The 20 best bars in Miami you have to try

We came. We drank. And, after some rough mornings, we have finally got our list of the best bars in Miami.
Anderson
Photograph: Courtesy the Anderson
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December 2018: You’ll see some new and familiar faces on our list. Sweet Liberty has held onto the top spot while an exciting new neighborhood—Downtown— elbows its way into the top ten. Lost Boy (number three) and Mama Tried (number seven) both mark Downtown’s official return to Miami’s drinking map. Le Sirenuse, just cracking the top ten, is a fancy new addition—as is the buzzy waterfront Wharf. Wynwood favorite 1-800-Lucky debuts at number 11 thanks to some great new cocktail options and—just in case you thought we were getting all fancy on you—the grungy Las Rosas comes in at number 14.

This city loves to drink, which means the best bars in Miami hold a special place in our heart. We go to them in times of need, celebration and when someone rear ends us on I-95. Bless the best museums in Miami and, of course, the best beaches in Miami but—if we’re being really, really honest—we just couldn’t live without these 20 bars. They’re where we go for first dates and right after work ends every Friday and to sip slowly on the best piña colada in the world. We know it’s going to take a while but if you consider yourself a bar connoisseur, you’ve really got to check out all of these spots. Take a look below. You’ll see what we’re talking about.

Drank somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDrinkList. You can also find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews bars here.

Best bars in Miami

1
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company
Photograph: Courtesy Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company
Bars

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? The best bar in this city and—we feel safe saying—the entire damn state. How does Sweet Liberty so consistently earn this honor? Simply put: it’s fun. This bar has that special energy that makes you want to put down your phone, pick up your drink (some of Miami’s best, by the way) and re-freaking-lax.

Why go? Happy hour runs daily from 4pm to 7pm and features 75 cent oysters and $5 drinks. And stop by anytime for the best piña colada in the south.

2
Broken Shaker
Photograph: Adrian Gaut
Bars, Cocktail bars

The Broken Shaker

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? The bar that showed Miami just how delicious cocktails could be. This intimate, tropical outdoor bar that lives inside the Freehand hostel has become a must-visit for any informed drinker passing through the city. Thankfully, the bar hasn’t lost any of its magic over the years and remains the North Star of Miami cocktail culture.

Why go? The Broken Shaker’s insanely delicious punch bowls are perfect for small groups who don’t feel like trekking back and forth to the bar.

Time Out says
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3
Lost Boy
Photograph: Courtesy Lost Boy
Bars, Cocktail bars

Lost Boy

icon-location-pin Downtown

What is it? The bar helping to put Downtown Miami back on the drinking map. Lost Boy—a former denim shop—doesn’t go out of its way to impress you or pander to the Instagram crowd. It’s simple, effective and delicious. In Miami, that’s a rare trifecta.

Why go? To throw darts and drink gin and tonics, baby.

4
The Anderson
Photograph: Courtesy The Anderson/Alejandro Rivera
Bars, Cocktail bars

The Anderson

What is it? Put us on a tropical island with only one group of bartenders and we’re taking the Anderson’s crew with us. The drinks here—a seasonally rotating menu—are marriage material. Design buffs will also get a kick out of the retro space, which blends old-school piano bar, with upscale cocktail lounge and tiki hut. Somehow—and don’t ask us how—it all fits perfectly.

Why go? Night owls should take full advantage of Anderson’s late night happy hour Tuesday through Thursday from midnight to 2am.

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5
Gramps
Photograph: Courtesy Gramps
Bars, Dive bars

Gramps Bar

icon-location-pin Wynwood

What is it? Gramps is a bar that leaves it all on the field. The cocktails are delicious, the space is always evolving for the better and the weekly programming is a never-ending parade of good times. And none of the success has gone to Gramps’ head. This Wynwood mainstay remains a bar for the people, by the people.

Why go? Thursday’s drag night, Double Stubble, is the best party in town and a showcase of killer underground queer talent. 

6
Ball & Chain
Photograph: Courtesy Ball & Chain
Bars, Bars

Ball & Chain

icon-location-pin East Little Havana

What is it? Ball & Chain was doing its thing in Little Havana way before most of its new customers were alive. It’s rare for a bar with such a storied past to find such a successful second life, but Ball & Chain has done just that thanks to an attention to detail and respect for history.

Why go? You’ll find live Latin music at Ball & Chain seven days a week and there’s never a cover.

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7
Mama Tried
Photograph: Adam DelGiudice
Bars, Cocktail bars

Mama Tried

icon-location-pin Downtown

What is it? A contradiction: dive bar meets cocktail bar meets sports bar meets dance floor and—is that a library next to the bathroom? At Mama Tried, the answer is always yes. And it’s best not to overthink it. Just grab a drink, dance, play some pool and come back soon to do it all over again.

Why go? Ladies, every Wednesday from 10pm to 1am you get all the free drinks your heart (and liver) desire.

8
Lagniappe wine bar Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Langiappe
Bars, Wineries

Lagniappe

icon-location-pin Midtown

What is it? A true charmer. Whether you’re trying to woo a first date or just looking to fall in love with a nice bottle of wine, the so-cute-it-hurts Lagniappe is here for you. Its mismatched backyard is perhaps the best place in Miami for a drink and a conversation. And, as if things just couldn’t get any more romantic, there’s live jazz.

Why go? They. Have. Cheese.

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9
Le Sirenuse
Christian Horan Photography
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Le Sirenuse

icon-location-pin Surfside

What is it? Put on your fancy pants, people. The luxurious Le Sirenuse might just be worth ironing them too. Le Sirenuse is technically a restaurant but there’s no shame in stopping by just for a drink at the gorgeous emerald green Champagne Bar.

Why go? Aren’t you a little curious about the $60 “Frank Sinatra” champagne cocktail, made with Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, Beefeater gin and—just a guess here—diamonds for ice cubes?

10
The Wharf
Photograph: Robert Martinez
Restaurants

The Wharf

icon-location-pin Overtown

What is it? A never-not-crowded spot on the Miami River. The Wharf is that rare bar that attracts both a strong day-drinking crowd as well as a healthy late night one. It helps that the waterfront views are particularly gorgeous no matter the position of the sun.

Why go? The Wharf has a very nice selection of food vendors—everything from doughnuts to the local legends at Garcia’s Seafood.

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11
1-800-Lucky
Photograph: Courtesy 1-800-Lucky
Things to do, Event spaces

1-800-Lucky

icon-location-pin Wynwood

What is it? An Asian food market, cocktail bar, record shop/bodega and there’s a tiny private karaoke room in the back too. When it comes to 1-800-Lucky, the better question is: what isn’t it? On weekend nights though, you’ll find a strong nightlife crowd dancing, sipping and tearing into Taiyaki’s ice cream.

Why go? Good luck finding another bar with such immediate access to pork dumplings and steamy pho.

12
The Corner, Bars and lounges, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy The Corner
Bars, Tapas bars

The Corner

icon-location-pin Park West

What is it? In Downtown’s 24-hour district, nightclubs reign supreme. But the Corner is an oasis for those who’d rather sip on an old fashioned than get bottle service. This smoky, cozy space—equal parts dive and cocktail bar—is a true local’s joint and not for the faint of heart after 2am.

Why go? The Corner’s kitchen stays open really late and you sure will be thankful whilst tearing into a Chicago dog and chips at 4am.

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13
Jaguar Sun
Photograph: Courtesy Jaguar Sun
Bars, Cocktail bars

Jaguar Sun

icon-location-pin Downtown

What is it? A sleek cocktail at the bottom of the residential building X Miami. It’s worth the search. Jaguar Sun is run by bartender Will Thompson and ex-Momofuku and Per Se chef Carey Hynes so the drinks and food both get two happy thumbs up.

Why go? That pasta, though…

14
Taberna Las Rosas
Photograph: Courtesy Taberna Las Rosas
Restaurants

Las Rosas

icon-location-pin Allapattah

What is it? A neighborhood bar for those who aren’t afraid of a little grit. Las Rosas is fun, loud and brash—but certainly welcoming to anyone looking for a stiff drink and no bullshit. Its home, Allapattah, is also poised to become one of Miami’s next hot spots.

Why go? Las Rosas is ground zero for Miami’s music scene thanks to its strong music programming and killer sound system.

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15
Sugar at EAST, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy EAST
Bars, Cocktail bars

Sugar

icon-location-pin Brickell

What is it? Hop in the coolest elevator in Miami, get off on the 40th floor and welcome to Miami’s buzziest rooftop bar. Sugar is fancy and not for all budgets, but that view is hard to beat.

Why go? Because you deserve a big city night out. You really do.

16
Mac's Club Deuce
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Peyri Herrera
Bars

Mac's Club Deuce

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? This historic dive has been operating for over 50 years and is only getting better with age. It was one of Bourdain’s favorite spots and it’ll be yours too, if you consider yourself a lover of the American dive bar.

Why go? Two-for-one happy hour starts at 8am (seriously) and doesn’t stop until 7pm seven days a week. Beat that.

Time Out says
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17
El Patio Wynwood
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/El Patio Wynwood
Restaurants, Latin American

El Patio Wynwood

icon-location-pin Wynwood

What is it? If you’ve never experienced the force of nature that is a Colombian bar, strap in. At El Patio (especially during Friday happy hour) you will be packed in tightly. Get ready to dance, drink and scream along to reggaeton.

Why go? They sell $5 buckets of five beers during happy hour. Do the math. That’s $1 a beer, son. 

18
Wood Tavern, Bars and lounges, Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Wood
Bars

Wood Tavern

icon-location-pin Wynwood

What is it? Wynwood’s most consistently hoppin’ (do the kids still say hoppin’?) bar. This mostly outdoor spot feels like a house party on the weekends. Old school hip-hop is the predominant soundtrack and it’s not rare to see breakdancers dueling on the patio.

Why go? Wood is the undisputed champ of taco Tuesday, when it slings out 100 percent free (!) tacos from 5pm to 8pm.

Time Out says
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19
Jim and Neesie, Generator Miami
Photograph: Mike Butler
Restaurants, American

The Jim and Neesie

icon-location-pin Miami Beach

What is it? Generator Miami’s lobby bar, where both guests and non-guests can (and should) find a seat and enjoy some top-notch cocktails and bites. Bartenders take your order for both food and drink, mixing your cocktail tableside in the inviting, dim space.

Why go? That margarita with clarified lime juice is going to punch you right in the palate.

20
Commodore
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/The Commodore
Hotels

The Commodore

icon-location-pin Coconut Grove

What is it? All the good cocktail bars aren’t in Miami Beach or Downtown. Coconut Grove contributes a worthy entry with the Commodore, located inside the lovely Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove. It’s all about classic cocktails here—and they nail it.

Why go? Commodore has a sneaky good happy hour, with $5 beer and $7 to $9 bites.

Hungry yet?

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