This new Italian restaurant takes over the old Hi-Life spot in Ballard. Happy hour is your chance to sample some of Valentinetti’s signature bites on the cheap, including its Roman-style flatbreads ($10) that come out of the 700-degree brick oven. Also plenty of $4-$5 noshes, including meatballs, ricotta gnocchi and a fried mozzarella sandwich. Beers, wines and selected cocktails go for $5, though the better deal might be the $25 bottle of wine to go with that meatball flatbread. The restaurant comes from longtime Seattle restaurateur Peter Levy, who also owns the local brunch standby 5 Spot on Upper Queen Anne, among other bar restaurants in Seattle and Tacoma.
Happy hour runs all day on Tuesdays and on other days from 4-6 p.m.; 5425 Russell Ave. N.W., (Ballard) Seattle; 206-708-6894, chowfoods.com/valentinettis
Zig Zag Café
Our most celebrated cocktail den still runs the best drinks happy hour in Seattle with $8 Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and martinis; their specialty cocktails ($12) are also good deals. But even the most storied cocktail temple needed some retooling. New bar manager Jason Simplot, formerly of Rumba, added more rums to Zig Zag’s stellar whiskey collection and daiquiris to the cocktail lineup. New chef Aaron Means, formerly of Damn the Weather, the best cocktail bar in Pioneer Square, revamped the food — it’s now more New American-focused, with seasonal produce and in-house charcuterie. Sample some of his new food menu at a discount during happy hour including the smoked salmon tartine and the buttermilk fried oysters.
Happy hour weekdays 5-7 p.m.; 1501 Western Ave., Ste. 202, (downtown) Seattle; 206-625-1146, zigzagseattle.com
San Juan Seltzery
Chef Ethan Stowell has set up shop in Sodo, offering chowder, fried calamari, cod and chips and other discounted seafood-shack staples during happy hour for $5-$12. The spiked-seltzer taproom also features a full bar with $8 martinis and bourbon cocktails. Stowell, who seems to be moving toward a more family-oriented atmosphere, has set aside a kid play area and added televisions to catch Seahawks games, much like his setup at Super Bueno. The taproom, a dog-friendly space, is outfitted with a heated patio, Adirondack chairs and a fire pit.
Happy hour daily 3-6 p.m.; 3901 First Ave. S., (inside the Sodo Urbanworks complex) Seattle; 206-432-9734, ethanstowellrestaurants.com
This hotel bar starts happy hour early — 2 p.m. — when craft cocktails go for $9, and Rainier, Red Strip and Miller High Life can be had for a song ($2-3). By 4 p.m., the food happy hour kicks in, with $3-$6 noshes from salt cod beignets to truffle parmesan fries. For something more substantial, try beef cheek terrine or the fried shrimp ($9 each).
Happy hour daily 2-6 p.m.; 2000 Second Ave., (located inside the Palladian Hotel downtown) Seattle; 206-826-1700, pennyroyalbar.com