Welcome to the best cocktail bars in Miami, a diverse group of drink-slinging heroes that help us imbibe in style. What exactly makes the ideal cocktail bar? Well, it’s got to be sexy. A great cocktail bar goes above and beyond your average drink selection and strives for creativity with every pour. When executed the right way, the result always leaves us wanting more. Sure, we’ll still hit up the best wine bars in Miami when date night rolls around. Or opt for a Miami rooftop bar when we’re craving a view. And you can catch us at one of the many Miami breweries when we’re feeling a bit hoppy. But can anything really compare to a freshly shaken cocktail? We think not. And when the day calls for something stiffer, these are the cocktail doctors we trust.
Best cocktail bars in Miami
What is it? An omnipresent contender at the top of best bar lists both local and national. There’s a reason: the cocktails here are near-perfect and range from the classic (like their flawless daiquiri) to the wild (like the sweet potato pain killer, which features sweet potato juice).
Why go? Happy hour runs daily from 4pm to 7pm and features 75 cent oysters and $5 drinks.
What is it? The ol’ faithful of Miami’s cocktail scene. Stop by the Broken Shaker day or night, and you can be sure you’ll be handed something delicious by an impossibly-cool-looking bartender. Plus, the space is the sort of tropical paradise you’d expect from a proper Miami Beach cocktail bar.
Why go? To drink like a family. The Broken Shaker’s punch bowls are perfect for thirsty small groups.
What is it? This former piano bar has been converted into one of Miami’s most eclectic drinking dens. The quality behind the bar is top-notch as well, with a seasonal menu that utilizes local ingredients to whip up killer drinks. There’s no go-to drink here—all the cocktails are worthy of your attention.
Why go? Anderson’s late night happy hour—Tuesday through Thursday from midnight to 2am—is great for those who get stuck at the office.
What is it? Atop the buzzy Design District restaurant Swan, you’ll find Bar Bevy, a dark, sexy cocktail lounge. Expect a DJ spinning nightly, so much interior design porn and aesthetically pleasing cocktails worthy of the Design District’s discerning taste.
Why go? For Bar Bevy’s beautiful rose room. This pink-hued room offers a more intimate vibe for conversations and cocktails.
What is it? A chic cocktail bar inside the residential building X Miami. Jaguar Sun is run by bartender Will Thompson and ex-Momofuku and Per Se chef Carey Hynes so the drinks and food are both on the same level (that level being: yum).
Why go? The drinks are straight up fun—both to say (hello Volcano Rabbit) and drink (we recommend venturing into the “exotics” section for a good time).
What is it? Generator Miami’s lobby bar dishes out some top-notch cocktails and bites. The drink program is run by Broken Shaker alum Gui Jaroschy and carries all the quality one would expect from such a resume. Whatever you do, don’t skip the margarita with clarified lime juice.
Why go? Bartenders take your order for both food and drink, mixing your cocktail tableside–which makes for a fun and slightly out-of-the-box drinking experience.
What is it? Alter, one of the buzziest restaurants in Wynwood, has a little secret: its backyard bar. At Bar Alter, you’ll have a much better chance of snagging a seat without a reservation. This place takes its drink program every bit as seriously as its food too.
Why go? The cocktail menu has helpful taste descriptions (e.g.: boozy, nutty, tart) so you can be sure you’re ordering something up your alley.
What is it? Like the hotel it lives in, the sultry EDITION, this bar bleeds elegance without trying too hard to fulfill any Miami Beach archetypes. The bartenders here are classy pros too—and happy to help you pick the perfect drink.
Why go? During the day, you can see the ocean from your seat at the bar.
What is it? In the belly of the amazing Faena hotel, the James Bond-worthy Saxony Bar beckons. This exclusive, jazzy cocktail lounge (open Thursday through Saturday) is almost too fancy to look at. Brace for eye-popping prices and eye-popping design.
Why go? Because this might just be the fanciest place to drink in the entire city.
What is it? Dark, smoky and best after 2am. The Corner is a night owl’s dream thanks to its placement in Miami’s 24-hour district. But the drinks here are serious business, and bartenders take their time with them.
Why go? The kitchen stays open late too, so order up a Chicago dog when the munchies hit.
What is it? A classy hideaway just off the madness of Lincoln Road. Regent is old school Miami Beach glam, perfect for lovers of leather, wood and whiskey. And the happy hour—from Sunday to Thursday from 7pm to 10pm—is a stunning deal for the area.
Why go? The Regent also has a perfectly lovely rooftop bar (open Friday and Saturday) so you can enjoy your drink with a view.
What is it? This teeny, tiny bar packs a punch. With a focus on American spirits, Scapegoat serves classy drinks (the menu is seasonal and always rotating) with a relaxed neighborhood vibe. It’s also slightly hilarious to watch the bartenders scurry into the tiny crawlspace above the bar to fetch more booze.
Why go? South of Fifth can be quite bougie but Scapegoat is a refreshing oasis for the everyman.