Miami Bars & Nightlife
437 SW 2nd St., Little Havana
It's tucked into the Roam Miami space, but don’t dismiss Casa Florida as another hipster bar set inside an old truck. Yes, it is in fact set up inside a revamped yet delightfully retro trailer, but this is not a kitschy, trendy gimmick. With room for only about ten people, Casa Florida is a bar for people who take the quality of their cocktails seriously, want to lounge on a beautifully upholstered sofa, and plan to stay for the evening.
No. 3 Social
50 NW 24th St. Rooftop, Wynwood
No. 3 Social is the only rooftop bar in Wynwood, which makes it a destination unto itself—and a favorite among locals. There’s no way to describe the interior other than loud, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fuchsia velvet seating, a turquoise tiled bar, and rattan shades suspended above—but somehow it all works. Just like the drinks. In a truly Miami move, the Beauty Secret cocktail is infused with collagen and blueberry extract for its antioxidant properties. Thursday through Sunday, a solid music program makes the deck festive and lively. And the light, tropical bar snacks—zesty ceviche and conch fritters, for example—will keep you in your (bright pink) seat late into the night.
J. Wakefield Brewing
120 NW 24th St., Wynwood
Jonathan Wakefield went from tinkering around with a home-brewing kit to making some of the best craft beer in the world. A Crowdbrewed campaign led this quirky brewery in the Wynwood district. Floor-to-ceiling comic-inspired murals, heavy on the Star Wars references, cover the walls, and the fermentation tanks are named for planets in the galaxy (by which we mean the Star Wars galaxy). Wakefield excels at Berliner Weisse–style beers—cloudy, sour, and very wheaty. His Miami Madness, made a little sweet with mango, guava, and passionfruit, is the pint to order.
237 20th St., Suite B, South Beach
Despite Sweet Liberty's being ranked one of the best bars in the world, locals actually drink here, and tourists, for the most part, do not. The space is a little too big to feel intimate, and the best seats are at the bar. No matter how well-versed you are, you can’t help but be impressed by the selection of premium spirits, and watching the mixologists at work is true theater. Come for happy hour: The drinks are, of course, excellent, and the fresh oysters (under $1 each) go down just as easy. The rest of the bar menu is all tasty, salty bites that pair so well with the drinks—the swordfish tacos with mango pico and Asian-style tater tots with crunchy seaweed and sesame are the standouts.
1111 Lincoln Rd., South Beach
Juvia is located at the top of the Swiss-designed Herzog & de Meuron Lincoln Road parking garage, which sits at the east end of Miami’s popular pedestrian-only shopping stretch. The kitchen here is run by two stellar chefs: Sunny Oh (who spent a decade at Nobu), and Gregory Gourreau (who worked with Alain Ducasse and François Payard, and now runs the pastry program). It’s a pricier menu—that comes with a fabulous, sweeping view of the city, made for celebratory-feeling cocktails. Try the refreshing Cucumis—tequila with cucumber, lime, and a hibiscus salt rim.
9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour
Stephen Starr has been opening Miami restaurants at a rapid-fire pace, and one of our favorites by far is the sunny, colorfully decorated Le Zoo in Bal Harbour. There's a lovely French-inspired menu, but we come for the gorgeous (and beautifully designed) drink list, which includes carefully selected wine and beer, plus a few tasteful, straightforward cocktails. It's the perfect place to stop in for a glass of wine or an Aperol Spritz to break up a day of window-shopping at Bal Harbour's pristine boutiques.
2531 NW 2 Ave., Wynwood
Located in the heart of Wynwood around the corner from the walls, this tavern is filled with street art that rotates seasonally. We love it for the tacos, which taste even better when you eat them at the picnic tables on the open-air patio, and the clientele, which includes much of the city's creative class and is surprisingly free of the tourists you'll find across the bridge.
The Continental (Closed)
2360 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach
This is really a restaurant (they even have brunch), but given the old-school ambiance and excellent cocktails, you're more likely to find yourself here for a drink or happy hour. The décor, taking its lead from the Googie-esque architecture and vintage sign, skews mid-century, with a brightly colored patio, Verner Panton-style acrylic S chairs, and neon green barstools. As for the cocktails, their over-the-top garnishes give good reason to indulge in something fruity, like the Bump & Rind, a blend of tequila, mezcal, watermelon, and mint served with a pink flamingo, or the Dragonfruit Mule, a variation on the Moscow version that comes with dragonfruit purée.
The Broken Shaker
2727 Indian Creek Dr., Mid-Beach
At the corner of Indian Creek and 28th Street, tucked away behind the Roman & Williams–designed Freehand Hotel (a reimagining of a historic Art Deco building), you'll find the most charming bar in Miami. There’s a romantic, finished tiki-like space at the entrance, lined with vintage wallpaper and wood paneling. Beyond it, a brick patio sits in the middle of a tropical forest of plants and leaning trees, outfitted with mix-and-match chaise lounges and wicker chairs, strings of white lights crisscrossing overhead. A pool completes the feeling of the Instagram-worthy backyard you want to linger in all day. It’s not all adorable ambience, though—the drinks, which change by month and season, are great. Last time we were in town we had a vodka concoction with ginger, carrot, sage, and citrus (for starters), but the daily punch is a go-to for some regular patrons.
709 NE 79 St., Biscayne Bay
This bar, which took over the space formerly occupied by the beloved Magnum Lounge, has a few themes going on. It's part tropical, part '80s, and more than a little kitschy. Vibes aside, it's owned by a mashup of notable Miami restaurant alums from places like Broken Shaker, Workshop, and Vagabond, so the cocktails are excellent—pick up rum drinks at the tiki shack outside, or ’80s-esque cosmos and appletinis inside near the juke box. Food-wise, you can expect an adventurous menu of bar snacks like a Korean vegetable pancake with kale and kimchi, or a burger with aged Comté, caramelized onions, and horseradish crème fraîche—they also have nacho fries, if that's your jam.
You may also like