Despite Miami's rep for being one of the most gay-friendly cities in America (okay, we've got nothing on San Francisco, but we're still gayer than, say, Tuscaloosa), finding a good gay bar here can sometimes be a complicated dance. There are, of course, the usual haunts. The ones that have been around for decades, that everyone knows (even all our straight friends). Places like Score and Twist, both on South Beach and both with a reputation for being prime party spots for men who love men.
But if you're just visiting, or even if you just came out and want to finally check out a few LGBTQ-friendly spots, it can be difficult, especially if you're searching for something a bit...different. That's why 10Best has scoured its resources for info on all the best places for the queer men and ladies (and gender non-conforming) folks who just want to go out and get a drink with other folks with whom they might have more in common. Gay bars for men are definitely easier to find than lesbian bars (to the point that we felt the need to include events like Aqua Girl in order to have more for the ladies), but whatever your flavor, we've got something here for you.
When it comes to gay bars in Miami, most tend to be loud dance clubs--which is great if that's your scene. But when you're simply in the mood to be in a dimly-lit dive, Jamboree is where you need to be. Please don't expect any red carpet treatment here. In fact, walk in with zero expectations. Because again: this is a dive. That said, if you know what to expect, you're liable to have a great time. There's usually a cover, so be prepared to shell out a few bucks (this IS practically the only male-oriented gay dive bar in town, after all). Drinks are limited to beers and wine (but they're relatively inexpensive). There may or may not be some adult videos going on in the background (but uh, keep an open mind). And don't go out into the back patio unless you know what's going on (from the sound of it, it's all on a need to know basis). Relax and have a few drinks with friends, and stay for the late-night drag show and you'll be solid.
The Floppy Rooster is a no-holds-barred gay bar where anything goes. Sure, you can come simply to enjoy their 2-for-1 specials (8pm to midnight) but let's face it. Most folks come here for the live entertainment. This is, after all, a venue full of talented dancers. Located in Medley (between Doral and Hialeah), it doesn't enjoy the same hefty crowd as clubs on SoBe, but in a way that makes it better. There's plenty of space to sit back and watch the dancers, or do a little people watching while sipping cocktails. Everyone is welcome at the Floppy Rooster, so you will find some straight women, hetero couples, and of course, lots and lots of gay men. Drinks are reasonably priced, and--more importantly, strong, so you're getting your money's worth. If you're looking to have an anything goes kind of fun night, the Floppy Rooster is definitely where it's at.
While bars and clubs specifically catered to lesbians in Miami are rare, there are a couple events that LGBTQ ladies can look forward to throughout the year where they are appreciated for the goddesses that they are. One of those is the Women's White Party. Happening every November, Miami's much-anticipated event for ladies who love ladies is actually an HIV/AIDS awareness event benefiting local non-profit organization CARE Resource. The White Party's signature, five-hour dance party invites a diverse crowd, all clad in white, swaying under the moon. Groove to jams by top DJs, enjoy some of Miami's best bites, and mingle with new friends and surprise celeb guests. Festivities last throughout the week, so don't limit yourself to just the main event. This year there will be a kick off party starting things off in Fort Lauderdale, followed by the Feza Dance Party in Little Havana, and culminating in the Cirque Blanc Official Women's White Party at Nikki Beach, with a special after party hosted by none other than Melissa Ethridge. Check the website for full details and make sure to mark your calendars and get yourself to these events.
You've never been to a better Latin drag club than the oh-so-memorable Azucar Nightclub. This ultra-hot gay Latin nightclub is just the place to go to enjoy the best drag entertainment off of South Beach. Thursday nights are Drag War nights and the best queens come to battle it out for the prize, not to mention the bragging rights. If you're looking to get a lot of dancing in though you'll want to drop by on a Satuday night for Sabados Locos con Azucar. For those looking for a slightly more composed evening, you can always come by on Noches de Cabaret, where you'll enjoy a comedy and well-choreographed performance by Poison Ivy, Teresita "La Caliente", Josefina "La Globos" and the Queen of Comedy, Mariloly. There's just no way you'll get out of Azucar without having had the grandest of times.
If you ask any local or any tourist to name 3 bars in the heart of South Beach, the Clevelander would definitely be on that list. And there are so many reasons for that. Most bars don't include an outdoor pool on the beach, and that's just one of the perks that makes the Clevelander one of the most popular destinations on Ocean Drive. The raucous and splashy atmosphere is quintessential South Beach, and the crowd makes it feel like Spring Break all summer long. Don't worry about a dress code; bathing suits and flip-flops are the order of the day even in December. The music runs the gamut, from rock to dance, and live music or DJs are sometimes featured.
Club Boi has been the staple of South Florida's urban gay nightlife since 2002 and has dominated the scene ever since. Now located in the heart of South Beach, right on Washington Avenue, the latest reincarnation of Club Boi is actually now a party held inside the ever-popular Score. But just because it's at Score doesn't mean it's the same as any other night at Score. This party is definitely different and provides a safe and sexy club atmosphere with strippers, a friendly and efficient bar staff, diverse crowd, and an energetic and unique mix of Hip Hop, Reggae/Dancehall, R&B, Latin, House, & Old school beats.
When people ask you about gay clubs in Miami, the very first one they'll mention is Score. Score has been around for-ever and there's a reason for it. Or many reasons, really. Sure, the drinks are a bit pricier than you'd like, and you might not always be happy about paying a cover, but a night at Score is almost always worth it. You'll have an experience unlike any other in the Magic City, and more importantly, you'll have plenty of new stories to tell. Party people from near and far come to this for-the-boys nightclub, now on Washington Ave.
Queer folk looking for a laid-back bar with delicious, well-crafted cocktails the likes you find at many other South Beach and Wynwood-area spots will find just what they're searching for at the Bar at Hotel Gaythering. Hotel Gaythering, Miami Beach's only gay hotel, is the locale for this wonderfully relaxed alternative to the EDM pumping, velvet-rope-lined, dress code-enforced gay clubs found throughout the rest of the city. Also found here is a wide selection of quality craft beers (but then what great bar doesn't have a good beer list these days?) as well as themed nights to add a little extra to your bar-going experience. Wednesday nights is trivia night, enjoy 90s tunes on Thursday evenings, and find your share of bears on Fridays for Bears and Hares night.
You would think that as gay-friendly a town as Miami is that we would have rampant lesbian clubs and bars throughout. And yet it seems that while we've got some long-standing establishments for the gay men in the Magic City, there is very little for the ladies who love ladies. This is why we've got to, at the very least, include info on Aqua Girl, the biggest lesbian party in Miami. It only happens once a year (sadly!) but when it does, it's like every queer girl in the 305 comes out for it (no pun intended). 2016's Aqua Girl festivities were hosted at the Raleigh Hotel, but the thing about Aqua Girl is it basically takes over all of South Beach so you'll find plenty of events from pool parties, brunches, and comedy shows to truly epic all-women dance parties in various venues. Best part (as if this all weren't good enough already) is that 100% of the proceeds of the Aqua Girl parties go toward the Aqua Foundation for Women, an organization that works to promote the equality and visibility of LGBTQ women. Hopefully someday Aqua Girl will become a year-round thing. We'll keep our fingers crossed for now.
Ever so popular with the gay community in the 305, this South Beach club has been keeping the party going for nearly two decades now, and they don't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. This multilevel complex features seven bars (some indoors, some out), each with a different theme or vibe, including a tiki bar, a salsa room, a hip-hop room, a pop room, and more, ensuring that there's something for everyone here. The dance floors here are always packed, making them the perfect place for dancing the night away or even finding a new (dance) partner. Best of all, there's never a cover!