Union Beer Store
Photo by David Rodriguez

At Union Beer Store on Calle Ocho, you'll find coolers upon coolers filled with beers to please every taste bud. Owned by husband and wife David and Cici Rodriguez, the little brew bar and bottle shop has a well-earned reputation for its extensive collection of whales — rare suds and small releases from local and out-of-state breweries. Whether you seek a flavor reminiscent of açai sorbet or the beach-perfect lager, Union Beer not only sells bottles and cans to-go (you can mix and match to your heart's content) but also more than a dozen brands on tap. And growler fills! If drinking isn't enough for you, UBS is also home to munchies-quenching pop-up food vendors, including Peacock Ramen, Panolo's, and Haochi.

Best Happy Hour
Photo courtesy of Jaguar Sun

Yes, we live in an expensive city. But you don't have to be rich to enjoy the finer things. Take for instance the daily happy hour at Jaguar Sun. From 5 to 7 p.m., this intimate bar in downtown Miami serves classy drinks — and classy bites — at wallet-friendly prices. Co-owner and bar manager Will Thompson is known for his skills with spirits. During happy hour, he'll make you an eight-dollar Manhattan so perfect it's called the "Perfect Manhattan." Other standards include a martini and a Tom Collins (also $8). If you don't like cocktails, there are special prices for beer and wine. The noshes are sophisticated and inexpensive: dollar oysters, three-dollar chilled crab claws, country ham, and a cheese and almond plate. Everything is of the highest quality and nothing costs more than ten dollars.

Tipsy Flamingo Cocktail Bar
Photo courtesy of Tipsy Flamingo

When a purely Miami cocktail bar comes along — one without any lame gimmicks — we take note. That's what happened with Tipsy Flamingo, which recently landed downtown. The space combines the fun atmosphere of a bar with the trendy and intimate feel of a lounge. Dripping in tropical ambiance and illuminated by a rainbow of pastel-hued neon, it's the intimate venue that co-owner Juan Marcos Rancano says was missing in the city's cocktail scene. Here, the drinks stand as a liquid ode to Miami, each designed to showcase its many sides, from the "Downtown Mentirita" (the TF's version of the classic Cuba Libre) to the popular "My English Is Not Very Good Looking" (the most Miami of drinks created to taste like a pastelito de guayaba in a glass). Go during the daily happy hour from 5 till 9 p.m. or the monthly "No Flocks Given" party, when you can sip specially priced cocktails and dance to funk, hip-hop, and reggaeton.

Best Martini
Photo by Laine Doss

Never mind that he's a fictional character invented by novelist Ian Fleming. James Bond is the coolest person who ever lived. The British 007 agent is famously known for his ability to neutralize supervillains, drive gorgeous cars, win at casino tables, and bed beautiful women (many of whom also seek to kill him) — all while not wrinkling his tuxedo. Bond is also known for his love of martinis — you'll never to see this most interesting man in the world cradling a Dos Equis in his flawlessly manicured hand. Not just any martini, however. In the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, Fleming has Bond ordering a "Vesper," named after femme fatale Vesper Lynd (for whom — spoiler alert — things end badly). While most martini drinkers are either Team Gin or Team Vodka, the "Vesper" is a blend of both, with a hint of Lillet and a twist of lemon as a garnish. The real-lfie combination of the alcohol with the touch of sweetness and a citrus kiss makes for a perfectly nuanced cocktail. Find a proper version at Cote in the Design District — a place 007 would surely dine if his hazardous work transported him to 2022 Miami.

GreenStreet Cafe
Courtesy of GreenStreet Cafe

Few drinks are as classic, quirky, and recognizable as the bloody mary. In fact, half the fun is in the bloody presentation. At Greenstreet Cafe in Coconut Grove, you're guaranteed not only a deliciously crafted drink but a fierce presentation fit for the 'Gram. The bloody mary is served in one of Greenstreet's trademark soup cans, spice-rimmed, towering out of which is a full stalk of celery and a bamboo toothpick skewering a chunk of cheese, a cherry tomato, and an olive. Whether you're in search of the perfect hangover cure or a cocktail to precede your omelet, Greenstreet is sure to deliver.

Who doesn't love a well-made margarita? If you want the best one, though, head to Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar, the restaurant from Miami Beach's venerable Ortiz family (El Rancho Grande), which serves a variety of unique signature margaritas you won't find anywhere else, such as the "Flaca From Oaxaca," made with mezcal verde, and the "Hija de la Guayaba," with Herradura silver tequila, guava, and jalapeños. If straight-up tequilas and mezcals are your thing but margs aren't, try one of Tequiztlan's flights. (Pro tip: They don't stint on the food menu, either.) Sign up for their mailing list to keep abreast of private tastings, which are bound to return in force when we finally crawl out from under this pandemic.

Best Mojito
Photo courtesy of R House

The famed rum-and-fresh-mint cocktail known as the mojito is served at many locations in and around Miami, and many a bartender muddles up a dandy one. But this year we're giving the nod to R House Wynwood, whose "Mojito Coqueto" offers a tropically tweaked take on the Cuban classic with the addition of coconut water and coconut flakes. Throughout the week, R House is a lovely spot for brunch. Weekends bring the stunning and uber-popular Drag Brunch — if you're aming for that slot, be sure to reserve a table ahead of time.

Café Crème
Valeria Nekhim Lease

If you want to spend a leisurely morning at a Parisian café, you can book a flight to France — or drive to North Miami. Café Creme is a quaint bistro next door to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami. The large covered patio is a friendly hive of activity around the breakfast table, a gathering spot where you might find everyone from local politicians to parents with strollers to randos popping in for a caffeine fix. The café offers housemade quiches, benedicts, fluffy omelets, and delicious pastries. Don't sleep on the croissants — especially the ones filled with almond custard.

Honey Uninhibited
Photo courtesy of Honey Uninhibited

For Miamians, brunch has become the most important meal of the weekend — and, if done right, the most fun. While there are plenty of low-key spots to snag a decent meal on a relaxing late morning or early afternoon, nothing says "Magic City by day" better than a good boozy brunch. At Honey Uninhibited, founder Carlos Dunlap offers precisely that from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Dunlap's establishment delivers a menu of Southern staples that speak to the owner's travels and roots. Signature dishes like the "Gullah Shrimp 'n Grits" hail from the famed foodie city of Charleston, South Carolina, while the "Sweet Chick Benny," a breaded chicken thigh-topped waffle, is inspired by an entrée that left a lasting impression during a visit to Atlanta. If you're living your life meat-free, a number of vegan dishes are regionally inspired, from the egg-free scramble and banana bread toast to a vegan burger. Quench your thirst with an "uninhibited" mimosa kit, which pairs sparkling wine (Moët if you're splurging) with a choice of two juices, plus strawberries.

Best Lunch
Photo courtesy of Treve Creative Miami

There's nothing better than an alfresco lunch, and the outdoor patio at Peacock Garden Resto + Bar is a lush, secret oasis that feels like you've stepped into an exotic fantasy. The greenery serves as a natural cooling system, making the patio seem like a chill respite. To start, order some oysters (grilled or on the half-shell) and a glass of roe, then follow up with a salad, a burger, or a seafood risotto. Because every lunch is better when enjoyed with your furry friend, Peacock Garden offers a Tail Wagger menu, from which your pup can choose between salmon crudo or beef tartare as an entrée, and a blueberry puppyccino for dessert, along with free-flowing Evian water to ensure Fido stays well hydrated.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®