The staff and management add to this by being incredibly friendly and helpful, who are quick to give a smile or recommendation.

There’s an extensive list of drinks offered, such as the Il Padrino (Adam’s Amaretto and Scotch) and Bellini. The Bellini is particularly distinct because the pulp of the orange is incorporated, expertly mixed in and infused with Tahitian vanilla. It’s a drink that’s truly good any time of day, just even more so at happy hour because it’s on special offer!

And if you’re hungry, their well-sized, decadent pizzas like Merguez Sausage and Fungi are only $11 each. Good to share…or tackle your own for dinner.

Onto Dinner Next?

If happy hour is simply your lead up to dinner, you may wish to stay for one of these location’s dining menus or head to a new spot. Learn more about top dinner options at our Restaurants Directory.