It's time to get happy without breaking the bank. Check out these tasty specials, from cheap movie tickets to half-price margaritas.

$14 cocktails at The Moat 

Everyone’s favourite subterranean bar, The Moat, offers a selection of $14 cocktails Wednesday to Saturday, between 4pm and 6pm. Choose from an espresso martini or a house-made lavender gin concoction. There are also some lovely wines for only $8 a glass, and a heavenly cheese plate menu.

$10 spritzers

Happy hour comes every day at Vapiano. Visit between 4pm and 6pm to sling back refreshing spritzers with your pizza and pasta. At just $10 a pop, why stop at one? You'd be amiss not to try the carb-tastic cob loaves while you're there. These bread bowls come loaded with your favourite pasta.

Cocktails and pizzas on a table at a restaurant
Vapiano

Thrifty izakaya snacks

This mood-lit Japanese spot isn't just for luxe date nights. Head down to Ototo after work Tuesday to Thursday and enjoy snack bar faves for less than a tenner. Think $2 oysters, $6 gyoza and $9 fried chicken. Available from 5pm to 6pm.

Hidden gem happy hour

Tucked inside the Pullman Hotel, Eva's promises a luxe experience for less at happy hour. Visit from 4pm to 6pm daily to take advantage of the savings. Cocktail fans can choose from $12 Aperol spritzes and $15 espresso martinis. There's also $10 pints, $6 house wines and $9 house spirits.

$10 mini cocktails

File under: things that make you say 'awww'. Bar Bombay Yacht Club's pint-sized cocktails are almost too cute to drink. Almost. The mini cocktails are just $10 a pop. After you've downed your one-sip negroni, stick around for biryani, balls of happiness and perhaps some full-sized cocktails.

A couple sitting at a bar in a colourful restaurant.
Bar Bombay Yacht Club

Half-price wines and oyster happy hour

Ernest himself would have felt right at home at Hemingway’s, a seductive homage to Europe’s wine bars. Luxuriate through the working week with $2 oysters, $9 prosecco and $15 champagne. That's on Tuesday to Thursday, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. Or dine in on 'bottle shop Thursdays' and enjoy half-price bottles of wine. Grabbing vino to-go? You can also get 10 per cent off all takeaway bottles on Thursdays.

Steak and oyster night

Wednesday night is steak night at Boilermaker House. And if that's not enough, it's also half-price oyster night. Pop in between 5pm and 10pm for oysters served natural with a Laphroaig 10 dropper. Gobble down 6 for $13.50 or a dozen for $27. The main event is a juicy 200g ribeye for just $25. It comes with shoestring fries, rocket salad and a house-made pepper sauce.

Bubbles and $3 oysters at Chancery Lane

Knock-off drinks just got a whole lot classier with happy hour in the courtyard at Chancery Lane. From 5pm to 7pm, Wednesday to Friday, enjoy a $15 glass of Champagne or $6 Moon Dog lager. Snack on $3 Southern Rock oysters, $10 pomme frites, or a $40 charcuterie plate to share.

Oysters on a bowl of ice
Luxe happy hour awaits at Chancery Lane

Daily discounts on the drinks menu

At Lygon icon Carlton Yacht Club you'll be able to score knockoffs on the cheap every day of the week. From 4pm to 7pm daily, the crew offers $10 off all wine bottles, $4 off all cocktails and $2 off beer, wine and spirits. Be sure to line your stomach with a hunger-busting $15 pizza, available every night until close.

Movie tickets from $7

Most cinemas have dropped cheap Tuesdays and discount tickets all together. But on Mondays thrifty film buffs can still head to the Kino Cinema, where tickets are $8.50 during the day or $9.50 at night. Whether your passion is art-house films or the latest blockbuster, you’ll have plenty of change for a choc top. Meanwhile over at Cinema Nova in Carlton, all movie tickets are just $7 until 4pm or $10 in the evening on Mondays.

Aperitivo hour at a new late-night espresso bar

Checkerboard floors, marble tables and coffee until 10pm. Find all this and more at Queensmith Baretto, brand new to the espresso wine bar scene. Visit from 3pm to 7pm and sip a $12 spritz or $15 negroni. Get change from a tenner with a selection of $6 wines and beers. Hungry? Gourmet antipasto plates are in high supply.

A red cocktail on a table next to a green plate
Queesmith Baretto

$9 knock-off drinks

Celebrate the end of the work day with a cold bev for under a tenner. Happy Hour at Riverland Bar is a glorious two hours of $9 drinks. Grab a table on the banks of the Yarra River and sip selected pints, wines, spirits and spritzes.

$12 margarita nights

If you can see yourself sipping cheap margaritas waterside this spring, you better get to South Wharf. From 6pm on Friday and Saturday nights at The General Assembly, the cocktails are just $12 a pop. If you're a fan of spicy margs, try the 'caliente'. It's made fresh by the bartenders and loaded with house-infused jalapeno tequila and lychee syrup.

High-end happy hour

Okay, we’re pushing the boat out here. The lush Bar Margaux celebrates ‘Golden Hour’ from 5pm to 7pm, and 10pm to 12am daily. For $80 you can get two glasses of champagne, oysters, frites and steak tartare. Hey, that’s only, like, four ten-dollar margaritas each, right? 

Please drink responsibly.

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