When you’re on South Beach, there’s no shortage of places to get your drink on because you’ve got everything from dive bars to 24 hour night clubs. Whether you’re feeling day drinking on the beach till sunset or dancing at a club until sunrise, this is the spot to get the right vibe going. And when that hangover hits, just pop into one of the neighborhood’s many coffee shops to get recharged.
Basement, in the bottom of The Edition, is the kind of nightclub you would expect in South Beach, but so, so extra — and we mean that in a good way. What sets Basement apart are the rooms for ice skating, bowling, and video games. They also have some of the best parties, hosted by hilariously raunchy drag queens, and the occasional visit from celebrities like Trey Songz and Lil Wayne. The music is your usual assortment of Top 40 and classic hip hop, so it’s great for the weekend turn up with the crew.
Located in the historic Freehand Miami hostel, the Broken Shaker has upped Miami Beach’s cocktail game. Their craft cocktails are creative, inventive, and completely on point (often made with herbs grown on site). The poolside Bohemian ambiance is why you come and the drinks are why you stay and hardly mind paying $12 for one of their creations. But the secret is out about this place, so it can be super crowded on the weekends. This is one of the places that makes Miami Beach not so typical.
Campton Yard, located behind the Hall hotel — where Ace Ventura lived during “Ace Ventura Pet Detective” — is destined to be the next Sunday Funday gathering spot on the beach. This cute beer garden has a gigantic banyan tree keeping everyone cool during the day, plus a bunch of fun games such as ping-pong, giant jenga, and a giant Connect Four board. We recommend noshing on one of the giant pretzels or the 3-0-5 dog. There’s even Kombucha on tap to complete the hipster checklist.
It’s hard to do something legit different on the South Beach bar scene, but Clandestino, Miami’s first mezcaleria, has managed it. The drinks menu is centered on mezcal, a smoky cousin of tequila also from Mexico, and it puts a different twist on the classics. The bartenders will be happy to explain the unfamiliar liquor to you and we secretly really enjoy the campy Mexican horror movies they play on the screens above the bar. It’s a former craft brewpub, so they’ve still got some excellent beers on tap too.
We’re not sure how this dive pays their rent, wedged in between the chic Setai and W hotels, but we’re glad it’s still treating us to a laidback place to shoot some pool or watch a game. It’s a no-frills bar that serves mainly lagers and stouts and has a killer jukebox for you to control the vibe. Their outdoor benches just steps away from the beach are the lowest cost waterfront option on Collins Avenue and it is rarely packed.
Miami’s only gay hotel also doubles as an awesome bar. The hotel itself is great find, from the minimalist and tasteful decor to the super friendly staff, but the bar is clutch. It’s got that Cheers vibes (if Cheers was frequented by lovely gay men). It’s the kind of place you can come with friends and have an amazing time playing trivia or pool, or come alone and strike up an interesting conversation with a beautiful stranger.
Described as having one of the best rooftop views in the city, Juvia’s got a menu to impress. While the plates are on the smaller side, the flavors and presentation will have you feeling fine and fancy. The ultra modern space serves up a French, Japanese, and Peruvian inspired menu. If it’s not too hot, we recommend lounging out on their outdoor patio area (or freshening up with $23 bottomless Prosecco).
What they do: French, Japanese, Peruvian
Website: Visit Here
Hours: Monday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Thursday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Address: 1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Kill Your Idol
Let’s face it. South Beach is full of ridiculous clubs and overpriced restaurants, but Kill Your Idol can fulfill your alternative needs. The outlandish decor (like a mounted sideways statue of Bruce Lee) scares the most basic tourists away, and it only gets better from there. If this sounds appealing, you’ve found your South Beach escape.
Lost Weekend/The Alibi
Divey Lost Weekend has generous pours and attentive bartenders who make sure your cup stays full. While you sip, look up to see if you can spot the upside down astronaut and the model plane hanging overhead. If you’re looking for drunchies, head to the back, where you can find The Alibi, the little-known kitchen. You’re here for the cheese steaks (we love the writer’s block) and tater tots, but the wings and pizza are also on point — and they’re all available long after most food options have closed for the night. Play some pool while you await your hangover prevention feast.
Mac’s Club Duece
In the city of glitz and glam, a good dive bar has become harder and harder to find. But Mac’s has been a Miami staple since the end of prohibition in 1926. It’s the anti-South Beach and last of the remaining dives in town. No pretense, no bottle service, just dirt cheap drinks in a smoky hole in the wall. There’s a ton of history in this place and the regulars are happy to tell you about a Keith Richards spotting or when a scene from Miami Vice was shot there.
Moreno’s is a lush hidden gem inside the Riviera Hotel. It’s packed with out-of-towners, but it ought to be a local hang because of the great Cuban food. The place makes you feels like you’re on an island — but then you walk out and BOOM, you’re hit with the full force of South Beach. Our go-to at this spot is the Media Noche and a refreshing mojito.
This coffee shop has become the default spot for local digital nomads. The setup is very welcoming for diving into a project or having a causal coffee meeting. All walks of life come through the shop, from celebrities to the mayor, making the people watching a form of entertainment unto itself. The soundtrack, ranging from indie rock to 90s hip hop, is always friendly on the ears.
Dirty Purdy, as the kids call it, is one of the best turn up spots in Miami; no cover, dope music on the regular, and all around good vibes. The main room’s dance floor is always banging and the DJs have some crazy sixth sense about what to play because every song is the jam, while the small room off to the side is home to the chill Caribbean and reggae vibes. Pretty much any night at Purdy will be a good time, but easily the best night is “Chocolate Sunday,” when it’s only the best variety of old school hip hop.
The bar in the Albion lobby has finally found a winner in Repour. Issac and April Grillo opened their dream “super chill” environment that serves some of the best and most creative cocktails in Miami. The ingredient list of their drinks reads more like a organic farm than a bar: carrots, Granny Smith apples, chili, oat bran, pistachios, cocoa and cabbage, just to name a few. Our fave libations are the Beta Carrotini, Pull Out & Melon Me, and the Robot Butler. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend going off menu and letting the bartenders get creative.
Recently voted one of the top cocktail bars in the country, the secret is out on our new favorite watering hole. It’s the right mix of upscale and causal and the cocktail list is refreshingly classic. Try the Velvet Sideswipe or an old school Tommy’s Margarita. On weekends Sweet Liberty seamlessly transitions into a full-on dance party. Another reason to love this place: their happy hour is strong, with 75-cent oysters and discounted drinks, and they have one of the few shuffleboard tables around.
This is one of the last dive bars left on Miami Beach. It’s got everything you need in a good dive: cheap drinks, strong pours, pool tables, TVs, and of course a jukebox. You’ll meet everyone from loyal regulars to out-of-towners at this spot. The servers and bartenders are awesome, and the vibe is laid back. And yeah, it’s kind of grimy, but that’s part of its charm.
The Abbey is a rarity in Miami. The neighborhood pub has been around since 1995 and still hasn’t lost a speck of its cozy charm or quality beer selection. Their brewed-in-house selection is rich and if you opt for the Quadruple, it’s guaranteed to transport you to the days when the best brewers lived in Belgium monasteries centuries ago. Plus, it’s BYOF, so you can order takeout/delivery from your favorite nearby food spot and bring it with you, and there are free hotdogs on Sundays during football season.
Tucked between a late night diner and a pizza place sits a peculiar museum, one that houses the country’s largest collection of modernist materials. And they were all collected by one man — Miamian Mitchell “Micky” Wolfson, Jr. The museum’s exhibits group together Wolfson’s collection in unique and quirky themes. On Fridays, the museum is free from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pro-tip: Their cafe is one of the the best spots to get a nice coffee, get a little work done, and be inspired by the walls of books surrounding you. Also, they have a great happy hour.
What they do: Museum, cafe
Website: Visit Here
Price: Members: free, Adults: $10, Seniors, students with ID, and children 6-12: $5
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (free 6 p.m. to 9pm)
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Address: 1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
What is a trip to South Beach without a foray into the land of gay? Boring, that’s what. TWIST, however, is anything but. With rooms for everything from house to hip-hop, your little rainbow tinted heart will find whatever you’re looking for under this roof. The boys are cute and playful, the bartenders are flirtatious, music is on point and the crowd is friendly.
If you’re into watching eight sports games at once, all with perfect viewing positions, the Yardhouse is your spot. We can overlook the fact that it’s a chain restaurant because their beer selection is unmatched by any bar in the city and their food is well done and very affordable. On top of that, the bar is super clean and the service is fast and friendly. The combination makes Yardhouse a local bright spot in the sports bar category, just in time for weekend football season to begin.