MAKE MINE A MAI TAI
Some US states have banned happy hour promotions, but thankfully Hawaii isn’t one of them. The practice of happy hour, a period when alcoholic beverages sell for reduced prices, is alive and well in the Hawaiian Islands. Limited-time cheap booze is commonplace in Hawaii’s restaurants and bars, usually accompanied by unbeatable food offers and complementary live music.
But it’s the concept of “pau hana” that makes happy hour in Hawaii special. This Hawaiian expression, often interchanged with the words happy hour, translates to “work is finished”. It refers to a conscious decision to leave any worries behind and enjoy free time.
Pau hana encourages Hawaii visitors to relax in the company of others over discounted drinks and pupus (appetisers). Here are the best happy hours in Waikiki.
MAUI BREWING CO.
Happy hour at Maui Brewing Co. isthe ideal opportunity to taste unique beers for less, in the heart of Waikiki.
Customers can take $US2 (about $2.65) off all beers including their tasty flagship brews, from the Bikini Blonde Lager and Big Swell IPA to the Pineapple Mana Wheat and Coconut Hiwa Porter.
Island-inspired appetisers range from $US3.50 to $US10 a dish and are just as enticing. MBCRESTAURANTS.COM/WAIKIKI; HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 3.30-5.30PM AND 10.30PM UNTIL CLOSE
Wolfgang’s is a classy American steakhouse with an equally classy happy hour menu.
For just $US7, patrons can sip on generous martinis or savour highquality pupus the size of full meals. Choose from sliders with fries, ahi (tuna) tartare, lobster crostini, or the local favourite, a mini loco moco (rice layered with a hamburger patty, fried egg and gravy). WOLFGANGSSTEAKHOUSE.NET/WAIKIKI; HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 11AM-6:30PM (BAR ONLY)
MAHINA AND SUN’S
Renowned Hawaii chef Ed Kenney dishes up farm-to-table island cuisine at Mahina & Sun’s, along with one excellent happy hour deal. Enjoy “The Naked Pig” thin-crust pizza topped with fromage frais (soft white cheese), bacon and Maui onion, plus two Maui Brewing Co. beers, for $US20.
Linger in this trendy establishment post-meal to hear live tunes from 7pm-9pm. MAHINAANDSUNS.COM; HAPPY HOUR: MON-FRI, 5.30-7.30PM (BAR ONLY)
DORAKU IZAKAYA AND SUSHI
Doraku’s happy hour is a mustexperience for lovers of Japanese food and drink. Delicious cold and hot items start at $US3 for edamame steamed with Hawaiian salt.
Deluxe sushi rolls fly out the door for $US6 and are easily washed down with a $US4 Kirin draft beer, $US6 lychee martini or $US10 12oz (350ml) carafe of seriously good sake. Arigato! DORAKUSUSHI.COM/STORE_LOCATOR/WAIKIKI; HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 4PM-6PM
100 SAILS RESTAURANT & BAR
Watch the sun set, or moon shine, over Ala Wai Boat Harbor during one of two happy hours at 100 Sails.
There is always a special promotion; then put savings towards the seafood buffet dinner (adults $US58, kids $US29); one of the best feeds in town. 100SAILS.COM; HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 2.30PM5.30PM AND 8PM-10PM
MAI TAI BAR
Mai Tai’s is a lively, open-air bar famous for pau hana drinks and Hawaiian music. It’s a top spot for sampling a “locals” atmosphere in Waikiki. Food specials dominate the early happy hour, where popcorn shrimp comes highly recommended for $US6. During early and late night happy hour, the $US5 tropical cocktails can’t be beaten, especially the Icy Mai Tai (slushie). MAITAIBAR.COM/HONOLULU/ABOUT.PHP; HAPPY HOUR: DAILY, 4-7PM AND 8-11PM
With more than 100 beers on tap and two heavily discounted happy hours, Yard House is a great pre- or postdinner venue. Take $US4 off a giant half yard glass of craft or imported beer (that’s just shy of one litre of ale) or $US2 off a house cocktail. The eats menu is extensive and affordable – prices vary between $US5-$US8. YARDHOUSE.COM/LOCATIONS/HI/HONOLULU/ WAIKIKI-WAIKIKI-BEACH-WALK/8316; HAPPY HOUR: MON-FRI, 2-5.30PM AND SUN-WED, 10.30PM UNTIL CLOSE
Sure to satisfy every Happy Hour craving, Giovanni Pastrami is a New York-style deli, pizzeria and sports bar all rolled into one. Sports fans can get their game fix while dining on American comfort food and sipping on stiff drinks. It’s not uncommon for this establishment to blanket discount their entire food and bar menu for 20 per cent off during early and late happy hour. GIOVANNIPASTRAMI.COM; HAPPY HOUR: MONFRI, 3-6PM AND SUN-THU, 10PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT
PLEASE NOTE: ALL US DOLLAR PRICES ARE CORRECT AT TIME OF PUBLICATION, SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND DO NOT INCLUDE GRATUITY
Happy hour in Hawaii is a tradition worth exploring at Mahina and Sun’s .