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Photograph: Courtesy Daybreaker/Lito Vidaurre

Where to meet people and make new friends in Miami

From twerking to teetotaling, find your scene at these innovative social gatherings happening all around the city

By Douglas Markowitz

Has imbibing at Miami’s best bars started to feel a bit stale? Is a night tearing up the best South Beach nightclubs just not doing it for you anymore? If you know where to look, Miami has a whole world of new, niche and fun ways to break free from your social bubble. Whether food is your first love, fitness gets you off or the crackle of a vinyl record gives you the warm-fuzzies, we’ve tracked down like-minded Miamians gathering and communing all around the city. 

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Offbeat places to meet new people in Miami

Photograph: Courtesy Sobremesa

For bon vivants: Sobremesa

In Spanish culture, the word sobremesa refers to the tradition of relaxing at the table after a heavy meal. In Miami, that idea is embodied by a sporadic, secret-location supper club of the same name, which encourages guests to skip the small talk and get straight to the good stuff: dancing. Founded by choreographer Allegra Preuss and gourmet chef Sophia Kardonski, the supper club begins with a Preuss-led dance party, after which you’ll enjoy drinks and a themed meal—from potluck to the south of Spain—prepared by Kardonski with local, sustainable ingredients. Location upon R.S.V.P. Dates and prices vary.

El Perreo
Photograph: Courtesy Out of Service Miami/Alfonso Duran

Pa’ la gente: El Perreo

Helmed by climate activist and Kendall kid Daniela Molina, this raunchy reggaeton throwdown combines all the irreverent booty-shaking fun of a teenage house party with a policy of safety, inclusivity and good humor. DJs spin Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, Bad Bunny, and other new and old favorites—they even brought OG reggaetonista Nina Sky to the Ground for a recent collab with Miami’s beloved PeachFuzz hip-hop party and celebrated their second anniversary with a giant ratchet banger at Wynwood Factory. Location varies. Dates and prices vary.

Pottery making
Photograph: Unsplash/Alex Jones

For budding artists: Kuu Pottery

Unwind behind the wheel at Kuu Pottery, which offers several classes a month, from beginner throwing to handbuilding and even the occasional erotic pottery workshop—if you haven’t peeped Kuu’s signature boob mugs and incense holders, they’re super fun. Led by ceramicist Kassandra Guzman, you’ll learn how to create fresh and edgy pieces to display in your home while socializing with other arty Miamians in Guzman’s airy Little Haiti studio. 827 NW 62nd St. Dates, times and prices vary.

Miami Record Fair
Photograph: Courtesy Miami Record Fair/Daniel Edenburg

For vinyl addicts: Miami Record Fair

Head to Wynwood watering hole Gramps on the final Saturday of every month for the Miami Record Fair, your chance to hobnob with fellow music snobs, pick up a record or two for your sound system and maybe even spin some of your own selections for an audience (DJ sign-ups start at 11am). Hosted by Miami label Terrestrial Funk, the daylong shindig takes over the patio with 28 crate-covered tables from private sellers and local record shops as well as New York–style slices, vegan grub, exotic fruit smoothies and, as always, cold drinks from Gramps.
176 NW 24th St. The last Saturday of every month, noon–5pm; free.

The Moth Miami
Photograph: Courtesy The Moth/Liz Linder

For oversharers: The Moth

Founded in 1997 as an intimate and off-the-cuff storytelling gathering in New York, the Moth’s Miami chapter hosts its StorySLAM events every second Tuesday of the month at the historic Olympia Theater in Downtown. At these open-mic events, anyone in attendance can get up on stage to tell a five-minute, unscripted, first-person story based on the night’s theme, from love to challenges—because it’s a whole lot easier to open up and make friends when you’re already taking a risk being vulnerable for a crowd. Olympia Theater, 174 E Flagler St. The second Tuesday of every month; $15.

Photograph: Courtesy Bookleggers Library

For bookworms: Bookleggers

This offbeat traveling library hosts book swaps at bars around the city, from Wynwood’s craft beer haven Boxelder to dimly lit Downtown speakeasy Floyd. Grab a drink, browse the (often themed) selection of free titles and participate in one of the nonprofit’s zany activations—for example, the recent Spyleggers party, which celebrated all things espionage (yes, there was a laser-light maze), and the Pegleggers event, a bookish, pirate-themed evening on a Biscayne Bay cruise. Locations and dates vary. Free.

Grape Crush Miami
Photograph: Courtesy Grape Crush/Maya Billig

For adventurous winos: Grape Crush

New to the world of natural, organic and biodynamic wines making their way to Miami? Grape Crush is a great place to get down with your fellow adult-juice enthusiasts. Founded by Macarena Carrillo and Mariel Dalmau, who head up the wine programs at Fooq’s and Balloo, respectively, the monthly get-togethers pop up around the city and focus on natural varietals, usually around a theme or label. February’s For the Love of Red event in Nomade’s cozy garden featured three distinctive pours of tinto and light bites, all for for $30. Location varies. Dates and prices vary.

Photograph: Courtesy Daybreaker/Lito Vidaurre

For spiritual gangsters: Daybreaker

Gyms are a dime a dozen in Miami, but Daybreaker is different, offering a combination of yoga and fitness classes with free-spirited, no-alcohol (unless you count kombucha) dance parties at venues across the city. Whether it’s the after-hours terrace at Club Space or the ultra-luxe Faena Miami Beach, be prepared to dress for a theme and learn a few choreographed moves. Sure, you’ll feel a bit silly sober-gyrating with strangers in a club setting, but we’re all in this thing together, guys! Location varies. Dates and prices vary.

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