The One Loudoun Happy Hour Guide: The Quest for The Best

There she goes again. Your co-worker Felicia posts a weekly Instagram photo of her happy hour drink. You pretend to be annoyed, but can’t help wishing you were there. The only solution to your feelings about her using the completely wrong filter is to post an even better photo.

In addition to having an amazingly enviable time with your friends after a long day at work, the happy hours at One Loudoun provide some of the BEST deals around. Give your coworker a rum for her money and post that gorgeous photo of your favorite cocktail. BYE FELICIA.

Let’s cut to the chase. Happy Hour is about great company. Great company and great deals that is. With that being said, wine not stop at a One Loudoun happy hour destination guaranteed to make your week? Only because we want you to have the most epic happy hour ever, we set out on a quest for the best. You’re welcome in advance. Just a heads up, state requirements prevent us from mentioning specific drink names and prices, so it’s time to unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes.

Where: Hail + Hog

When: Monday-Friday 4pm-7pm

Bringing back a classic happy hour, head on over to Hail + Hog for drink specials on your favorites made from wheat, grapes, and grains, in addition to select half-priced apps. We went for a classic fruit juice and spirit combo and the fan favorite app: the Chesapeake Bay Pretzels. It’s not easy to perfect a crab appetizer, but alas there we were eating every last one of those pretzels and covering them in a tasty béchamel sauce.

If you’re like us and tend to stray from just the food on the happy hour list, we highly advise the grown up grilled cheese. Even though it’s not part of the happy hour specials, you can count us in for anything with bacon and cheese; plus, the sundried tomato aioli dipping sauce is a smaller version of a tomato bisque.

 

Where: matchbox

When: Monday-Friday 3-7pm

Three drinks walked into a bar. Okay, they were actually served on a tray to our table, BUT you could say that they all slayed the cocktail game.

First, we found ourselves mesmerized by a certain southern inspired cocktail as the black pepper-ginger syrup cascaded down the side of the glass (see cascading syrup below). After staring at the drink for way too long, we finally took a sip of what was a well-crafted blend of the ginger syrup, bourbon, and peach nectar. This drink took us for a (bull)ride because it was fiesty ya’ll!

Some people hate change, but Matchbox’s seasonal selection of a fruity favorite will have them welcoming it with open arms. Each season you can expect a new flavor, and we were lucky enough to get to try the pomegranate variety. I mean holy moly, who doesn’t like juicy pomegranate flavored drinks? The answer: no one.

If a flamingo were a drink, this next one would be it. We don’t like to pick favorites, but THIS was absolutely our favorite. Described perfectly in the name, we imagined ourselves sipping this on the Matchbox porch on a hot summer evening. The fresh watermelon and lemonade combination was so original and refreshing, we immediately agreed that this was a real winner.

Just when you thought Matchbox’s extensive happy hour drink list was unreal, they also have some amazing apps on the menu. Enter spicy mini meatballs, short rib minis, and the shrimp diablo skillet. All delicious and all a great way to start your post-workday celebrations; how could we pick just one? The sliders were a juicy spin on the usual favorite and featured matchbox’s iconic crispy onion strings. The spicy mini meatballs were just that, cute little balls of goodness drenched in melted mozzarella and tomato sauce. Never have we ever seen anything quite like the diablo skillet, where large, fresh shrimp meet a fiery red sauce to create a delicious party of flavor.

 

 Where: 5ense of Thai

When: Monday-Friday 4-7pm

As any sensible happy hour goer would do, we opted for their signature happy hour option, where you tell the bartender what you like and they whip up an original cocktail. Today, Ross was infusing rum with strawberry and basil using a sous vide (seriously, what kind of genius comes up with this idea?), so he decided to use the rum to create a lovely cocktail for us. When we say lovely, we do mean lovely. This strawberry, basil, maple, lime, and peppery cocktail was served to us in a TEACUP, complete with 5ense of Thai’s famous hand-cut artisan ice. Pinkies up!

For lovers of sweet and sour, the zaab wings are for you. These wings give a real zing to the taste buds and are the perfect combination of glazed, yet crispy. Did we mention that zaab means yummy?! Makes perfect sense to us.

 

 Where: Nandos

When: Sunday-Thursday 4-6pm

You and some friends. At Nandos. With a pitcher during happy hour. We have finally solved the mystery of your hump day woes. Seeing the specials on the happy hour menu was all it took for us to know that happy hour at Nandos was the real deal.

Made with a variety of fresh fruit and other tasty ingredients, their signature sweet and fruity beverage is so good that soon you’ll be telling all of your friends. In the summertime, you can also look forward to the same drink with a peachy twist. If you’re not into fruity goodness, that’s your prerogative, but the joint also has a few Portuguese brews on their happy hour menu, along with snacks like wings, hummus, and spicy olives. Although not a traditional happy hour spot, Nando’s is definitely worth a try!

 

 Where: Eddie Merlot’s

When: Monday-Friday 4pm-7pm

At a place called Eddie Merlot’s, you know their happy hour is bound to deliver. At Eddie Merlot’s happy hour, get Eddie’s Favorite Cocktails and other drinks by the glass. The refreshing beverage pictured below was nothing short of a masterpiece, and possibly one of the best. The fresh fruit looks great in a fancy glass, and this is a top choice for a relaxed evening at the bar. Don’t be surprised if you see us sipping one of these on a Friday evening while listening to live acoustic music. We see why these drinks are called Eddie’s Favorites, because sure enough, they’re becoming our favorites too.

As much as it was a challenge for us to experience these spots all in one day, we hope that our experiences will give you better insight into just a few of the best happy hours here at One Loudoun. Please remember to drink responsibly.

Cheers!

 

About the team:

Together, Brittany, Andria, and Jayme make up the One Loudoun Experience Team. They set out to experience something new located right here in One Loudoun. Their mission is to provide honest, first hand accounts of the things they see, hear, do, and feel while being introduced to a new restaurant, shop, or activity, like discovering the best happy hour spots!