There’s a dive bar with sand on the floor, a hip bar with Jenga sets, and all the good coffee you would expect in a neighborhood with a large Latin American population. North Beach has probably got your drinking needs covered, whatever they might be. All the spots have that low-key vibe we love about the neighborhood.
Cachito Coffee and Bakery
The coffee at this Argentinean cafe always hits the spot, whether you order an espresso, cortadito, cappuccino, or basic black coffee. Pair it with one of their excellent pastries (everything from croissants to empanadas to alfajores) or breakfast sandwiches and you’re set for the day. They also do fresh-pressed juices. It’s a good spot to post up with your laptop and bang out some work, well-caffeinated.
Lou’s Beer Garden
When we say Lou’s is a hidden gem we mean that literally. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll breeze right past it. That’s part of what gives it its charm and why locals claim it for their own. It’s one of those places you totally forget you love going to until someone reminds you with an invite. The extensive beer and whiskey selection is impressive, and while the cocktails are a little pricey, the chill, poolside vibe seems to soften the blow to your wallet. Great for a first date, a visiting friend, or a night out with the crew. Oh and Lou is a frequent, friendly face, which adds to that neighborhood feel.
Monkeys Bubble Tea
Monkeys fills a void in the Miami bubble tea market. They make their own tapioca pearls in house — and they’ve also got a crazy slew of toppings, like coffee jellies and lychee boba. But, because Miami, they also serve empanadas, quesadillas, gelato, and alfajores. Don’t ask questions, just eat, drink, and be merry, for there is bubble tea and it is delicious. (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)
If there’s sports happening, Norman’s is the place in North Beach. Huge TVs cover one wall and the bar, which is open until 5 a.m. every night/morning. The food is typical tavern food (burgers, sandwiches, salads), with a full bar and frequent beer specials. There’s also a 28-room hotel/boarding house above the bar, and we hear it’s got some stories…
On The Rocks
This place is a bit sketchy. But if that can be said in a good way, that’s what we mean. It’s a dusty hole in the wall, and pretty much what you would expect from a bar that opens at 8 a.m. and doesn’t close until 5 a.m. But the service is really friendly, the pours are liberal, and the prices are perfect. If you don’t mind a bit of seediness and an outdated jukebox, then this place is a good bet. The downside? It kinda feels like a knife fight will break out at any moment. But hey, we live for adventure.
What they do: Dive bar
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Address: 217 71st St, Miami Beach
There’s sand in the bar. What were you expecting? We have no idea where the sand covering the floors comes from (and don’t want to know where it’s been), but this smokey dive is a perennial favorite because the drinks are good, fast, and cheap, everyone’s friendly, and it feels maybe a little bit like you’re at the beach.
What they do: Dive bar
Hours: Daily, 4 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Address: 6752 Collins Ave, Miami Beach
Shuckers Waterfront Grill
Let’s face it Miami, we all have a special place in our heart for Shuckers and their special grilled chicken wings. The decor and service may be more miss than hit, but the 25-year-old spot is an institution that dominates the waterfront sports bar market (have you seen that view?) and is one of our go-to happy hour spots. Did we the mention wings?
Normandy Isle doesn’t have much in the way of watering holes, so this recent addition is very welcome. They still seem to be working out the kinks, but they’ve got a good happy hour, friendly bartenders, tasty bar eats, some killer cocktails (made with organic simply syrup one of the bartenders makes herself), an outdoor beer garden, and a couple sets of Jenga scattered around the tables. We hope to see these guys stick around.