October 2019: Sadly, Ricky’s South Beach (along with its glorious 10pm happy hour) has “closed for summer” since we last checked in on Miami’s best happy hours. Likewise for the stately Regent Cocktail Club. Boozy vegans will need to get their discounted cocktail fix elsewhere since Planta has ceased offering its weekday specials. But there are always more happy hours to be had—and rest assured, we never stop looking for them. Below, deals from Ember, Jaguar Sun, Sherwoods Bistro, Esotico and more—as if we needed another reason to clock out early and head to the bar.
Luckily for fans of that magic time known as happy hour, Miami loves to drink while the sun sets. And it likes to do it for cheap too. It’s necessary. Between work and the afternoon commute, or between checking out all the best things to do in Miami (which start when the sun comes up and go well beyond sunset), we’ve got some serious steam to blow off after work. That’s why you’ll find a whole bunch of folks leaving the office and hightailing it to the best bars in Miami around 5pm. They’re in search of cheap drinks and delicious bites and—if they know where to look—they’ll find just that from Wynwood to South Beach. These aren’t just cheap bars either. In this city, happy hour happens at some of the best restaurants in Miami as well as classic salty dive bars. If you can’t find the right happy hour below, well, we’re not sure what to tell you.
Best of the city under one roof
What? Pay $5 for all local draft beers, $7 for selected wines and $8 for selected craft cocktails.
When? Mon–Sun 5–8pm
Why go? South Beach isn’t exactly known for its wallet-friendliness, especially when it comes to adult beverages. But at this sprawling food hall located right off Lincoln Road (lovingly curated by yours truly), you can score sweet drink discounts seven days a week. For a refreshing afternoon buzz, try the Cucumber Cooler made with vodka, cucumber shrub, lemon, lime, mint and tonic—it pairs perfectly with bites or a full-on meal from any of the market’s 17 eateries.
Best happy hour deals in Miami
What? Half-off oysters, snacks, cocktails, wine and beer.
When? Mon–Fri 4:30–7:30pm
Why go? Michael’s Genuine remains a Design District institution for no-frills foodies and the stylish after-work set. And so does its happy hour. If you can find one, grab a seat around the bar, order an extra dirty martini with a side of thick-cut potato chips and pan-fried onion dip ($4) and let the stress of your day melt away.
What? Beer runs from $3 to $5, well drinks and the whiskey of the day are $5 and specialty cocktails are $7.
When? Daily, 3pm–8pm
Why go? If you work in Downtown, this should be your happy hour spot. Even if you don’t work in Downtown, Mama Tried’s weekend happy hour is an excuse to get your butt down to the funky cocktail bar for some seriously good drinks and an always buzzy atmosphere.
What? Select spirits are $5 and craft beers are $3 to $4. Elevated bar snacks like the deviled eggs for $5 ain’t bad, either.
When? Mon–Fri, 4–8pm
Why go? The Corner is an infamous after-hours bar, but its happy hour crowd is often just as lively and eclectic. It also makes for a great spot to hit before a game at the arena or a show at the Arsht Center, both of which are within walking distance.
What? Two-for-one drinks.
When? Daily, 3–7pm
Why go? The Calle Ocho hotspot—and its tropical back patio—is a perfect place to toil away the sunset. The historic bar pulls in both tourists and locals thanks to great live music, no cover and an absolutely killer mojito.
What? Oysters are $.95 a pop while cocktails, such as the Moscow Mule, range from $6 to $8. Wine specials by the glass and bottle are available as well as select beers for $5.
When? Daily, 4–7pm
Why go? When oysters are less than a buck, it’s your duty to order them by the dozen. Sweet Liberty affords you that luxury and numerous others, including a fancy rosé or bubbles pairing that won’t break the bank.
What? Half off drink menu and wells.
When? Mon–Fri 4–8pm
Why go? This former Downtown denim shop sure made the transition to a bar look effortless. Now this relaxed pub functions as an ideal happy hour spot with the price of every cocktail on the menu (and they’re all delicious) cut in half. On Friday happy hour, Lost Boy is reliably slammed.
What? Two-for-one drinks.
When? Daily, 8am–7pm
Why go? Mac’s iconic happy hour makes your favorite happy hour look like a very sad hour. To start, it lasts for 11 hours, which is just—wow. Order up and the bartender will give you a poker chip along with your drink. Don’t lose it. When you’re ready for round two, hand it over to the bartender and enjoy another cold one on the house.
What? All drinks are 50 percent off.
When? Mon–Fri 4–8pm
Why go? Gramps’ cocktails are some of the best in Wynwood (we recommend the Moscow Mule or the smoky Rosemary’s Baby), but you can run up a serious tab guzzling the $10 to $12 drinks all night. Luckily, the bar’s happy hour slashes drink prices in half for the post-work crowd. Grab a booth (perfect for some office gossip) or hit the backyard for fresh air.
What? Half-off tiki cocktails (excluding tiki mugs, volcanos and social cocktails) and a selection of small plates ($5–$12) from the “Tropical Chow” menu.
When? Mon–Fri 5–7pm
Why go? Besides the totally ’grammable indoor/outdoor setting filled with neon accents and palm fronds, where else can you sip on elaborate, Polynesian-inspired cocktails while trying out regional fare like fish cake and Spam fried rice?
What? Half-price oysters with discounted draft beer, spirits and wine.
When? Daily, 4:30pm–7pm
Why go? For an oyster happy hour where the oyster is truly the star. Grab a seat around the large circular bar and order up a dozen (or two) of your server’s choice—East Coast or West, you really can’t go wrong. And if a dirty martini is your thing, theirs comes garnished with blue cheese-stuffed olives and a mini carafe on ice to top yourself off later.
What? $2 chopp.
When? Mon–Thu 4–7pm
Why go? If, unfortunately, you have never been to Brazil, you might not be too familiar with chopp, a method of drinking that works like this: you order a beer (which usually comes in a smaller glass than your average beer—ice cold—with about three fingers of foam) and start drinking. Your server will keep bringing you more until you put your coaster on top of your glass. Fridays between 4 and 7pm score any beer for $3.
What? $6 cocktails and wine, $4 beer and bites by chef Brad Kilgore for $6–$9.
When? Tue–Sat 4:30–6pm
Why go? One of the most anticipated restaurants of 2019 was Ember, and now that it’s open, was it worth the hype? We think so, especially during happy hour. Highlights from the discounted menu include crispy fried oysters, prosciutto carpaccio and a mouthwatering spring poutine consisting of French fries topped with green garlic, Boursin emulsion and truffle vinaigrette.
What? Get $5 well drinks and cocktails, and $1 beers.
When? Mon 6–9pm; Tue–Fri 5–9pm; Sat 2–9pm; Sun 1–9pm
Why go? A ratio we can get behind: $5 for a bucket of five beers. Add some tropical beats, additional drink deals on cocktails and a whole lot of beautiful dancing people and you’ve got yourself a well-spent afternoon at El Patio. The bar is mostly outside but that doesn’t stop people from showing up—even on toasty summer days.
What? $4 beer, $6 wine, $8 cocktails and snacks for $3–$5.
When? Mon–Fri 5–7pm
Why go? The secret’s been out on one of our favorite new cocktail bars in Miami, but Jaguar Sun’s more mellow happy hours allows you to indulge in a perfectly swizzled Perfect Manhattan and $3 crab claws in relative peace.
What? Sip $7 craft cocktails, $6 well drinks and specially priced bites.
When? Tue–Sun 5–8pm; Tue–Thu midnight–2am
Why go? You won’t find a bad drink at the Anderson, where the bartenders bring their A-game with every pour. Can’t make it out to the vintage-themed Upper Eastside lounge before 8pm? Stop by for the late-night happy hour and enjoy the same deal.
What? Select cocktails and wine for $8, $5 beer and $6 bites.
When? Tues–Fri, 5–7pm
Why go? Forget the played out copper mug. Maska is serving up its own rendition of the super-refreshing mule—made with tequila, cedar-y Greek mastika, Indian spiced panch phoron syrup, lime juice, pineapple and ginger beer—served in a petite glass vessel nestled in its own mini brass ice bucket.
What? Half off appetizers, $5 beer, $6 wells, $7 wine and select cocktails for $8.
When? Mon–Fri 4–7pm
Why go? Few spots are more suited for sunset than the waterfront Rusty Pelican. The classy west-facing restaurant gives you a front-row seat for the sunset, which just happens to time perfectly with the not-too-shabby happy hour.
What? $4 Miller High Life, $7 cocktails, $8 house wines and $10 snacks.
When? Daily, 7–10pm
Why go? For the Banana Daiquiri, made by blending Haitian coffee-infused plantation dark rum with banana puree and fresh lime juice and dashed with Angostura bitters—though any of lead bartender/partner Danilo “Dacha” Bozovic’s highly praised creations will do the trick.
What? $5 draft beer; $6 cava, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir; $8 select specialty cocktails and bites from $4 to $8.
When? Mon–Fri 4–7pm
Why go? Decked top to bottom in gorgeous vintage details like tiles salvaged from the French embassy in Portugal, Sherwoods is also worth visiting for its very cute happy hour. We’re particularly into the Tommy’s Margarita paired with a heaping skillet of salsa verde clams.
What? Merienda Hour offers well and signature cocktails starting at $8 and discounted tapas starting at $7.
When? Mon–Thu 6–8pm
Why go? This José Andrés cocktail bar is normally pretty inaccessible to the average budget. But, believe it or not, you can actually afford to drink there thanks to its weekday happy hour. It’s worth it alone for the boozy Taken For Granted with bourbon oloroso sherry, passionfruit and citrus ashes.
What? Everything is half off.
When? Wed–Fri 5–8pm
Why go? Wood is an egalitarian oasis in the heart of Wynwood. If you can only make it once a week, pick the legendary taco Tuesday, where you can grab no-strings-attached free tacos during happy hour. Wednesday nights, when ladies drink free, is a close second.