Obviously, Thrillist is your go-to site for all things Miami when it comes to eating and drinking. That's why you're smarter than whoever's sitting next to you. And even though we've told you about the best dive bars in Miami and the best places to drink by the water, there are still tons of other situations where you need the perfect bar. Lucky for you, we've been to pretty much every one in South Florida, and can tell you where to go for every single reason you'd want a drink. Or at least 50 of 'em anyway...
To take out-of-towners: Mango’s Tropical Cafe
You may avoid it like the hideous tourist trap it is, but nothing will let your visitors know they’re in Miami faster than sexy Latin women in outfits that would make a Hooters’ waitress blush and live, on-stage salsa dancing.
For a first date: Regent Cocktail Club
Assuming you’re on a date with a lady whose idea of a drink involves more than a six-count into a shot glass, this cozy cocktail lounge at the Gale Hotel will show you know where to get some of the best craft cocktails in the city, and it's also the rare Miami bar where you can actually hear someone.
To drink outside: The Broken Shaker
Though the bocce courts and Ping-Pong table are gone, sitting in the courtyard of the Freehand Hostel amidst the herb garden they use to craft some of the best cocktails in Miami is one of the most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon.
To drink alone: Mac’s Club Deuce
Because not even the bartenders here really care to talk to you, and the rest of the crowd in this landmark South Beach dive has likely been in there since the Miami Vice rap party in 1990.
To drink in sweatpants: Ted’s Hideaway
Though Ted’s has (slightly) improved from the days when it was the bar to drink at if you wanted to, um, make other purchases, it’s still an almost-too-laid-back locals’ hangout where you’re just as likely to see a dude done up in full club gear as you are to see a girl walking in wearing warmups and a ponytail.
For a business meeting: 15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar
Sure, there are plenty of bars at the crossroads of Downtown and Brickell where you can meet. But none boasts this supreme water view and inventive bar food.
For the city’s best bar view: Atrio
This spot at the Conrad’s sky lobby on the 25th floor has views across Biscayne Bay from the bar and the outdoor patio, and if you’re hungry you can see west to the Everglades from the adjacent dining room.
To drink wine: Lagniappe
If you have a hankering to sit outside on mismatched patio furniture, drink wine, and eat barbecue, you COULD go to your aunt’s house in Kendall. Or, ya know, hit Lagniappe (one of the 21 best wine bars in America), where they sell vino by the bottle and have room out back for you and 300 of your closest friends.
To eat bar food: Batch Gastropub
This Brickell drinkery is perpetually retooling its menu to offer innovations in bar bites, wood-burning pizzas, and burgers that, like some of the people you’ll meet there, you’ll seriously love at night and seriously regret in the morning.
To relive your college glory days at FSU: AmSo Ft. Lauderdale
Or, if you didn’t go to Florida State, relive what your glory days there might have been like. Though everyone there will assume you were a GDI and ignore you anyway.
To relive your college glory days at UM: The Rathskeller
Relive them through the pictures on the wall of things current students completely missed, like the original Rathskeller and winning Hurricanes football.
To pretend you’re still in college: Mr. Moe’s
Though the Grove is a shadow of what it once was, on Thursday nights, University of Miami students still pack the bars, especially here, where the 32oz Moose Juice has been the cause of more bad UM decisions than Randy Shannon.
For a bachelorette party: Bâoli
This popular Euro hangout straight from Cannes might be the only bar in Miami where the men are almost as attractive as the women. A fact not lost on whoever named its legendary Wednesday party “My Boyfriend’s Out of town.”
Before a game: Will Call
It's really the only sports venue adjacent-bar in Miami, and in addition to warming you up for Heat games, it's also got some pretty solid live music on the weekends.
To watch a Heat game: Hyde at AAA
If it’s a home game and you have bad seats, this arena bar under the lower bowl bleachers might actually give you a better in-game experience. If it’s an away game, it’s the most unique way to watch the Heat in the city.
To watch any other game: Duffy’s Sports Grill
North Miami Beach
Does it get any more Miami than a sports bar on the water with a swimming pool, a live DJ, two-for-ones all day, and more flat-screens than the showroom at your neighborhood Best Buy? No. No it does not.
For live music: Churchhill’s Pub
“Live music” in the sense that it involves people playing actual instruments and not just doing the Jesus pose while their USB stick runs. Actual, like, live bands here.
To impress someone: Rose Bar at Delano
Sadly, the days of the horrendously oversized Ian Schrager furniture are gone, but that doesn’t keep this from being one of the most luxurious places in Miami to grab a drink and be, at least for as long as it takes you to finish your $17 cocktail, part of the South Beach “scene.”
To talk to locals: Scotty’s Landing
If by “talk,” you mean “listen to them complain about what a nice city this used to be and how the developers are gonna tear this place down next week, and the whole city's going to Hell.”
If you want to go to Europe, but can’t afford it: La Piaggia
If you were dropped in here on a random Sunday afternoon and could ignore the humidity, you’d swear you were in Sardinia. More tight pants, long hair, and rosé than anyone should be allowed to see on this side of the Atlantic.
Both of these bars are downstairs in swanky hotels (The Delano and Gale, respectively) and shun the lines and velvet ropes for an eclectic mix of music, laid-back & classy crowds, and that rarest of South Beach environments: unpretentious fun.
If you just got dumped: Himmarshee Public House
Broward’s biggest meat market is also the anchor bar of Himmarshee, where you’ll find endless seas of pretty, young, professional, single(ish) people looking to make bad decisions. A good night here and you won’t even bother deleting your ex on Facebook because you really won’t care.
If you just got promoted: Pearl
It’s a Champagne lounge in South Beach. Douchey? Of course. But post-promotion might be the only time you could drink here without looking like you’re trying too hard.
If you just got fired: Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
When you get fired, the first thing you probably want is a stiff, cheap drink. Check, and kinda check. But once you’ve had a few of them you might notice the bar is filled with lots of other working people, who, if you buy them enough shots, might become that new friend who finds you a new job.
If you just wanna DANCE!: Ball and Chain
The venue that once housed the likes of Billie Holiday and Count Basie now has live Latin music every weekend and crazy pastelito-infused cocktails.
To drink craft beer: Riverside Market
One of the 33 best beer bars in America, this spot is an old convenience store where every slot that was once filled with Gatorade and Aquafina is now filled with a different craft beer that can be artfully explained to you by owner Julian Siegel.
To drink at lunch: American Social, Brickell
Nothing will relax you more after a tough morning of doing a job you can’t explain than sitting by the water in this new-ish Brickell joint, where you can enjoy some of Miami’s best mac and cheese, watch the boats go by, and sip on its impressive collection of craft beers.
For free bar food: Wood Tavern on Taco Tuesday
Wood’s a great place to drink outside on any night of the week, but hands down the best one is Tuesday, when Pancho Taco out back serves up free tacos you can munch on while the surly hipster bartenders ignore your pleas for a Corona.
To get a drink before dinner: Meat Market
Not that the food at one of Miami’s best steakhouses isn’t worth sticking around for, but should you decide to dine elsewhere after having the most inventive craft cocktails you’ll find in a steakery, you’ll be right on Lincoln Rd with plenty of options to choose from.
To drink by natural water: Shuckers Bar and Grill
North Bay Village
And occasionally, in the water.
To drink by artificial water: LOL Resto-Bar
Though the residents of the Fabulous Four Ambassadors will be furious for giving away this secret, the little bar between their two resort pools sits right on the bay and makes you feel like you’re on vacation right in the middle of Brickell.
For celebrating your anniversary: MO Bar
Since your anniversary dinner should probably be spent at either of this bar’s downstairs neighbors at the Mandarin Oriental (Azul or La Mar), start your special evening upstairs with a panoramic view of Brickell and hand-crafted cocktails.
For a boys night out (if you like boys): Palace Bar
Two words: drag brunch. We think you get the drift.
If you're on your friend’s boat: Whiskey Joe’s
You can pull right up next to the Key Biscayne marina and send your friend in for some cold ones, then head back out to Stiltsville, the Nixon sandbar, or wherever else the girls on your boat think will look good on Instagram.
For your 21st birthday (and you’re a girl): LIV
Because if you’re rolling multi-ladies deep, and those ladies are all in their early 20s, you are 100% getting in. And 99.9% getting free drinks from a guy older than your father.
For your 21st birthday (and you’re a guy): Scarlett’s
Because you’re not getting into LIV without spending half a month’s pay, and going to one of America's 21 best strip clubs on your birthday is NEVER a bad decision. Unless you’re afraid of belts.
To day drink: Lou’s Beer Garden
This beer garden in North Beach feels more like you’re drinking at the apartment complex pool on Melrose Place, which, even if you don’t know Billy Campbell from Billy the Marlin, still makes for an afternoon of beer drinking that’ll have you losing track of time.
To meet tourists, domestic: The Clevelander
When people watch a little too much Travel Channel and picture drinking in Miami, this poolside Ocean Dr institution right in the heart of the Deco District is what they imagine. The brightly colored frozen Miami Vices, perpetual live DJ, and one of Miami's best pool parties don’t do much to discourage the stereotype.
To meet tourists, foreign: The Hangout Bar
If you’re a young European checking out South Beach, it’s basically written into your visa that you stay at the SoBe hostel, where you’ll find this bar that on most nights has plenty of Euros drinking until 5am.
To shoot pool: Sharp Shooters Billiards
You won’t find stiffer pool competition than you will at this locals’ pool hall on Kendall Dr and 117th Ave. Sure, the food’s nothing to write home about, but the beer is cold and the players are there to do more than just be seen.
To get a drink at 4am: Flannigan’s
Since Marc Sarnoff doomed the Grove and made everyone close at 3am, all the Grove’s professional drinkers end up here at the end of the night, making the Laughing Loggerhead an underrated hotspot for the couple of hours before closing.
To get a drink at 6am: Club Space
Though, if you’re at Space, there’s a decent chance that drink will be water.
To get a drink at 8am: E11EVEN
And you can even get a lap dance on the side. God bless 24-hour liquor licenses.
For drinks on the "low": Martini Bar at The Raleigh
A windowless bar tucked away in a hotel lobby lined with photographs that serves straight-up stiff drinks? If that doesn’t scream “My wife will never find us here,” we don’t know what does.
If you’re in the service industry: Lost Weekend
Ironically named after the 1945 classic film noir, this bar gives the term a whole new meaning as THE hangout for all the people who give up their weekends to deal with tourists in the South Beach hospitality industry.
To watch the sunset: Monty’s Sunset
If the name didn’t clinch it for you, this longtime happy hour staple lets you watch the sun go down over Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline while you sip on drinks that won’t cost you more than one of those condos you’re looking at.
To watch people: SushiSamba Dromo
There's no greater cross section of Miami weirdness -- outside a Carl Hiaasen book -- than Lincoln Rd, where tourists, locals, street performers, and people from all over the world converge. And nowhere gives you a front row seat better than SushiSamba, where you can munch on raw fish and sip sake while you enjoy the show.
To watch adult films: Bimini Bay Bar
If you’re the type who feels a good adult feature should be shared with mumbling old men and bartenders who were forced out of stripping 10 years ago, then you absolutely must head to this dive in the warehouse district near FLL where they serve beer and wine and the TVs play the latest and greatest in hardcore pornography. Seriously.
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1. Mango's Tropical Cafe900 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach
2. Regent Cocktail Club1690 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
3. Broken Shaker2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami
4. Mac's Club Deuce222 14th St, Miami Beach
5. Ted's Hideaway124 2nd St, Miami Beach
6. 15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar485 Brickell Ave, Miami
7. Atrio1395 Brickell Ave, Miami
8. Lagniappe3425 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
9. Batch Gastropub30 SW 12th St, Miami
10. American Social Bar & Restaurant721 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
11. The Rathskeller1330 Miller Dr, Coral Gables
12. Mr. Moe's3131 Commodore Plz, Miami
13. Bâoli1906 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
14. E11EVEN Miami29 NE 11th St, Miami
15. Touché Rooftop Lounge & Restaurant15 NE 11th St, Miami
16. Will Call Miami700 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
17. HYDE Lounge AAA601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami
18. Duffy's Sports Grill3969 NE 163rd St, Miami Beach
19. Churchill's Pub5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami
20. Delano South Beach1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
21. Scotty's Landing3381 Pan American Dr, Miami
22. La Piaggia1000 S Pointe Dr, Miami
23. FDR Lounge1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
24. Rec Room1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
25. Himmarshee Public House201 SW 2nd St., Ft. Lauderdale
26. Pearl1 Ocean Dr, Miami
27. Brother Jimmy's BBQ900 S Miami Avenue, Suite 135, Miami
28. Ball and Chain1513 SW 8th St, Miami
29. Riverside Market608 SW 12th Ave, Fort Lauderdale
30. American Social690 Southwest 1st Court, Miami
31. Wood Tavern2531 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
32. Meat Market915 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach
33. Shuckers Bar and Grill1819 79th St Causeway, Miami
34. LOL Resto Bar901 Brickell Bay Dr, Miami
35. MO Bar + Lounge500 Brickell Key Dr, Miami
36. Palace Bar1200 Ocean Dr, Miami
37. Whiskey Joe's3301 Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami
38. LIV Nightclub4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
39. Scarlett's Cabaret2920 SW 30th Ct, Miami
40. Lou's Beer Garden7337 Harding Ave, Miami Beach
41. Mike's at Venetia555 NE 15th St, Miami
42. The Clevelander1020 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach
43. The Hangout Bar235 Washington Ave, Miami
44. Sharp Shooters Billiards7200 SW 117 Ave, Miami
45. Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill2721 Bird Ave, Miami
46. Club Space34 NE 11th St, Miami
47. The Raleigh1775 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
48. Lost Weekend218 Espanola Way, Miami Beach
49. Monty's Sunset300 Alton Rd, Miami Beach
50. SushiSamba Dromo600 Lincoln Road, Miami
51. Bimini Bay Bar412 SE 32nd St, Fort Lauderdale
While the name suggests a family-friendly, rainforest-themed coffee spot, Mango's is actually a hot dance club filled with Latin women, expensive drinks, and blacklight parties.
Regent Cocktail Club is a club, but not the kind you’re thinking, despite its South Beach locale. The Cocktail Club, inside the sophisticated Gale South Beach Hotel, is the kind of club you’d find in New York City circa 1940, with the sound of live jazz, the scent of cigars, the taste of Sazeracs and Sidecars, and a seat next to Frank Sinatra himself. It’s decorated like a retro speakeasy, which is reflected by the classic cocktail menu, each one anchored by the traditional recipes of the time. Maybe Frank Sinatra won’t be here, but everything else remains the same: during your evening at Regent, you can expect to be serenaded by live music as you sip your Old Fashioneds, stepping outside every so often for breath of fresh… cigar air on the patio (it’s the 21st century, nobody smokes inside anymore).
In the backyard of the Freehand on South Beach, tucked off to the side, there’s a small alcove overflowing with cocktail-consuming hopefuls, waiting patiently to procure a poolside sipper. The Broken Shaker’s locale on the Freehand’s property is beneficial, not just because the grounds serve as a lounge for the tiny bar front’s patrons, but also because the bar menu taps into the property’s garden for ingredients, resulting in creative, substantive cocktails that also happen to be best when drunk by the pool, in the pool, on a hammock, or anywhere else in the hostel’s art deco backyard. Broken Shaker has since spread its craft cocktail success cross country, with locations in both Chicago and Los Angeles.
I’m going to be honest, if Playboy names a bar one of the best in America, I would blindly agree. Mac’s Club Deuce really is, though, and not only because it’s withstood the ever-changing tides of Miami nightlife, but because it hasn’t conformed to the glitz or glam of its peers and still remains one of the greatest dive bars in the country. The black-tiled, neon-lit bar stands today as it did in 1926 when it opened, just a touch more worn and beer-soaked. Mac’s is open from 8am until dawn the next day, and during a large chunk of that (11 hours, to be exact), regulars post up for two-for-one happy hour, because at Mac’s, more than just one hour is happy -- 11 of them are.
Whether you're stopping by for happy hour specials or to watch the game, this dive bar's got your bases covered.
In true Miami fashion, 15th & Vine is serving American cuisine with heavy Latin influence, perched a full 15 floors above the city. While snacking on small plates like scallop and dragonfruit ceviche, guests can gaze out at sweeping views of Brickell Avenue and the Biscayne Bay below through enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. With a capacity of only 96 patrons, the dining experience at 15th & Vine is fairly intimate -- individual tables are sectioned off with white marble dividers, heavy, red-cloth chairs surround each of the expansive tabletops, and a private 10-person dining room is available if reserved ahead of time. The outdoor space features a flourishing vertical garden, a wood-paneled deck, and of course, more striking city views, all of which are best enjoyed with a glass of red wine.
Enjoy internationally inspired fare and over 200 different vintages while gazing out at 360 degrees of Miami skyline from the Conrad Hotel's 25th-floor resto.
This music venue features a full-service bar and a stage that regularly hosts folk, jazz, and bluegrass musical artists. The upstairs space, which the owner bought and turned into a flat-style home, features homey furniture and a quaint aesthetic, and is available to traveling musicians and public travelers alike.
You know a bar is serious about keeping the party going strong when they have cocktails on tap (because really, ain’t nobody got time to mix drinks when Friday is in full swing). Boasting massive plasma TVs, ample indoor and outdoor seating room, and a solid menu of high-end pub fare, it’s a Brickell destination for boozy brunch (chicken and waffles, anyone?) and sports games alike.
This Las Olas spot serves up stuff like filet mignon and roasted red pepper pesto flatbreads, BBQ boursin short ribs, and more, out of their Americana-inspired digs.
UM's legendary lakeside bar is two stories worth of pool tables, TVs, an indoor and outdoor bar, and a patio where you'll be doing a whole lot of not-studying as you take down any of their classic eats and 20 beers on tap. On game nights, you can even lounge back and watch the Giants on a 10ft screen.
Though the Grove is a shadow of what it once was, on Thursday nights University of Miami students still pack the bars, especially here where the 32oz Moose Juice has been the cause of more bad UM decisions than Randy Shannon.
Contrary to what you might think, Baoli is a club that'll actually feed you something other than vodka. The outdoor space may be the main attraction, but the food isn't half bad, and once it hits midnight things go off completely.
Burlesque performances? Check. Big-name DJs? Yeah. LED screens, a stage with a (cough, cough) pole, plus straight-off-the-carving board eats like pulled pork sliders 24 HOURSA DAY?! Miami's hottest dayclub, E11EVEN, is delivering all of the above, plus bottle service, and scantily clad dancers who are wayyy more likely to hang out if you buy said bottle service and post up in one the leather booths lining the dance floor/balcony.
This gourmet restaurant resides on the roof of a strip club, offering a panoramic view of downtown from Touche’s outdoor lounge. The menu is predominately classic Italian, with a few curveballs (sushi, ceviche) thrown in.
A sports bar-foodery/live music venue in downtown Miami, WC's got all you need for a good time: eight beers on tap, more than 250 spirits, 37 craft and imported brews, 20 TVs, live music, and late-night eats.
AAA's Hyde is doing what it does best: providing tons of TVs to broadcast the games happening in the arena, and lots and lots of alcohol to consume while doing so.
Because drafting Priest Holmes first overall every year in the same exact place gets soooo boring, Duffy's will let you and your fantasy-hound buddies take over their private room, equipped with seven flatscreens and wifi, while enjoying two-for-one drink specials on everything in the house from 4p on.
A casual, dimly lit pub with cheap drinks, live music, billiards, arcade games, flat screens, AND a laundry room (??).
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.
This laid back resto's right on the water and host to live music, so you can relax while stuffing your face with seafood and swilling some 'tails.
If you were dropped in here on a random Sunday afternoon and could ignore the humidity, you’d swear you were in Sardinia. More tight pants, long hair and rose than anyone should be allowed to see on this side of the Atlantic.
Equipped to end even the greatest of depressions: FDR, the Delano’s fittingly named rethinking of the former Florida Room, which replaces the underground blues joint feel with two separate lounge rooms (one with padded, quilted black leather walls that would be in a really trendy insane asylum, the other with shimmering gold/amber ones), crushed velvet seating, and deep purple lighting, which you should just Hush up and enjoy.
A subterraneous lounge with a retro, '70s kitch vibe, Rec Room is one of the few places with a lax door policy and a genuinely nice door staff. The relaxed attitude is reflected in the tracks as well: DJs spin LPs to crowds of 20- and 30-somethings, giving fair play time to everything from electronic to Hip Hop.
Occupying a Fort Lauderdale corner is the Himmarshee Public House, a grill and bar whose seemingly innumerably options cross taste boundaries. The food menu encompasses “Snacks & Bites,” “Main Plates,” “Greens,” “Sandwiches and Burgers” and “Sides,” and -- while you’ll be satisfied with the preponderance of dishes -- you won’t want to miss the smoked brisket nachos, the honey truffle fried chicken with skillet corn bread, or the Millionaire Cheese Steak with shaved rib-eye and truffle cheese sauce. The carefully curated beverage program features both local and brand name brews as well as wines and handcrafted cocktails, all of which will put a buzzy spin on the evening.
It’s a champagne lounge in South Beach. Douchey? Of course. Perhaps the only time you could drink here without looking like you’re trying too hard would be on a job-promotion-celebration kind of night, so choose your timing wisely.
When the Brother Jimmy’s gods tell you to “Put some South in yo’ mouth,” you do not say no. The New York-based one-stop-shop for inexpensive beers and Southern fare splits its food menu equally between saucy barbecue specialities and fried delights. Hush puppies, fried pickles, hot wings anchor the starters, while fried spiced catfish and Dixie hoe cakes stand out among the non-BBQ entrées. Of course, it's a rarity to come here and not order barbecue, and luckily the platters of sliced brisket, Carolina pulled pork, and baby back ribs do not disappoint.
If you just wanna DANCE!, Ball and Chain is the place for you. The venue that once housed the likes of Billie Holiday and Count Basie now has live Latin music every weekend and crazy pastelito-infused cocktails
This homey, family-owned Ft. Lauderdale joint was born out of an old convenience store, where 550+ beers fill fridges that used to hold year-old sandwiches. You can crack open any of them in the store or save ‘em for home while getting down on the 20+ expertly curated taps, which often get taken over by some of Florida’s finest. If you do pull from the fridge, you just bring your empties to the counter when you're done and pay on the honor system. Riverside has effectively taken over the neighborhood with Craft Beer Cartel across the street, which itself holds beers, a nanobrewery, and homebrew equipment.
Embracing the hard-working spirit of America, American Social is the ultimate destination for a post-work drink. Bedecked with red, white, and blue furniture and peppered with issues of LIFE magazine on the walls, American Social is a relaxing spot for dinner and drinks. Start off your meal with shared plates like Peekytoe Crab Toast, with red peppers, shallots, mustard, aioli, cucumber, jalapeno and tarragon on a pumpernickel crouton or rock shrimp tacos. The extensive menu encourages you to nibble on burgers and sandwiches, salads, and pub dishes like cheesy fries with pickled jalapeno, ranch, scallions, and proteins like chicken, rock shrimp and short rib. And last -- but certainly not least -- its spectacular waterfront views are enough to (maybe just maybe) restore your faith in the country.
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.
If this list were based on craft cocktails and happy hours alone, Meat Market high-end selections would blow every other place out of the water. This Lincoln Rd steakhouse has managed to have one of the Beach’s longest-running happy hours, complementing its menu of prime meats and filets -- which you can also get in half sizes if your date’s not so big on 12oz steaks. And remember to bring your credit card, because this market's fares will be your once-a-year indulgence.
Because it sits right on the JFK causeway, Shuckers is the only bar on this list where you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of Biscayne Bay. Or, if you were unfortunate to be there one night a couple years ago, you actually WERE sitting in the middle of Biscayne Bay. Too soon?
This Argentine/Italian/American bistro inside Four Ambassadors will get you as close as possible to Biscayne Bay. Stop by for craft beers and wine outside, and munch on eats like flatbreads and sandwiches.
Located inside the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, this bar-cum-lounge boasts gorgeous, panoramic beach views from an expansive floor to ceiling glass facade enveloping the entirety of the bar. The cocktails are equally impressive. Try killer spirits like their Ramos Gin Fizz or a Lemongrass Gin and Tonic. And take the opportunity to enjoy one of these carefully-crafted beverages before, or after, soaking up the sun.
The first and only gay restaurant and bar on Ocean Drive, the Palace has been an Art Deco District institution for decades. The menu, divided into appetizers, sandwiches, flatbreads, burgers, salads, entrees, pastas, and sides will fuel you during both weekend drag shows and weekly dance parties, and highlights include blackened mahi, shrimp and tilapia livornese, and Cajun fettucine with peppers and sautéed chicken. Signature cocktails are whimsical and innovative, including the Tiffany Fantasia, with pear vodka, lychee puree, and lemonade, the T.Lo with Tanduay Asian Rum, raspberry puree, pineapple juice, and soda water, and the Melissa Hilton with peach vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice.
Whiskey Joe's is an island-themed party bar that invaded the old Rickenbacker Fish Company space on Key Biscayne. They sling cheap eats like jerk wings, crab cakes, and shrimp/sausage quesadillas, plus they'll grill up any fish you caught yourself while you get rip-roaring on their Jack Daniel's Honey-spiked lemonade.
Part of the 'Bleau's Vegas-style resort, LIV is a massive, 18000-square-foot vaguely amphitheatrical club laid out in a multi-layered, nearly circular design that presents zero obstacles to voyeurs, performers, and DJs -- Calvin Harris, Steve Angello, and Sander Van Doorn -- from seeing and being seen from from almost anywhere. And since “getting a table at LIV” is basically Miami for “my weekend’s gonna be way cooler than yours,” the two-story megaclub in the Fontainebleau is definitely a top contender.
This bottle-service-style strippery in Hollandale is massive (a half-dozen stipper poles; lounge, vip, and bar areas; and a tiered VIP area), boast some pretty massive deals (free happy hour eats from 12-6p, constant drink specials, etc.), and has some... um, massively talented employees, who'll at least make you feel like YOU are.
Who doesn't love a poolside beer/wine bar with mosaic blue tile walls, a flatscreen for games, and seating around said pool? Chow down artisan pizzas, or an 8oz Angus burger with bacon and feta, because happy hour goes til 8pm.
We’d say Mike’s at Venetia is one of Miami's best kept secrets, but when Billy Corben Tweets about it at least once a week, well, its not hiding from anyone on the ninth floor of this condo tower right before the Venetian Causeway. The outdoor patio probably has the best bar view in the city, and the pizza may well be Miami’s most underrated.
Miami is notorious for housing debaucherous Spring Breaks, which isn’t fair because a lot of places in Miami don’t reflect that parties-gone-wild mentality you’re picturing right now… but a lot of them do. The Clevelander is one of those places that does: it’s reminiscent of everything you think of when anyone utters the words “Spring Break,” mostly because it’s one of the founding fathers of those ubiquitous, raging parties on South Beach. The art-deco hotel’s three poolside bars serve tropical frozen drinks and plenty of American bar favorites (burgers, pizzas, salads, snacks), and the weekday happy hours and weekend brunches are the perfect excuse to see-and-be-seen on one of the busiest patios on South Beach.
If you’re a young European checking out South Beach, it’s basically written into your visa that you stay at the SoBe hostel, where you’ll find this bar that on most nights has plenty of Euros drinking until 5am.
You won’t find stiffer pool competition than you will at this locals’ pool hall on Kendall Drive and 117th Ave. Sure, the food’s nothing to write home about, but the beer is cold and the players are there to do more than just be seen.
Famous, of course, for their legendary ribs, Flanigan's also offers up a mean burger and solid seafood options like deep-fried shrimp and, if you're feeling adventurous, seared Dolphin.
This over-the-top club is located in a multi-story warehouse, and comes complete with live DJs and a rooftop terrace. Thanks to its 24-hours license, lots of lasers, and pretty lights, the after-after-after-hours club is Miami's greatest freak show, and likely the only 10+-year-old club that can lay claim to such subsisting fame.
One of the original hotels built during the crazy '40s "Boom over Miami" period (3k hotel rooms in two years, son!), The Raleigh combines pre-war decor with a buttload of tropical foliage right on the 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.
Something about eating seafood on a dock makes it seem just a little more fresh. And something about eating fresh seafood on a dock next to a pool makes it all the more picturesque. Overlooking the Miami Beach Marina, Monty’s Sunset serves food and drink under poolside tiki huts. Prime sunset views and an institutional happy hour, accompanied by live music and DJs, draws a drinking crowd, while plentiful raw bar options (Florida Keys crab claws, Gulf oysters, and Bahamian conch ceviche) highlight the best of local fish.
SushiSamba's got sprawling Lincoln Road digs and a slew of badass new menu items to boot, like a lobster salad with coconut, cilantro, roasted poblano, grapefruit, and sweet potato, plus just about any sushi roll you can think of.