The best way to start a weekend in the Wine Country is to take off early on Friday, head to a happy hour, and raise a glass to avoiding traffic and the welcoming the wine-soaked weekend ahead. Some search for a sweet deal on a drink or bite, while others seek atmosphere and good company. Whatever your pleasure, these spots in Napa and Sonoma have what you need.
Tarla Grill jazzes up creative Mediterranean dishes, with Napa Valley ingredients, paired with tasty cocktails and local wines. This local hangout is often packed, but the warm and welcoming owner and hosts will find you a spot to make you feel at home. Cocktails are $7, drafts are $3, and tasty appetizers, like Spanakopita and warm hummus with pita, range from $5 -7
Happy Hour: Daily, 3 – 6 pm.
Round Pond Estate hosts the quintessential Wine Country happy hour on their chic terrace lounge. Here you’ll sip in style and enjoy gourmet bites, including their locally famous grilled cheese. Stare out at views of the Mayacamas Mountains and seemingly endless vineyards, while enjoying wines by the glass or by the bottle. Reservations are a must.
Happy Hour: Fridays, April-October, 6 - 8 pm.
Mercantile Terrace at Andaz is in the center Napa, but feels like a classy Vegas lounge. All drinks are 25% off and you can take a load off in a cabana, or around a fire pit, and sip craft cocktails and killer wines while snacking on farm-fresh bites.
Happy Hour: Daily, 6 – 8 pm.
Image courtesy of Starks Steak and Seafood
Starks Steak and Seafood is regularly been touted as the areas best happy hour. One reason is that the owners lowered happy hours prices during the recession to support the community, and vowed to keep it that way until customers get “the value of your house back.” If you’re in Santa Rosa, or anywhere nearby, this is the place to be.
Happy Hour: Monday – Saturday, 3 – 6 pm.
Image courtesy of Social Club Petaluma
Social Club Petaluma is the only bar in Petaluma that features a handcrafted cocktail program, and both local and international craft beers. The American-style restaurant is anchored by a 30-seat central bar, with ten HDTVs, and a new beer garden. Specials range in price, but always include beer, wine, cocktails, and over ten food items under $7.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4 – 6:30 pm.
Cellars of Sonoma is ideal for the wine lover because they have over 25 wines by the glass, all of which are discounted at happy hour, and most of which are from local artisan producers. They also offer cheese and chocolate selections for $5, and feature vivacious music and almost any sports game imaginable on TV.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4 – 7 pm.