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Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Photo by Daniel De Las Casas

Have you accepted that you're a hipster?

Probably not. It's in your nature to deny it. Shit, even that is becoming cliche.

On most nights, though, you're inadvertently (or deliberately?) trendsetting at a handful of offbeat, edgy boozing joints around town.

So, sorry to blow up your spot. But here are Crossfade's top ten hipster bars in Miami.

See also:

-Ten Best Live Music Venues in Miami

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Photo by George Martinez

10. Wood Tavern

Wynwood's Wood Tavern bills itself as "a bar's bar." Stroll in on any given night, and the dim main room and adjoining string-lit beer garden evoke its other motto, "laidback-n-local." In 2012, Forbes named Wynwood one of America's 20 Best Hipster Neighborhoods. Yes, the arts district lures fixed-gear riding, American Spirit-puffing rascals who happen to frequent this watering hole. But it is Wood's mellow vibe that cuts through the pretentious bullshit. There's Taco Tuesday, serving up delicious $2 Mexican street food out of a converted station wagon. And then you've got Sunday's Backyard Boogie, an easygoing outdoor party with plenty of music, friends, and drinks. Affordable craft beer, mountains of booze bottles, and a Baby Birdman meet-and-greet? We'd say that's pretty chill.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars

9. Bardot

The now-defunct Studio A was a hipster haven abutting the elephantine Space on NE 11th Street. It was Miami's quintessential dance-club-slash-music-venue, catering to the folks who fancied a Cat Power show on Thursday, and craved an Avenue D boogie-down on Friday. When it closed in 2008, the Miami scene was in limbo. The midsized Grand Central's similar indie likability saved our asses, but there's another music house brewing in Midtown. Namely, Bardot, whose inconspicuous alley entrance, floor-level "Carpet Stage," and no-photography rule set a semi-secret insider vibe. Of course, the lounge still provides bottle service and boasts a VIP area. And those elements are a tad "affluent hipster," but the tunes are what we're here for. After all, underground indie, hip-hop, and electronic musicians like Peter Bjorn and John, XXYYXX, and Felix Da Housecat have all hit the rug.

Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2013 issue online.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Photo by Liliana Mora

8. The Vagabond

This is where hipsters go when they want to shake that ass. Or spit some spoken word. The NE 14th Street nightclub and music venue hosts its fair share of indie DJs (including a brimming 2013 Winter Music Conference lineup that included Poolside and Julius the Mad Thinker), but The Vagabond is also synonymous with Stone Groove, the Tuesday open-mic night hyped as "tailor-made for jazz enthusiasts and poetic aficionados." Hosted by the delectably dapper Marcus Blake (who won this year's Best Fashionista), bohemians gather to hear the sweet words of their peers while sipping $1 Grolsch bottles (from 10 to 11 pm.) and $5 Jameson whiskey all night long. So you know, after some liquid courage, the highfalutin' dude with the handlebar mustache in the corner will rhapsodically recite some Lauryn Hill.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Photo by Ian Witlen

7. The Corner

It's a fundamental hipster trait to make grubby look glam. And planting a cozy speakeasy-like tap amid Downtown Miami warehouses just oozes clandestine appeal. The Corner is its hood's only sign of gentrification, but the liquor loft is not necessarily kicking anyone out -- especially if moonshine, white whiskey, and absinthe are your thing. The dimly lit saloon's eclectic wine list ($8 to $12 a glass) and impressive craft beer menu ($3, $5, and $7 a pop) are handwritten on a chalkboard. It's cosmopolitan yet unassuming enough to draw in a scruffy-men-in-vests crowd. Take the edge off your New York Sour with a toothsome Madame Croque, like the traditional Monsieur with a fried egg on top. We promise, one night at the Corner is light-years away from the douchey debauchery around the corner in Park West.

Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2013 issue online.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

6. Gramps

Happy hour is a universally celebrated excuse to drink away your woes. And Gramps has two. Just take the latest edition, Girls of Gramps, featuring femme DJs, free chicken wings, and champagne sippin'. The homey Wynwood bar has a strong connection to the local arts community, and hosts an array of indie, punk, and electro bands. Owner Adam Gersten and resident DJ Benton also whip up killer vinyl sets on the backyard patio. Above all, though, Gramps isn't snooty; bartenders will serve you a Modelo or craft you a swanky cocktail, like the Penicillin, a Scotch-based commixture of lemon, ginger, and honey. The hangout attracts a younger, cool-kid crowd, but no one is excluded. Yup, moms and dads are welcome. We know, Gramps' photobooth and its Miami-themed collage tabletops (with Cocaine Cowboys-era snapshots) are trendy, but this spot still bucks the usual dirty-hipster-bar stereotype. Oh, and they don't serve PBR. And never will. Now that's hipster.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
via Facebook.com

5. Kill Your Idol

This place's hipster-ness begins with its moniker. A Yelp reviewer, Paul M., from Arlington, Virginia, wrote of the bar: "I like to think this bar is named after the Sonic Youth song 'Kill Yr. Idols,' but I wonder if the real origin is much more obscure and I'm not cool enough to know it." Another Yelper claimed the bathroom reeked of pot and there was an unflushed cigarette in the toilet bowl. Of course, Kill Your Idol is also an oddball refuge from the fist-pumping of Washington Avenue. The carefully placed astronaut figurine, pinball machine, Jaws head, and jukebox are the kind of ironic props that just scream kooky South Beach. Like the bar's bio says, KYI is what happened when "pop culture and the milky Moloko bar from Clockwork Orange got together one night, got drunk on vodka, and fornicated on a pristine marble slab to create a 'love child.'"

Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2013 issue online.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars

4. Blackbird Ordinary

This Brickell boozing establishment is a novelty amid the area's dive bars and hoity-toity cocktail lounges. But remember, you're in Brickell, so don't expect cheap sauce. Still, that $12 Blue Long Island is liquid candy. Plus, Blackbird's seamless blend of eclectic dance music (the DJs play a steady mix of hip-hop, '80s, classic rock, and indie gems), Connect Four/Jenga hub, and schmooze deck forge a very faddish appeal. And about that "edible wall" -- the verdant slab isn't just a garnish, it's pure farm-to-cocktail goodness. You guys make your own simple syrups from homegrown mint leaves and basil? Now that's progressive!

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Ciara Osorio

3. Electric Pickle

Don't mess with the Pickle. Along with several other Wynwood bars this year, the Electric Pickle was subjected to a vexing police crackdown, causing the neighborhood music emporium to temporarily close. And in previous years, the venue briefly closed because of "fire code violations."

But "we can't be stopped ... we won't be stopped," said the staff in an open letter to the Pickle people. The self-proclaimed "liquor fueled love machine" continues to bestow the Miami electronic dance music scene with underground techno and house in a 3,500-square-foot, two-room-plus sanctum. And though signature cocktails may cost you $13, the Moore County Muddle and the Storm Chaser pack a punch. Oh, and don't worry, cheapo, there's bargain brews too. Effectively reopened May 10, the venue has planned a wild bill ahead, including Slowhands and Jonny Cruz. Nothing fazes the Pickle, and that's what makes this place rad.

Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2013 issue online.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
Photo by Yesenia Hernandez

2. The Garret

Yes, it's the hideaway above the pulsing party at Grand Central. But something grimier is unfolding upstairs. The house-, trap-, and moobah-ridden Slow Roast Thursdays (on the second Thursday of every month) and the eclectic Latin funk of Sabrosura (on the third Thursday of every month) warm up The Garret for your girl's favorite party: the lionized Peach Fuzz, a Friday hoopla for the trillest hip-hop and club heads. Ladies sip complimentary vodka cocktails (from 11 p.m. to midnight) as resident DJ DZA spins everything from Uncle Luke to Ricky Rozay. The venue also hosts eclectic monthly acts -- synthpop cutie Charli XCX and soul-jazz virtuoso Kevin Sandbloom recently graced its intimate stage -- and the joint has also ignited His & Hers Saturdays, an indie-dance classics shindig. Hipsters like every kind of cool, and this spot has it all.

Miami's Top Ten Hipster Bars
via Facebook.com

1. Broken Shaker

If "elixirs" and "bitters" are part of your boozing lexicon, you are what we call a "refined hipster." And you belong at the Broken Shaker. Classic Prohibition-era cocktails are aplenty at the vintage-chic canteen in the Freehand Miami hostel (a retro revival of the historic Miami Beach Indian Creek Hotel), but the drinks are served with a nonpareil twist. The bar's eager mixologists concoct rare libations made with herbs from their own garden. A Mexican Chocolate Old Fashioned (Old Forester bourbon infused with bitter chocolate, ancho chili syrup, and bitters) and the Fruta De Agave (Florida grapefruit, Cocchi Americano, local honey with El Jimador tequila) are just a sneak peak of the extensive, ever-evolving menu. Share a custom punch bowl with friends on the patio by the sparkling pool. Or channel your Mad Men alter ego with a smoke and a Pisco Sour on a groovy floral chaise longue. The drink prices are steep. But hey, you're a hipster in Miami. The world is at your feet.

Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Miami® 2013 issue online.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Wood Tavern
miles
Bardot

3456 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33127

305-576-7750

www.bardotmiami.com

miles
The Vagabond - Closed
miles
The Corner

1035 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33136

305-961-7887

www.thecornermiami.com

miles
Gramps

176 NW 24th St.
Miami, FL 33127

786-752-6693

www.grampsbar.com

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Kill Your Idol

222 Española Way
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-534-1009

miles
Blackbird Ordinary
miles
Electric Pickle
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The Broken Shaker

2727 Indian Creek Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33140

305-531-2727

www.bar-lab.com

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The Garret at Grand Central

697 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33136


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