While the northern part of the county is under an elaborate craft-cocktail spell, the southern half is perfectly content to down unfussy drinks at reasonable prices. For 16 years, Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern has delivered exactly that. Built in a 1940s Florida cottage, Bougie's has became a beloved local watering hole for the nearby University of Miami crowd, as well as the young-adult set looking for something a bit more authentic than the bar at T.G.I. Friday's. That makes the crowd gathered here friendlier than most places in Miami. Mix that with a healthy dose of live music — reggae Thursday and local bands Friday and Saturday — and it's the perfect bar where you can let loose without having to worry whether your scene cred will take a beating. And forget about ordering a fancy drink here. Instead, go for a Red Stripe ($4) or a well drink, and enjoy the escape. For the fairer sex, drinks are free Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Readers' choice: Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern