Moderno Mexicano

The al pastor tacos at Moderno Mexicano come with shards of juicy and charred pork shoulder carved right off a vertical spit. (Andy Bao / The Seattle Times)
The al pastor tacos at Moderno Mexicano come with shards of juicy and charred pork shoulder carved right off a vertical spit. (Andy Bao / The Seattle Times)

Even a half decent al pastor is hard to find around downtown. But the new Moore Hotel restaurant is off to a promising start with its version: shards of juicy and charred pork shoulder carved right off the vertical spit, porky saltiness cut with a strip of roasted pineapple. Three tacos are $9 during happy hour or two for $5 on Taco Tuesday. There are cheaper taco deals, but you won’t find many al pastor roasted from a spit in the downtown area. The happy-hour margarita hogs all the attention because it’s only $6.50, but go straight to the well-curated agave menu. You can get a shot of the Fortaleza Blanco, which is what all the hip kids around Capitol Hill are drinking now, but check out the ArteNOM and Siembra Valles tequilas.  Or go smoky with the Vago Elote or the Don Amado mescal.

Happy hour Tuesdays-Sundays 3-6 p.m. and again 9 p.m. to closing; closed on Mondays; Taco Tuesday runs 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and again 9 p.m. to closing;  1920A Second Ave., Seattle; 206-443-0899, modernomexicano.com

There's good Mexican food to be found in Seattle — at Lorena's Kitchen in Georgetown

Casco Antiguo SLU

This new Mexican restaurant is one of the hot spots for after-work drinking around Amazonland. The prime real estate is not its tequila bar but the 50 seats outside facing The Spheres. Its happy-hour allure — $4 Tecate tallboys, $5 tequila shots and $7 margaritas on tap — seems geared toward the party-hardy or the spring-break debauchery set, but the chill crowd skews more toward a Gen X demographic. Plenty of seating indoors — about 150 seats, where the mellow soundtrack, bouncing from Modern Nomad to Twin Shadow, seems more in tune with the laid-back vibe. The $7 food menu features empanadas, tacos and churros.

Happy hour daily 3-6 p.m.; 2102 Seventh Ave., Seattle; 206-257-1182, cascoantiguorestaurants.com

Cocina Oaxaca

Situated across the street from the Green Lake Park wading pool, the Mexican bar restaurant runs one of the cheapest food-and-cerveza happy hours in the neighborhood, with food and drink specials for $8 or cheaper. There are about a dozen tacos, nachos and even pozole on the bar menu; for discounted drinks, Mexican beers are $3-$5 and margaritas are $7.

Happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. and again 9 p.m. to closing; 7900 E. Green Lake Drive N., suite 107, Seattle; 206-729-0980, cocinaoaxacafresh.com