Life in the heart of Silicon Valley is busy and everyone's hyper-connected—all the more reason to step away from the screen and grab a drink come 5 o'clock.
Here are five happy hours in San Jose that will leave you saying, "Apple, who?"
Flames Eatery & Bar
If you're in need of a tipple regardless what time it is, Flames is a pretty safe bet: This classic American diner meets Las Vegas lounge hosts not one but two happy hours every single day (3 to 6pm and 9pm to close). Order half-price appetizers such as hot wings, spinach dip, and even asparagus fries; $3 beers; and $5 specialty cocktails. Pick your poison from a free-wheeling offering of everything from fruity margaritas to a vodka root beer float. All those cheap drinks will come in handy on Karaoke Wednesdays. // 88 S. 4th St (San Jose), flameseatery.com
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant
Those who work hard and also like to play hard hit the heated patio for warm Silicon Valley nights at SP2, where happy hour lasts four straight hours daily (3 to 7pm). Soak it up with $6 snacks (think mini pizzas, parmesan truffle fries, and chicken and waffles), and relax with a Moscow Mule or seasonal sangria. The brick-clad interior, typically boisterous at the bar and big communal table, is handsome too. // 72 N. Almaden Ave. (San Jose), sp2sanjose.com
Sophisticates will appreciate this modern wine cafe in the heart of downtown San Jose, where weekday happy hours (5 to 7pm) promise 50 domestic and international wines by the glass for just $5. Champagne lovers might enjoy a raspberry chocolate mouse pairing, while drinkers of bold Italian reds can dip into a beef carpaccio or a hunk of Marin cheese. Taste your way around the globe at this dowtown hang. // 110 Paseo de San Antonio (San Jose), vynebistrosj.com
We love us a dive wine bar and, in San Jose, Vino Vino is it. Behind the stylish concrete bar, an impressive tap system pumps out 13 wines by the glass (all priced at $8); the game plays on a TV overhead; and pies are ordered in from nearby Pizza Bocca Lupo. Sample from more than 30 varietals by the bottle and glass, as well as six locally brewed beers that are, ironically, not on tap. $4 wines are on offer at happy hour (3 to 6pm, Monday through Saturday; all day Sunday). // 87 N. San Pedro #105, San Pedro Square Market (San Jose), vinovinvosj.com
Straits on Santana Row
This trendy lounge on Santana Row does serve solid $6 well drinks (Mondays, 3pm to close; Tuesdays through Fridays, 3 to 6pm), but it's the $5 Singapore-style appetizers that really make Straits a hot spot. Grab a spot outside and dip into steaming plates of crab buns, shrimp wontons, and garlic noodles. // 333 Santana Row, #1100 (San Jose), straitsrestaurants.com