By: Kara Franker
Tour the best dive bars in the 305.
When you’ve had a long workday, sometimes you just need a $3 beer in an unassuming spot to take the edge off. Cue: Miami’s dive bar scene. Hidden throughout the Magic City’s most popular areas – from South Beach all the way south toward Homestead – Miami has an impressive network of low-key bars that promise nothing more than a stiff drink, fried eats and a roof over your head where you can enjoy both. So next time you’re craving an escape from the glitz and glam of “the 305,” head to one of these hole-in-the-wall spots for a peek into Miami’s colorful local scene – and of course, much cheaper drinks.
Ted’s Hideaway on South Beach
Actually a South Beach “hideaway,” this Old English-style dive bar is where locals can wear nothing fancier than jeans and a t-shirt, have a chill drink with other locals, and escape all of the pretention of Miami. Ted's Hideaway is covered in graffiti, has the words “South Beach – A great place to be a successful failure!” scribbled on the wall, and two (yes, two) happy hours a day. 124 2nd Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Mac’s Club Deuce on South Beach
Most known for its cameo in Miami Vice in the 1980s (namely where Don Johnson and friends got into one of their legendary brawls), Mac’s Club Deuce looks like something in desperate need of repair. But that’s all part of its charm. Around since 1926, this notable dive bar has an 11-hour happy hour, smells like cigarettes, attracts a large group of regulars, and because of its legacy, still boasts some celebrity fans: like Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon and Kate Moss, to name a few. 222 14th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Lost Weekend in South Beach
Hidden in enchanting Española Way, Lost Weekend is a dive bar unlike any other. With a name that alludes to John Lennon’s “Lost Weekend” period in the 1970s, this local spot attracts hipsters and locals alike with its 1980’s video games and $3.50 well drinks during happy hour – which is 4 to 7 p.m. daily, by the way. 218 Española Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti
Churchill's Pub opened in the fall of 1979, and instantly became a hub for Miami's music scene. Located in historic Little Haiti, Churchill's is a classic neighborhood dive with more space than you'd expect. It houses a spacious dance floor, two billiards tables, an outside patio, a full bar, a kitchen and TV's to catch your favorite team in action. Featuring live music almost every single night, and a low-key and friendly atmosphere, Churchill's has been a local staple for decades. Look out for a big portrait of Winston Churchill, it's over the front door. 5501 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33137.
Wood Tavern in Wynwood
A popular local spot in Wynwood, the indoor-outdoor Wood Tavern boasts casual vibes, vibrant graffiti décor and a laid-back atmosphere. It hosts Miami’s most popular “Taco Tuesday,” and often has 30 percent off drink specials, DJs, live music and an audience of musicians, hipsters, artists and other creative minds. 2531 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127.
Barracuda Raw Bar & Grill in Coconut Grove
Tucked in Coconut Grove, Barracuda is a popular spot for Miami’s college students, or those still wishing they could go back to their college days. Its walls are covered in beer signs, fishing tools and University of Miami gear. And it’s not uncommon to find people drinking or playing beer pong all day long. In fact, this dive bar as an eight-hour happy hour with more than 50 brews starting at just $2.50 a pop -- meaning people never need to leave. 3035 Fuller Street, Miami, FL 33133.
Hole in the Wall Pub in Palmetto Bay
Sitting in Palmetto Bay, this American dive is exactly as its name implies: a hole in the wall. A hot spot for beer fans and locals, its laid-back “manly” vibes make it a popular spot for fans to cheer on their favorite football team. Adding to the Hole in the Wall allure, it serves up delicious chargrilled garlic chicken wings and “Jumbo Dogs,” and has PBR on tap for $1.50 a pint. 14421 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33176.
Keg South in Pinecrest
Around since the 1960s, this back alleyway dive has been entertaining low-key guests with its delicious burgers, mouthwatering wings, cheap beer and colorful regulars for more than 50 years. Since Keg South doesn’t have an outdoor sign, it’s a hotspot for true locals; which is a good thing, considering it only has a few tables and bar stools. 10417 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156.
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