Best cocktail bars in Miami
Few bars can claim to be as perfectly balanced as Sweet Liberty. The award-winning joint feels both sophisticated and casual, cozy and airy—wonderfully suited for both an oyster happy hour and some late night dancing. But, let’s be real: it’s the cocktails that keep folks coming back. They are delightful. Grab a classic daiquiri or go wild with the banana sesame sour (vodka, bananas, sesame oil, lemon and egg white). Can’t decide? You can never go wrong with their piña colada, the undisputed best in Miami.
The Anderson boasts an ‘80s glamour that’s hard to find these days. The winking kitsch works wonders in the neighborhood bar—which used to be a beloved piano lounge before the Anderson took over. But glorious decor aside, the Anderson is consistently serving the best cocktails in Miami. Period. Menus change seasonally but we have yet to try one that didn’t live up to the hype.
The swank Miami Beach bar (a welcome NYC transplant) is everything a great cocktail bar should be: intimate, glamorous and home to a talented staff of very smart (and pretty handsome) bartenders that will help guide you towards the right drink. After a couple of those, waddle over to the in-house psychic for a reading.
Located in the middle of the hip hostel Freehand, Broken Shaker is a Miami Beach favorite year-round. One could make the argument that Broken Shaker really revitalized the cocktail movement in Miami—and one could also make the argument that they continue to lead the pack with creative cocktails centered around fresh, local ingredients. But, then again, the very last thing one feels like doing while lounging in the lush courtyard of the Broken Shaker is arguing.
It is quite rare to find top-notch cocktails served in a casual dive bar atmosphere. But Gramps proves you can have your cake and eat it too. Indeed, it is possible to have rock and roll out back, drunken karaoke inside and truly impressive attention to detail behind the bar. Order the Rosemary's Baby and don’t panic when your bartender produces a blow torch.
Matador Bar is a pleasant reflection of the hotel that houses it, the EDITION. Like its proud parent, the bar bleeds elegance without trying too hard to fulfill any Miami Beach archetypes. If your go-to order is a gin and tonic, order one of the bar’s multiple variations. They are all insanely tasty.
At the end of the night, all roads lead to the corner. Located in Miami’s 24-hour nightlife district, this tiny cocktail bar is the only place to find a superb old fashioned past 5am. And that’s a damn necessity in any self-respecting city. Plus, the late night kitchen will throw together a decent hot dog that will pair wonderfully with your 6am bourbon.
Escape the Lincoln Road madness by ducking into this retro bar. It’s a wood and whiskey sort of vibe inside the Regent, which does all the classic cocktails with noble competence. It's a nice first-date spot, with ample room to sit and chat. Riding solo? Bring a cigar to enjoy on the patio.
Go for the tiki-influenced tequila drinks at this Wynwood newcomer, a project from the trendy Drunken Dragon team. Though it’s not a quiet place to sip and chat, this bar doesn't skimp on its cocktail program. The Blessing in Disguise (made with Herradura Reposado, mango and habanero shrub) is our personal favorite and will get you nice and ripe for the dance floor.
This South of Fifth spot is tiny. About 40 people can squeeze into the bar. But if you can nab a seat, the trip is worth it. Bartenders go all out with smoke, flames and more. But at the heart of all the trickery is really good cocktails with an emphasis on American-made ingredients.
This nautical-themed spot is Little Havana’s first bonafide cocktail bar. The drinks are playful, pun-heavy concoctions that swing for the fences and, more often than not, come through. Add to that a food menu and live music—and Nancy proves itself a welcome addition to the classic Miami neighborhood.
Looking for more places to drink in Miami?
Miami is packed with places to drink, eat and unwind on a budget.