Not all happy hours in Miami are created equal, so we went in search of the city’s best deals (keeping quality, ambiance and value top of mind). Many of the best bars in Miami and several of the best rooftop bars in Miami offer unexpected discounts for the fashionably frugal and thirsty—and views don’t come at a premium. From South Beach hotel bars to local watering holes, here’s where to drink—and eat—up.
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Best happy hour deals in Miami
What: Two-for-one drinks.
When: Daily, 4–7pm
Why we love it: Today’s Ball & Chain is a recreation of a 1930s hotspot that once occupied the same space and welcomed jazz superstars like Billie Holiday, Count Basie and Chet Baker to its stage. Across from the historic Tower Theater, the Ball & Chain has its own storied past filled with Jewish and Cuban community influences. We recommend sampling a few Cuban-inspired cocktails: the Mojito Criollo (made the classic way with the mint leaves left intact for enhanced aroma, and more sugar), the Canita (white rum, lime, house-made honey syrup, guarapo or sugarcane juice, sugarcane stick) and the Pastelito Daiquiri (pastelito-infused aged rum, lime, simple syrup, and a side of pastelitos or guava pastries). Expect live jazz at 6pm sharp Thursday through Saturday.
What: Oysters are $.75 a pop while cocktails, such as the Moscow Mule, are $5. Rosé is available on tap as are several specially priced craft beers.
When: Daily, 4–7pm
Why we love it: 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 pairing ($5). Prefer champagne? That’s available for $5 during happy hour, too. Co-owner John Lermayer is an award-winning bartender, so you’d be remiss to skip one of his signature cocktails, like the daiquiri or the gin fizz.
What: Cocktails are $7, wines by the glass and beer are $6.
When: Mon–Fri, 5–7pm
Why we love it: Downtown Miami’s towering buildings have the propensity to make one feel small, but not when you’re perched 13 stories high on the rooftop of the historic Langford Hotel. Take a seat indoors, where it’s dark, moody and beautifully accented by Cuban tile, or wind down from the work day on the outdoor patio with the Miami skyline as your background. Be sure to arrive early on Fridays, as $7 old-fashioneds and Palomas do much to inspire promptness and seating is typically scant.
What: Specialty cocktails are $6, while wine, sangria and beer are all half-price.
When: Daily, 5–7pm
Why we love it: Despite the high concentration of corporations and businesses headquartered in Doral, it’s still slim-pickings for places to have a drink after work. It wasn’t until Bulla came along that the neighborhood’s thirsty nine-to-fivers had a spacious bar and high-top tables on which to sit and sip craft cocktails. The downside? Finding a spot in either takes some patience.
What: The Kanpai Hour features $6–$10 sushi and appetizers, including the restaurant’s famed crispy rice with spicy tuna ($7), and $8 specialty cocktails.
When: Sun–Thu, 7–9pm; Fri–Sat, 6–8pm
Why we love it: Dining at Katsuya can get pricey, but the restaurant’s Kanpai Hour is an inexpensive way to feast on their most popular dishes and cocktails without blowing a wad. Specials are served upstairs in the Dragon Lounge, where both bar and table seating are available.
What: Beat-the-clock pricing on champagne, retro-themed cocktails and select rum starting at $5; meatballs and other select bar bites are $7.
When: Thu, 5–11pm
Why we love it: In a city where everyone is always running late, it’s nice to be rewarded for being on time. Thursday’s beat-the-clock deal begins at 5pm with $5 flutes of Taittinger Champagne and continues through to 11pm, increasing $1 for every hour that passes. Another reason to dash here after work? Watching the sun set over the Miami skyline from the 16th-floor rooftop bar.
What: Two knockout rounds of specials: $1 draft beers, $2 Cuba Libres and $3 mojitos; followed by half-price drinks and $15 buckets of beer.
When: Mon–Fri, 5–8pm & 8–10pm
Why: Punch Miami gets that not everyone can leave work in time to make happy hour, so they’ve added a second drink special to their weekday repertoire. Early birds get the heavily discounted Cuba Libres (rum and Coke) and mojitos while those pulling a late shift take advantage of half-price well drinks. Everyone wins at Punch, especially when the weather’s nice and you can kick back in the spacious terrace while listening to the sounds of Mr. Pauer.
What: Free Italian bites from the aperitivo buffet with the purchase of a cocktail, plus $5 shots and $7.50 well drinks during the restaurant’s late-night happy hour.
When: Daily, 6–8pm & 1–2am
Why we love it: Take a load off from shopping along Lincoln Road with a cocktail (or two) and snacks from the restaurant’s free appetizer bar that’s filled with all sorts of Italian specialties: bruschetta, mozzarella and an assortment of cured meats and cheeses. After hours, park yourself on one of the outdoor couches (the perfect spot for people watching) and take advantage of $5 shots.
What: Beers are $4 beers, single shots are $5 singles and all cocktails on the menu are $7.
When: Daily, 4-8pm
Why we love it: In the land of $20 drinks, finding a craft cocktail for $7 means you’ve hit the happy hour jackpot. Savor your winnings at this quaint outdoor bar, along with other tasty options that run the gamut from margaritas to smoky old-fashioneds.
What: Everything is half off.
When: Tue–Sat, 5–8pm
Why we love it: Wood is an egalitarian oasis in the heart of the burgeoning Wynwood Arts District. Grab a seat a one of the picnic tables in the “backyard” to mingle with all walks of life. Enjoy more than a dozen craft beers on tap, including selections from the neighbors at Wynwood Brewery. Plenty more bottles and cans fill the coolers behind the bars, and the cocktails are pretty decent, too. Even better? They shell out free tacos every Tuesday from 6–8pm, along with $5 margaritas.
What: Buy one drink and receive a Blackbird Ordinary poker chip, which can be redeemed for a free drink at any time. (It’s a two-for-one deal.)
When: Daily, 3–8pm
Why we love it: Most guests give in to immediate gratification and use the chip for a second round; others stockpile them for the weekend when getting completely crunk is the objective. The signature cocktails here are worth every penny at regular price, making this happy hour one of the most popular in town. Order the Tipp Top, a potent combination of Pierde Almas La Puritita Verdá mescal, passion fruit, lime, agave syrup, mint leaves and habanero peppers. La Moon, the famous Colombian restaurant next door, happily delivers grub to your table (you’ll be having a hot dog). While you wait, challenge pals to a few rounds of board games or Jenga.
What: Half-price drinks behind the bar, including specialty cocktails, wine and beer. On Saturdays, enjoy $5 flutes of champagne and $1.50 oysters.
When: Mon–Fri, 4–8pm; Sat, 6–9pm
Why we love it: Social Hour at Brickell’s waterfront eatery means discounts on dozens of craft beers on tap, plus cocktails and wine. Sit outside by the Miami River or inside to enjoy the sports pub atmosphere (brick walls, big screens, framed magazine covers). Pro tip: Massive burgers are just $8 on Monday nights and craft beers are $4 on Tuesdays.
What: $5 beers on tap, 50-percent off wine; bar menu from $8–$16.
When: Sun–Thu, 10pm–midnight
Why we love it: South Beach’s Social Club offers “Reverse Happy Hour,” a perfect plan for night owls. Things kick off at 10pm with $5 brews on tap and a hearty bar menu for your late-night eating pleasure. Dig into a bone marrow burger ($16) and a basket of crispy yucca fries ($8) before going hard on the list of half-price wines.
What: Enjoy a menu of specially priced wine, beer and cocktails (discounted $2–$5), such as mojitos, rum punch and other tropical favorites.
When: Mon–Fri, 3–8pm
Why we love it: Its prime, downtown location makes this a favorite among the area’s business types, so expect to see plenty of bankers and accountants with ties loosened and drinks in hand. You won’t have trouble finding a place to sit on the spacious terrace but service is invariably faster at the outdoor bar.
What: $9 wines, house liquor and gin and tonics; beer is $5.
When: Daily, 5–7pm & 10–11pm
Why we love it: Enjoy the pre-war Art Deco building, its contemporary décor, and an epic collection of more than 40 domestic and imported gins. The eye-catching bar is conspicuously positioned between the hotel’s bright lobby and airy dining room. We recommend the Traymore 1939 (an homage to the year the hotel was built), with gin, house-made rosemary syrup, orange curaçao, grapefruit and pomegranate juice, and a couple of dashes of Angostura orange bitters. You can also eat well for less every night thanks to chef Jonathan Lane’s hearty apps.