After Freshman year, many students transition from living in the dorms to living in an old, brick house or apartment nestled in the Hill district of Boulder. This area, as Boulderites are well aware of, has become the home of CU students. It’s rare and often odd to catch site of a family strolling along the sidewalk of College Avenue. Regardless, this area is bustling with the young energy of students in their twenties. The shopping area on the Hill spans a mere block and a half, a small area for such a large student population, however 13th Street is lined with restaurants and small shops. There are a plethora of sandwich shops and coffee shops: fast meals and a little caffeine to keep the busy CU student energized through finals week (or any week of the school year). Amongst these quick eateries are a handful of restaurants with some great happy hour specials.


The Sink is a funky restaurant and bar on the corner of 13th and Pennsylvania with a lot of history. The restaurant is much like a labyrinth or maze, with low ceilings, dim light, and separate sections connected by narrow entryways. It is a laid-back spot with great food and unique character. As a way to keep their history alive, the staff encourages its customers to inscribe their name on the walls or low ceilings. Their happy hour runs from 3-6pm during the weekdays, 10-1pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and all day on Sunday.

the corner

The Corner is a relatively new restaurant on the Hill, offering a variety of healthy meals for students. A few years ago, it took the place of Del Taco and it is a mighty upgrade. Their menu includes a variety of breakfast options (served all day), fresh salads, deluxe sandwiches and heart-healthy “Corner bowls”. In addition to their delicious eats, they also serve local brews, wine and cocktails. Their happy hour is from 3-6pm everyday with $1 off any off their adult beverages.


If you’ve lived in Boulder for a few years, then you are likely familiar with Illegal Pete’s, the Front Range’s local burrito establishment. This place trumps Chipotle, offering fresher food and a lively atmosphere. It has a very casual feeling to it, however the food is top-notch. If you’re searching for a beverage to wash down your bean and cheese burrito or “The Big Fish” burrito (my personal favorite), then be sure to stop by Illegal Pete’s during their happy hour. It runs from 3-8pm daily and they offer some great drink specials including $3 wells, $4 house margaritas, $3.50 draft beers, and $2.50 Coors Light (or a pitcher for $8). If that’s not enough, they also give out free chips and salsa!

half fast

One of the favorites for CU students is Half Fast on the Hill. This sandwich shop has one of the most overwhelming sandwich menus I have ever seen. It’s not uncommon to stand at the counter for a good five to ten minutes overlooking the menu options written in chalk on the board above. You have your choice of vegetarian or meat, hot or cold, pre-designed or make-it-yourself on either a 7” sub or, if you’re feeling really hungry, on a 14” sub. During their happy hour, from Monday to Saturday 4-7pm, their 7” subs are only $4.95. Their drinks options include $3 domestic drafts, $3.50 micro drafts and $2 Coors Extra Gold. Half Fast is most famous for their pitchers, however. A pitcher of domestic beer is $7.50 and a micro pitcher is $9. If you aren’t a fan of beer, then you can try a pint (or a small pitcher if you’re daring) of their specialty cocktails, including Margaritas, Long Islands and Hurricanes.