Nibble and sip on the cheap at these restaurants from Valley food-and-beverage mainstay Upward Projects.
5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
A classic gastropub suited both for Sunday dinner and social drinking, Windsor puts all its happy hour energy into the drink deals. From open until 5 p.m. every day of the week, the pub offers wines by the glass, beer pitchers – yes, pitchers not pints – and select cocktails for $5 a pop. In many cases, that’s 50 percent off or better. Our suggestion: the No. 17 cocktail, a garden-bomb tipple that mixes green tea syrup with cucumber vodka, muddled cucumber and mint. Spend your beverage savings on toothsome tarragon-mustard-marinated veggies, served with hummus and Greek yogurt for dipping ($11). Also great: Russian Roulettes ($7.50) – bite-size sautéed peppers (some are hot and some are not) sprinkled with Parmesan and a side of spicy harissa aioli. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Joyride Taco House
Two Valley locations, joyrisetacohouse.com
Decorated like a 1970s So-Cal low-rider clubhouse, Joyride offers $2 tacos alongside $5 margaritas, wines by the glass, pitchers of beer or spiked aguas frescas (which normally run $9.75) during their far-out happy hours. And you’ll love this: The deals aren’t restricted to Taco Tuesdays, like so many other taco joints. You can get them every weekday. On Monday, pair carne asada tacos with a tart blood orange margarita, and on Wednesday chase your chicken tinga tacos (shredded chicken thighs marinated in a dark chipotle sauce) with a subtly spicy cucumber-serrano pepper margarita. Joyride’s best taco may be its crispy fish number, topped with guacamole, chopped tomato and cilantro, which boogies down quite nicely with a minty pineapple mojito. Tacos: 2-6 p.m. M-F (2 - 11 p.m. Tu); drinks: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. M-Su
5210 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Federal Pizza, located a hop, skip and not even a jump from the Central Phoenix location of Joyride, whips up a lunchtime pizza-and-salad combo that lasts until 4 p.m., running parallel to $5 drink specials that last until 5. Here’s the deal: a half-pizza of your choice – there are 11 options, normally priced between $13 and $16 for a full pie – and a half-salad for $10.50. We recommend you choose the chicken panzanella salad (house-made mozzarella, herbaceous croutons, currants, pine nuts, and fennel tossed in a zippy lemon vinaigrette) to pair with the At Last pizza, loaded with roasted veggies, including sweet corn and bitter broccolini, and creamy goat cheese that offsets the spice of Calabrian chiles. Cool things down with a rehabilitated relic of 1980s drinking, the wine cooler ($5), which they stir up with flavors like grapefruit-ginger and blood orange-cardamom. Pizza and salad combo: 11 a.m-4 p.m. M-Sa; drinks: 11 a.m-5 p.m. M-Su
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