Mercadito Midtown
If you wanna listen to the certified medical professionals, booze isn't a reliable preventative or cure-all for ailments such as the common cold, seasonal flu, or imminent plague à la H1N1. They say it kills your liver, sends you into deep dehydration, and numbs you to the actual symptoms of your illness. But we call bullshit. Really, what the hell do those quacks know? As habitual heavy drinkers, we've done the research and we can testify to the magical medicinal effects of alcohol. Take Mercadito's $8 el pirata, whose five active ingredients chase away the flu. First, the El Jimador Blanco tequila pickles your body's sick cells. Second, the pineapple juice replenishes much-depleted vitamin C and natural sugar supplies. Third, a heavy dash of house spices kicks dormant salivary glands back into action, flooding your dried-out mouth and throat with natural lubricants. Fourth, hot jalapeño peppers spike the snot from your sinuses. And finally, there's that dose of beer, wrapping your brain in a beautiful booze hug, dulling the senses and bringing sweet drunk relief. Cazart! You are cured!
Jada Coles
It's 4:40 p.m. You have refused to do any work during the last half-hour of your day. You peruse Facebook, juggle your phone, and glance around hoping the big boss exits a few minutes early. The clock ticks slower than a bureaucratic dweeb. Awaiting you at 5 o'clock is your sweet reward: happy hour. There are few things sweeter than cheap drinks after a long day. Consider $2 domestic drafts, $3 imports, and $3 wells. This is a place where top-shelf prices top off at $5 for things such as the elusive Black Label and the loosening Goose. Here the bartender engages in sports-related conversation and strangers aren't creepy. You'll get it all at Jada Coles, where such delight is at your fingertips Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Mention Miami to a connoisseur of fine adult beverages and an array of exotic specialties spring to mind: minty mojitos expertly ground with mortar and pestle; tangy caipirinhas flush with fresh cachaça; golden Puerto Rican rum on the rocks. But one American staple has never quite made the local list: good, old-fashioned suds. Give a Miamian a Budweiser or a Presidente to tide him over between rum punches and he'd probably be happy. But those times, they are a-changin'. Gourmet burger and beer joints such as B&B and 8 oz. are popping up all over South Beach with dozens of specialty brews on tap from both coasts. In downtown Miami, the Democratic Republic of Beer brings an ever-shifting menu of 400 beers from around the world, from Argentina's Otro Mundo to Vietnam's 33 Export. Longtime specialty-beer purveyors such as Zeke's, the Abbey, and Abraxis are packed night after night. And New Times' own celebration of all things cerveza, Brew at the Zoo, sold out as thousands of people sampled a few dozen brews imported from Colorado, New England, and Coral Gables' Titanic Brewery. No one will mistake Miami for Milwaukee, but beer guzzlers — at last — aren't second-class drinkers in the Magic City.
Frankie's South Beach Hide-A-Way
When you think South Beach, sports bar might not be the first type of watering hole that comes to mind. But if Frankie's South Beach Hide-a-Way owner Frankie Faria (who also owns a long-standing Doral location) has anything to say about it, that will change. Sports bar prereqs, such as a bevy of HDTV sets, are present and accounted for, and there's even a center-stage cage in case you want to be incarcerated. Low booze prices — like $3 for PBR, Bud Select, and Frankie's own No Crying Ale — might just get you there. And food is a real standout. "Amazing wings" are just that — slow-roasted and then char-grilled and only $8.95 for ten or $16.95 for 20. Addictive sliders come in burger, chicken, fish, and meatball varieties for $3.95 a pair, $5.95 for four, or $8.95 for six. And $9.95 gets you decadent seafood nachos — crustacean-packed fried won tons (not tortillas) covered in piping-hot cheese sauce.
The Democratic Republic of Beer
Do you love beer? Then join the Democratic Republic of Beer. Natty Ice swillers need not apply. But if indeed you fancy yourself a connoisseur of finer suds, it's absolutely crucial you expatriate at once. The beer menu is deep at 400 brews in house at any given time. And the menu is updated weekly, offering frequent surprises. Perusing the substantial, geographically organized bill of fare, one is easily overcome. But slow, good traveler. This is a marathon, not a race. Sample the wallop-packing Delirium Tremens from Belgium ($11, 8.5 percent alcohol), or England's Old Speckled Hen ($5). There are German brands you've never even heard of. Or if you're craving American micros, go nuts. It's all here, from varieties of Dogfish Head, Abita, Flying Dog, Kona, and Lost Coast to Left Hand Stout, Shipyard's brews, and every Sam Adams and Rogue you can think of. The options are dizzying! Literally.
Yard House
Pop quiz. Yard House is totally bad-ass because:A. you met Yard House, and he is a very naughty donkey. B. the draft beer selection includes Stone IPA, Abita Purple Haze, Old Speckled Hen, Magic Hat, Spaten Optimator, Rogue's Shakespeare Stout, Arrogant Bastard, Erdinger, Delirium Tremens, Pumpkinhead, plus 99 others (not bottles, nor on the walls) on tap.C. it has half-price happy hours: Every Monday through Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Sunday through Wednesday from 10 p.m. to close, you can stick up a pinkie with pride while sucking down a pint (or goblet) of brew for just $3.50 to $5. And yes, there are two happy hours Monday through Wednesday! D. it offers a beer sampler. It comes with six revolving five-ounce beer shots for $8.95. Selections change every Tuesday. E. it has beer blends and floats. Sure, most snobs think black-and-tans (Bass Ale and Guinness Stout) are blasphemy, but apparently they haven't tried a black velvet (Woodchuck Pear Cider and Guinness Stout), a rose garden (Hoegaarden and Lindeman's), or a Young's Chocolate Stout float served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. F. All of the above, with the exception of A.Supersecret answer: F
Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
During one of Germany's numerous bloody battles, an officer, hoping to boost the morale of his troops, announced that if they kicked the enemy's ass, he'd drink beer out of his boot. His troops soon emerged victorious, the battlefield lined with carcasses. While the dying enemy choked out its last breath, the officer raised his boot, filled it to the sweaty brim with beer, and drank as his men cheered. Germans still drink from boots — they're really two-liter Stiefel glasses — in a sort of hazing drinking game that tests the resilience of livers. One of the best places to play Pass the Stiefel is the Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus, nestled between Little Haiti and the 79th Street Causeway. This isn't a tourist trap with beer wenches in braids who hand out plump pretzels and Heinekens. It's a deliciously kitschy Bavarian restaurant, complete with pungent cabbage dishes and premium German beers on tap. Order one of the oldest German black beers, Köstritzer Schwarzbier, brewed in Deutschland since 1543, or one of the best-selling drafts in Germany, Bitburger Pils. The wheaty Falkensteiner Hefe gets better as it warms, and the Paulaner Märzen will make your Oktoberfest celebration much more authentic. But spill beer from the Stiefel and suffer a public embarrassment of your cohorts' choosing. So unless you don't mind wearing your underwear as outerwear, perhaps it's best you stick to the Schnitzel Haus's more manageable .05-liter Steins. Prost, damit de Gurgel net verrost. (Cheers, so that your throat won't rust.)
Lou's Beer Garden
George Martinez
Miami has enough velvet-rope-and-$25-valet nightclubs to keep Ed Hardy and your local Ecstasy dealer in the money for life. What it doesn't have enough of, though, is the sort of bar where you can show up in casual clothes, have a conversation without screaming over club music, and spend a night getting tipsy on premium beer accompanied with a good nosh. That's why we're so happy to welcome Lou's Beer Garden, an understated outdoor poolside bar and kitchen in the courtyard of the New Hotel in Miami Beach. It's like a taste-bud-friendly Miami version of Cheers: You show up for one beer but end up getting sloshed on five high-octane brews such as Bieres de Chimay Triple and Rogue Brewery's Double Dead Guy Ale while cracking wise with the other barflies. You're given carte blanche with the single flat-screen's remote control, and the bartenders are all regulars who never left. When you get really trashed, feel free to jump into the pool with your clothes on. And make sure you don't have a reason to leave; the bar that bills itself as "Miami Beach's first gastropub" has a menu full of gourmet grub including tasty pizzas, eight-ounce Black Angus burgers, and Ibérico squid.
The Rooftop at the Perry South Beach
There is a plethora of possible reasons the Gansevoort named its 18th-story, rooftop pool bar Plunge. If you fall off the building, you could plunge to your death, or you can take a plunge in the pool. Regardless of the apellation's origin, Plunge hits the damn-this-is-nice mark the second you lay eyes on it. Though the pool is reserved for hotel guests until 8 p.m. (except during spring/summer Saturday pool parties), anyone can come up and sit at the bar or lounge on the sofas. The Plexiglas walls afford ridiculous views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Magic City (even from the bathrooms), and the breeze never seems to cease. During the day, it offers anyone an excuse to unwind and try the signature pink elephant (vodka, champagne, lime, fresh mint, and strawberries); at night, Plunge transforms into a party playground.
B Bar at the Betsy Hotel
The last place anyone expects to find anything remotely hip is Ocean Drive. But the renovated Betsy Hotel has done just that with its speakeasy space, B Bar. Described as a "jewel box," the lounge transports you to something akin to an obscure New York hot spot. Even if you stay at the Betsy, chances are you won't easily find the lounge. To arrive at the entrance, you must descend a small set of stairs, walk through what looks like a service hallway, and knock on a nondescript door. Once you are permitted to enter (not everyone is so lucky), you'll find the most gorgeously decorated space in all of the Magic City — a stark contrast to the safe design of the rest of the hotel. Let your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, and take in the dark hues, softly lit bar, and cozy yet elegant space. The real shocker here, though, is the low ceiling covered in reflective vinyl that can feel disorienting — particularly when a DJ turns up the bass and it vibrates.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®