You finally get a baby-sitter, and it’s Saturday night. All the weekday happy hours are over. Now where do you go for a great deal? Reporter Tan Vinh has answers.

Share story

This week, my inbox brought a familiar question about parents eating out on a budget in this expensive city. It’s a question I used to get every once in a while. But in the past three years, it has popped up so frequently that I stopped publishing the suggested haunts to avoid being redundant. Let’s take this question on again, shall we, with new suggestions.

Q: I’m wondering what your favorite weekend happy hours are. As a parent, when we’re finally able to book a baby-sitter, it’s always a Friday or Saturday. We love Ba Bar’s everyday happy hour and would love to know about any other great weekend deals like that.

A: You’re in luck. Around the corner from your favorite happy hour is Seven Beef, from the owners of Ba Bar. Snag a seat on its new patio and order the $7 happy-hour burger. Its aged-beef patty made our list of top five burgers to try at fancy restaurants earlier this year. The happy-hour variation is two ounces smaller but stellar all the same.

But date night on a budget, without the kids, and you’re looking for a reprieve from all the back-to-school logistics? I would hit Madrona, where there’s plenty of al fresco dining for you to enjoy the waning days of summer. And the neighborhood is quiet.

Most Read Life Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

The best-kept secret for happy-hour date night is Vendemmia. Grab a seat along its sidewalk cafe. There are enough leafy trees to shade you from the sun or an evening breeze. The happy-hour menu is more dinner than bar snack. Order some shared plates of beef tartare or the citrusy hamachi with rhubarb ($9 each). Or start with the mixed greens with anchovy vinaigrette and croutons, a less-creamy but more pungent version of a Caesar salad. Regardless of what you start with, end with the signature spaghetti ($9 during happy hour), thick al dente pasta in a garlicky tomato sauce. The dish is aromatic with shredded basil, bound with olive oil and has a spicy kick of chili pepper, a simple dish with complex flavors. Vendemmia’s spaghetti is one of the most popular recipes that ran in The Seattle Times this year.

If you want a more meaty happy hour, hit Ethan Stowell’s Red Cow across the street for burgers or hanger steaks and fries for $10.

But do end the night at Bottlehouse. It’s an intimate place that feels more like your best friend’s backyard than a wine bar/shop. Grab a table in the courtyard by the fig trees. There’s an affordable wine list even if you missed happy hour. Order wine by the glass (many are $10 or less) or a bottle of white, rosé or sparkling for about $40.


Ba Bar, 550 12th Ave., offers happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. and again 10 p.m. until closing (206-328-2030 or

Seven Beef, 1305 E. Jefferson St., offers happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. (206-328-7090 or

Vendemmia, 1126 34th Ave., offers happy hour daily 5-6 p.m. (206-466-2533 or

Red Cow, 1423 34th Ave., offers happy hour Sunday-Thursday 5-7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5-6 p.m. in the bar or patio (206-454-7932 or

Bottlehouse, 1416 34th Ave., offers happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. (206-708-7164