Save: Top five upscale San Diego happy hours

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Our San Diego lifestyle is full of thrilling entertainment, stylish shopping, new-age fitness and wellness, luxe hotel accommodations, and delicious, addictive dining. Being a San Diego local is incredibly fun, but it can also become very expensive if you don’t learn a trick or two along the way.

Everyone knows Happy Hour is the perfect way to save a few bucks without sacrificing your after-work routine. But, many people don’t know that you don’t have to waste your time at dirty, overcrowded Pacific Beach bars to get super-cheap $3 drinks and half-price grub. In fact, many of the top San Diego restaurants offer equal or better discounts every day of the week. Who says you have to lower your standards in order to indulge in $2 local craft beers, $3 well cocktails, and $4 appetizers? And, who says you have to wait until 5pm to pop bottles at a lower price? If you follow my lead, Happy Hour now starts at 2:30pm.

Discover the top five upscale Happy Hour deals at San Diego restaurants.

Anthology Supper Club in Little Italy

A swanky downtown venue known for live music and fine dining, Anthology also offers a must-try Happy Hour, served Tuesday through Friday from 5:30 to 7pm. Grab a hot date and post up in the lounge for $6 well cocktails, $3 house feature beer (Anthology Amber), $5 Esser Chardonnay, $5 Canyon Road Cabernet Sauvignon, $6 Sparkling Pol Clement Brut, and a discount small plates menu. Must-try Happy Hour bar bites include Pommes Frites, Crispy Baja Calamari, Truffle Mac and Cheese, All Natural Beef Short Rib Sliders and more, ranging in price from $4 to $12. Learn more at anthologysd.com.

Bertrand at Mister A’s in Banker’s Hill

Perched atop Banker’s Hill with stunning views of the downtown cityscape and San Diego Harbor, Bertrand at Mister A’s is regarded as one of our city’s top fine dining establishments. Perfect for a special occasion dinner, Mister A’s is among the best of the best, and your meal will cost you a pretty penny. However, Mister A’s also offers a great Happy Hour menu, served from 2:30 to 6pm Monday through Friday, in the bar or on the patio. Enjoy $5 well cocktails, $6 select wines by the glass, $4 local craft beers, and $3 light beers, along with a discount food menu. All priced at $7, must-try Happy Hour items include Kobe Beef Sliders, Fresh Swordfish Steak Sliders, Ahi Tuna Burger, Truffled Fries, and Calamari Basket. Learn more at bertrandatmisteras.com.

Alchemy in South Park

My favorite South Park neighborhood restaurant, Alchemy serves high-quality local, seasonal cuisine prepared by Chef Ricardo Heredia, in a warm, welcoming environment with local artwork displayed throughout the sun-lit dining room. Alchemy invites guests for Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 6pm, as well as 10pm to close every night of the week, featuring $2 local craft beer, $3 “simple” cocktails, $2 off wines by the glass, and discounted Street Food from all around the world. Grub on Kettle Corn for $5 a bag, Lengua Tacos for $6, Parmesan Frites for $6, or Fried Green Tomatoes for $7. Learn more at alchemysandiego.com.

Grant Grill in San Diego

The sophisticated restaurant and lounge at The US Grant Hotel, Grant Grill is the picture of timeless elegance and serves innovative, local cuisine in a classy environment located in downtown San Diego. Grant Grill offers Happy Hour every day from 4 to 7pm, featuring $6 Tanqueray Sterling Vodka martinis, $6 Columbia Valley wines, $6 local craft brews and half price small bites and sides. Nosh on Bangers & Mash, Black Mussels, Kobe Beef Sliders, Crab Risotto, Truffle Fries or Duck Confit Potatoes. Learn more at grantgrill.com.

Cucina Urbana in Banker’s Hill

One of the hottest new restaurants in San Diego, Cucina Urbana is the go-to spot in Banker’s Hill, serving a new-age spin on classic Italian food in a rustic country farmhouse-inspired setting, complete with an on-site wine shop. While Cucina Urbana prides itself on being an affordable dining option any time, with all plates priced $20 and under, the value is even better during Happy Hour. From 5 to 7pm, seven days a week, Happy Hour boasts $5 well cocktails, $5 Sangria, and $3 draft beer. For a special treat, Cucina Urbana offers Happy Hour starting at 3pm on Fridays. Learn more at cucinaurbana.com.

Want more San Diego entertainment tips? Follow Michelle Guerin on Twitter - @MichelleScene!

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