Esteban Restaurant

700 Munras Ave., Monterey

375-0176, www.estebanrestaurant.com

For many a bargain drinker, happy hour is all about the spirit specials; this Spanish gem in the heart of downtown Monterey turns that theory on its head. Of course they have great drink deals including the house specialty sangria and arugula martini, as well as wells for just $5, but it’s the pintxos and tapas deals that steal people’s hearts year after year. From the $3 medjool date with blue cheese and bacon to the $5 mussels with chorizo and garlic, Chef Tom Snyder pairs beautiful small bites with booze on the cheap.

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