Costa Mesa is loaded with great happy hour spots. It’s definitely an area filled with a younger crowd and the vibe is very down to earth. It’s also super easy to get around Costa Mesa because UBER and Lyft are always circulating the streets and it’s generally safe enough to walk around even at night. I have narrowed it down to 4 of my favorite happy hour spots that are all located not too far from each other.
LA VIDA CANTINA
This place is a Mexican restaurant located on the 2nd floor of Triangle Square. (Now called the Triangle) You can’t miss it since there’s a huge hut that covers the restaurant filled with fire torches. It is first come, first serve seating, so try and show up early.
Happy hour here is: M-F 4-6:30pm and Th-Sat 11pm-2am. Their happy hour changes up a little every day. For example, Wednesdays will be half off wine, Thursdays will be half off tequila…you get the picture. Happy hour does always include: 1/2 off select appetizers, $4 margaritas and $3 Dos Equis.
The best day to come here is obviously for Taco Tuesday since you can get their normal happy hour on top of Taco Tuesday specials. Did I mention the Taco Tuesday specials which include $2 tacos, $4 margaritas, and $3 Dos Equis and lasts from 4pm to closing?!
This place is located across from La Vida, just a few steps from each other. Saddle Ranch is a fun place to watch sports and they have a mechanical bull. During sports games, they pass out a round of shots to everyone at the bar, so the bar is the best seat in the place.
Happy hour here is Monday-Friday from 4-6:30pm. Their happy hour is really good because it includes 1/2 off ALL drinks and appetizers. The BBQ chicken nachos are a must and costs under $10. This is the best deal because it can feed 3-4 people! The best valued drink are their ‘carafe’ drinks. They have multiple alcoholic concoctions to choose from and it is served in a huge carafe for about $8! Such a deal.
WILD GOOSE TAVERN
This place can be easily missed but it is near a Starbucks drive-thru and Mendocino Farms on 17th, if you know where that is. It is very dark inside and can seem a little on the dive bar side, but they have really good food for a very good price.
Come here 3-7pm Monday-Friday for their happy hour. All their food items are only $5. My personal favorite is their BLTA (bacon,lettuce, tomato, avocado) with garlic aioli. They also have great truffle fries and a variety of bratwurst. The drinks are each about $1 off, but you can get a simple Coors light for $3.50.
This place can also be easily missed because it’s located in a dark factory type area. When you walk in though, you are far from a dark place. There is beautiful artwork decor inside and succulents that fill both inside and the outdoor patio. The outdoor patio is large and there is a garden where fresh herbs are grown and used in their food and drinks.
Boathouse collective is definitely more hipster and their prices can be steep for some. A regular cocktail here will cost you about $15. It’s best to come here during their happy hour which is Tuesday-Friday from 3-6pm. You’ll be able to get some appetizers for all under $8 and select cocktails for only $6! The actual food and drinks items on the happy hour menu are always changing, but when I went I enjoyed their chicken katsu bites and a jalapeno watermelon cocktail. Another plus about this place is there is usually live music to enjoy while sipping on your cocktail on their beautiful patio.