Did you read the title of this article and think, “Lady, isn’t Happy Hour for wild and free 20-somethings with no kids and time to spare?”
No way! (Okay, maybe.)
But I’m here to say Happy Hour is for parents who need a few hours of relaxation and a fun date night. It’s for moms and dads who want to have a nice sit-down meal with a couple of adult beverages and STILL have money left over for diapers and your kid’s seventh pair of new pants this year because he put a hole in the knee AGAIN.
Food and drink specials make affording a babysitter THAT much more attainable. Sometimes it takes a really, really good deal to make me feel like I can justify a night out when there are so many other things that demand my time and money.
So make this list of the best happy hours in Cedar Rapids as your excuse to bring the kids to your friends’ or parents’ house, and get OUT ON THE TOWN!
(You can even be home before bedtime).
10. Bo Mac’s
Address: 219 16th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Tues-Sun (closed Mondays) 3-6 PM, Buy One Drink, Get The Second for $1!
Wait, did you say Happy Hour even on the weekends?! Huge bonus for those of you who work until 5-6 PM on weeknights and have daycare pickup afterward to boot. And when your second drink is only $1, it’s pretty easy to stay awhile. We tried their calamari and WOULD RECOMMEND. Bon appetit!
9. Daisy’s Garage
Address: 5240 Edgewood Rd NE, Suite 100, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411
Weekdays 11 AM-6 PM, 2 for 1 Draft Beers and Wine, $2 Select Tallboys. Daily food specials.
If you’re in the mood for seafood and great prices, this is your spot. My favorite part about Daisy’s was the outdoor patio as those can be hard to find. We haven’t tried their steam pots yet, but it WILL be happening before summer is over! After a few sliders and seltzers, it was clear Daisy’s deserved a Top Ten spot.
8. Brick’s Bar & Grill
Address: 320 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Weekdays 3-7 PM, 2 for 1 Tallboys, Mixed Drinks, Domestics.
I’m a big fan of places that extend Happy Hour until 7 PM, so Brick’s gets a gold star right away. Situated right in the middle of the downtown area, it’s a wonderful option if you’re looking for a mini pub crawl as Pub 217 and White Star Ale House are located within a city block and have great HH specials as well! Brick’s is the place to go if you’re a meat lover and enjoy a wide selection of craft beer. Three words: TRY THE WINGS!
7. Blue42 Sports Bar & Grill
Address: 629 Ellis Blvd NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
Weekdays 3-6 PM, $2.50 Domestic Tallboys, Bottles, Pints, Wells, and Seltzers.
This was my husband’s favorite place to “research” with me because we went on 75 cent Wing Wednesday and WOW. We really committed to the group project by ordering 4 different kinds of wings to split amongst ourselves and I would recommend this approach, strictly for research purposes! There are ten different wing flavors, so we will obviously have to go back at least two more times to be thorough. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work. GO HERE.
6. Tornado’s Grub & Pub
Address: 1600 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Mondays-Thursdays 3-7 PM, $3 Domestics, Tallboys, Wells Drinks, $4 mini pitchers, $7 large pitchers
Tornado’s gets a bump in the rankings because HH continues until 7 PM, which offers a bit more flexibility after work hours. They have generous serving sizes on food (hello, take-home container and tomorrow’s lunch!) and their cheese curds made my stomach smile. Full disclosure: a large serving of fried cheese curds is the number one way to my heart. My pants disagree with me on this but that’s what leggings are for!
5. Quinton’s Bar & Deli
Address: 450 1st Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Weekdays 3-6 PM, 1/2 Price Drinks, $1 off Appetizers
Quinton’s secures a Top Five spot because they were the only place I could find in town with half-price Happy Hour drinks. And I called and visited A LOT of places to make this list. Add $1 off appetizers and daily food specials and you’ve got yourself a good time. You have to try their poutine and their Loaded Grilled Cheese Burger. Your scale won’t thank me but your taste buds will!
4. 30 Hop American Grill
Address: 951 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Every Day(!!!) 3-6 PM, $2 off Iowa Brewed Draft Beers, $3 off wine, house cocktails, mules. $4 and $5 select appetizers.
As the weather gets nicer and summer approaches, any place with beautiful outdoor seating will be in demand. 30Hop checks that box and many more. After a Sunset Sangria for me, an IPA for my husband, and some hot wings and truffle fries to share, we left 30Hop full, happy, and ready to go back again soon!
3. Fong’s Pizza
Address: 1006 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Weekdays 3-6 PM, $5 Tiki Drinks & Appetizers, $4 Draft Beer, $3 Wells & Domestic Tall Boys, $2 Kamikaze shots
I first discovered Fong’s Happy Hour in Ankeny, IA when my sister lived there and we quickly became obsessed with their unique food selections and exceptional Happy Hour deals. Before COVID, part of Happy Hour was a free slice of pizza(!!!) with every drink purchased. That’s more like a Happy Day than a Happy Hour. Because of the pandemic, they aren’t doing slices now, so this deal is not currently in play. But if it does come back on the menu, I’m here to tell you that Fong’s shoots up to Number One in the rankings for me! Do your mouth a favor and try the Dragon Eggs. I’m not a nutritionist, but I believe they should be their own food group.
Address: 5300 Edgewood Road NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411
Happy Hour 3-6 PM EVERY DAY, 2 for 1 Drinks
It’s pretty hard to beat a 2 for 1 drink special. Add WEEKENDS and HOLIDAYS included, and Zeppelin’s easily makes the Top Two for a Best Happy Hour ranking. Additionally, their Voodoo Chicken Sandwich IS something to write home about. Or write about on your blog. Either way.
1. Granite City Food & Brewery
Address: 4755 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
Weekdays 3-6 PM, 2 for 1 Pints and Wells Drinks. $5 wine and specialty cocktails. $5 select appetizers and $8 flatbreads, along with daily food specials.
I thought long and hard about who would secure the top spot in my Happy Hour rankings, and GCFB checked all the boxes for me. Only a few places in town offer the 2 For 1 drink special, so they were already off to the races early. My husband opted for a pint of beer (it is a brewery after all), while I enjoyed a $5 Moscow Mule. The $5 appetizer was the perfect thing to munch on as my husband and I talked about kids, work, and kids again.
To top it off, we went on their Burger Special night and decided to go with $6 burgers for our meals (fries included!!) with options to add extra toppings for a small fee. So all in all, we didn’t break the bank, left completely full with leftovers for an entire other meal, and the service was exceptional. Consider me satisfied!