Bargain bevvys, a bar snack or two and some quality yarns make for the ultimate after work wind down. It’s a ritual, a celebration, the day is done, and you’ve earned yourself a treat before 9am rolls back around for another day of hard work. That’s right, we are talking about everyone’s favourite hour of the day—happy hour.
The origin of “Happy Hour” comes from the acknowledgement that as soon as people leave work and get themselves a drink for a reasonable price, they feel nothing but pure happiness. Yes, we may have made this up, but we know you can relate.
And to help you make the most of this special time, here's where to find the best happy hours in Auckland. You're welcome.
Coley & Punch
Tucked in beside Euro on Queen’s Wharf, Coley & Punch is everything we want in a bar: calm and friendly with flippin’ excellent drinks specials. Their $7 G&T of the week is the star of their ‘early evening menu’ which is on offer from 4-7pm daily and also includes fantastic wine, beer, cocktail and champagne specials.
We love hanging out at this hidden gem on K’Road and from 7pm to 9pm Tuesday to Thursday you can treat yourself to Sly’s $7 prosecco, $8 Founders IPA on tap and $12 Southsides. For the uninitiated a Southside is the classic cocktail that inspired the mojito, with gin instead of rum… history never tasted so delicious.
The Portland Public House
The beating heart of Kingsland, The Portland Public House offers $6 burgers with any drink purchase from 4pm-7pm every night. Choose from Moroccan chicken, Angus beef, crispy chicken, pulled pork, falafel, ‘Cute Queen’ (with a housemade corn and peas pattie) or fish. Add a round of skinny fries for $4 extra and you’re set for the night.
Serving dreamy Pasta Pomodoro with parmesan and a crunchy pangratto topping for just $13 (with vegan and gluten-free versions on offer too), happy hour at Coco’s Cantina is hard to beat. The special is available from 4pm to 6.30pm and includes $7 bubbles, beer, house vino and other seasonal offerings.
Bedford Soda & Liquor
PONSONBY CENTRAL, TAKAPUNA
Enjoy exquisite handmade pasta with $10 taps, bottles, digestivos and mocktails from 5pm-6pm every night. Cotto’s curated tipples include Heineken and Tuatara on the taps, seasonal ale, apple cider, grappa, limoncello sovrano and frangelico. And with mocktails like Cherry Mule, Almond Sour and Sweet Berry, you can still have a good time, even if you’re driving.
Mt Eden & Newmarket
Corner Burger has tasty food and drink specials every day of the week including happy hour which runs from 3pm to 5pm. On offer are $5 beer and wines, $10 cocktails and $1 small fries with drink purchase. Spoiled!
Freeman & Grey
Pizza-lovers you’re gonna’ want a slice of this (we had to). From 12pm-2pm and 5pm-7.30pm every day Freeman & Grey dishes out whole pizzas for just $5. This is not a drill, people.
Hidden away up a staircase, this tiki bar is decked out with lush greenery and fairy lights, giving off ultimate vacay vibes. Talulah will have you feeling like you’ve escaped the city for sure. Tiki time kicks off at 4pm through till 7pm where you can find the daily cocktail for $10, and on Saturdays enjoy their two-for-one mimosas.
A hotspot on a Saturday night in Ponsonby, Longroom goes just as good on weekdays for a few drinks after work and one of their signature platters to match. Get $8 tap beer, house wine and house spirits and $10 frozen cocktails from 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday. They also offer a delightful ‘Cocktail Therapy’ with selected blends from 8pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday nights at $12 each.
If your dreams are made of all things neon, Happy Boy is for you, and they’ve got tonnes of specials. Grab a burger, fries and a house drink on Tuesdays for $25, a slushie bomb on Wednesday for $10, a bucket cocktail for $20 on Fridays, a beer tower for $45 on Saturdays and ribs plus two house beers for $30 on Sundays. Hello neon joy!
From 4pm to 7pm every Friday, Little Easy on Fort Street serves up bottomless mimosa, bubbles, sangria and house margarita plus your choice of stuffed mushrooms, polenta chips, pumpkin and feta arancini or 1/4kg of pork ribs. What way to celebrate the start of the weekend! Bookings essential.
We love iTi for its feel good vibes… and its happy hour from 4pm to 6pm every day. On the menu are a selection of tap beers for $7 each, small wines for $7 and large wines for $12.
The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe
For when the monster in your belly demands mussels (and it happens to be a Monday) make a beeline for Vulcan Lane and get amongst The Occidental's famed Mussel Mania - $12 for a half pot of mussels or a kilo for $15, with the essential side of 'frites', housemade mayo and whatever sauce tickles your fancy. They also rock a steak special on Tuesdays, a fried chicken special on Wednesdays, and tap and house wine specials from 5-7pm every Thursday. Sorted.
Mission Bay Cafe
Named after the gorgeous Mission Bay Beach it overlooks, Mission Bay Cafe is a long-standing gem that knows how to deliver an excellent happy hour. From 3pm to 6pm, every day of the week, you can revel in summer vibes while sipping $6 house wines and beers.
Last but certainly not least is everyone’s favourite Irish watering hole O’Hagans. With perfect harbour views, sweet live music, top-notch eats and some very tempting drink specials, you know you’re in for a fun night. Every day from 3pm to 6pm you’ll find happy hour jugs for $27, and between 5pm and 8pm cocktails are $13 a pop.
Looking for more great bars? Here's 50 of the best bars in Auckland.
Image credit: Sly K Road by Wono Kim, Bedford Soda & Liquor, Talulah, iti.