7 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Cocktails
While cocktails might not be the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the term "restaurant chain," you don't need to go to a fancy bar to sip on something delicious. You also don't need to drop a ton of cash, since restaurant chains usually have various drink deals and happy hour specials.
Whether you're looking to grab margaritas or you're interested in trying something new, there's a restaurant chain that can accommodate your mixed drink needs. Here are seven restaurant chains to consider visiting the next time you're craving a cocktail.
This Australian-themed steakhouse chain is known for more than just its surf and turf. It also mixes up a selection of cocktails that are sold for just $7 all day, every day. In typical Outback fashion, several of these have creative, Aussie-centric names. One of these is the Wallaby Darned, Outback's signature frosty cocktail made with peaches, Prosecco, vodka, and peach schnapps. Another customer favorite is the Blueberry Lavender Lemonade. Inspired by Australia's lavender fields, this drink consists of vodka, lavender, blueberry, and country-style lemonade.
One fan of this vibrant beverage wrote, "These are so under appreciated!!! No need to go to an overpriced stupid restaurant for a delectable cocktail!"
Outback isn't the only restaurant chain with $7 drinks. Last month, Bonefish Grill debuted its new daily "Social Hour" experience, which offers $15 starters, $7 small plates, and yes, $7 cocktails. A couple of these options include the Blueberry Lemon Drop and the new Mango Bourbon Sour. The latter contains Jim Beam bourbon, mango, Sugar in the Raw syrup, fresh sour mix, fresh cracked pepper, and mint.
Beyond its Social Hour drink lineup, Bonefish makes classic cocktails like Parker's Margarita. Known as Bonefish founder Chris Parker's favorite, this margarita features orange juice and Grand Marnier. To shake things up throughout the year, the seafood chain also releases limited-time, seasonal cocktails, such as its beloved Winter White Cosmo.
You might associate P.F. Chang's with its popular lettuce wraps and Asian fusion dishes, but scan the drink menu and you'll find a variety of memorable cocktails. Take the Midnight Ritual. This purple drink is made with gin, lemon, butterfly pea flower extract, pure cane sugar, and rock candy. For additional intrigue, the drink changes color after what looks like lemon juice is poured into it. One TikTok user, who showcased the eye-catching display in a video, called the cocktail "heavenly" in a comment.
Another attention-grabbing beverage at P.F. Chang's is geared toward the whiskey lovers: the Japanese Old Fashioned. Made with Mars Iwai 45 Japanese whiskey, this cocktail captivates guests thanks to the cloud of smoke that swirls off of it. Customers can also order four new $8 cocktails from the chain's Lucky Eight Happy Hour menu.
Before serving up classic American fare in a family-friendly environment, TGI Friday's actually started out as a cocktail bar for single people to meet. Since being founded in 1965, the chain has evolved, though cocktails have continued to be a staple. TGI Friday's has even held global competitions dedicated to bartending, known as the "World Bartender Championship."
At the restaurant, Happy Hour is all day, every day, and features $2 beers, $4 cocktails, $5 wine, and $5 shooters. If you'd prefer to sip on a TGI Friday's drink in the comfort of your own home, the chain also sells bottled versions of some the its signature beverages, such as the Ultimate Mudslide and Long Island Iced Tea.
Although Chili's serves a variety of cocktails, people often celebrate the chain for its margaritas—and lengthy list of them at that. As a leader in the space, Chili's sold 22 million margaritas in 2022 alone. One of the most popular options is the Presidente Margarita, which contains Lunazul Reposado Tequila, Citrónge Extra Fine Orange Liqueur, and E&J Brandy.
To encourage guests to try something new, Chili's offers a "Margarita of the Month," highlighting a limited-time margarita, which is available all month long for $6. The chain's August cocktail is the Tequila Trifecta, which contains three tequilas—Jimador Silver Tequila, 1800 Reposado Tequila, and Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila—as well as triple sec and fresh sour.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory has no shortage of meal options, and its drink selection is extensive as well. The restaurant chain's famously long menu has beverage choices ranging from margaritas and mojitos to specialty cocktails like the Tropical Tiki Punch, Pineapple Moscow Mule, and Whiskey Smash.
If you prefer your drinks chilled and served up (without ice), some potentially appealing menu options could include the Raspberry Lemon Drop, Guava Daiquiri, and Strawberry Blossom, which is made with strawberry-infused gin, agave, fresh lemon, and a splash of Prosecco.
Among the classic American dishes served at Applebee's is an assortment of inexpensive cocktails with creative names, colors, and ingredient combinations. In addition to serving tried-and-true sips like sangria and the Long Island iced tea, the chain offers several options with a consistent theme: tropical flavors. A few of these include the Captain Bahama Mama, the Strawberry Coconut Mana Margarita, and the Blue Aloha Mana Margarita.
Aside from its its signature cocktails, Applebee's regularly releases seasonal and holiday beverages, as well as limited-time drink deals. The restaurant chain is currently running its $5 Sunshine Sips promotion, which applies to the new Electric Long Island Iced Tea and Tipsy Sunset.