8 Bars with the Best Happy Hour in Cincinnati

February 26, 2020
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
Photo by Chris F from Pexels

When quitting time hits, meet your friends at any one of these popular places

Friends cheers each other with glasses of golden beer

Everyone can’t wait for the end of the day, especially when that day is Friday! That means it’s time to meet up with friends and hit one of the amazing Cincinnati bars and kick back and relax. Happy Hour was named such because it truly is a joyful gathering of people, who can’t wait to forget about the stress of work and just enjoy each other's company. However, not all happy hours are created the same, and although Cincinnati is known for its vibrant bar scene, there are some that are definitely more fun than others! 

If you know someone on your happy hour crew who could use an extra dose of happy, why not send them an electronic GiftYa gift card to any of the bars on this list? They’ll appreciate that they won’t have to worry about losing it, since it’s stored in their phones, and they can easily access it at any chosen happy hour!

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3 Points Urban Brewery

Get your happy hour on in Cincinnati with beer, coffee, or art!

Three points red brick building

This is a great place to unwind and enjoy your beverage of choice after work. Image courtesy of 3 Points Urban Brewery.

3pointsbeer.com | Pendleton | 331 E. 13th St.

If you’re looking for some amazing Cincinnati-brewed beer, then this is your place to stop for happy hour. The facility is built in an area long known to natives of Cincinnati for its exceptional brewing history-- this is not the first in the Pendleton area and hopefully it won’t be the last!

This unique space also features the art of local artists, and the main room is also available as a co-working space throughout the week, complete with ample coffee for sale. The happy hour here begins at 4pm, so if you’re deciding to work from home, consider 3 Points Brewery complete with a post-work happy hour!

“Service was good, beers were tasty, with standard offerings and more creative ones. Overall just a nice experience and I'm glad I finally got to check it out!” -Yelp Review
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Joe’s Crab Shack

A great go-to option for some amazing happy hour deals

Two delicious cocktails. One is orange with a cherry and the other is yellow with a lemon garnish.

Delicious food and hand-crafted cocktails make this happy hour hard to resist. Image courtesy of Joe’s Crack Shack.

joescrabshack.com 25 Fairfield Ave. Bellevue, KY

Whether you’re into fried shrimp, steamed mussels, or a massive fish sandwich, Joe’s Crab Shack definitely brings the taste of the ocean to you. It also helps that their happy hour is a lot of fun as well, offering tropical drinks such as the Shark Bite, Category 5 Hurricane, and a creamy and dreamy Pina Colada.

Just a hop across the Ohio River in Bellevue, KY, Joe’s Crab Shack is a laid back place where friends can gather after work-- and pretend they are at the beach! Because when you think relaxation, you think of sipping on a cold drink with your toes in the sand, and Joe’s Crab Shack is the next best thing to that!

“Joe's Crab Shack always makes me happy. The food is good to eat and fun to eat...drinking wine and or drink specials with my hubby is a great date.” -Yelp Review
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Molly Malone’s

You’re in for a fun night at this popular Irish restaurant and bar

A happy waitress greets you

covington.mollymalonesirishpub.com | 112 E. 4th St. | Covington, KY 

Whether you’re in the mood for some traditional Irish food, or just want a fun place to catch the game, Molly Malone’s should be one of your first choices, especially for happy hour! This bar is especially popular with those locals who have an affinity for Irish whiskey at happy hour, and Molly Malone’s has an amazing selection for you to choose from. 

You can’t do happy hour without ordering some great food for sharing, so good thing Molly Malones has some great Irish-inspired favorites such as the Ploughman’s Platter, Irish spring rolls, and potato skins. Grab your crew and head over for a pint of beer or a glass of whiskey at this friendly bar. 

“Based on what an Irish pub should be, Molly Malone's is a great find. Convenient to Covington hotels and the Convention Center.” -Yelp Review
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Platform Beer Co.

Visit one of Cincinnati’s favorite breweries for happy hour fun

a golden brown beer sits alone on a wooden table with sunlight in the background

This bar is known for its fantastic selection of craft beer. Image courtesy of Platform Beer Co.

platformbeer.co | 1201 Main St.| Discovery District

CIncinnati has no shortage of breweries, and the locals take pride in brewing some fantastic options. Platform Beer Co. Opened in 2014 in Cleveland, this brewery quickly spread out in Ohio, with taprooms in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, as well as distributing their popular beers in neighboring states. Platform believes that good beer should be shared with friends, and that there is always something delicious on their menu you can enjoy it with. 

Stopping off at their Cincinnati location for happy hour is a great idea, where you can not only check out all the drafts they have available but also order some of their creative menu items like their popular waffles, or Ohio-inspired egg sandwiches.

“I LOVE THIS BREWERY! We walk in and the bartender offers us as many samples as we want! Well, hello! Beer was delish!” -Yelp Review
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Queen City Exchange

This unique Cincinnati institution has some great happy hours

An array of different kinds of beer

Depending when you visit, you could pay as little as $3.50 for a pint of beer! Image courtesy of Queen City Exchange.

queencityexchange.com | 32 W Court St. | Downtown

Everyone likes to get a good deal on a beer, but at Queen City Exchange did you know the price that you pay is based on customer demand? This interesting concept has been around since 2016, where depending when you visit, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3.50 to $9 for a delicious beer. This is a great place to meet with friends, and now an interesting way to try some new beers! Happy hour prices start around $5 a beer, and then either increase or decrease depending on demand. 

This fun spot also features many trivia nights and always has the game on, so make sure to check QCE out if you haven’t already had the pleasure!

“I always have a great time when I'm there and their staff is so nice and accommodating.  I highly recommend!” -Yelp Review
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Higher Gravity

A fun place for happy hour serving exceptional craft beer

The inside of a bar with high ceilings, lots of people

No matter what your sport is, this bar is sure to be able to get the game on TV. Image courtesy of Higher Gravity.

highergravitycrafthaus.com | 4106 Hamilton Ave. | Northside

Sometimes you just want to relax after a long day with some friends over a couple of fantastic beers. There’s no better place to try a wide variety of beers than the Higher Gravity Crafthaus. There are over 500 bottles and drafts in stock that change according to the seasons, so it’s always a good idea to check what they currently offer ahead of time.

The experts at this place will be able to help you find just the right beer or wine you’re looking for. All of the items at Higher Gravity are also available to take home with you as well, including growlers and crowlers.

“Awesome joint, great selection of beer with a knowledgeable staff. Also have a full bar in case some of the group is not in a beer mood.” -Yelp Review
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Rhinehaus

Grab your friends and head over to this Cincinnati sports bar for happy hour drinks

Exterior of Rhinehaus entrance

Visit this place for a welcoming happy hour crowd and a good time. Image courtesy of Rhinehaus.

rhinehausbar.com | 119 E 12th St. | Over-the-Rhine

Whether you’re into football, basketball, hockey, or soccer, you’re going to find some fun, like-minded folks at this local sports bar. If you’re a fan of international soccer, this place will be especially appealing! They have many TVs to accomodate all kinds of sports fans, and subscribe to all the sports packages necessary to make sure you can see your team play each week-- they even open early for games broadcast in Europe!

One of the first bars to establish themselves in this area’s revitalization, Rhinehaus has been an important place for the local community to gather and enjoy sports over some great drinks. Stop in for happy hour and meet some of the friendliest bartenders in Cincinnati!

“The best sports bar around town! Every single person on the staff is fantastic.  Even when it is packed the service is great and the bartenders are friendly and welcoming.” -Yelp Review
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16 Bit Bar and Arcade

Have some fun at happy hour and enjoy the beers and the arcade games

16 Bit Bar arcade games

Feel like a kid again at this fun happy hour spot. Image courtesy of 16 Bit Bar and Arcade.

16-bitbar.com/cincy | 1331 Walnut St. | Over-the-Rhine

If you’re looking for something a little different for happy hour, consider meeting your friends over at 16 Bit Bar and Arcade, where you can enjoy beer and signature cocktails and play all your favorite throw-back arcade games! If you played any of these games as a child, you’re in for a treat! They have arcade versions of Donkey Kong, Duck Hunter, Asteroids, and even Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker!

Stepping in here is like going back in time, and there’s no way you can’t have a great time! Locals recommend trying some of their fantastic cocktails, appropriately named for the stars of decades past such as Lisa Frank, Hulk Hogan, Bill Nye, Winnie Cooper and more! 

“Gaming is free for customers. Lots of fun throwback arcade games, and pinball machines as well. Fun drinks with clever names, and quick service at the bar.” -Yelp Review

No matter where you choose to find your happy hour in Cincinnati, these places come highly recommended by the locals, so try them out first! Where are your favorite places to do happy hour in Cincinnati? Let us know in the comments!

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