Bars & Clubs

  • Best Bartender

    Crispy Soloperto

    Sarah Vaughan's soulful voice floats in the air. Behind the immaculately kept bar, a smiling sprite of a girl snaps her fingers along with the bass. Crispy, as she's known to locals, is holding court. Best known for pouring drinks at the former 821 on Lincoln Road, Crispy, at first the bar back, filled in for the absent after-hours help… More >>
  • Best Bar Disguised As A Sailing Yacht

    Lola Bar

    Lola, light of my night, fire of my martinis. My gin, my elbow. How your bar resembles the beautiful hull of a little wooden ship. How we sail, suspended from the gunwales through the mists that come from the hidden swirls of the DJ-magicians. There is water, water, everywhere, but everyone prefers alcoholic beverages. O Captain! My Captain! We need… More >>
  • Best Gimlet

    Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant

    For such a simple drink, the gimlet has a salty history. This classic cocktail was delivered into the annals of mixology by British sailors who stirred together medicinal rations of Rose's lime juice and gin, discovering that it was possible to catch a nice buzz and ward off scurvy in one swing of the boom. The sailors probably didn't enjoy… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar (Spanish)

    Adelita's Cafeteria

    Enjoyment of this charming dive bar may be aided by citizenship in a Central American nation. Or by appreciation for soccer, the sport the regulars pile in to watch on the big-screen TV, sitting on wooden benches and listening to the play-by-play on a makeshift SurroundSound system anchored by bullhorns bolted to the ceiling. Yet even someone unfamiliar with the… More >>
  • Best Martini

    Nemo - CLOSED

    At six ounces it's not the most generous pour in town. And at eleven dollars a pop, it's certainly no bargain. But about a year ago Nemo, a first-rate restaurant with a highly creative kitchen and a lovely ambiance, changed its martini presentation in a way that deserves recognition. After complaints from customers that their martinis were losing their chill… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    La Covacha

    A million-dollar renovation undertaken last August by owner Aurelio Rodriguez added a gourmet kitchen, back-yard stage, and air conditioning for VIPs, yet this rustic roadhouse retains all its long-standing open-air charm. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, La Covacha remains South Florida's best bet for classic and contemporary salsa as well as the latest in merengue and vallenato. Sunday rocks as… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Corbett's Sports Bar & Grill

    It's the bathroom tile that truly tells you the folks at Corbett's take their sports very seriously. Not that you would have to unzip your pants to figure this out. The NASCAR schedule on the front wall gives a strong hint, as do more than a dozen televisions. Logically all manner of sporting recreation is available, including foosball, pinball, pool… More >>
  • Best Haitian Club

    Tap Tap

    Alas for lovers of Haitian compas music, McArthur International Café, with its weekly roster of local and national compas acts, is no more. Roots fans, however, can still find choice vodou rhythms and balladry at old standby Tap Tap. Venerable singer-songwriter (and former Port-au-Prince mayor) Manno Charlemagne is a regular presence on Saturday nights. Fridays bring a shifting set of… More >>
  • Best Bar Food

    Norman's American Bar & Grill

    It's almost a disservice to call Norman's steaks, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers "bar food." The term implies food for an empty stomach and churning head (or is it the other way around?), and Lord knows anything that'll soak up that last drink or two you shouldn't have had usually qualifies as good eats in the wee hours of the morning.… More >>
  • Best Club To Close In The Past Twelve Months

    Bash

    With co-owner/manager Eric Omores at the helm, Bash ushered in a short-lived era of relatively un-self-conscious enjoyment when it opened in April 1993. "I guess what made it great was the mix of people. Back then everybody just wanted to have fun," the Senegal-born, France-raised Omores recalls wistfully. "It was nothing pretentious." The space expanded the VIP-room concept and initiated… More >>
  • Best Bingo Break

    Martini Bar at the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming Center

    Up the escalator from the flashing lights and ringing soundtrack of the gaming center, just outside the all-you-can-eat buffet, is a watering hole filled with low tables, comfy purple chairs, and a sleek fake black-marble bar. The studiedly swank, friendly bartenders and promptly replenished bowls of peanuts are not the attraction, though. What lends the spot charm is the easy… More >>
  • Best Bacchanalia

    Opium

    South Beach may be slipping as a club hot spot, but it's not Opium's fault. The Asian-theme restaurant south of Fifth Street transmogrifies late at night into the raunchy, ostentatious epicenter of superficial glitz. Opium has emerged as the very best place for middle-age men to display their topless table-dancing (and often teenage) trophy chicks. Ergo the waitstaff at street-level… More >>
  • Best Open-Mike Night

    Sundays at Shantel's Lounge

    They call it "old-school" at Shantel's Lounge in Liberty City, where each week a group of African-American musicians, who have played jazz, blues, oldies, and soul around Miami, gathers to jam. Other music makers and singers are welcome to join the horns, keyboards, and drums that rock the room. During a spoken-word segment, about ten poets deliver short readings, ranging… More >>
  • Best Place To Slow Dance

    La Paloma

    We can't help but be enchanted each time we stroll into La Paloma, its European kitsch reminiscent of every postwar Jewish grandma's apartment. Splendid displays of owner Maria Staub's antique Baccarat crystal, Limoges china, and objects such as dolls and clocks accent the decor. Live trios and orchestras often contribute to the sedate ambiance of the plush lounge and bar… More >>
  • Best Karaoke

    Karaoke Horror Show

    Hialeah Goth diva/performance artist Viva hosts a campy night of sex and song that would make Britney Spears jealous. Belt out tunes from the hefty book of cheesy pop and ballads. Pick from Viva's collection of feather boas, wigs, and strap-on dildos and fondle them as you croon. But try to behave: She and her Gothic devotees razz sprightly singers… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/North

    The Uke

    If not for the lighted beer signs in the windows, it would be easy to miss this low-lying roadhouse on a commercial stretch of U.S. 1 just north of sleepy Miami Shores. To say that the Uke is little more than a bar isn't a putdown; it's an accurate description of the space. The interior is taken up almost completely… More >>
  • Best Cigar Bar

    Havana Cigar Emporium and Lounge - CLOSED

    The cigar craze is over. So what's a cigar bar to do? Become part of the nightclub scene, of course. Havana Cigar Emporium and Lounge boasts disco dancing, hot salsa, DJ nights, and even live music. Just as an aside, a cigar store is stocked with 20,000 stogies. (None from Cuba though, as the establishment's name implies.) More fun can… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/South

    The Pelican Nest

    Time slows at the Pelican Nest. In this old oasis disguised as a warehouse, regulars tend to sit at the end of the bar where an upside-down skiff hovers above. Long ago they noticed that because the boat is upside down, all the gear, including two big burlap bags marked "Colombian," is in various stages of falling out. No need… More >>
  • Best Lesbian Bar

    Bars at the American Airlines Arena

    This one's a joke, right? There are no lesbian bars here. Sure a few girls' nights occur around town, but no permanent place exists for all the Sapphic sisters to gather over drinks. (Apparently the gals don't bring in as much money as the gaggles of shirtless boys, or maybe we're all just spending too much time at home --… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/Central

    La Reina Cafeteria

    They say Calle Ocho is coming back. If they spent a Saturday night at La Reina, they'd see Calle Ocho has stayed pretty much where it's been for the past 40 years, right here in funky Little Havana, the first stop on many immigrants' road to the American dream. They drift in as the night progresses: the Honduran brothers looking… More >>
  • Best Jukebox

    Fox's Sherron Inn

    This sleek little steel-and-chrome number with flashing lights offers the most eclectic selection of tunes in town. There are contemporary Top 40 hits by the likes of Marc Anthony, Lauryn Hill, and, yes, Christina Aguilera; some gems from Motown's golden era; a smattering of country (Patsy Cline, George Strait); and a surprise or two (Elvis Presley's "Rock-A-Hula Baby"). The real… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/West

    The Bar

    After bartenders in Coral Gables call the last round, many of them make their way to The Bar for nightcaps. There is no better endorsement for a watering hole than one from the mixologist class. But if you need another, check out the beer selection. The Bar boasts 10 brands of brew on tap and 21 in bottles, plus a… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    The Laundry Bar

    Attitude-drenched bars full of the sleek and beautiful have become redundant. The most glamorous gay hangout for slumming: The Laundry Bar. Not entirely devoid of South Beach pretension, it's the kind of place where unassuming nerds can breathe easily alongside narcissistic muscle boys while waiting for their clothes to come clean. High-tech décor rules, but flip-flops and surfer shorts outnumber… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/Miami Beach

    Zeke's Roadhouse - CLOSED

    Neighborhood bars are supposed to be friendly, and nothing's friendlier than the price of a bottle of beer at Zeke's: two dollars. Not just any beer, either. Zeke's selection includes more than 100 brews, everything from Samuel Adams Summer Wheat to Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, from Dos Equis to Cerveza India. You name the country, and it's probably represented on… More >>
  • Best Biker Bar

    The Caribbean Club

    Just past Mile Marker 104, this Key Largo hangout overlooking Florida Bay is a superior spot to hoist a brew with "hog" aficionados. On most weekends pot-bellied, tattooed daddies park themselves at the bar eager to talk about 'Nam, women, and the open road. Instead of wearing leather, Levi's, and boots, they shoot the breeze in shorts, tank tops, and… More >>
  • Best Old-School Burlesque Queen

    Candy Caramelo

    Candy Caramelo, the hostess so nice she named herself twice (caramelo is Spanish for candy), zings one-liners and double-entendres from the stage of Club Tropigala Wednesday through Sunday nights. "This is not fat," she says, showing off her hefty figure, barely concealed by a teddy and feathery robe. "This is filet mignon." Then she winks and pulls some unsuspecting patron… More >>
  • Best Place For Cocktails

    Eden Roc Resort & Spa

    The Fifties: Miami Beach was the sun-and-fun capital of the world. The postwar cocktail nation was in full swing, and Morris Lapidus was creating what he called an "architecture of joy." The Lapidus-designed Eden Roc opened in 1956 and is considered a classic example of MIMo, or Miami Modernism. It's also still the best place anywhere to enjoy an adult… More >>
  • Best Bar To Model-Watch

    The Beehive, Monday nights at Penrod's

    When the delicate beauties of fall and winter descend on South Beach like migrating swans, a lot of people want their attention. It can all get a little overwhelming. To relax they need a low-key atmosphere. The Monday-night party called the Beehive inside Penrod's cavernous beachside structure is just the place. After all, most working stiffs don't go out on… More >>
  • Best Low-Rent Bar

    Two Last Shoes Bar

    Bolivian transplant Mario Irusta had a look in mind when he bought a rundown bar in the rundown neighborhood known as Wynwood. He wanted to improve the place but not so much that you'd notice. Clean but not antiseptic. His plan worked. Except for the worn terrazzo dance floor, everything in the place is relatively new, yet looks as if… More >>
  • Best Lava Lamp Lounge For Lovers

    Purdy Lounge

    What? A hip club to go to? Yeah, just head over to Washington Avenue. There's a slew of them. Well, yeah, you have to wait in a line for a while, but just 30, 40 minutes. An hour tops. What's that? You're on the guest list? You know Gerry? Oh, your friend knows Ken? That's nice. In that case those… More >>
  • Best Bar Wrapped Around A Banyan Tree

    The bar at Big Fish - CLOSED

    Banyan tree, very pretty. And the mixed drinks are sweet. But the fruit of the banyan? You definitely do not want to eat that. You, however, have come to this tree not to eat but to quench your thirst, breathe fresh air, and marvel at our beautiful little toxic river. Were it not for the neon stripes of the elevated… More >>
  • Best Place To Get Wasted While Getting Religion

    Astor Place Bar & Grill

    Sip a flute of Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut at $15 a pop. Nibble on a stack of silver-dollar wild-mushroom pancakes served with a delicate balsamic vinegar syrup. Sit back in your chair and settle into a happy sunlit Sunday groove. Under the influence of tasty food and effervescent drink, the mind kind of dilates during the Astor's gospel brunch. When Maryel… More >>
  • Best Rent-A-Bar In The Black Grove

    Club New Year's Eve

    Isaiah Brock, the proprietor of Club New Year's Eve, deserves some kind of medal. He already has the mettle. The self-determined Coconut Grove native has overcome a variety of hardships since opening his classy little cocktail joint in 1993, a few years after ending a 25-year career with the U.S. Air Force. For example Brock has had to deflect the… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Satchmo Blues Bar & Grill

    It has been a long time since Miami's blood truly moved to the beat of rock and roll. Most serious touring rockers never seem to make it south of Orlando. Plenty of ink in these pages has been spilled bemoaning this sad situation. The slim pickings have led us in previous years to rightly celebrate the only two real rock… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Club Space

    Since opening in April 2000 in downtown Miami, Club Space has lured throngs of South Beach regulars across the causeway. Created from four warehouses, Space, true to its name, offers more than 9000 square feet of dance floor. The door staff -- firm, polite, and unhindered by the essential Beach ego -- remains as cool as the cavernous joint, which… More >>

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