Our annual Best of Miami issue is here, and you can find hundreds of choices for top places to do just about anything in South Florida. To whet your appetite, here's a list of bars selected by New Times staff. To see what readers chose and more than 300 other picks, head to our Best of Miami site.
Best Bar in North Miami-Dade: The Tuck Room
The title of best bar doesn't mean it's the top place to get blackout-call-me-an-Uber wasted. It doesn't translate to the most efficient place for singles to hook up. It certainly doesn't imply you should go out for dinner there or that it has a first-class atmosphere. But the Tuck Room boasts all of these traits, plus it's attached to a movie theater. It's like vaping to other bars' cigarettes. It's the perfect alternative to all of those predictable sports bars and college hangouts you're used to frequenting. The food here thrills for a bar; you just don't find ahi tuna poke bowls ($17) at every watering hole. Both the indoor and outdoor patio bars are comfortable for business meetings and nights out with the boys. It's not even out of the question that a family could grab a bite to eat before heading to the next-door iPic theater. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, the Tuck Room is our favorite bar on the north end of the county because it's so very un-bar-like.
3701 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach 33160
Best Bar in Miami Beach: Employees Only Miami
When Employees Only opened in New York City in 2004, it was an instant hit. A dozen years later, thirsty patrons queue up outside for a spot at the intimate bar where jacketed bartenders create near-perfect cocktails. Named one of the world's best bars at the annual Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, Employees Only still keeps its cool without pretense. Now comes Employees Only Miami, opened by one of the bar's original partners, Billy Gilroy. Walk inside a 1929 coral house on the grounds of the Washington Park Hotel and pass a fortuneteller to enter this dark lair of libation. Grab a seat at the bar, adorned with industrial art deco touches, and order a drink. Cocktails are divided into four categories: "Apéritifs," "EO Classics," "Fancy Cocktails," and "Cocktails" (most cost $16). Can't decide? Your bartender can choose for you. But if you want to be a Miami Beach baller, opt for the Billionaire, made with Bakers' bourbon, lemon juice, EO grenadine, and absinthe bitters. Be sure to order the bar's signature steak tartare, prepared to taste and served with toast and greens ($18). It's all part of a sophisticated evening — a touch of Manhattan in SoBe. The bar is open seven days a week from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
1030 Washington Ave., Miami Beach 33139
Best Bar in Central Miami-Dade: Las Rosas
Entrepreneur Cesar Morales some years ago turned Wood Tavern into one of Wynwood's most popular bars. With Las Rosas, which he opened this year, he's struck gold a second time. The Wood Tavern crew brands Las Rosas "a rebellious dive bar in Allapattah." Indeed, while Wood attracts the Everyman Wynwood happy-hour crowd, Las Rosas aims for an underground, rock 'n' roll-dive-bar vibe. The bar's Instagram page (@lasrosasmiami) and walls are packed with black-and-white pictures of rock-star misfits such as Kurt Cobain, who would've likely preferred some downtime at a low-key spot like this. For the unwinding introvert, Las Rosas offers pool and vintage arcade games to play while loosening up with a jalapeño margarita. And like any proper rock 'n' roll bar, Las Rosas also hosts bands. Acts such as Pavlov's Bell, Analog, and Xotic Yeyo have played here already, and Miami's heaviest band, Deaf Poets, chose this place for the release of its latest record, Lost in Magic City.
2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami 33127
Best Bar in South Miami-Dade: Sunset Tavern
When you want a club, you think of celebrity appearances and partying till dawn; when you want a cocktail bar, you think of house-made syrups and specialty liquors; but when you want a regular old bar, you think of no-frills drinks and no judgment, and you like it that way. Sunset Tavern is the kind of place you go to watch a guy with a neck tattoo and a cowboy hat dominate the pool table, the sort of place you can sit outside on a weeknight safe under a dozen umbrellas in a torrential downpour, a place where industry folks drink next to college stoners whether there's karaoke or live music on the roster. Sunset Tavern serves food from the Deli Lane kitchen and has the same staying power as its sister café, if only because it doesn't care to be South Miami's latest hot spot — a rarity in a neighborhood packed with every new restaurant concept. Grab brunch here; grab lunch here; grab some late-night fuel whether you're pregaming, sticking around, or heading home. Well drinks cost $5.75 during happy hour six days a week, and the chicken salad quesadillas ($11) go well with any of the 20 beers on tap. Come here for the neighborhood bar you didn't know you needed. It's open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m.
7232 SW 59th Ave., South Miami 33143
Best Bar in West Miami-Dade: Flanigan's
There isn't much you need in a bar that Flanigan's doesn't offer. You probably have a stack of those iconic green plastic cups in your cupboard at home to prove your dedication over the years. The Hialeah location is a comfortable spot that offers arguably the best wings ($16.99 and up) and ribs ($13.99 to $16.99) anywhere in South Florida. You can totally take your family on a night you're not downing stiff drinks while watching the Dolphins game. You won't find South Beach frills, just a good old-fashioned bar that has your favorite alcohol, the best food, and a friendly neighborhood staff that doesn't charge you $15 for a beer. It's open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
1550 W. 84th St., Hialeah 33014-3377
Best Bar in Broward: Riverside Market
Getting to the Riverside requires a trip across one of Florida's few remaining swing bridges and through the quiet residential neighborhoods of Sailboat Bend and Riverside. Far from the tourist-packed dives of A1A and the bumping bars of Himmarshee Village, this craft beer mecca is the quintessential locals hangout. You walk in, grab a beer from the hundreds stocked in the self-serve coolers along the wall, and settle in at one of the long tables, where you're sure to strike up a conversation with your neighbors. Pair your Bell's Two-Hearted or Cigar City Jai Alai with pizza, wings, or jalapeño poppers fresh from the kitchen; then pay on the honor system on your way out. Now that you know where Riverside Market is, you're sure to be back.
608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale 33312
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.