Sake and Sushi for $10: A Recipe for a Great Friday Afternoon
Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar was the first happy hour that I came to know well in downtown Boulder. Right in the mix of chaos, it is located on Boulder’s busy Pearl Street mall. The narrow restaurant has booths lining one side and an open sushi bar lining the other. You can choose to sit here and watch your food (and everyone else’s food) be prepared. In my opinion, the most ideal location is Hapa’s patio. Here you can expect to recognize a passerby, be entertained by buskers (warning: they may or may not fall under your definition of talented), and soak up some vitamin D while enjoying an array of raw fish.
There are two happy hours at Hapa. If you’re looking for an afternoon snack, check out their Early Bird Happy Hour on Monday-Saturday form 2:30-5:30pm. Their late night happy hour, called the Night Owl, is limited to Thursday-Saturday. It runs from 10:00-midnight, so if you’re out on the town then definitely consider stopping here for sake.
The drink specials are outrageous here. When I go to Hapa, I usually order a large Hapa beer and a large hot sake and am more than satisfied. You can get both of these for a mere $6, at $3 each. The Hapa beer is a rice beer brewed by the locally owned brewery, Great Divide Brewery, exclusively for Hapa. For just a few cents more, you can also order a sake cocktail—my favorites are the Mango Gin Ginger and the G-Spot.
Initially, I was drawn to this happy hour because of the food, though. They have ½ off all of their kitchen starters. This is an extensive list, so there are plenty of options here. If you’re looking for some suggestions, try the Ginger Pork Gyoza, Vegetable Tempura, or the Crispy Seared Ahi. Don’t miss out on the 2 for $7 sushi roll deal! These exclude their specialty rolls, but the menu still includes the traditional California Roll, Salmon Avocado Roll and lots of tasty vegetarian sushi rolls.
Basically, you can’t go wrong at the happy hour at Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar. For $10 or less, you can order yourself either two food items and a drink or three drinks and leave feeling completely satisfied.