If the world was a pageant, the City of Miami would be a beauty queen. The white sand of the beaches gives way to hotels and condos that have undergone unbelievable renovations, some that have cost upwards of a billion dollars. The most modern cruise ships in the world line our port and the most technologically advanced skyscrapers tear through our night sky. Ask an outsider to paint a picture of Miami and it will likely feature martini glasses and beautiful women.
There's another side to Miami, however. The gritty, authentic side of our burg is devoid of glitz and glamour. Sometimes it can be hard to find, but we wouldn't trade it for the world. A few months ago we explored the glitz by taking a look at the city's best bathrooms. Now it's time to shine a light on the grit, literally.
In compiling a list of the city's worst bathrooms, we visited public restrooms and bar water closets that are shameful and wonderful. We only visited places we like, so those on the list shouldn't feel altogether bad. They might want to buy a mop, though, and perhaps hire an attendant.
5. Alice Wainwright Park
Alice Wainwright Park is a perfect example of what the great City of Miami has to offer: a public park on Biscayne Bay surrounded by multi-million dollar homes and featuring nothing but state-of-the-art facilities. Well, almost nothing but. There may be a new playground and well-maintained basketball court, but this bathroom sure could use some work. Besides the customary smell, the appearance is far from state-of-the-art. It would be nice, too, if one of the faucets worked. That way, your hands might become the only clean thing in there.
4. Nikki Beach
We know what you're thinking, not Nikki Beach? Yes, the sparkling inside bathrooms of our very favorite South Pointe icon (best brunch buffet 2007) do well to justify the perfect drinks. And the setting of this place is absolutely gorgeous, just like the clientele. But you would think that when the luxury locale inherited the public bathroom above, it would spruce up the place. Climb off your cabana lounger and put on your slippers before you enter. You don't want your feet to touch these floors, which usually feature mysterious water puddles.
3. La Diosa
You have probably never heard of La Diosa, which lies inconspicuously on Washington Avenue in South Beach between 13th and 14th street. Once we saw the bathrooms, however, we couldn't forget the place. There's an awkward mural that looks like a 10-year-old got carried away with magic marker. It does well to distract you from the leaky toilet. The one light bulb shines in your eye as you rush to get out of there before being engulfed by the smell. It would be nice though if there was some soap to wash your hands with, or if the toilet paper didn't sit on the toilet in a puddle of water. For such a bad bathroom, the place gets pretty happening on Friday nights and usually makes for a good, drunken time.
2. Club Deuce
It isn't that the bathroom at Club Deuce smells bad or even looks bad. It's the fact you feel like you're trapped in a steel cage death match when you want to urinate. The bar is a neighborhood favorite, recognizable from episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Bourdain calls the South Beach bar his favorite in Miami, mostly due to its humble appearance and the presence of loyal patrons. The drinks are reasonably priced, starting at just $6 even during peak hours, allowing you to actually get drunk without having to take out a loan.
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1. Churchill's Pub
Once known as C&H Pub, Churchill's Pub on the outskirts of Little Haiti has been a staple of the Miami bar scene since 1979. The once tiny bar expanded past its walls to include a space for live music, helping give local artists like Marilyn Manson a start. One thing that hasn't expanded, however, is the bar's dingy bathrooms. But these bathrooms hare also great places to do things you wouldn't do in public. Once you walk past the sign that reads "stop breeding, go anal," there isn't much room to do anything but actually use the toilet. Of course, Churchill's is a legendary part of Miami nightlife that is likely here to stay.