By: Carolyn Keating
Order your favorite cold concoction, a fruity frozen drink or a classic mixed cocktail.
Miami has everything from trendy low-lit lounges and open-air Latin-themed bars to high-end, designer decorated spaces.
Every area in Miami has bars and lounges that stand out in their own right. You won’t have to look very hard to find a nice place for a happy hour or late night cocktail.
If you’re staying in a hotel, there’s probably a watering hole right in your lobby. If there’s not, ask the concierge for recommendations on places to try. Let them know what you’re looking for—live music, haute-mixology or a sports bar to watch the game.
Miami Beach caters to an international crowd ready to mix and mingle on vacation. Wander into the Art Deco boutique hotels and swanky luxury high rises where stunning hotel bars run the gamut from historic glitz to poolside tiki.
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach was one of the world’s most popular places to see-and-be-seen throughout the 1950s and 60s. Hang out at Bleau Bar inside the iconic lobby where Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack ruled and Elvis performed. It was even the location for the opening scene of the James Bond film Goldfinger. After reopening in 2008, it’s as star-studded as ever with visits by Diddy, Michael Phelps, Kim Kardashian, Adam Sandler and even President Barack Obama.
Try the Rose Bar inside the Delano’s dramatic lobby or the romantic indoor/outdoor Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian South Beach.
For a wonderfully unique and sensory experience, keep it cool or heat things up at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice. Enjoy specialty cocktails in genuine ice glassware from the full-service bar made entirely of ice. You'll marvel at the crystal-studded ice sculptures created by award-winning master ice sculptor, David Berman. Even though this ice palace is kept at a frosty 23 degrees fahrenheit, there's no need to come dressed for the cold, as faux fur capes and gloves will be provided, so reservations are required. When it's time to warm up, head to the Fire Lounge where you'll enjoy handcrafted spirits prepared by a team of global mixologists, as well as nightly music, artistic entertainment and fire shows.
Rum lovers will also want to check out Rum Line, a hidden outdoor tiki bar at the Loews Hotel. Sip drinks from fun looking glasses and get a designated driver if you try the Zombie.
Raise a glass to your vacation at the Lapidus Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach.
Dives like Mac’s Club Deuce, Abbey Brewing Company, Purdy Lounge and Radio Bar cater to a laid-back local crowd. On Lincoln Road, Haven Kitchen & Lounge is known for its variety of libations and a chef who turns out delicious bar bites.
For 1920’s speakeasy chill, checkout the Regent Cocktail Club at the Hotel Gale South Beach.
The Broken Shaker took Miami’s mixology scene by storm when they opened a pop-up cocktail lounge inside the historic Indian Creek Hotel. It’s located at Freehand Miami, a high-design hostel catering to hip, budget-minded tourists and savvy locals.
WunderBar at Circa39 boutique hotel is a friendly, intimate craft cocktail bar with an emphasis on rum specialties.
The Confidante Miami Beach is where you’ll find Nina's House, a restored Florida-style bungalow. Step beyond Seagrape restaurant and you’ll find a cozily furnished living room with wood beam ceilings, a Cuban tile floor and Deco fireplace. Settle yourself into a club chair and enjoy inventive cocktails like the Hemingway Royal (made with aged rum and prosecco) and tapas-style bar bites. 1930s House looks like the kind of place where Papa Hemingway could have knocked back a few daiquiris while telling fish tales to his friends.
Downtown, Brickell and Little Havana
For the discerning drinker, a domestic beer or a standard well drink might not do the trick. Be wowed by Miami’s haute cocktail scene where bartenders are replaced by trained mixologists. Titillate your taste buds and surprise your senses with unique combinations of cocktails and surprising takes on your classic favorites.
In Downtown Miami, check out locals’ favorite, Blackbird Ordinary, which is a favorite for both the late-night and happy hour crowds.
MO Bar & Lounge, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Brickell Key, offers spectacular skyline views and a solid lineup of craft cocktails.
For Miami River views and live jazz music, head for the circular bar at LILT Lounge at the EPIC Hotel. Or head up to Area 31, also at the EPIC and check out the panoramic views of Brickell and Downtown.
Other popular Brickell hang outs include Batch Gastropub and American Social.
Ball & Chain heats things up in Little Havana. This newly revived historic bar once played host to the likes of Billie Holiday, Chet Baker and Count Basie. Now it’s a mix of hipsters, tourists, Brickell office types, and everyone else who craves Latin music and live jazz, Cuban-style bar bites and cool cocktails. If you’re doing a Downtown Miami pub crawl, it’s a great spot to end the night.
Wynwood and the Design District
Wynwood, one of Miami’s hottest neighborhoods, was once a quiet warehouse zone. Now it’s home to vivid murals, art galleries and a growing roster of hipster bars. You can start or end an evening here, or find a place that fits your mood and stay put.
Cheap drinks, great music and multiple patios for hanging out with your friends make Wood Tavern a locals’ favorite.
A dive bar with a hipster vibe, Gramps attracts a young crowd who enjoy the wide range of music and craft cocktails with whimsical names like Rosemary’s Baby and Shipfaced. Gramps’ patio out back is a great spot for chilling out.
The Butcher Shop is a German-style beer garden with a long list of brews as well as Angus beef, German pretzels and rib sticking entrees and bar bites.
Music lovers like to wind up a night of pub crawling at The Stage, a Design District venue with two large bars and a variety of live music including open mic nights, rappers, rock bands and DJs.
Coconut Grove, Coral Gables and the Miccosukee Indian Village
Head off the beach and explore the mainland’s favorite drinking spots. Coconut Grove, a village by the bay, is a college hangout where University of Miami students take advantage of specials at the laid-back dives that line the streets at places like the Sandbar and Monty’s Raw Bar.
Bar 50 at Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables is frequented by business professionals. Other popular after work bars in Coral Gables include The Bar, The Local, Tarpon Bend, The Globe and Fritz & Franz Bierhaus.
The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has been a war hospital, the backdrop to movies, and, most notably, a luxury hotel and country club. Enjoy the history and the high-end ambiance with a poolside cocktail, a cigar and a smooth glass of wine. The Biltmore has a few restaurants and bars on their grounds, including The Cellar Club for wine lovers, The Biltmore Bar for a sophisticated environment and the majestic lobby for afternoon tea.
The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida have long been a part of Miami’s history. Celebrate their distinct character with a visit to the Indian Village where you can visit a museum, see tribal artifacts and learn about artistic crafts like basket weaving. Keep the good times going into the night and visit the onsite casinos and bars. The Cypress Lounge is a 24-hour bar within the Miccosukee grounds.
Kick back, enjoy the music, and make new friends. In Miami, it’s easy to have a good time at one of the many bars and lounges around the city.
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