The best cocktail bars in Miami

This is where you are going for a crisp drink

Nov
17
2023

Keep this guide handy when you’re looking for the best cocktail bars in Miami. 

Cocktail bars are an interesting topic in Miami. Do locals really care for them? Can a drink be appreciated the same way a dish is?

We absolutely love and appreciate a good cocktail and their establishment.  So, for all intents and purposes, we would like to define what we have come to know as cocktail bars in Miami.

Cocktail bars in Miami can be bars that offer bites, a full menu, or just solid drinks. They can be restaurant bars as long as it’s fairly easy to stop by, sit at the bar (or a nearby couch), and sip on a cocktail.

The team behind the bar is hospitable and knowledgeable. The drinks are balanced and made with high-quality ingredients. Oh, and your cocktail is thoughtfully garnished.

So basically, if you’re looking for a crisp and sippable drink, then this guide is for you. If we are missing your favorite cocktail bar, we’re down to check it out. Let us know HERE.

JAGUAR SUN


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 230 NE 4th St

Yes, we know… our love for Jaguar Sun will never die. But, Hungries it’s for a good reason. It’s not just the amazing staff who welcome you in and make you feel right at home that does it for us. Add to that, an exceptional bar program by Will Thompson and a pasta-focused menu by Chef Carey Haynes that we could have all the time.   

Jaguar Sun is where locals become regulars. You’ll find them sipping on a Green Ghoul or two or ordering one too many Parker House Rolls with that finger-licking good honey-whisked butter. If you are looking to get into Miami’s best-crafted cocktails or keep it classic with traditional tini’s, we recommend not walking but running to Jaguar Sun. 

 

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THE LISTENING BAR AT KAORI


Neighborhood: Brickell
Address: 871 S Miami Ave

Step into Kaori’s Listening Bar, and you’ll feel the charm of a Japanese-inspired space that’s more than just a typical record bar in Miami. It’s carefully designed to offer a sophisticated yet cozy atmosphere that welcomes everyone. The focus isn’t just on the sound system or hefty vinyl collection, it’s about sharing a communal experience with your fellow Kaori visitors. 

Oh and if you get hungry, we recommend the addicting wagyu and foie gras gyozas, and for drinks sip on the La Cura—it’s their twist on the classic penicillin cocktail.

 

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BAR KAIJU


Neighborhood: Little River
Address: 8300 NE 2nd Ave 2nd floor

Located on the second floor of The Citadel food hall in Little River, Kaiju is this hidden gem of a cocktail bar that feels like stumbling upon a secret hideaway. Picture this: cozy spot with a cool anime-themed menu featuring drinks named after mythical monsters.

You can’t help but geek out over the creativity behind it all. And let us tell you about these cocktails—they’re not just drinks, they’re experiences. Crafted with such finesse, they’re the kind of sippers that make you want to slow down and savor every drop.

The bar itself? It’s intimate, to say the least—only a handful of guests get to snag a seat at the glowing red bar. But, even if you can’t grab a seat, there’s still room to enjoy the experience of it all away from the bar.

Kaiju’s got this magic that makes you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club, even if you’re just there to unwind after a hectic day. Plus, who wouldn’t want to sip on a drink named after some legendary monster?

 

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THE GIBSON ROOM


Neighborhood: Coral Way
Address: 
2224 SW 22nd St

The Gibson Room isn’t just your average cocktail bar. At first glance, it’s this cozy joint with folks enjoying reasonably priced martinis, tapping their feet to some live tunes in the corner.

But now picture this collision of a cocktail lounge, jazz club, and, oddly enough, a taxidermy shop—it’s a unique blend that sets the mood.

With every dish you order, this place peels back layers of surprises, revealing an unexpected world of thoughtful and incredibly tasty food that you’d never expect to find in a Coral Way bar. And the cocktails are also the real deal. If you are looking for a spontaneous adventure one night, this is where you need to make a detour.

MIAMI SOUND BAR


Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 123 SE 2nd Ave

Tucked away next to a NY Pizza spot and illuminated with a subtle red glow, you’ll find yourself wondering what could you possibly find behind the velvet red rope. As the door opens you will be greeted with the sounds of one of the best listening bars in Miami. 

Decked in velvet burgundy couches and a limited amount of seats at the bar, you are coming here to sip on well-crafted cocktails and listen to vinyl like never before. 

Next to you at the bar, you will find industry locals enjoying a shot and a beer, some undercover DJs just vibing to the sound system, and destination travelers looking for a unique Miami experience. 

Hungries, we recommend sipping on the Blind Melon cocktail made with tequila, ancho verde, midori, honeydew, agave, and lime. Though an easy sipper compared to the other signature cocktails it is an exceptionally well-balanced cocktail for those that like to stick to one drink of choice for the night. 

CHAMPAGNE BAR AT THE SURF CLUB


Neighborhood: Surfside
Address9011 Collins Ave

At the Four Seasons Surf Club’s Champagne Bar, it’s not just about the exquisite setting—this place takes you on a journey through time and flavors. 

Imagine being transported to an elegant oasis with a palm-lined lounge, where the cocktail menu isn’t just a list; it’s a Miami Timeline, offering a variety of concoctions from different eras. 

From the glamorous Champagne selection—Miami’s largest—to innovative riffs on classic cocktails inspired by global travels, there’s a sip for every taste. 

We’re talking expertly crafted drinks like the 747, a refreshing blend of vodka, St-Germain, watermelon, and basil, or the WWW, teasing the palate with Absolut Elyx and Cocchi Americano. And for those seeking a personalized touch, the Cocktail Trolley is an adventure waiting to happen, where an $85 investment leads to a bespoke drink tailored to your preferences, perhaps uncovering a new favorite courtesy of skilled mixologists.

SWIZZLE RUM BAR & DRINKERY


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address: 1120 Collins Ave

If you know, you know. But if you don’t then that’s where we step in. Tucked in the sub-basement of the Washington Park Hotel get transported into this dark, cozy space decked out in maps, books, and rare bottles of rum. 

As the name implies you are coming to Swizzle for the rum and boy do they know how to make you appreciate how many ways rum can be enjoyed. 

While any choice on the cocktail list will be good., we recommend dipping your toe into the Florida Rum Experience where you can try four rums from around Florida for $45. But, don’t just stop there. If you are looking for a drink to change your outlook on what a Piña Colada should taste like, order the Sip, Bite, Sip AKA (Swizzle’s Pina Colada). As the name implies there is a particular manner in which you enjoy this innovative take on a traditional Pina Colada (fair warning it’s very addicting). 

SWEET LIBERTY DRINKS & SUPPLY COMPANY


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address: 237 20th St suite b

A classic never goes out of style and neither does Sweet Liberty. Just because this local favorite is located in South Beach, you don’t feel the fuss of the South Beach tourism filling the space.

With as many locals as there are visitors from all around, this remains a staple and must-visit in our book. With the eclectic style of decor and good throwbacks playing overhead, you come to Sweet Liberty not just for the drinks but the overall essence of the bar. 

No matter what time of day you come in, you are going to enjoy bartenders slinging favorites like The Tropical Negroni from the Miami Life Baby portion of the menu or if you are leaning towards something a little more boozy give JP’s Milk Punch a try. 

P.S. If you love oysters get in on those happy hour oysters 0.95 cents.

CAFÉ LA TROVA


Neighborhood: Calle Ocho
Address: 971 SW 8th St

When on Calle Ocho, a must-stop is among the World’s 50 Best Bars. This gem, overseen by chef/owner Michelle Bernstein and Cuban cantinero Julio Cabrera, blends comfort food with Cabrera’s masterful drink craft. 

Nestled in an Old Havana-style building, adorned with guayabera-clad musicians, this is where you go when you want a little taste of Cuba in Miami. Here you are sipping on their Buenavista cocktail, a blend of gin, elderflower liqueur, mint, cucumber, and lime juice. 

But, are you getting a taste of Havana if you don’t order a mojito? Refreshing, simple, and delicious, there’s a reason they remain on the renowned 50’s Best Bars in the world.

THE NEW SCHNITZEL HOUSE


Neighborhood: Little River
Address1085 NE 79th St

If you are a Gramps lover then you will love the newest concept under Adam Gersten. This place is a fusion of German comfort food with a Miami twist, paying homage to its predecessor, the beloved Schnitzel Haus. 

We’ve highlighted the incredible eats you will find in our New Miami Restaurant Guide, so let’s focus on the cocktails. 

The New Schnitzel House boasts an intriguing beverage lineup showcasing German-inspired ingredients. We recommend the Schnitzel House Punch—a blend of Jagermeister, rum, orgeat bitters, and lemon—or the Royal Bavarian mixing rye, cinnamon, amaro, and bitters. 

Photo credit Julian Cousins

MONTERREY BAR


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address40 Island Ave

Looking for a reason to glammed up and visit Miami Beach? Monterrey Bar at The Standard will be your destination then. Tucked away in a cozy space that seats around 20 guests, it’s the pinnacle of sophistication. With couch seating, a sleek T-shaped bar, and lighting that sets the mood for some perfect Instagram moments, this is where you bring the girls for that one night out on the town. 

Now let’s talk cocktails—these aren’t your average drinks. They even have a whole section on the menu dedicated to your Zodiac Sign. We also recommend the High Tropic, a fusion of highball and piña colada that hits all the right notes. But know these sips range from $18 to $24 a pop, so if you are looking for a treat yourself night, then you know where to go. We recommend getting there early, as this small but mighty bar fills up in the blink of an eye. 

 

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MAC’S CLUB DEUCE


Neighborhood: South Beach
Address: 222 14th St

Step into Mac’s Club Deuce and you’ll be greeted by a haze of cigarette smoke that hangs in the air like a signature scent—a telltale sign of what to expect.

This joint is a serious contender for the title of America’s Greatest Dive Bar. This spot’s history runs deep—it’s been around since 1926, standing proud in the heart of South Beach just a couple of blocks from the ocean. Picture this: neon lights, a pool table, a jukebox that’s seen some better days, and a happy hour that lasts from 8 AM – 7 PM.

Who hangs out here? Well, with an early opening time, you’ve got your regulars and of course, your tourists who are probably coming under the “Anthony Bourdain” visited this exact spot intention. But, don’t let that lead you astray.

Mac’s is for those who appreciate a dive bar straight out of a novel. It’s where you chat with the person next to you, whether they came in with you or not. It’s that old-school vibe where stories flow as freely as the drinks and they do classic cocktails right.

THE HUNGRY POST
PHOTO CREDIT MIAMI SOUND BAR
BY NATALIE ORTIZ
The best cocktail bars in Miami