Bars & Clubs

  • BEST HANGOUT FOR YOUNG TURKS

    Blue Café

    A Mediterranean restaurant by day is transformed by night, becoming party central for the Young Turks among Miami's people from Turkey, who, for those keeping tabs, are giving the Russians a run for their rubles as the area's most exotic party animals from the Old World. An eclectic mix of dance beats, including the increasingly popular Arab house music, keeps… More >>
  • BEST NEW BAR

    Favela Chic

    Favela Chic, which we might quite liberally translate as "ghetto fabulous," takes its name from a Brazilian nightlife trend in which the hip, educated, and employed plunge into Rio shantytowns, where the downtrodden, streetwise, and dirt poor know how to party away woes. If you're looking for a quiet, candle-lighted ambiance, slip into this place before 11:00 p.m., especially on… More >>
  • BEST REGGAE CLUB

    The Empire

    A decade ago Miami was the reggae gateway to the United States. On any given weekend major acts like Third World, Inner Circle, or the Kinsey Report could be found playing in a park or at a club. Even Africa-based reggae stars (e.g. Alpha Blondy) came to play at the old Cameo on South Beach. Today there is not one… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/SOUTH

    Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern

    The best neighborhood bar is the one closest to home, but Bougainvillea's, a snug "old Florida Tavern" near Sunset Place, makes a bit of travel pay off. Built inside a Forties-era cottage and open about four years, it's a fine place to sip wine and contemplate humanity, or down a beer and contemplate your navel. Actually, just drink and contemplate… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/NORTH

    Bermuda Bar

    This two-story, suburban drinkery is one of North Miami's most happening joints. It's an off-the-beaten-path destination situated next to a supermarket, but it's mostly round-the-way peeps who ride out there anyway, so the surroundings ain't no thing. Hip-hop and R&B reign here, and WMIB-FM (103.5) the Beat's DJ JS1 keeps it bumping for the young neighborhood "jits" until 5:00 a.m.,… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/WEST

    Kendall Ale House

    There's an old rule for judging restaurants when you're outside the hood. If the parking lot is full, eat there. If the food sucked, there wouldn't be a crowd (and vice versa, of course). This place packs 'em in without giving up its Cheers-like friendliness. The clients might lean toward the corporate side, but the staff at this watering hole… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/ MIAMI BEACH

    Chamber Lounge

    The Chamber Lounge provides an oasis to escape the Miami Beach nightclub scene. Though it's close to the clubs, it's not a club at all. Not even close. "Nightclub" implies loud music, flashing lights, obnoxious door guards, and clientele worried about making the scene in the oh-so-proper attire. At the Chamber, you're there to have a drink and perhaps engage… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/CENTRAL

    Greenstreet Café

    Though there's a spacious interior dining room and restaurant cuisine served on the Commodore Plaza side of the walkway, the real scene for veteran Grovites -- as well as others who come from all around to rubberneck and be seen -- is the Greenstreet bar. This is a real bar-bar, with stools lined up and facing a bank of sports-oriented… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BUMP INTO A DRUNKEN SAILOR

    Scotty's Landing

    There's something surreal about the light reflected off Biscayne Bay and into the thatch-roof shade of Scotty's. Maybe it's a combination of the sea air and the proximity to another vortex of surreality, Miami's city hall. It can be accessed only from the water, or by threading one's way through the edge of a boat yard. Hiding behind the marina,… More >>
  • BEST LATIN CLUB

    Hoy Como Ayer

    There is something about the spirit in this little club on Calle Ocho that will not die. Change owners, change the name, change the musical attraction: no matter. Two years of the wild success of the now-defunct weekly Fuácata party allowed the club to expand, with more spacious seating in the front and an intimate lounge in the back. The… More >>
  • BEST DANCE CLUB

    Opium Garden/Prive

    If it were up to South Pointe residents, there would be no wild nights at Opium Garden or its upstairs VIP playpen, called Prive. The venue's open-air structure doesn't exactly qualify as soundproof, so it's not only the party people inside who are staying up all night listening to loud music. Every weekend herds of nocturnal creatures crowd the entrances… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SLOW DANCE

    Jakmel Art Gallery and Culture Center

    Playing frustrated author and original club kid James St. James in 2003's Party Monster, Seth Green proved to be a consummate method actor with range far beyond sassing his dad about the Alan Parsons Project as Scott Evil in the Austin Powers franchise. With skin so milky and translucent that his veins show, Titian-toned hair, and golden irises offset by… More >>
  • BEST GAY BAR

    Twist

    Incorporating everything from the frightening to the fabulous, Twist roars on. In July the late-night watering hole completes eleven years as South Beach's reigning queer party place. In that time it's endured failed competition from countless gay bars that sprouted up, then withered. That puts Twist into the sphere of the old reliable, a regular lounge for fun and more… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS BAR

    Hooligan's Pub and Oyster Bar

    The categorical appellation may call up visions of tony saloons where moneyed patrons drink top-shelf scotch, shoot straight pool on a full-size table with clean green felt stretching veldtlike bumper-to-bumper. Or maybe the old neighborhood watering hole, where the regulars gather nightly to cheer and weep for the home team before stumbling out as brothers in arms (literally). Forget those.… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR COCKTAILS

    Segafredo Cafe

    Segafredo is a place for cocktails, period. It's not the bar of some hotel or restaurant, which are, in effect, expensive waiting rooms where diners are damn near forced to buy drinks as the clock ticks on. Segafredo is not some club masquerading as a "lounge," devoid of people until it's late enough and the music's loud enough. Segafredo is… More >>
  • BEST VIP ROOM

    Mynt Ultra Lounge

    What makes a VIP room very important is not what kind of champagne is served, or how much room one has to boogie in, or even how much privacy is afforded the club druggies. No, what really matters is how long a wait people will put up with to get in. The hep cats at Mynt have made an art… More >>
  • BEST KARAOKE

    Starlite Diner

    Eclectic. That's the adjective to describe the type of people who frequent Starlite Diner, and to describe the perfect crowd for this fad that will not die. There's "Roxy," age fifteen. Hidden inside the Kendall Village Plaza, under the mask of night, she and some of her fellow Narcotics Anonymous group members are huddled, pounding cheap drinks and perusing the… More >>
  • BEST CLUB DJ

    LS One

    Brooklyn transplant DJ LS One has spun for numerous rap stars over the past decade, including Onyx and DMX. These days, however, he merely takes the good people who pack the Bermuda Bar every Friday night on an adventure, cutting up the wax with a dexterity that leaves them breathless, even as they try to match his paces on the… More >>
  • BEST HAITIAN CLUB

    Marabou Café

    Perhaps it's a byproduct of the demographic trend of Haitians moving north of Miami-Dade, but there is a dearth of spaces dedicated to Haitian music in this county. Finding live compas in this town has become as difficult as finding reggae. Heading north is the right idea, though. Marabou, just over the county line, is picking up the slack quite… More >>
  • BEST BIKER BAR

    Redlands Tavern - CLOSED

    More country than rock, Redlands Tavern sports a totally relaxed atmosphere and abundant "Bikers Welcome" signage. Dread not ye Toyota drivers, the earthy elbow benders here are of the cowboy hats and "howdy ma'am" school rather than the tattoo-painted, swastika-emblazoned, leather-jacket gang. Nonetheless you'll see motorcycles parked next to the hitching post labeled "horse parking." (On the subject of tradition:… More >>
  • BEST LOW-RENT BAR

    Misty Blue

    Only God knows how this little shithole manages to stay in business. It is truly beyond human cognition. The entrance is an unmarked door hidden between a liquor store and a pawnshop. Misty Blue -- if that is its real name -- has been the target of drug busts and late-night debauchery for years. It's dirty in more ways than… More >>
  • BEST NIGHTCLUB DISGUISED AS A HOTEL

    The Ritz-Carlton's DiLido Beach Club

    The Ritz-Carlton at the intersection of Collins and Lincoln is part of a highly regarded hotel brand that has received rave reviews for its newly designed plush décor. But it's really the DiLido Beach Club out back that has people talking, and partying. Every Sunday afternoon, the DiLido transforms the ocean-view deck into a bustling, St. Tropezian affair that practically… More >>
  • BEST OPEN-MIKE NIGHT

    Luna Star Café

    Longevity for music clubs in this city is akin to "dog years." A decade run equals a lifetime anywhere else. Which means the biweekly open-mike night at Luna Star Café, now in its eighth year, has grown long in the tooth. But you'd never notice by the exuberance of the participants, a roster of volunteer songsters who begin signing up… More >>
  • BEST LESBIAN BAR

    Siren at Jade Lounge

    Siren, once monthly, grew so popular with its audience that the event now makes each Saturday a girls' night out. Miami's most metrosexual hangout does the women-who-like-women thing well -- clubs do not give up a Saturday night easily. That means more women in the upstairs lounge grooving to house music, salsa, and all things jiggy. Though Jade is not… More >>
  • BEST JUKEBOX

    The Sandbar Lounge

    The mechanical makeup of the jukebox at the Sandbar is nothing extraordinary. It's a typical CD changer writ large but lacking fancy functions or a connection to the Internet. This particular box contains winner music from every pop genre of the past 40 years. Sadly that includes concessions to the loser music of today (Avril Lavigne, Pink ...). You'll still… More >>
  • BEST ONE-NIGHTER

    Fuácata at I/O

    How do they do it? After three years of busting out their slinky Afro-Cuban-steeped funk, the Spam Allstars are still at it, week after week, holding court every Thursday evening for Fuácata, which is the party around here. Even Miami's too-cool-for-school hipsters find themselves hitting the dance floor and making with the mashed potato. And thanks to Fuácata's spacious new… More >>
  • BEST PROMOTER

    Michael Capponi

    A conversation with Michael Capponi never lasts too long or goes too deep. It's not that the man behind nationally acclaimed nights at Prive, B.E.D., Mansion, and the DiLido Beach Club is inattentive or shallow; it's because the lifestyle of this perpetual host leaves little time for schmoozing. Capponi, whose elegant Belgian demeanor mixes with surfer-boy charm, is often seen… More >>
  • BEST MARTINI

    The Marlin Bar

    A seemingly incongruous setting for the consummate cocktail, the Marlin's bar actually serves a splendid version of the original, with your choice of top-shelf gin and vermouth as well as the newfangled blends involving apple schnapps or whatever. For atmosphere, the curving bar is long enough to accommodate your whole posse and low-key enough for sitting alone; comfortable sofas and… More >>
  • BEST NIGHTLIFE TREND

    Jeans

    After too many years of snooty dress codes, most clubs, even the chichi hot spots, have loosened up and opened their hallowed doors to patrons wearing jeans. Good old denim, the fabric that changed America, conquers another frontier. It used to be that admittance to a high-end joint began with expensive slacks for men and short skirts for women, but… More >>
  • BEST HAPPY HOUR

    Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - CLOSED

    Admittedly there are wittier and more attractive crowds than the corporate types gathered at Gordon Biersch during its festive happy hour, which kicks off every day (except the already popular Friday) at 5:00 p.m. But fun's the point (it's called "happy" for a reason), and there's great fun to be had sipping a cold brew after the paycheck grind as… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO PLAY POOL

    Felt

    Located in one of the oldest booze buildings in South Beach (the old Diamond Bar spot), Felt has moved forward to become a favorite hang for cats far too cool to tangle with the trendoid mobs of posers filling neonland. Ten eight-and-a-half-foot blue felt tables crowd the joint while a DJ spins an eclectic mix of Eighties rock, hip-hop, and,… More >>
  • BEST POOLSIDE BAR

    Delano Hotel

    For all its chic international appeal, the poolside bar scene at the Delano remains refreshingly accessible. No velvet ropes, no beefy bouncers, no clipboard-wielding door divas. As a nonguest, you should be polite and use some stealth: stroll nonchalantly through the sumptuous lobby into the carefully manicured rear area. Meander past the rows of private bungalows to the back bar,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MODEL-WATCH

    La Piaggia

    This Mediterranean-style bar and outdoor restaurant with a view of Fisher Island sits elegantly on a sandy bank at South Pointe, beneath the towering Murano Grande at Portofino, and bills itself "the South of France at the South of Fifth." (While some think South Beach ends at Fifth Street, those with taste know that's where the good stuff begins.) This… More >>
  • BEST BARTENDER

    Mara Degenhardt

    All the mixers at Automatic Slim's deserve an award, so the nod goes to senior server (she's been there longest, she doesn't just serve elderly people) Mara Degenhardt. The Washington Avenue bar that claims to be the place "where the beautiful come to get ugly" was the first to play up the Coyote Ugly mien by allowing the gorgeous female… More >>
  • BEST ROCK CLUB

    Churchill's

    The cool new dueling jukeboxes (one local tracks, the other national; they switch back and forth when both are being played). New edifice. Tile flooring. Redesigned patio and outside bar. The improvements made during the past couple of years are fine, but to change the essence of the only club that could be considered the pinnacle of rock staging for… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Mitchell Kaplan

    Mitchell Kaplan, a lifelong Miami-Dade County resident, founded Books & Books in 1982. Kaplan's personality, love of writers, and belief in the written word have inflamed and driven the Miami Book Fair International, a festival that is to publishing as Art Basel is to art. Books & Books, with outlets in Coral Gables and in Miami Beach, offers, well, books… More >>
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