At these establishments, you can sample beef tartar, truffle fries, and fancy finger foods while sipping stiff cocktails and bubbly for a fraction of the price. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
So, without further ado, here's where to head in the Valley for high-class happy hours without high prices.
1001 North Central Avenue
3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday At Rough Rider, a Theodore Roosevelt-inspired cocktail bar in the bottom of the Ten-O-One building on Roosevelt Row, happy hour is a trip. The journey starts when you take the wood-paneled elevator ride down to the basement and back to a bygone era of wood-carved walls, Roosevelt-themed decor, and Victorian-inspired cocktails. Favorites include The Daisy ($10) made with lime, mezcal, and house strawberry kiwi jam, and The Derby ($10) made with Four Roses Bourbon, honey, grapefruit, and sparkling water. There’s nothing old world about the food, all big, bold, and meant to be shared, from the impressive charcuterie board ($22) to the fried cauliflower ($11), which is, dare we say, one of the best cauliflower dishes in the city.
Jade Bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley
4 to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday Happy hour at Jade Bar is a scene. Bartenders mix and garnish drinks with bravado. Patrons sip and flirt, looking fabulous while surrounded by the green glow from the jade onyx bar and the panoramic views of Camelback Mountain. You may come for the happy hour pours — which cover sips like sparkling rose ($10) and cocktails like the Glasgow Kiss ($10) made with whisky, absinthe, and cherry liqueur, plus elevated eats including shrimp cocktail ($4.50) and shishito peppers ($10) — but you’ll stay for the vibe.
Citizen Public House7111 East Fifth Avenue. Scottsdale
4 to 6 p.m. daily The bar at Citizen Public House, a four-sided centerpiece perfect for people watching, is the ultimate gathering spot. Sidle up during “Social Hour” for half-priced draft beer, featured wine ($6), or one of the stiff barrel-aged cocktails Citizen is known for ($8). Or go rogue with “Dealer’s Choice” ($8) and let the bar team work their magic. Pours are generous and the bar bites — heirloom popcorn bathed in bacon fat ($3.50), beer cheese fondue ($7.50), and hush puppies with chipotle aioli ($8) — are super flavorful.
Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar7020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
3 to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday If you’re looking for a reason to knock off work early and head to happy hour, Toro has it. In the late afternoon, the renowned restaurant at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort serves up a Latin and Asian-inspired menu at a fraction of its regular prices. Order edamame with blistered shishitos ($8), chicharron seasoned with togarashi and lime ($8), chicken katsu sliders on Hawaiian sweet rolls ($14), and signature sushi rolls ($14). Drinks come with the same flair, like the rum-forward Para Punch ($10), a sweet-tart prickly pear, grapefruit, lime sip that tastes like the tropics in a tumbler.
Fat Ox6316 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
4:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily Chef Matt Carter’s swanky Italian eatery, Fat Ox, offers “Aperitivo Hour” — a 120-minute stretch in the bustling bar and lounge that lets you sample some of the best Italian food in the city. Indulge in delicacies like beef tartare with black garlic ($14), veal meatballs with polenta and parmesan ($10), and handmade tagliolini pasta with pecorino and toasted black pepper ($20) while sipping an old fashioned with house-made bitters (cocktails are $12) or an Italian red (wines are $9).
515 East Grant Street
4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday Kaizen is one of the hottest happy hours in the Valley, and for good reason. They offer 50 percent off their entire menu. Yes, you read that right. So instead of being limited to a short list of discounted sips and appetizers, you can feast on tamarind-glazed ribs, tempura-fried veggies, crispy gyoza, and stacked and stuffed sushi rolls. On the drinks side, there are of course craft beers and inspired cocktails, but this is your chance to try a premium Japanese whiskey or order Arizona Sake, a fermented rice drink brewed by a sake master right here in Arizona.
Campo Italian Bistro and Bar
8260 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday We’re not sure what we love most about happy hour at Campo, James Beard Award-winning chef Alex Stratta’s ode to Italy. There are the $5 menu items, including salmon rillettes, house-made focaccia, and breadsticks with prosciutto. There are the signature Sebas Meatballs ($12) that come swimming in San Marzano tomato sauce and blanketed in Parmigiano. There is a bevy of drink options, from house wine ($5) to a famous limoncello margarita ($8). Ok, but if we're forced to choose, we’d go with the wood-fired Margherita pizza and a bottle of house wine for only $25.
The Mix Up Bar5200 East Camelback Road
4 to 6 p.m. daily Mix Up at Royal Palms Resort and Spa feels like a vacation. As soon as you walk through the property’s archway, you enter a Mediterranean microcosm of trees, filled with twinkling candlelight, fountains, and flora. Take a seat in the airy courtyard or the moody bar area and drink in the romance — along with a sparkling glass of prosecco or a more robust red (starting at $8). But the real deal is in the food, with 50 percent off all bites and salads, making the artisan cheese and charcuterie board ($10.50), lemon pepper wings ($11 for a dozen), and baby kale Caesar ($8.50) a cheap holiday.
Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen6114 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
5 to 6:30 p.m. daily Picture a sleek patio overlooking a packed pool of bronzed customers. As a DJ spins tunes, the waitstaff delivers hamachi crudo, Moroccan lamb meatballs and truffle fries to a fashion-forward crowd. That’s “Sunset Hour” at Weft & Warp, an oasis within an oasis at Andaz Resort. The whole place feels like upscale spring break, with its snazzy surroundings and palm tree appeal, which makes the happy hour drafts ($5), wines and bubbles ($9), and tropical cocktails like Paradise Passion ($9) go down even easier. Plus you get 25 percent off select starters.
Kasai Japanese Steakhouse14344 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Open to 5 p.m. daily and open to 6 p.m. daily Don’t you hate it when happy hour leaves you hungry? You won't have to worry at Kasai Japanese Steakhouse, a teppanyaki temple in north Scottsdale with not one but two happy hours. During "Teppan Happy Hour" until 5 p.m., select teppanyaki dishes are fired for a discount. That includes items like soy-glazed tofu ($17) and the New York strip ($33), served with a show and an army of accompaniments like shrimp, mushroom soup, house salad, fried rice, seasonal vegetables, and Dole Pineapple Soft Serve. The “Kasai Happy Hour” stretches until 6 pm and includes $3 off all cocktails and $2 off beer, wine, and appetizers, plus sushi specials.