Forget happy hour. This is all about bellying up to the bar for bar bites and special menus, discounted more than just a couple of hours. Many restaurants have shifted the dining experience to include special menus for those who are a little more spontaneous.
The service is just as good, the fare is savory, but is reserved for walk-ins. Here is a sampling of what the Coachella Valley has to offer.
Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge
Included in the bar menu is a section called “We Ate 4 $9.” Their lounge menu includes house wines, select beers, and shareable dishes for up to 50 percent off the regular menu. It’s basically happy hour, all day long.
“People experience the quality of fine dining, for much less,” says Willie Rhine, co-owner of the Palm Springs restaurant.
PHOTO COURTESY OF EIGHT4NINE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
The Half Nicoise Salad treats you to house-smoked salmon, haricots vert, roasted baby potatoes, nicoise olives, farm egg, lemon tarragon vinaigrette, and capers.
They just recently added several new items to this menu, including vegan and gluten-free options. And they have introduced Bartender Bucks. Come play with the bartenders between 4-6 p.m. and sit at the bar. When its time for your check, draw a card from the hat and win every time. Draw a card out of a hat worth up to $10 and use that to receive instant savings from your check.
Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge, 849 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-8490; eight4nine.com.
LuLu California Bistro
The Palm Springs restaurant has a vast, eclectic menu of American eats plus an all-day happy hour. The Happy Hour menu is offered at – you guessed it – in the bar only. And this isn’t your ordinary bar. Sit below massive lavender and celery green crystal chandeliers and enjoy award-winning cuisine, at a fraction of the price.
PHOTO COURTESY OF LULU CALIFORNIA BISTRO
Lulu California Bistro offers one of the largest happy hour menus in the valley.
“I’m quite sure that we have the largest happy hour menu in the valley,” says Michael Shimer, manager at Lulu. “The prices can’t be beat. The drink prices are way competitive. There’s just such a huge selection overall.”
LuLu has been partying with its locals and desert visitors since opening six years ago. Their 11 a.m. to closing happy hour bar menu is vast and ranges from $2 to $5 off the regular-priced menu. Choose their Classic Margarita Pizza for $7.99 instead of the regular $11.99. Or try their Chicken Lettuce Wraps, served with light apple dressing with chopped grapes, apples and bell peppers for just $8.99, $3 less than if you sat at a table.
Lulu California Bistro, 200 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-327-5858; lulupalmsprings.com.
Fox and Fiddle California
Belly up to Fox & Fiddle’s bar for bites and drinks starting at just $3 or brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Try the blue cheese dates, canned beer or wine at a discounted price.
Fox & Fiddle California, The River, 71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage. 760-888-0111; foxandfiddlecalifornia.com.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX AND FIDDLE CALIFORNIA
A popular bar item at Fox and Fiddle California at The River is Buffalo Chicken bites.
Trio Palm Springs
Their tag line is “Where Palm Springs Eats,” and their bar bites menu is definitely one of the reasons why. Their special bar menu serves some of the same items as the full menu, in a smaller portion, and for a much smaller price. They also serve several different items like the ever-popular Chile Relleno for just $8. And you probably have enough change in your car for their fried artichoke hearts or calamari.
Trio Palm Springs, 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-864-8746; triopalmsprings.com.
Cliffhouse Bar & Grill
Now through October in the bar, enjoy happy hour all night, every night. That’s all night, every night. The menu features drink and menu specials, including Cliffhouse favorites like Short rib grilled cheese or Asian style wings. They also have weekday specials like Tuesday taco night, two fish tacos for $8. Enjoy items off the bar menu in the bar area, at one of the bar tables, or of course, at the bar.
Cliffhouse Bar & Grill, 78250 Highway 111, La Quinta. 760-360-5991; laquintacliffhouse.com.
Moxie Palm Springs
While they don’t have a special menu for sitting at the bar, they have sharable plates and bar bites available all the time. Happy Hour is from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and you’ll find Summer specials like their Summer Sangria red or white for just $5. Sit at the rooftop bar and nosh on a basket of fries for just $3.
Moxie Palm Springs, 262 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-318-9900; moxiepalmsprings.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF MOXIE PALM SPRINGS
Single Slider (beef, barbecue pork or salmon) available at Moxie.