Bars

If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Miami guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Miami for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like Mac's Club Deuce to busy places like Wet Willie's that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the South Beach area? No fear - we share all the facts!

10 RSMAS Wetlab
Boasting beachfront views and cheap beer, the Wetlab is one of the most unique and well-loved bars in Miami. Embedded in the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the bar has a charming school cafeteria feel and a patio offering beautiful views of Biscayne Bay. At the graduate student-run watering hole, beers are priced less than $3, and it's just $9 for a pitcher. Mixed drinks range from $2.75 to $4.25.

9 Zeke's Roadhouse
Beer aficionados find this Miami Beach bar's selection to one of the best. The impressive spread includes beers from all over the world, even unusual options such as Cristal from Peru, 33 Export from Vietnam and Prestige from Haiti. Most of these thirst-quenching brews come in bottles, but the bar does offer several drafts, including Purple Haze and Young's Chocolate Stout. Although Zeke's only accepts cash, all beers are reasonably priced at $4. (305-672-3118)

8 Clarke's
For Miami Beach visitors, this bar's casual coastal atmosphere and menu full of comfort food promise a fun and relaxing evening out. Clarke's wooden decor, low lighting, extensive wine list and variety of draft beers, including Guinness, Stella Artois, Harp and Yuengling, give the bar a comfortable Old World feel. The menu consists of regional American favorites, as well as traditional Irish pub fare like bangers and mash, shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. (305-538-9885)

7 Bardot
Live music, album/CD release parties, DJ bashes and other activities of a musical nature await at this hip Wynwood lounge. Bardot fills a void in Miami culture by providing the venue and the menu, which includes funk, electronic, blues, singer-songwriter and more. Cocktails--at $12, less expensive than most South Beach bars and lounges (that means affordable by Miami standards) range from the signature Honey Mule (Russian Standard Vodka, Honey Syrup, Pressed Lime & Hand Crafted Ginger Served in our Signature Copper Mug) to the Skinny Jeans Margarita (Corzo Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Organic Blue Agave & Fresh Lime Juice) to the simple Brown Sugar Mojito (Bacardi dark, Brown Sugar). Top-shelf liquors abound. Overall, even if you're not into the vibe of a particular musical guest, the experience at Bardot has come to define Miami's Wynwood and Design District nightlife. ((305) 576-5570)

6 Boteco
A "boteca" is a neighborhood bar, the kind you go to where you don't necessarily want everyone to know your name, but where you do want the bartenders to know your fave brand of beer. At Boteca, you get the familiarity of being a regular even if you're a newcomer. Sit inside, where there's usually some kind of live entertainment--a dancehall band, conga lines, carnival queens doing samba steps, even karaoke--or outside on rustic chairs and benches. Either way, the experience is the same: a packed house of ex-pats mulling over the results of the latest football matches as they much on moqueca, mahi-mahi and shrimp cooked with bell and sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes, dendê oil and coconout milk--or picanha fatiada na chapa, grilled sirloin with a side of fried yuca. Caipirinhas (made with cachaca) and caipiroskas (made with vodka) come traditional (lime and sugar) or with fruit (strawberry's the best). Just beware if a big game's going on--you might not be able to squeeze your way in. ((305) 757-7735)

5 Botequim Carioca Brazilian Bar & Grill
What could be better than a Brazilian sports bar, located almost directly across from American Airlines Arena? Stop in before or after a Heat game for a terrific steak sandwich, made with sirloin and cheddar cheese (but called a cheeseburger de picanha) or the house special chicken sandwich with mozzarella and dried tomatoes. Tasty apps that go great with beer include spicy calamari or a bowl of feijoada, served as soup. For a light, sophisticated sweet, try the "Romeo E Julieta" guava jam with catupiry cheese. Then watch a futbol game on tv or a basketball in person, and watch other athletes burn calories; after all, you stay svelte by cheering. Just beware, during Brazilian national games, of the clamor of the vuvuzuela. (305-675-1876)

4 Cipriani Downtown Miami
Cipriani Downtown Miami is high-fashion Italian dining in many ways, from the clientele wearing designer labels to the contemporary cuisine to the space, designed in blue and white by Florentine architect Michele Bonan. Located on the waterfront, the two-level, indoor-outdoor restaurant features Murano glass chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows and decorative elements inspired by luxury yachts and ocean liners. A sibling to the famed Ciprianis worldwide and the original Harry's Bar in Venice, the menu offers Italian luxuries of all kinds: aged Praga ham, homemade ravioli and tortellini, langoustines served scampi-style, and of course Champagne bowls filled with the famed Bellinis, comprising peach puree and Prosecco, that were invented at Harry's. Second-generation hosts Maggio and Ignazio ensure that guests also have a party of a time at the more intimate Cipriani Bar. ((786) 329-4090)

3 Lippi Restaurant
Take the owners of nearby hotspot Zuma, who curated the interior décor by sourcing inspiration from their travels and having local artists prepare the chandeliers roped with pearls, wrought-iron balcony and Art Deco mural. Add award-winning French chef Philippe Ruiz (ex-Biltmore), whose technique is as sterling as, well, sterling. Round it out with wait staff culled from other star establishments (The Dutch, The Setai), and Lippi is one winning formula. Small plates range from crudo and blini to truffled eggs with wild mushrooms and lobster-filled ravioli in bisque foam to salt-encased whole fish and rack of lamb, simply seared to utter perfection. Every plate is designed to best highlight both individual flavors of the high-quality materials and their unique beauty; the octopus causa, for instance, looks like flower petals pollinated with black olive tapenade and Peruvian chile peppers. Portions are much larger than the "small plates" ethos suggests. But while 2-3 plates per person should suffice appetite-wise, often it doesn't complete the diner's longing to try just one more thing. Desserts are equally as stunning, so expect to walk away from this sumptuously designed restaurant replete of both eye and stomach. ((305) 579-1888)

2 Mac's Club Deuce
Mac's is fondly known as South Beach's premier dive bar. Barflies, trendy types, and drag queens mix and mingle at this simple nightspot, where rock and roll on the jukebox provides the only entertainment — other than people-watching, which is endlessly entertaining here. Casual wear is recommended, but people show up in all manner of attire, from cutoffs to cocktail dresses. Another claim to fame at Mac's is the cheapest beer in South Beach, served to you with no frills in a basic plastic cup. The consummate seediness of the bar has made it a favorite with those from all walks of life. Smoking permitted at the bar. (305-531-6200)

1 Wet Willie's
You know what you are in for as soon as you hear the name of this bar's most popular drink — the Call A Cab. Just about every alcoholic beverage is combined in this fruity concoction that often lives up to its name. There is a long list of sweet, slushy drinks, but they are far more potent than they appear. The lively crowd is diverse and friendly, and the view from the second-floor patio is one of the best. Grab a coveted spot here and watch the ocean and the action on Ocean Drive. ATM machines on the premises. (305-532-5650)

Lists
Articles

Maps and Directions

1
RSMAS Wetlab 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Beach Bar
Neighborhood: Key Biscayne
3
Clarke's 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Pub
Neighborhood: Miami Beach
4
Bardot 10Best List Arrow
Type: Late Night / After Hours, Live Entertainment, Lounge
Neighborhood: Wynwood
5
Boteco 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Late Night / After Hours, Live Entertainment, Live Music, Sports Bar
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
9
Mac's Club Deuce 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Late Night / After Hours
10
Wet Willie's 10Best List Arrow
Type: Bar, Late Night / After Hours
Lists
Articles

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