Food & Drink

Miami's Best Dive Bars

Published On 01/25/2016 Published On 01/25/2016

Much like New Yorkers claim you can't find a good deli (WRONG!), and girls claim you can't find a good guy (probably a lot less wrong), those of us who enjoy our drinks machine-crafted and non-muddled complain that there's nowhere to find a good dive bar. Oh, sure, Wynwood's got plenty of "laid back" places where your feet stick to the floor and the bartenders ignore you. But they also charge $7 for a beer. And no, PBR doesn't count.

And since Miami has about as much regard for history as it does for punctuality, the past year saw two landmark dives -- Tobacco Road and Fox's -- get torn down for what will likely be more condos and a CVS. So where is there left to drink for folks who just want to sip on some bottled domestics and be left alone? Look long and hard around this city, and we've still got some gems.

Flickr/Peyri Herrera

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Venue Node ID

3192312

Venue Name

Mac’s Club Deuce

Mac’s Club Deuce

South Beach

Ironic, that a place called “The Deuce” is unquestionably #1 when you talk about Miami dive bars. The place where Miami Vice had its wrap party also boasts a happy hour that starts at EIGHT IN THE FREAKING MORNING. The beauty of the Deuce, though, is that nobody judges you, because whether you’re a foreign billionaire or a beach-dwelling hobo, when we walk out of the deuce, we all smell the same.

Ted’s Hideaway

SoFi

Don’t let the attractive, all-girl bar staff, new paint job, and plasma screens fool you, this is still SoFi’s answer to the Deuce, a place popular amongst those Beach locals who never seem to have an answer for what they do for a living, but always seem to have enough money to drink here for four-five hours at a time. At one time Ted's was THE spot in SoFi to see “that guy” about “that stuff,” but Theodore’s has cleaned up its act in the past few years and now, much to the chagrin of some longtime regulars, has added a craft cocktail menu and food you’re not afraid to eat.

Dirty Blondes

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Venue Node ID

3599862

Venue Name

Dirty Blondes

Dirty Blondes

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

When your national claim to fame is being the spot where Richie Incognito went all Richie Incognito on a pool table, you know you’ve got a wild dive bar in Broward. If a racial-slur-screaming offensive lineman isn’t doing it for you, there’s always the leathery patrons who can tell you about how they came here for Spring Break in 1985 and still can’t find their friends. Or maybe the people who weren’t sure where to go when Scarlett’s closed down at 6am and waited outside until this place opened at noon.

Barracuda

Coconut Grove

Now that the bad decision factory that was Tavern in the Grove decided to go all upscale and do stuff like “serve craft beer” and “unclog the toilets,” the crown for Coconut Grove’s pre-eminent dive bar has been passed to ‘Cudas. Here, on any given night, you can converse (or at least attempt to converse) with salty old locals who’ll happily tell you how great Miami was 30 years ago. Or, on a Thursday, run into some guys from the finest 8-5 football team in all the land who at least have some pull in a dive bar.

Hole in the Wall Pub

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Venue Node ID

4190275

Venue Name

Hole in the Wall Pub

Hole in the Wall Pub

Palmetto Bay

Funny thing about people who grew up in South Dade... despite the booming restaurant and bar scene going on along the I-95 corridor they still stay loyal to their local haunts. Take this spot for example. Hole is such a popular dive it spawned three spinoffs, all south of Sunset Dr. The original, though, is still the best, where the locals that Miami forgot gather to drink and remember the old days. And sometimes get treated to a live performance from the Gypsy Kings.

Bikini Bar

Miami Beach

In any other city you might expect this to be some tiki-themed bar with fruity drinks and pretty, bikini-clad bartenders. But not Miami! Oh no. OUR bikini bar could qualify as a strip club in like, seven different states, where young ladies parade on the bar in nothing but g-string bikinis and you thank them with your hard earned dollar bills. But before you get all excited and plan your bachelor party in North Beach, remember: This made our list of dive bars for a reason. And we’ll just leave it at that.

Churchill's

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Venue Node ID

3337484

Venue Name

Churchill’s Pub

Churchill’s Pub

Little Haiti

Winston Churchill once said, “We have nothing to fear but... the creepy people on synthetic marijuana trying to park your car outside this bar”, but if you can manage to avoid their harassment, this Little Haiti spot is ground zero for the Miami live rock music scene, has cool retro events like an '80s T-shirt swap meet, and serves up what is possibly the best curry in Miami.

Free Spirits

South Beach

If you find yourself sitting alone at the bar (pro tip: alone is the best way to go to this Collins Park boozer), you’ll never be hard up for reading material; the almost-British pub is completely papered in old London tabloids, so you can catch the “latest” on Becks and Posh and whatever it is the queen does.

Hunter's Beach Bar

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Venue Node ID

4190299

Venue Name

Hunter's Beach Bar

Hunter's Beach Bar

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Don’t think for a second this is some kind of outdoorsman-themed bar or a place filled with Fred Dryer memorabilia. Unless by “outdoorsman” you mean “Internet porn legend” and “Fred Dryer memorabilia” you mean “MILF porn.” Because this Lauderdale Beach dive is owned by none other than Shawn Rees, known to most of the world as The MILF Hunter, who now chooses to pass his days slugging Coronas at his namesake bar and encouraging people to go visit his restrooms which are lined with still shots from some of his greatest moments.

Bimini Bay Bar

Ft. Lauderdale

Don’t go here if you’d like to watch a game. Or meet any friends. Or even see daylight. The only reason to hit up this cinder block dive in the industrial area just north of FLL is to see what happens to strippers when they get too old to strip, Veterans when the VA takes too long to help them out, and the latest and greatest in hardcore pornography. Because that’s ALL they play on the TVs, and somehow, nobody in there even seems to notice.

Lost Weekend

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Venue Node ID

3042616

Venue Name

Lost Weekend

Lost Weekend

South Beach

If you’re ever looking to meet a new-in-town server, or the rare lady-tourist who’s more about beer and pool than high heels and bottle service, this two-story service industry hangout is the place to go, for that and the all the two-for-one drink specials.

Jada Coles

Coral Way

There are locals' bars, and then there are hyper-locals' bars where you’re hard pressed to find a patron who lives more than six blocks away. Jada Coles falls into this second category where the fine people of Coral Way gather to drink and listen to live music, and not much else. The windowless spot from a couple of Bougainvillea’s alums has no food, furniture we’re pretty sure we saw in that “Couches of Calle Ocho” exhibit, and lighting that says “if you go home with anyone from this place, make sure you’re out before dawn.”

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Matt Meltzer is a staff writer at Thrillist that once went to Ted's Hideaway 47 nights in a row. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.

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1. Mac's Club Deuce 222 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

Get to boozing and pooling (of the billiards variety) early in the AM at this dive bar in the Beach.

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2. Ted's Hideaway 124 2nd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

Whether you're stopping by for happy hour specials or to watch the game, this dive bar's got your bases covered.

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3. Dirty Blondes Sport Bar 229 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

This beachside dive is a classic Ft. Lauderdale sports bar that has been a Spring Break favorite for years, but is still delivering the goods with 50 flat-screens, frequent happy hours, and a solid burger.

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4. Barracuda Bar & Grill 3035 Fuller St, Miami, FL 33133-5819 (Coral Gables)

This Coconut Grove spot is popular with locals and visitors alike for their great craft beer selection, fresh seafood menu, and all around congenial vibe.

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5. Hole in the Wall 14421 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33176

The original location of this local favorite is an all-American, classic dive bar. Cheap drinks and great bar eats, what else could you ask for?

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6. Bikini Bar 7309 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141 (Miami Beach)

Ever so gracefully walking the line between strip club and just hot scantily-clad girls dancing on a bar, BB's got cheap drinks, no cover, and, yeah, scantily-clad hot girls dancing on the bar.

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7. Churchill's Pub 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

A casual, dimly lit pub with cheap drinks, live music, billiards, arcade games, flat screens, AND a laundry room (??).

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8. Free Spirits Sports Cafe 100 21st St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

Watch the game, play some pool, or grab cheap brews at this low-key dive bar in Miami Beach.

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9. Hunter's Beach Bar 235 Almond Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

Shawn Rees, the legendary MILF Hunter owns this fine Lauderdale Beach establishment where the drinks are cheap and the bathrooms are covered in photos of some of his greatest hunter moments.

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10. Bimini Bay Bar 412 SE 32nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

This windowless dive among the warehouses in the off-airport parking district offers strong drinks and uh, adult entertainment playing on the flat-screens.

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11. Lost Weekend 218 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

This somewhat-divey bar boasts a stand-up selection of food, including shrimp po' boys and pizza, with a quality assortment of beer and mixed drinks to match. Try your hand at the pool table, dart board, air hockey table, or foosball table.

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12. Jada Coles 2224 Coral Way, Coral Gables, FL 33145 (The Roads)

The brainchild of a couple Bougainvillea's workers who wanted to strike out on their own, JC's tucked along tree-lined Coral Way between Brickell and the Grove, and goes against the Miami grain by delivering a straightforward neighborhood bar whose pub-is

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