Norman's American Bar & Grill

Every day, including Christmas and Easter (and probably during hurricanes), Norman's celebrates its late-night happy hour from midnight to 5 a.m. When other bars close and people are sick of dancing on South Beach, tired of paying $15 for a cocktail, or looking for a good time when the freaks come out, they hit this Miami Beach gem for $5 martinis, margaritas, and mojitos, and $4 mixed drinks (vodka, rum, and tequila). The kitchen stays open till 3 a.m. (Fridays and Saturdays; till 1 a.m. weeknights), a Red Stripe costs $4.50, a pitcher costs $12, and a glass of the house Merlot is just $5. But like we said, the stars of the show are the $5 cocktails and $4 mixed drinks. There's free parking next door (with a pass from the hostess), and the Wi-Fi is gratis, so you can tweet all of your comrades about the afterparty. Oh yeah, the place also rents hotel studio apartments for $250 a week or $800 a month, so you can stretch your late-night happy hour into a permanent vacation.

LIV
Courtesy of LIV

For decades, the Fontainebleau had been regarded as the granddaddy of all luxury resorts in Miami Beach; by the '90s, it had lost a bit of its luster. But it's funny what a multibillion-dollar renovation can do. After a complete overhaul in 2009, the hotel reopened with a more youthful vibe, including a megaclub far away from South Beach. The legendary Tropigala, which had turned into a horrible, campy version of its former self toward its end, was replaced by LIV — which is the roman numeral for 54, the year the hotel opened. Locals and visitors seemed to fall instantly in love with the venue, proving you don't have to be located on Washington Avenue to be successful. The pantheonic dome remained, but it received a lighting face-lift that gives the illusion the room is moving. For VIPs, there are boxes overlooking the main floor, which is packed with couches and tables, as well as bottles outfitted with sparklers. And this being Miami Beach, and the Fontainebleau in particular, expect high admission prices, a hassle at the door, and a big drink bill at the end of the night — if you aren't of the fairer sex. That being said, you can't say you've experienced Miami nightlife if you haven't visited LIV. From Paul Oakenfold to Calvin Harris to Tiësto and other big live acts, thanks to LIV, your granddaddy's hotel is looking pretty hip these days.

Cameo

To do the VIP experience right, you must follow the lead of the hip-hop heavyweights who visit South Beach to blow off some stress and put a serious dent in their financial portfolios. Sure, their accountants won't be happy come Monday, but Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Flo Rida, Diddy, and even the insufferable Chris Brown know that the top place to be treated like a VIP is the area behind the DJ booth at Cameo. The unassuming plot of nightclub real estate is a flurry of bottle service, posturing, and groupies, with the occasional greenback shower. This scene has given the Opium Group a VIP area that seems to send gossip magazines and blogs into a tizzy. Only Cameo is ballsy enough to offer a $100,000 VIP package to ring in the new year with the Bawse. And it was Cameo where Brown infamously snatched a fan's iPhone as he left the club. Our source at Opium Group says if you want to live it up in the VIP area while a celebrity is sitting nearby, it will probably cost you around $10,000. Nobody said partying like a VIP was cheap.

Upstairs at Grand Central — the immense downtown live music venue — is the Garret, which functions as an independent space. It is the perfect size for smaller shows and weekly parties. Though one-off shows and events have had varied levels of success, the Garret's Friday-night party, Peachfuzz, is a clear winner. As the name implies, the party takes you back to middle school days (if you were born in the '80s), when you swore the light patch of hair on your upper lip was a mustache to rival Tom Selleck's. Spearheaded by Raul Sanchez and Pres Rodriguez (both formerly of Bar), the hip-hop dance party recalls a time when Trick Daddy tried to take it to the house and Biggie's death was still fresh on our minds. Resident DJ DZA provides the soundtrack you first danced to in your school's cafetorium with the hottest girl/boy on campus. Or at least he helps you remember it that way.

Ladies in this town have it tough. We feel the pressure to look good all the time or risk our Miami resident card being revoked. We should totally be rewarded for this, no? Thank goodness for Blush Wednesdays at Villa Mayfair. It's the best spot to take a group of gal pals for a fun, worry-free evening. Villa's sexy violet lighting and classically chic décor up the cool factor. And then you have the hot DJ, who spins tracks that make you feel like you stepped into a European discotheque. Double-X chromies enjoy unlimited silky-smooth Rosé champagne and leggy Rosé wine until the night's end — free of charge, of course. Villa Mayfair offers a $35 prix fixe menu that night as well. It's the best way to try executive chef Frederic Joulin's masterworks if the Villa's regular prices are out of your budget. There's music, food, and lots of bubbly. Add in the bonus of your best girlfriends' company and you have yourself a female extravaganza.

Twist
E.M.

Spending a Wednesday at Twist is like stepping into the fantasy realm of Gay and Gayer. We love Miami for giving us that option. Things are likely to get rowdy, especially because the superstar Ms. TP Lords hosts the night with more sass than a kitten. Enjoy $5 Long Island iced teas and join the gaggle that congregates at the weekly evening. On past Wednesdays, Twist-goers have seen unpredictable costume contests, hip-swaying karaoke, and saucy performances guaranteed to knock you off your six-inch stilettos. The guest DJs, such as Maximus 3000 and J Felix, are there to keep the music hot and heavy, and a free attitude is strongly encouraged on the dance floor. If it's your first time, come prepared with as little clothing as possible and your credit card (for the bar tab, dummy). There's never a cover at Twist, but a dragging good time is always guaranteed.

King of Diamonds
Alex Markow

There are $100 bills on the floor, empty bottles of Cristal in the trash, and nudity everywhere. Or as noted hustler, Maybach Music boss, and Carol City poet laureate Ricky Rozay would say, "Somebody call the Brinks truck... [King of Diamonds] got the baddest bitches waiting on a nigga." In a city with a strip club on every corner, the big-money ballers and rap-game shot callers like Ross, Lil Wayne, Drake, DJ Khaled, and Gucci Mane choose this North Miami Beach nudie mecca (and even write strip-club love songs about the place) because its 300 big-booty strippers can and will do almost anything. You know, slip and slide down a 30-foot brass pole like Spyda. Talk politics with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough over corned beef hash and coffee like Tip Drill and Skrawberry. Wash your whip for charity like Queeny. Hijack your Drizzy-drizzling heart like Blac Chyna. Or fistfight for money on a Monday like Ms. Tocka. Come straight from the clink like Gucci and Weezy. Chopper down for your b-day like Rozay. Or roll up in a broke-ass 1999 Toyota Celica and pay $100 for a parking spot. Just don't forget your garbage bag of plastic-wrapped money bricks at home. 'Cause ballin' like a boss at KOD ain't cheap, son.

SoBe Live

For all y'all midlevel ballers looking to get outta that part-time gig at Macy's and into the VIP, here's some advice: Empty your savings account, rent a Rolls, and spend the weekend at SoBe Live. Any given Thursday, you could be running wild with Atlanta spitter and Brick Squad boss Waka Flocka Flame, spraying coeds with champagne, smoking a sticky Swisher, and "standing on the chair like ya really don't care." Less than 48 hours later, you'll be back in the club, rubbing up on XXX diva Cherokee D'Ass while she whispers tips about breaking into the adult biz, making the perfect baby-makin' mixtape, and filing taxes as an LLC. And then come Sunday, Uncle Luke and 100 fat-assed party girls are gonna be hosting a master-level seminar on freakiness that you just can't miss. Straight up, this South Beach hip-hop spot is Miami's headquarters of hustle. It's where the deals go down and the coochies get popped.

Swinging Richards

Yes, the prudish goofs who run North Miami Beach are totally grossed out by a gay bar with a "sexually explicit" name such as Swinging Richards — not to mention the icky idea of full, frontal male nudity. But that's no excuse for uptight residents and overzealous city officials to go trampling on a homosexual man's right to pay another dude to rip off his G-string, shake that manly junk, and perform nonstop ball drops all night. In November 2011, this local outpost of an identically named Atlanta gay male strip club took over a neon-lit box building at 17450 Biscayne Blvd. that had been occupied by hetero nudie bar Queen of Diamonds. The club quickly hired a supersexy stable of bartenders, waiters, shooter boys, and 75 strippers; adopted a strict "no-clothes policy," and opened for business. Unfortunately, this combination of gayness, nudity, and drunkenness irked certain members of the North Miami Beach community. And latching onto a generally unenforced law banning nudity and booze in the same establishment, these people insisted that Swinging Richards be shuttered. So far, the club hasn't quit shaking its junk. But the struggle to save Miami's best gay bar still isn't over. So help stop NMB officials from shutting down this "all-male, all-nude, all-night" nudie spot, sign the club's petition, and swing your Richard for equality.

Mac's Club Deuce
Photo courtesy of Mac's Club Deuce

In the land of million-dollar megaclubs, endless bottle service, boob-job giveaways, bleached beaches, and cosmetically enhanced asses, everybody needs a drunk-and-dirty dive-bar reality check. And Mac's Club Deuce is so real that it's unreal. So hide your bloodshot eyes behind smashed shades. Escape the merciless subtropical sun. And enter the cool, lurid darkness of this 90-year-old South Beach boozing spot. The neon flickers. The beer gets spilled. The barflies fight. The jukebox doesn't stop. And happy hour almost never ends. Every day from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m., suck a bottleneck (Rolling Rock, High Life, Corona) and slug shots (Bushmills, Jim Beam, Tres Sombreros) at two-for-one prices. In exchange for six crumpled singles, the bartender will slide a cold drink into your hands and slap a casino chip down as credit for the next round. And here, there's no shame in drinking till dusk or beyond. Watch tales of murder, drug busts, and home invasions on the 6 p.m. Action News, and ogle the pink naked lady on the wall kicking her high heels and waiting on a mate while lying face-down, ass up. Bark at the old fat dog as he licks the floor, weaves between the barstools, pokes his nose in the trash, and sniffs the toes of a sexy 50-something amputee with perfect platinum-blond hair and a dirty martini in her remaining hand. Steal a casino chip from the ancient eye-patched and tatted gangster who just staggered across the street for a taco break. And count down the seconds as a crooked hand crawls across the dirty face of Mac's glowing toxic-green clock.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®