Despite loving the tacky frozen drinks with tiny umbrellas that Miami is famously known for, the city is full of epic dive bars, luxurious cocktail lounges, and plenty of unexpected hidden establishments, too. Although Caribbean and Cuban influences give Miami a more laid-back atmosphere, the city’s thriving nightlife culture strikes a balance between a leisurely atmosphere and a visceral energetic experience.
The bar scene in Miami features everything from waterfront splendor to Latin music and pink South Beach hues. From live music to jaw-dropping performances, luscious and ingenious cocktails and food, Miami has some of the best bars in the country. Trust me, these places are worth knowing about as drinking dens because with their music, entertainment, excellent food, and many are open till the early hours of the morning. Here are 5 unique bars in Miami that everyone should know about.
1. Dante’s HiFi
Miami’s first record listening bar is in Wynwood, but you must know exactly where to look for it or you might pass it by. Though not really a secret, this bar isn’t easy to find. However, as soon as you enter and notice the leather couches and dim lighting, you’ll know you’re in the right location. Here, at the intimate Dante HiFi, which was inspired by the Jazz Kissa, or secret listening rooms, in Japan, the music is just as vital as the beverage you are enjoying.
Dante’s HiFi is a haven for music enthusiasts with an intimate vibe and a light and refreshing cocktail menu that’s ideal for drinking and dancing all night. Visitors may anticipate genuine, HiFi musical experiences from internationally renowned musicians in a LoFi, relaxing atmosphere in this cozy and heartfelt location for the keen music enthusiast. Audiophiles will enjoy the enormous vinyl record collection from resident music director Rich Medina’s own collection from Dante’s cutting-edge sound system. The welcoming atmosphere infuses Miami’s music scene with a mood and level of refinement that truly hasn’t been done before.
2. Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery
Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery is a secret Craft Cocktail Bar that draws inspiration from America’s colonial past. Swizzle flourishes in a quiet, seductive setting away from busy Collins Avenue, hidden down a narrow staircase off the Stiles Hotel lobby. The establishment offers classy craft drinks and a choice of more than 150 rums in an atmosphere that recalls a speakeasy.
A variety of spirits-forward drinks and tropical combinations are included on the menu at Swizzle Rum Bar & Drinkery, with an emphasis on traditional and modern cocktails. The bar has 24 seats inside, 30 seats in the adjacent lounge, and an additional 30 chairs outside on the terrace beside the pool. The decor features a mural and walls lined with images showcasing the history of rum. To pair with the drinks, a tiny kitchen delivers laid-back meals with complex flavor profiles. Chicken wings and a Cuban sandwich are traditional pub fare, but for the more daring diners, there are some delicacies from Serbia. Customers adore the Serbian steak croquetas, which are served with ajvar, a traditional vegetable spread that may be made spicy. Customers may anticipate a classy ambiance, a cocktail-focused menu, and a priority on excellent service.
3. Dragon Lounge
In the luxurious SLS hotel, you may find the ideal environment at the restaurant Katsuya whether you’re organizing a small dinner for friends, a business luncheon, or a lavish party. The eatery studied American consumers’ eating preferences and ventured beyond of what is thought of as traditional Japanese cuisine by fusing it with California-style cooking. The new sushi fad was sparked by this invention and quickly spread to other local establishments. You can grab both a sushi roll and a drink at this semi-secret location; located one floor above Katsuya, Dragon Lounge provides private dining.
The menu has a wide range of options, from traditional cocktails to novel mixed drinks. Every day from 6 to 8 p.m., this hidden bar, which is decorated in floor-to-ceiling Japanese-inspired murals painted by local Miami artists, offers a social hour with a selection of sushi rolls, appetizers, wine, and cocktails for less than $10. The Dragon Lounge is ideal for visitors seeking a private setting while still dining at one of Miami’s most popular restaurants.
4. Bodega Taqueria y Tequila
With its port-a-potty entry inside the counter service taco eatery, this Miami bar was one of the first to capture customers’ interest. The restaurant serves a variety of Mexican street foods and has a distinctive nightlife scene with prize-winning tequila and cocktails. The Mexican-inspired concept offers a sizable menu that highlights traditional Mexican fare as well as creative and unique takes on it.
This Coconut Grove eatery has even another level: a little mezcaleria serving a variety of premium, agave-based beverages. Beginning at 6pm, the tasting room is open from Wednesday through Saturday. In the sultry drinking den, live music and pop-up performances are to be expected. Happy hour and late-night vice have long been popular at Bodega’s speakeasy. Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is regarded as one of the area’s trendiest dining and nightlife venues and is credited with being the first to bring fast-casual Mexican food to South Beach.
5. Floyd Miami
This lounge, which serves Prohibition-era cocktails and is concealed beneath Club Space, is made to look like a Victorian mansion. Floyd’s menu features classic drinks with a few modern touches, such as the Hemingway daiquiri and the traditional Manhattan. Only steps away from some of Miami’s best clubs, guests may take in DJs, jazz music, and poetry readings on any given night in a posh setting. In contrast to the other clubs in Miami’s 24-hour club sector, Floyd provides something unique. Live music is played there every weeknight, ranging from jazz to chamber symphony, and on the weekends,
it transforms into a small nightclub with a wide variety of dance music on the playlist. Floyd Miami is a special venue devoted to the disciplines of live music, poetry, and classic cocktails.
6. ATV Records
As midnight draws near, ATV Records, which is hidden behind a thick curtain covering the back wall of the Downtown restaurant and mezcaleria Melinda’s, emanates a distinctive sound. This small micro-club, which was created from the remains of Miami’s legendary underground electronic music venue the Electric Pickle, has kept much of the original venue’s furnishings, including the distinctive spaceship disco ball and, of course, the top-notch thumping bass that helped Pickle become renowned.
7. The 80’s Bar at Cafe la Trova
The outstanding food and drinks at this nostalgic Little Havana establishment, where distinguished cantinero Julio Cabrera tends the bar, are already well known to both tourists and residents. But fewer people know about the party that begins on Fridays and Saturdays at midnight in the backroom of the renowned restaurant, which is transformed into a neon-tinged, ’80s-themed speakeasy with DJ-spun disco tunes and kitschy references to Miami’s drug-fueled past.
8. El Santo Miami
El Santo’s more nefarious back-room bar is identified by blasphemous neon signs and Instagrammable corners. Pass the pay phone with a direct line to God and enter the area marked by dangling skeletons through the enormous wooden doors and soaring ceilings. When you find yourself dancing on banquettes to reggaeton while a few tequilas deep, El Diablo doesn’t take itself or you seriously. El Diablo wants you to believe it is a bar, but it actually features a club-like atmosphere.
The InterContinental hotel’s second-floor Chopin Ballroom doesn’t appear to be much more than a standard conference room. However, when a flapper from the 1920s leads you beyond the empty soda cans and coffee pots, you appear in a section of Miami during the Prohibition era. The tiny room is furnished with old pieces and has a bar with an inventive cocktail menu and carefully crafted infusions and tinctures. The three times each night seatings start with a brief mixology lesson and then feature private cocktails served by a cast which never breaks character.
Typically, asking questions you don’t want the answers to includes stepping past the plastic curtains of a restaurant called “The Mad Butcher.” But not at this Wynwood barbecue restaurant, which boasts the greatest beef ribs in Miami and also serves a faux side of beef, and has a chic backroom bar hidden behind said curtains. You will enter a typical mirrors-and-champagne lounge after passing the burly bouncer, where you will feel slightly guilty about how many ribs you just consumed.