Between the lot of cramped Miami happy hours and exclusive South Beach clubs, sometimes getting a drink in the 305 requires a lot of pushing, shoving and elbow-rubbing. To avoid the crowds, make your way to a Miami speakeasy where unmarked entrances and hidden double doors conceal some of the city’s top—and most spacious!—watering holes. Whether it’s Downtown dive or a sleek lounge you never knew existed, these surreptitious spots are quietly sprouting all over town—you've just got to know where to look.
What is it? The dimly lit bar adjacent to Kush is reserved for customers killing time before being seated.
Why go? Securing a table at popular burger joint Kush is nearly impossible, but you’ll welcome the wait at this cozy little spot. The “cellar” is stocked with an assortment of craft beers, plus you'll find tons of local brews on tap.
What is it? You’ve probably been too busy scarfing down tacos and chips to notice Coyo’s secret back bar. Walk past the bathroom, down the hall and through the swinging doors to discover one of Wynwood’s best-kept secrets—and drinking den.
Why go? The taco shop saves its best cocktails for the bar inside this small square room: paletaritas, mescal margaritas and a slew of tequila-based concoctions round out the drink menu. Looking to get down? On Saturday nights, the place turns into one giant dance party set to indie jams and techno beats.
What is it? Named after Japan’s famous pearl divers, Kaido’s hidden back room submerges you into an underwater lair strung with fishing nets and all kinds of nautical accents. Dinner seating is limited to eight, but you’re free to pull up a stool at the diminutive bar.
Why go? Brad Kilgore is behind the inventive Japanese menu, which is available as a 16-course “Ama-kase.” Cute little beef tartare cones and perfectly seared scallops are among the delectable bites. Cocktails are complex and chef-driven, so don’t expect to order a vodka soda without upsetting your bartender.
What is it? The 40th-floor cocktail bar is a bit of a not-so-well-kept secret. It’s just down the hall from Brickell’s popular rooftop spot Sugar, but it’s much tougher to get into.
Why go? Floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides mean you’ll still get one of the nicest views in the city without having to sit outside at Sugar, where a surprise shower can get douse you at any minute. Plus, Tea Room serves a tasty nighttime brunch you won’t find anywhere else.
What is it? From NYC’s East Village (and Chicago and L.A. thereafter), comes this barbershop-by-day, bar-by-night concept. You’ll make your way through a pristine, subway-tiled salon and into a glamorous, jungle-themed space with plenty of comfy seating for groups large and small.
Why go? You won’t go hungry at Blind Barber. There’s a gooey grilled cheese sandwich to go with practically every cocktail.
What is it? A serious taco shack in the front with a legit party spot in the back. You’ll know you’ve reached it when you pull up to the unassuming Mexican restaurant with a massive line out front.
Why go? Walking into a club through a port-a-potty is kinda fun, so is the crowd at Bodega. The small drinkery lights up with cool, young folks with an apparent high tolerance for booze: the shots are always flowing here.
What is it? Blasphemous neon signs and Instagrammable corners mark El Santo’s naughtier back-room bar. Go past the pay-phone with a direct line to God, through the gigantic wooden doors and into the room with vaulted ceilings where dangling skeletons mark the spot.
Why go? El Diablo doesn’t take itself seriously, and neither will you when you find yourself several tequilas deep, dancing on banquettes to reggaeton. El Diablo wants you to think it’s a bar but it has the feel of a full-blown club.
What is it? Sip on stiff mezcal cocktails at this haute lounge, which you enter through a curtain in a fake Mexican candy shop right above Little Havan’s Taquerias el Mexicano.
Why go? Created by the same guy behind Ball & Chain, it’s an Instagrammer’s dream, with velvet banquettes, a gold-leaf ceiling, hand-painted fixtures and colorful tequila cocktails in ceramic pots.
What is it? One of the worst-kept secrets in South Beach sits behind an unmarked door in an alleyway. Most people know Foxhole exists but even regulars get lost trying to find it.
Why go? Foxhole gives you options beyond drinking and standing around, feeling proud of having found the hidden door. There is a pool table, arcade games and two floors with ample seating should you want to sit and drink.
What is it? Tucked inside a renovated Art Deco hotel, this Collins Avenue spot flies under the radar even among locals.
Why go? The drama of getting in us half the reason to go—you have to pull a special tome from a bookcase to open the secret door. The old-school hip-hop soundtrack is the other.