BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/WEST Sports Grill 10005 Sunset Drive

Kendall

305-598-2227 The surest testament to a good neighborhood bar is whether locals actually frequent the place. For 17 years Sports Grill has been hosting families for lunch and dinner and bar patrons well into the night. The atmosphere is comfortable, featuring video games, picnic tables with wood benches, and plenty of cheap sports gimcrackery on the walls. The food is awesome, especially the bar-food triumvirate: burgers, wings, fries. The fries are homemade and tasty, and the burgers are high-quality, but the wings -- Sports Grill is known for excellent wings without breading or excess grease. They are simple and delicious: chicken grilled (not fried) and served completely unadorned, with sauce on the side. Wing prices are also good: 16 pieces for $10; 25 pieces for $12.50. There is only one drawback: Sports Grill is so popular with families that the place is swarming with kids during the dinner hour. Then again, knee-huggers are an essential element of a neighborhood.

Readers´ Choice: Stampede Bar

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR/WEST Sports Grill 10005 Sunset Drive

Kendall

305-598-2227 The surest testament to a good neighborhood bar is whether locals actually frequent the place. For 17 years Sports Grill has been hosting families for lunch and dinner and bar patrons well into the night. The atmosphere is comfortable, featuring video games, picnic tables with wood benches, and plenty of cheap sports gimcrackery on the walls. The food is awesome, especially the bar-food triumvirate: burgers, wings, fries. The fries are homemade and tasty, and the burgers are high-quality, but the wings -- Sports Grill is known for excellent wings without breading or excess grease. They are simple and delicious: chicken grilled (not fried) and served completely unadorned, with sauce on the side. Wing prices are also good: 16 pieces for $10; 25 pieces for $12.50. There is only one drawback: Sports Grill is so popular with families that the place is swarming with kids during the dinner hour. Then again, knee-huggers are an essential element of a neighborhood.

Readers´ Choice: Stampede Bar

Terri Weisberg is a tall woman, cresting six feet, with forearms to rival Rosie the Riveter. But it is Terri's calm demeanor, facility with mixology, and all-around 'tude that bring tranquility to the Flanigan's in Coconut Grove. Like the legend of the wind and the sun, Terri coaxes, never threatens, and so, for a sports bar where the shots are poured generously and passions for football, baseball, and sometimes the UPN comedy series Girlfriends run high, patrons are enthusiastic but rarely rowdy. Terri keeps the kind of bar where a girl can, in total seriousness, pull up solo to the counter to read Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, drink a syrupy sweet cup of turquoise Hypnotiq, and expect not only not to be bugged by the dudes on the premises but lauded for her ability to eat French fries, watch the Notre Dame game, read, and converse at the same time. That's just the kind of influence Terri has on the male species. But Terri wouldn't be the best bartender in a town awash in every type of beer, wine, and spirits ever envisioned by Bacchus himself unless she really knew how to mix it up. Go ahead, bring in your bartender's recipe book and see if you can stump Terri by calling for a purple eyeball on the beach or a soaking wet melon. Just be aware that when you receive a glass full of Jägermeister, peach schnapps, and Old Bushmills, you're going to pay for it. Until recently Terri had a head of commandingly long coal-black hair stretching unfettered past her waist. One day Terri showed up for work, a charming bob tucked beneath her Flanigan's visor. She had had her lovely mane lopped off, all nineteen inches of it, and donated the hair to make wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. You really need to drink to that.

Terri Weisberg is a tall woman, cresting six feet, with forearms to rival Rosie the Riveter. But it is Terri's calm demeanor, facility with mixology, and all-around 'tude that bring tranquility to the Flanigan's in Coconut Grove. Like the legend of the wind and the sun, Terri coaxes, never threatens, and so, for a sports bar where the shots are poured generously and passions for football, baseball, and sometimes the UPN comedy series Girlfriends run high, patrons are enthusiastic but rarely rowdy. Terri keeps the kind of bar where a girl can, in total seriousness, pull up solo to the counter to read Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, drink a syrupy sweet cup of turquoise Hypnotiq, and expect not only not to be bugged by the dudes on the premises but lauded for her ability to eat French fries, watch the Notre Dame game, read, and converse at the same time. That's just the kind of influence Terri has on the male species. But Terri wouldn't be the best bartender in a town awash in every type of beer, wine, and spirits ever envisioned by Bacchus himself unless she really knew how to mix it up. Go ahead, bring in your bartender's recipe book and see if you can stump Terri by calling for a purple eyeball on the beach or a soaking wet melon. Just be aware that when you receive a glass full of Jägermeister, peach schnapps, and Old Bushmills, you're going to pay for it. Until recently Terri had a head of commandingly long coal-black hair stretching unfettered past her waist. One day Terri showed up for work, a charming bob tucked beneath her Flanigan's visor. She had had her lovely mane lopped off, all nineteen inches of it, and donated the hair to make wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. You really need to drink to that.

BEST POOLSIDE BAR The Raleigh Hotel 1775 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-534-6300 Step poolside at the Raleigh Hotel and you'll swear you've stepped into the 1940s: a quartet of guayabera-clad young Cuban men lounging on the patio, smoking cigars under a lazy ceiling fan. A server in crisp whites makes his way among tables that surround a gumbo limbo tree bejeweled with soft lamps hanging from its branches. Humphrey Bogart sits at the bar with a tumbler of scotch and a cigarette, while Esther Williams emerges from the spectacular fleur de lis-shaped pool. Okay, maybe not that last part, but there's a certain tropical elegance going on at the Raleigh, a beautifully restored design by L. Murray Dixon, crafted at the height of his career. The scene here is relaxed and unassuming, with plenty of breathing room for the charm of dreaming about zoot suits and big bands.

Raleigh Hotel
BEST POOLSIDE BAR The Raleigh Hotel 1775 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-534-6300 Step poolside at the Raleigh Hotel and you'll swear you've stepped into the 1940s: a quartet of guayabera-clad young Cuban men lounging on the patio, smoking cigars under a lazy ceiling fan. A server in crisp whites makes his way among tables that surround a gumbo limbo tree bejeweled with soft lamps hanging from its branches. Humphrey Bogart sits at the bar with a tumbler of scotch and a cigarette, while Esther Williams emerges from the spectacular fleur de lis-shaped pool. Okay, maybe not that last part, but there's a certain tropical elegance going on at the Raleigh, a beautifully restored design by L. Murray Dixon, crafted at the height of his career. The scene here is relaxed and unassuming, with plenty of breathing room for the charm of dreaming about zoot suits and big bands.

Karaoke is like sushi, or country music, or George W. Bush: It's strictly a matter of love or hate. But at Hooligan's every Saturday night beginning at 11:00, Love conquers all. DJ Mark Love, that is, who hosts the karaoke party and opens up the microphone to would-be stars. Haters, as hard as you try to hide behind your cool veneer and your even cooler beer, you'll be begging for a chance to join the fun before the night is over.

Karaoke is like sushi, or country music, or George W. Bush: It's strictly a matter of love or hate. But at Hooligan's every Saturday night beginning at 11:00, Love conquers all. DJ Mark Love, that is, who hosts the karaoke party and opens up the microphone to would-be stars. Haters, as hard as you try to hide behind your cool veneer and your even cooler beer, you'll be begging for a chance to join the fun before the night is over.

Amika is the people's nightclub, or the closest thing to that concept. The doormen have a relatively relaxed velvet-rope policy, packing the club with a smartly dressed but down-to-earth crowd. It features some of the city's top DJs, including dance mixologists Stephan Luke and Cue on Sundays. Then there's the electrifying vibe of the club itself: a pulsing light show that doesn't completely overwhelm. The courteous staff doesn't hurt at all. Amika provides a reminder that partying can include having your feet on the ground without having your nose in the air.

Readers´ Choice: crobar

Amika is the people's nightclub, or the closest thing to that concept. The doormen have a relatively relaxed velvet-rope policy, packing the club with a smartly dressed but down-to-earth crowd. It features some of the city's top DJs, including dance mixologists Stephan Luke and Cue on Sundays. Then there's the electrifying vibe of the club itself: a pulsing light show that doesn't completely overwhelm. The courteous staff doesn't hurt at all. Amika provides a reminder that partying can include having your feet on the ground without having your nose in the air.

Readers´ Choice: crobar

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®