by Sarah Fenske
In this week's hot-off-the-presses print edition, we've compiled the Riverfront Times' comprehensive guide to the finest happy hours in St. Louis. (And no, this wasn't done only as a public service -- we're also bringing to your attention the very cool free smart-phone app that includes our fascinating finds.)
But where do you go if you're more into great food than cheap bar snacks? Well, we've got a rundown of the best foodie deals in town right here for ya!
10. Aya Sofia 6671 Chippewa Street; 314-645-9919
This south-city charmer claims to be St. Louis' only Turkish restaurant -- which means that your only chance to check out Turkish eats at reduced prices without checking in at Lambert is at Aya Sofia's happy hour. From 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, appetizers are half-price and so is beer.
9. Paul Mineo's Trattoria 333 Westport Plaza, I-270 and Page Avenue, Maryland Heights; 314-878-8180
This family-run eatery professes to serve discounted appetizers at happy hour, but our research team came back blown away by the substantial portions incorporated into these so-called appetizers. They report that you could easily make a meal of the ten-inch chicken pesto pizza ($5.95) or the lobster ravioli ($7.95). House wine is only $5 a glass, making for a cheap dinner indeed.
8. Jimmy's Café on the Park 706 DeMun Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-8585
This urban bistro/cafe sports a glorious patio with a view of Concordia Park -- and elegant food to match. Happy hour at Jimmy's Cafe features half-price appetizers, which means artichoke dip or bruschetta will only set you back $3.50 each from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Craving an ice-cold Ciroc vodka martini with your feast? It's only $5.
7. Square One Brewery 1727 Park Avenue; 314-231-2537
From 4 to 6 p.m. on every weekday other than Tuesday, appetizers at this Lafayette Square brewpub are slashed to $4.95. But Tuesday is the night we recommend you try Square One Brewery. And why might that be? That's Build-a-Burger night, of course -- and burgers are just $2 all the way 'til 10 p.m. While toppings such as bacon, cheese and veggies cost a little extra, trust us, this is still the cheapest burger in town outside the drive-through.
6. West End Grill & Pub 54 North Boyle Avenue; 314-531-4607
At this comfy neighborhood hang on the eastern edge of the Central West End, appetizers are half-price from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays -- which means that insanely good fried polenta, served in crispy fries with two dipping sauces, is just $3.12. Even better? Thursday features $1 oysters, a perfect complement to the West End Grill & Pub's $4.50 glasses of white wine.
5. Sqwires 1415 South 18th Street; 314-865-3522
Our research team couldn't stop raving about the happy hour at this bright and airy Lafayette Square eatery. Once again, it may have been the oysters (Sqwires features $1 oysters on Friday, so you can load up on back-to-back nights if you hit the West End Grill on Thursday first). But even if you're squeamish about bivalves, Sqwires has much to recommend it, from half-priced bruschetta and crab cakes to $5 martinis and $4 glasses of wine. Hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. every weekday.
4. Mango Peruvian Cuisine 1101 Lucas Avenue; 314-621-9993
There's a reason experts have been predicting Peruvian will be the next big ethnic food craze for years: It's relatively healthy, subtly flavorful and really quite tasty. Want to see for yourself? Check out the downtown outpost of Mango (the original is in Shrewsbury). From 3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and again from 9 p.m. to close Monday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to close Friday and Saturday, selected appetizers are just $5.
3. Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant 5257 Shaw Avenue; 314-772-8272
Yes, people go to the Hill to eat Italian. But thanks to Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant, it's actually a great place to eat Spanish food, too. Weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and all night on Tuesday, Modesto serves up an awesome array of single-bite tapas for incredibly low prices -- from $2 a pop all the way down to 25 cents. It's a perfect way to taste Modesto's entire menu without breaking the bank.
2. Chi 4 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-2209
Perhaps it's because the dishes tend to be perfect little small plates no matter what the hour. Perhaps it's because a simple slice of unadorned fish goes so well with a stylish drink. For whatever reason, sushi restaurants tend to offer great happy-hour deals, and you can't go wrong inquiring about the specials at just about any sushi joint in town.
But we doubt you'll find any deal you like better than the one offered by this Central West End hotspot. From 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, selected sushi rolls and appetizers are half-price, while nigiri sushi is buy-one-get-one-free. Since Chi is pretty reasonable to begin with, you'll find you can eat a lot of fish for very little money. Add $4.50 Sapporos and $5 cocktails, and you're sitting pretty indeed.
1. Frazer's Restaurant and Lounge 1811 Pestalozzi Street; 314-773-8646
We're almost afraid to tell you about the happy hour deal that this well-regarded Benton Park restaurant offers on Tuesday. But what the heck: On Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m., Frazer's Restaurant and Lounge actually provides free appetizers. Free! And we're not talking about a pile of cold salsa chips, either. This is a real foodie destination that just happens to be generous, too.
Happy hour runs every day here from 3 to 7 p.m., so even if you can't make it on Tuesday, you have plenty of time to swing by and order a half-price pizza (Monday through Thursday) or enjoy a $2 bottle of domestic beer or $5 glass of wine. Just save some of the freebies for us!
This week's special happy hour content includes our picks for a happy hour of the day for each day of the week, which you can check out on Daily RFT as the week continues.