Whether you’re a thirsty tourist or local heading to happy hour/the waterfront/make a bad decision, Miami’s got the perfect drinking option for pretty much every situation. But not all of those places help define what it really means to get a drink in Miami -- for that we have to turn to the city’s trendsetters, and tippling institutions. In other words, to the 17 most important bars in Miami...
The Most Important Bars in Miami. Period.
Elad Zvi and Gabe Orta are the award-winning bros that helped make craft cocktails a thing locally. Plus, who doesn’t want to chill at the Freehand’s lush outdoor oasis all day?
Good times and stiff drinks await beyond the purple neon sign at this dark hideaway that has been partying in the South of Fifth neighborhood since before everyone else decided it was cool. Laid-back? The name says it all. Hot girls? Yep, it's got those too.
If you’ve been around long enough, you know this bar located in the depths of the Delano Hotel lobby has played host to many a celebrity, and... normal people there ‘cause they’re hoping to see a celebrity, all of whom presumably dug its low-key, but exclusive vibe. If walls could talk, right?
With a list of 100+ wines by the bottle and an extensive wine-by-the-glass list under headings like, “Bianco, That’s White to You Gringo," and “Sleek and Firm, We Saw You Lookin’!”, all picked by top wino Heath Porter, Miami FINALLY has a wine bar to call its own.
Miami Beach & Coconut Grove
Not only related in name, these nostalgic waterside bar/restaurants offer the same thing: a reggae-meets-Jimmy Buffett lifestyle with live music, cheap pitchers, and an unbeatable raw bar.
If you’ve never been to this literal hole-in-the-wall spot, you may need to bust out the GPS, ‘cause it’s that small. But what makes it special is that it is also a timeless vortex, where UM coeds playing beer pong slum it alongside old “alums.”
A hipster walks into a bar... oh, never mind. We’re not gonna mock the kind people who hang out at this graffiti-covered boozer. Especially because WE hang out there. Why wouldn’t we? It was the first bar in the ‘hood and it has FREE tacos on Tuesdays.
In this economy, it’s hard to make it at all, much less make it for decades out in the ‘burbs, but this Irish sports bar with 30+ TVs, and live music is maybe what’s keeping all of those folks out there in the first place.
A trip to South Beach isn’t complete without a check-in to this spot; even if it’s ground zero for spring break-style shenanigans and overpriced drinks. You can’t beat the fact that the bar surrounds a pool, there are always sports on the screens (on second thought, The Dan Le Batard Show is broadcasted outta there), and the beach is right across the street.
The closings of Tobacco Road and Fox’s Sherron Inn have propelled this neon-loving dingy bar to the top of the historically significant local bars list. And thanks to Mac, his no-nonsense bartenders, the shady characters, and an all-day happy hour, it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. At least, we hope not.
Not only is this a legit first date spot, but it also aims to make the past hip again via both its opulent 1940s décor, and classic cocktail menu featuring Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and Sazeracs by Miami’s top mixologists.
This is the bar that could. After years of closing rumors and an eventual change in ownership, the dark, sometimes smelly, CBGB-esque spot continues, and will continue to be the go-to spot for live music in MIami as long as it’s around.
Around since 1995, ABC is the original Miami brewery. The emphasis on Belgian beer does not deter the bartenders in the European-style digs from crafting superior cocktails or tapping some of the country’s most popular brews, however.
This bar has managed not only to stick around, but to also be popular amidst all the change in the area. It’s most likely because it has managed to update the craft cocktail menu with concoctions by the likes of Elad Zvi, while still maintaining the signature Red vibe.
Around since the 1940s, this rough-around-the-edges pub originally started as a German watering hole. Now, it’s an old-man bar, slinging fish & chips by day, and moonlighting as a happy hour destination-turned-club (because that’s how Miami rolls) by night. The kitchen is also open late, in case you want to munch on something when not actively dancing the night away.
It may be new to the local drinking/bar scene, but Wakefield’s beer gained a cult following waaay before its highly anticipated opening. He’s been influential in developing Florida’s own unique style of beer, the Florida Weisse, a tart wheat beer based off of the classic Berliner Weisse. Locals are lucky to be able to pop in whenever for a pint at his Star Wars suped-up brewhouse.
While other cities like Boston, Chicago, and even Savannah, are awash in Irish pubs, they are few and far between here. And even the ones that claim to be... well, aren’t. But, if you want an authentic Irish pub experience with shepherd’s pie and all, this is it. Plus, the place plays all the important futbol matches on the tellies.
Sign up here for our daily Miami email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
1. The Broken Shaker2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami
2. Ted's Hideaway124 2nd St, Miami Beach
3. Delano South Beach1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
4. Uvaggio70 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables
5. Monty's Sunset300 Alton Rd, Miami Beach
6. Tavern In The Grove3416 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove
7. Wood Tavern2531 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
8. Little Hoolie's Sports Bar13135 SW 89th Pl, Miami
9. The Clevelander1020 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach
10. Mac's Club Deuce222 14th St, Miami Beach
11. Regent Cocktail Club1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
12. Churchill's Pub5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
13. The Abbey Brewing Company1115 16th St, Miami
14. Redbar Drink CompanyRedbar Drink Company, Miami
15. The Bar172 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables
16. J Wakefield Brewing120 NW 24th St, Miami
17. The Playwright Irish Pub & Restaurant1265 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
The Broken Shaker's insanely good hand-crafted cocktails are made using herbs and spices from their own garden (say it together now: no mo gmo). Sip and kick back in the hostel's backyard in a hammock, play on the ping pong table, or take a dip in the pool. The Freehand Miami may just be one of the coolest places you’ve ever stayed— it’s a restored art deco building only minutes away from the Bass Museum of Art and the Miami beach. You gotta check it out, bro.
Whether you're stopping by for happy hour specials or to watch the game, this dive bar's got your bases covered.
If next-level luxury is what you crave, The Delano's got you covered. Check-in for ocean-facing views, spa amenities, beach club access, and rooms featuring rainfall showers and iPads (actually) for you to play with.
Michael Porter, a 20-year sommelier -- along with Top Chef alum Bret Pelaggi -- took his favorite bottles and created an entire menu of stuff to pair with them at this Coral Gables hot spot. Try the veal sweetbreads with gnocchi, beech mushrooms and gremolata with the J.L. Chave Mon Coeur 2010 Côtes du Rhône. Pair with any of their 20+ wines by the three or 6oz glass, or one of their 100+ by the bottle.
Hit up this waterfront spot for happy hour to drink for cheap while enjoying quality seafood and great views.
A dive bar that embraces its simplicity, Tavern in the Grove is a great spot to grab a beer, play darts, and enjoy a happy hour.
Wynwood’s resident bar, Wood Tavern has been around since long before the fancy art galleries and luxurious restaurants, making it one of the area’s longest-lasting staples. The graffiti-covered boozer prides itself on its laid-back and local vibe, great place to drink outside on any night of the week. Be sure to stop by on Tuesday, when Pancho Taco out back serves up free tacos.
This dark, casual sports bar has 30+ TVs, a pool table, occasional live music and a great beer selection.
This football mega-center has more than 40 HDs, and Rockstar Rewards specials like 50-cent wings, 2-for-$7 Jager shots, $12 pitchers, and $5 SoCo shots.
Get to boozing and pooling (of the billiards variety) early in the AM at this dive bar in the Beach.
Head to the Regent Cocktail club for a classy and quiet evening where knowledgeable bar staff cook up perfect cocktails in this true South Beach speak easy.
A casual, dimly lit pub with cheap drinks, live music, billiards, arcade games, flat screens, AND a laundry room (??).
The Abbey's got a roomy, refurbished wood-lined interior well stocked with draft pours and spirits. Come for the bar snacks, stay for the friendly congenial atmosphere and solid happy hour deals.
WIth hand-crafted cocktails, great beats, and a laid-back atmosphere, there's not much more you could ask for. Except for a happy hour that goes from 5-8pm.
This casual neighborhood bar, around since the 1940s, is great for beer, burgers and wings. Stay entertained with board games, karaoke, DJs and live music on the weekends. If you're younger bring friends, as the bar caters to an older crowd.
This graffiti-clad brewery and tasting room serves both traditional beers and unique signature options. Stop in for a Florida Weisse, a wheat beer with a tart flavor.
Nestled between Mansion and Cameo, The Playwright serves up traditional Irish bar food and has plenty of specials on pitchers of brews. Although this bar can get a little wild on Friday and Saturday night, there is something unforgettable about its grittiness and untamed debauchery. Needless to say, it's the perfect place to let loose.