When you live in a city with a reputation for idleness and a love of leisure, it’s not hard to find an excuse to relax or a teahouse in which to do so. But there are some times when a game of mahjong and a bag of sunflower seeds just don’t do the trick; when what we crave lies somewhere in between a cup of tea and a bottle of baijiu. For expats there is something comforting, social, and nostalgic about happy hours – the time to unwind after a long day’s work with the added convenience of discounted drink specials. The conventional happy hour trend hasn’t made it too far in Chengdu, but an increasing number of foreign-friendly watering holes offer deals that range from after-work discounts to week-night and weekend drink specials. And in a city where getting a hard drink or an imported beer is tragically disproportionate to its otherwise low prices, “happy hours” in all forms are well appreciated. With this conundrum in mind, the following is a breakdown of the best “happy hour” deals in the city. If you play your cards right, you can deal-hop all week long. Your wallet will thank us, your liver may not.
1) ShamrockView In Map
A favoured expat haunt, the Shamrock has various weekly and monthly specials to keep customers coming back. On Fridays “buy-1-get-1-free” happy hour lasts from 4 to 9 pm (just make sure to ask the bar which drinks are on special). On Thursdays you can pay 88 RMB for all-you-can-drink Beer Republic draught, Tsingtao and special cocktails from 9pm to 1am. The Shamrock also holds a ladies night once or twice a month where ladies drink a choice of 2 cocktails for free. Check their website for updates.
Add: 15 Renmin Nan Lu, Chengdu
地址：成都市人民南路 4 段 15 号
Tel: 028 8523 6158
Website : http://www.shamrockinchengdu.com
2) The Underground View In Map
Located beside Jiuyan Qiao, The Underground is a welcome alternative to the nightclubs it shares the block with. Monday through Friday they offer “buy-1-get-1-free” Harbin and Budweiser from 5 to 7pm, plus 20% off all foreign beers. Night specific specials are also offered – Mondays are “buy-1-get-second-half-price” cocktails, Wednesdays Harbin is 10 RMB a bottle or 100 RMB for 12, tequila specials are on offer on Thursdays, and on Friday and Saturday happy hour extends until 8pm.
Add: Jiuyan Qiao, 12-13 Taiping Nan Jie, Block 6
Tel: 028 8529 4142
3) Carol’s By the River View In Map
Easily confused for Hooter’s for their scantily-clad, chipper waitresses and decidedly “western” vibe, Carol’s offers rotating happy hour specials that at one time included cocktails for 88% off (though it seems that was a one-time thing). An added bonus if Carol’s gets too kitschy for your taste is it’s next-door neighbour Jah Bar where it’s always happy hour – with Tsingtao bottles for 10 RMB and a chill vibe that often includes live music.
Add: 36 Hongmen Jie, Building 116, Chengdu
Tel: 134 3846 1503
4) Café Paname View In Map
Despite a recent change in ownership and décor, Paname still draws a crowd with it’s convenient location, strong cocktails, and theme parties. Here it is ladies night every other Saturday (free vodka drinks all night long) while various other special events and happy hour deals are offered routinely. To stay updated check the website: http://www.cafepaname.com/site/category/events/
Add: 2 F, Lanse Jialebi, 143 Kehua Bei Lu, Chengdu
5) Jellyfish View In Map
Though a newcomer to the foreign bar scene, Jellyfish’ popularity has accelerated quickly thanks in part to ladies night specials every Saturday where girls choose between two cocktails for free, all night (sensing a theme here?). Its proximity to Paname allows patrons to bounce back and forth between whichever bar is offering a cheaper drink or better music.
Add: 2nd Floor Lanse Jialebi, 143 Kehua Bei Lu, Chengdu
Tel: 028 8525 1789
6) The Leg and Whistle View In Map
Chengdu’s resident English pub boasts regular football (or soccer, for some of us) games, a great location, and generous drink specials. They stay true to the original meaning of happy hour with specials Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 pm (Harbin for 10 RMB; Leffe for 25 RMB, Gin and Tonic, Rum and Coke, Vodka and Coke for 20 RMB). On Fridays mixed drinks are “buy-1-get-1-free”, and Saturday and Sundays Harbin are “buy-1-get-1-free” with Franziskaner for 25 RMB before the first football match kickoff.
Add: Kehua Jie, Chuan Da Huayuan Building B2
Tel: 028 8546 1958
7) Mooneys View In Map
The Shangri La’s downstairs watering hole, Mooney’s is infamous for their Thursday night special – ladies drink unlimited red and white wine for free. There is always a live band playing accessible cover songs, and there is always a crowd. But beware - what the ladies save on free wine, their male escorts make up for with a pricey beer selection.
Add: Shangri-La Hotel, 9 Binjiang Dong Lu, Chengdu
Tel: 028 8409 7899
8) Hooters View In Map
Slightly tamer than it’s American counterpart, the innocently translated “American Owl Restaurant” offers the best chicken wings in the city as well as perky waitresses and pitchers of beer. Selected beers, wines, cocktails, and pitchers are “buy-1-get-1-free” from 2pm to 7pm.
Add: 1F, Lippo Tower, 62 Kehua Bei Lu, Chengdu
Tel: 028 6281 8877
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Keywords: Happy hours Chengdu drink deals Chengdu best happy hours Chengdu
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