By Christina Graw, contributing writer
Jacksonville has many great restaurants within easy driving distance of each other. But, experiencing all of these restaurants can be time-consuming and expensive. That’s why I recently set out onto the streets of Downtown to find the best happy hours, all within the walkable Downtown core.
Many Downtown restaurants and bars participate in the time-honored tradition of happy hour, where for two or three wonderful hours you can experience a sampling of what a place has to offer at rock bottom prices. From upscale dining to appetizers at the bar, happy hour is the perfect opportunity to experience a wide range of drinks, food and environments in a single evening. It’s also a great way to get out and socialize without breaking the bank.
Here are my five Downtown favorites (in alphabetical order):
Burro Bar, 100 E. Adams St.
Burro Bar is a true Jacksonville bar. It encompasses all the things that make Downtown great. It’s cool, fun and down-to-earth. The bar showcases upcoming local artists, while having one of the best draft beer lists in the city.
Drinks: All drafts are $3 during happy hour. They also rotate their craft beers on a a regular basis.
Social Media: Burro Bar is fun to follow on social media because they post more than just their beer. Followers get an inside look into the Jacksonville music scene. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@BurroBarJax) or like them on Facebook.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 4 – 7 p.m.
Chart House, 1501 Riverplace Blvd.
Start your tour at this classy restaurant. Chart House serves incredible food, while capturing what happy hour is all about: good food, delicious drinks, all at low prices.
Food: $4 hummus and chips, tempura shrimp, and spinach and artichoke dip; $5 ahi nachos, calamari, lettuce wraps, and shrimp and vegetable fritters; $6 Mediterranean chicken pita, fish tacos, firecracker shrimp and prime-rib sliders
Drink: $7 martinis, $6 cocktails, $5 wine by the glass, $4 well spirits, $3.50 imports and specialty bottles, $2.50 domestic bottles
Social Media: Follow Chart House (@Chart House Rest) or ‘like’ them on Facebook for upcoming events and specials.
Hours: Every day, 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Mark’s Bar, 315 E. Bay St.
Mark’s is Downtown’s award-winning lounge. Enjoy a drink or two in Mark’s fun and vibrant atmosphere. The music will make you want to dance – and have another drink.
Drinks: All beer is $1 off, each glass of wine is half price and all liquor is $2 off
Hours: Every day, 4 – 8 p.m.
Social Media: Follow Mark’s on Twitter (@MarksJax) or ‘like’ them on Facebook to find out about their next fun party.
Ruth Chris Steakhouse, 1201 Riverplace Blvd.
Conveniently located in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, this restaurant offers a comforting and welcoming atmosphere with creative cocktails and the finest steaks in town.
Food: $7 burgers, steaks, crab, tuna, lobster and salmon
Drinks: All martinis and glasses of wine are $7, select beer is $3
Social Media: ‘Like’ Ruth Chris Jacksonville on Facebook for weekly deals and menu changes.
Hours: Sunday-Friday, 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Underbelly, 113 E. Bay St.
Underbelly is for people of all types. If you enjoy a wide variety of live music, and a social atmosphere, you definitely need to head over to Underbelly. It’s a place where talented musicians and great drinks come together to provide you with the perfect night on the town.
Drinks: $1 off all drafts and $2 off wells
Social Media: For Underbelly’s latest concert pictures and upcoming events follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@underbellylive), and ‘like’ them on Facebook.
Make sure you get out and enjoy all that Downtown Jacksonville has to offer. And as you’re having fun and taking pictures, don’t forget to use the hashtag #DTJax and #ilovejax!