Everyone loves happy hour, the time of day when work ends and you get to hang with friends over cheap drinks and snacks. But, like most things in life, not all happy hours are created equal — especially amid our current pandemic precautions.
While most bars and restaurants offer at least some sort of drink special for those twilight hours between the end-of-work whistle and suppertime, some spots just do it better. They are the bars and restaurants that manage to take their specials to the extreme, offering great grub and premium booze at a perfect price.
Here are the ten Miami restaurants and bars that give the most bang for your happy-hour buck.
Ariete3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove
One of Coconut Grove’s most beloved dining gems also doubles as one of the neighborhood’s Happy Hour mainstays. Offered Monday to Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., happy hour specials include $8 select signature cocktails like the Chug’s Old Fashioned; Old Cuban; Paloma; and Clockwork Orange. Imbibers can also enjoy $8 wines-by-the-glass and $6 select beer. Tantalizing happy hour snacks range from $6 to 12 and include a classic frita, cheese plate, tuna conserva, and crispy majua with yuzu aioli.
Beaker & Gray2637 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Beak & Gray offers a wide variety of premium beer, wine, and cocktails at this lively Wynwood spot, making it one of the better happy-hour deals in Miami. The drink menu, available Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m., includes $7 Moscow mules with Stolichnaya gold, a daiquiri with Flor de Caña four-year, an Old Forrester old-fashioned, a margarita with Maestro Dobel, and a proper Beefeater Tom Collins. A recent addition of canned cocktails are also available for $5 apiece and include Five Drinks-branded Moscow mules, margaritas, and mojitos. Don't miss the Jelly Belly Punch, a $7 steal with its combination of premium spirits, fresh pineapple and strawberry juices, and a touch of spice.
The Bar172 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables
This simply named bar in the heart of Coral Gables offers a simple happy-hour deal. Saturday through Monday from 4 to 8 p.m., domestic bottled beers (Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Light) cost $3, and select cocktails are two-for-one. In addition, all drafts are $1 off, and pitchers are $2 off. Get a little liquid courage during Tuesday's karaoke night by indulging in $3 shots of Fireball, Cuervo Gold, and kamikazes or $2.50 Miller High Life from 10 p.m. till close. On Fridays, ladies drink free well cocktails and Yuengling drafts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Doraku1104 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
A Miami Beach standard-bearer of happy-hour specials, Doraku continues to show us the way to happy-hour heaven. Every day from 5 to 7 p.m. beachgoers, condo dwellers, and deal seekers flock for this super deal. Pair $4 food like edamame, crispy pig ears, kurobuta sausage, and salmon harami with $4 house draft; $5 house wine; and $6 sangria, margaritas, sake bombs, and lychee martinis. You can also order shots of Ketel One, Don Julio, and Crown Royal for $7 or order from a selection of $8 mules.
Kush Coconut Grove2911 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove
If you like sustainable seafood paired with eclectic cocktails, ciders, and meads you can find it all at Kush Coconut Grove, where a constant rotation of each is featured on tap as well as a collection of Belgian-style bottles and a reserve list of ciders and meads. For happy hour, available Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy specials like the Return Of The Moose Juice, ($5); Shot And A Beer that gets you Old Grand Dad and a Miller High Life ($5); Purple Drank, with Ford’s gin and Giffards Violette; or BOGO offers on select drafts and wine. You’ll also get $2 off specialty cocktails, such as the F The Patriots 1972 cocktail, a combination of Cruzan rum, Curacao, and lime. If you're looking for a good deal on food, too, add select appetizers for $5 each including three-for-$5 oysters.
Miami's Vice Canteen723 Lincoln Ln., Miami Beach
The Lincoln Eatery's bar promises to immerse guests in 1980s South Beach kitsch, paired nicely with some stellar food and drink deals. Miami's Vice Cateen aims to deliver the good ole' days via plenty of nostalgia-themed cocktails and lite bites. During a daily happy hour offered Wednesday through Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m., Miami’s Vice offers $7 select cocktails, $5 wines, and $3 beers. That means you can order everything from a classic mojito to the "Miami Vice," a cross between a strawberry daiquiri and a piña colada; El Perucho, a mixture of Guebranta pisco, fresh kiwi, white grapes, citrus syrup, and lime juice; and the Java Punch, made with green apple-infused vodka, cilantro-ginger citrus syrup, lime juice, and fresh apple slices. If you're hungry, an all-day food menu presents an outrageously affordable raw bar with a variety of fresh seafood from $1 oysters and $2 Key West pink shrimp to $4 Florida stone crab claws.
Reunion Kitchen & Bar18167 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura
This tapas-style restaurant in Aventura celebrates a weekday happy hour. Available at the bar and patio only from 3 to 7 p.m., enjoy a wide variety of specials that cover everything from small plates to stellar drinks. That includes $3 Narragansett lager and house sparkling wine best paired with $3 falafel tandoori single tacos. Or, opt for a $7 blueberry basil spritz and red/white house wines that go perfectly with $7 patatas bravas, tequeños, and single wagyu sliders. Feeling fancy? Try the $9 classic margarita or mojitos, gin and tonic, Old Fashioned, or mezcal caipirinha, paired with $9 shiitake truffle oil quesadillas, saganaki, or al ajillo portobello.
R House2727 NW Second Ave., Miami
Situated in the heart of Wynwood Arts District, R House is a contemporary restaurant and bar best known for its soulful menu and bustling weekend brunch scene. But don't let that detour you from partaking in its weekday happy hour. Available from 4 to 6:30 p.m Wednesday through Friday, guests can sample a wide variety of the restaurant's bold, Latin-inspired bites and libations for a fraction of the price. To eat, highlights include $5 bites like mozzarella croquetas with roasted jalapeño and spicy aioli; sweet chili wings topped with scallions and sesame seeds; and toston de lechon asado with roasted pineapple and mojo verde. Just don't miss the $7 hora feliz Cuban sandwich with slow-roasted mojo pork, serrano ham, pickles, mustard, and swiss cheese on Zak The Baker bread paired best with the $6 house mojito, $5 white wine sangria, or $5 Sycamore Lane pinot grigio or cabernet sauvignon. Beer lovers can score a $5 Estrella Damm Spanish lager or a $6 Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen.
Rusty Pelican3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne
We know, we know. You go to the Rusty Pelican for Mother's Day and birthdays, but why, oh why, don't you take advantage of its amazing weekday happy hour? Every Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the lounge at the Pelican offers some of the best deals in Miami — with arguably the best view in South Florida. Sip $5 beers, $6 well drinks, and $7 house wines and specialty cocktails (including the restaurant's own Bay Blossom, classic martini, Old Fashioned, margarita, and Chateau Souverain wines). Eye the boats sailing in Biscayne Bay while you chow down on half-priced select dishes like fried calamari, crab cakes, seasonal oysters, and Rusty fries ($6 to $8).
Sala'o Cuban Restaurant & Bar1642 SW Eighth St., Miami
This Cuban-American restaurant nestled in the heart of Calle Ocho isn't just for tourists. The happy hour makes it a great respite for locals, too. Offered Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., imbibers can order $8.50 classic cocktails and Sala’o Originals; $7 select wines by the glass; and $5 beer while enjoying live music. Sala’o well-known table-side gin and tonics are also available for $10 each. Even better: all guests can enjoy complimentary small bites with the purchase of a drink from the pinchos de pollo and brie croquetas to pickled watermelon rind and house-made potato chips. Also available for purchase are $1.50 oysters on the half shell; $6 conch fritters; and $7 picadito de lomo. On Fridays, ladies can enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine served with a house-made fruit mixer.
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.