Best Bar, Central 2018 | Black Market Miami | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of Black Market

Sports bars are plentiful around suburban Miami-Dade, but they're hard to come by in downtown. Sure, some central-city establishments occasionally broadcast games, but the atmosphere often lacks the je ne sais quoi of that at a local sports bar. Considering that point along with exorbitant drink prices, and you might as well have gone to a nightclub and ordered bottle service. Black Market Miami is different. It delivers a polished, sports-focused vibe but leaves the crazy drink prices for the club. The bar offers 13 beers on draft, 16 in bottles, and six in cans, averaging $6 to $8, while cocktails, including Moscow mules and caipirinhas, run about $10 to $15. Hungry? The food menu lists all the sports-bar staples. Twelve wings cost $13.50, and the cheeseburger made with grass-fed beef patty is $14. And because 30 4K TV screens are spread throughout the 5,000-square-foot space, there isn't a bad seat in the house. Don't worry if it isn't game day — Black Market stays open daily until 2 a.m.

Photo courtesy of the Scape Goat

Here's the scenario: You stumble upon a door and enter. Inside, you find a room with black walls. On the counter sits a display: ice picks, blow torches, and other tools. You might think you've walked onto the set of a Hostel movie, except for the friendly faces at the bar. These people don't want to torture you. They want to fix you a drink. The Scape Goat is like any neighborhood bar — if that neighborhood bar served an old-fashioned made with cedar plank smoke ($14). Of course, if you just want a beer and a shot, you can get that too; here, it's called a Happy Meal, so request the secret menu. On a budget? Check out the daily happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m., where select beers cost $4 and house cocktails run $8. Oh, and the Scape Goat has a policy of serving American-made spirits and beers, so you can drink like a patriot. Call it the SoBe version of MAGA. Hours are 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.

The Point Lounge has something in common with your friend's mom's three-alarm chili or hot wings. Yeah, every local knows and loves the place, but — holy hell — experiencing it will hurt later. Point Lounge is a proper dive bar: The booze is cheap, and the ambiance is free. It's one of the few places left in Miami-Dade where patrons can actually smoke indoors, and, man, do they take advantage of that fact. The Point has TVs, a jukebox, friendly bartenders with a rough charm, and the option of chatting it up or remaining invisible. It also boasts a ridiculous happy hour when you can buy two and get the third free from 2 to 7 Monday through Friday. Warning: Point Lounge is also a late-night bar that closes at the ass-crack of dawn. This is not a place to take selfies or artsy photos of cocktails. Point Lounge is for drinking, laughing, relaxing, and maybe making a hilarious mistake you can brag about to your bar buddies on your next visit.

Tap 42 checks all the boxes: great selection, good food, tasty specials, and comfortable atmosphere. If you're looking to make a double IPA disappear and want more than chicken fingers, try any one of the locations in this small chain, which has locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Coral Gables, midtown Miami, and Aventura. You can rely on 42-plus beers on draft, craft cocktails, delicious upscale food, and weekly specials. The Fort Lauderdale location is one of the most chill settings in all of Broward. From the bottomless brunch every weekend ($20 per person) to the daily happy hour ($2 off drinks from 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close) to the weekly burger specials, there are plenty of opportunities to get topnotch craft suds for less money than you'd expect to pay for a domestic bottle most places in Miami. As far as the setting, the Fort Lauderdale location goes above and beyond, especially on the patio.

Photo by Chris Carter

Broward folks know it's tough to find a swanky, sexy, stylish bar without having to endure the road rage on southbound I-95, but with the recent opening of the Wilder, they can stay local and park in the expansive back lot for free. There's no signage (that's part of the point), so simply follow the well-groomed millennial crowd. There are several spaces to enjoy, from the patio decked out in Spanish tiles and blooming bougainvillea, to the intimate central bar that has the feel of a classy hotel lobby, to the expansive space in the back (outfitted with its own bar) for larger crowds. The Wilder hits all the marks with topnotch cocktails explained with whimsical illustrations, drinks such as the We Want Prenup ($14), made with gin, sage-infused vermouth, lemon honey, and Greek yogurt, and the Don't Sleep on Me ($14), a combo of Afrohead rum, Giffard Vanille de Madagascar, and taro milk tea, are très chic. Happy your runs weekdays from 4 to 7 and offers $3 off all cocktails. If you get the munchies, small bites such as the short-rib poutine ($15), panko-crusted chicken breast sliders with jalapeño spread ($12), and grilled octopus ($15) are seamlessly swooped in from next door's Foxy Brown. Miamians might want to consider the trek north for this gem.

Photo courtesy of Duffy's Sports Grill

Yeah, yeah, Duffy's Sports Grill is a chain, but, hey, this is Florida's chain! And Duffy's in North Miami Beach is something special to behold. Not only is this 25,000-square-foot restaurant and bar massive, but also the huge covered deck overlooking the water is simply stunning. Let's talk sports. Duffy's has every major sports package and about 150 flat-screens. It's almost impossible not to get a seat with your own TV to watch whatever sporting event you desire. Let's talk booze. Duffy's offers one of the greatest drink specials available: Buy one, get one free for almost every beer and mixed drink. This deal isn't just for happy hour. It's all day every day. That's right: BOGO booze as soon as you step in the door. Last but not least, let's talk food. Essentials at every sports bar are the chicken wings, and Duffy's does not disappoint. Its best wings are breaded with a signature firecracker sauce ($12.99). They're crisp on the outside and moist and tender on the inside and come tossed in that spicy yet slightly sweet firecracker sauce. This place caters to almost every palate. There's even a gluten-sensitive menu. Stop by Duffy's in North Miami Beach for a wonderful sporting experience — whether you sit inside or out, you'll leave with a smile on your face, especially if your team wins. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Photo courtesy of Rusty Pelican

Here's a reason to visit the Rusty Pelican for something other than Mother's Day and your birthday: happy hour. Every Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., the lounge at the Pelican offers some of the top deals in Miami with arguably the most striking view in South Florida. Grab a seat at an outdoor table near the flaming fire pit. Sip $6 beers; $7 well drinks such as martinis, mojitos, and margaritas; and $6 house wines. Chow down on small bites such as corvina ceviche ($8) and Serrano ham croquettes ($10). After all these years, it's fair to say the Pelican's swank atmosphere remains a culinary example and a Miami landmark.

Her given name may be Courtney, but like many badasses — Madonna, Cher, Beyoncé — this 26-year-old bartender is simply known as Lane. Starting out, as most drink slingers do, Lane did her share of working at dance clubs and socials in Gainesville, where she opened cans of Bud Light and poured rum and Cokes made with cheap well liquor. The petite blonde decided there's more to life behind the stick, and from there it's been accolade after accolade. In 2015, Lane got her big break working the artist and media bar at III Points. From there, it's been an uphill trajectory, with Lane working at what are arguably Miami Beach's finest cocktail bars — Employees Only and Broken Shaker. At the bar, she's a whirling dervish of shaking, mixing, and pouring. Recently, she and her Employees Only partner won top prize at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Art of Tiki competition for a drink they created. Lane is someone whom young girls should strive to be and everyone wants to know — a talented, driven woman who will fix you the best cocktail of your life.

Karli Evans

Once upon a time, two men named Gabe Ora and Elad Zvi decided to open a pop-up bar at a Miami Beach hostel. This was way back when dinosaurs walked the Earth, pop-ups were rare, and a well-made cocktail on the Beach was even rarer. That didn't stop these intrepid heroes, who made crafted drinks using freshly grown herbs, premium spirits, and house-made bitters. Pretty soon, Miami Beach imbibers learned there was a world beyond vodka Red Bulls and frozen piña coladas made with grain alcohol. The local cocktail movement grew, and quality bars opened. Meanwhile, the little pop-up, which was named the Broken Shaker, became a permanent fixture at the Freehand on Indian Creek Drive. It began winning national and international awards, and celebrities were seen hanging out and drinking its delicious creations. The little bar expanded to Los Angeles and Chicago, and there are plans to open soon in New York City. Despite its popularity and accolades from across the nation, the bar remains a fun place to chill. Though success and fame haven't gone to its founder's heads, a few cocktails ($12 to $13) just might.

Photo by Laine Doss

Behold man's greatest invention: the bloody mary. This elixir of the gods does what no other libation can hope to do — revive the dead. But not all bloodys are the same. In order for this magical potion to work its spell, it must have the correct amount of spice and a substantial amount of booze. The perfect bloody must always be served with a wedge of citrus and olives (because the citrus and brine are additional hangover helpers). Berries in the Grove's bloody checks all the boxes. Take a sip of this tall drink and feel the blood rush back into your body and the steady thumping of both head and heart slow to a controllable pace. Take another sip as your hands steady themselves and relax in the beautiful indoor/outdoor setting. Settle in for a spell. They cost only seven bucks each, so make a day of it. The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. daily and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®