The after-work crowds may be more visible on Mountain View’s compact Castro Street but Redwood City may have Silicon Valley’s most cocktail-centric downtown. The last few years have seen several bars open up with an emphasis on craft mixology while new and old restaurants are refreshing their bar menus and happy hour offerings.
The Six Fifty likes to highlight what’s new and unique but we also like a deal and five bucks for a top-shelf drink made with fresh juice makes us look forward to the end of the workday.
Happy hour is made for gathering friends and coworkers together so if you’re with a group ready to party, Milagros has not only the space, but an enticing Latin American menu. The restaurant has both an outdoor and indoor tequila bar and an outdoor patio that can seat up to 100 people. The bar features tequila-, rum-, and pisco-based cocktails made with fresh pressed juices and purees. Cocktails are $5 and include the Tijuana Donkey and Margarita de la Casa. Order the Borracho Feliz sampler, and a large pitcher of Margarita de la Casa on the rocks for just $35. // Happy hour: Mon.-Fri. 3–5 p.m., 1099 Middlefield Rd. (Redwood City), milagrosrc.com
840 Wine Bar & Cocktail Lounge
Need to please the beer and wine crowd while sipping the hard stuff? Try one of 840 Wine Bar and Cocktail Lounge’s masterpiece martinis or a wine flight. 840 specializes in beautifully garnished cocktails, a subset of which are $5 at happy hour. Beers ($2), wines ($5), and shareable small cheese plates ($12) are all on hand. // Happy hour: Mon.-Fri. 4–7 p.m., 840 Brewster Ave (Redwood City), http://840winebar.com
At Mandaloun’s happy hour you will be surrounded by seasonal, delicious plates full of rich and bold flavors hailing from southern Mediterranean cuisine. To top it off, beers are $3–4, wines $4–5, and cocktails $5–6. The food options on the happy hour menu may be limited but they make up for it with unbelievable flavors. Among local favorites are the hummus and flatbread appetizer ($6), parmesan and bolognese meatballs ($4), and garlic fries ($3). // Happy hour: Mon.-Fri. 4:30–6 p.m., 2021 Broadway St. (Redwood City), mandaloun.biz
Blacksmith stands out for its reinvigorated look and fresh vibe. The bar and lounge is covered in sleek, dark decor with leather banquettes, a brick fireplace, and sports on TV. Despite its high end look, the cozy ambience makes you feel right at home. Blacksmith boasts a seasonal and regular menu, which include draught beers, regular and sparkling wines, bottled beers, and even Red Bull. All drinks are $3 for happy hour. Their signature drink, the Blacksmith Gimlet, is a must-have. It puts a new spin on the classic gin and lemon juice recipe by adding St. Germain elderflower liqueur with a garnish of fresh basil. Apart from a few bar snacks, Blacksmith does not serve food, but it’s convenient spot in the heart of downtown means there are plenty of options nearby. // Happy hour: Mon.-Fri. 3–6 p.m., 2048 Broadway (Redwood City), blacksmith.bar
Angelicas loves to light up the atmosphere with live music and great entertainment but their happy hour is surprisingly low-key. Bands play either in the morning or at 7 p.m., which allows happy hour customers to unwind in peace. Nothing says relaxation quite like a smart deal of $4 draft beers and $5 cocktails and wines, right? Enjoy them outside on the beautiful, shaded patio and let go of all responsibilities. // Happy hour: Tues.-Fri. 3:30–6 p.m., 863 Main St. (Redwood City), angelicasllc.com
If you’re hooked on tequila and mezcal mixology, look no further than LV Mar, the cousin to Redwood City’s popular latin seafood spot La Viga. While the menu boasts favorites such as Calamar Frito and Papas Fritas, a variety of wine by the glass ($6–8), beers ($3–5), and micheladas ($5), the most popular items are the signature cocktails.The majority are on the fruity side, but there are still a fair number that balance out the sweet and tart tastes. Although they are not the cheapest happy hour drinks ($8–9), these cocktails will be unlike anything you’ve ever had before. // Happy hour: Mon.-Sun. 3–6 p.m., Late night: Thurs 8:30–11 p.m., Fri-Sat 10-midnight. 2042 Broadway St. (Redwood City), chefmanuelmartinez.com/lv-mar