Miami Beach is a worldwide playground, where people visit from around the globe to sun, eat, and drink. Unfortunately, there's a price to pay for all of that pleasure. Walk into most bars or restaurants on South Beach and find cocktails costing upward of $20 or more — unless you're in the know. The good news is that some of Miami Beach's best watering holes and restaurants have happy hours that offer everything from dollar oysters to signature cocktails. Here are the five best.
1. Drunken Dragon.
Happy-hour dishes include snapper sateh ($7), local snapper skewered and smothered in a house-made peanut sauce and served with a grilled key lime, and a kurobuta dog ($3), a mini hot dog inside a fried bao bun accompanied by herb aioli, pickles, and spicy ketchup. House draft beers ($4), house wine or sake ($5), and signature cocktails ($6 or $7) help contribute to the ever-evolving “Dragon Hour” menu. But get there quickly — happy hour is at the bar only and fills up quickly. 1424 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-397-8556; drunkendragon.com. Happy hour 5 to 7p.m. daily.
2. Stiltsville Fish Bar.
Smoked fish dip at Stiltsville.
No fisherman or writer is more closely identified with South Florida than Ernest Hemingway, so what better way to honor this literary icon than to dedicate a happy hour in his name? Quench your thirst with draft beers ($5), select glasses of wine ($6), and signature cocktails ($7) while you chow down on Buffalo fish "wings" ($6) — fried collars of local grouper and snapper tossed in a zesty Buffalo sauce. Don’t forget to try the smoked fish dip ($6), made with cherrywood-smoked local fish served with house-pickled vegetables and thyme-and-butter-toasted saltines. 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786- 353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com. Happy hour 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
3. Sweet Liberty.
Oysters and beer at Sweet Liberty.
East and West Coast oysters cost only 95 cents each during happy hour at Sweet Liberty. Drink specials include rosé on tap ($5), tall-boy Narragansett beer ($5), and classic cocktails ($5). 237 20th St., Miami Beach; 305-763-8217; mysweetliberty.com. Happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
Pool and bar at Monty's.
Located at the Miami Beach Marina, Monty’s has always been one of the best places in South Beach to catch a beautiful sunset. For four hours a day on weekdays, drink half-priced well liquors and most draft beers for only five bucks. During Monty’s happy hour, you can get peel 'n' eat shrimp (75 cents each), clams (75 cents each), oysters ($1.25 each), and discounted stone crab claws. 300 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-672-1148; montyssobe.com. Happy hour 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Courtesy of Ricky's South Beach
During happy hour, everything behind the bar at Ricky's is half price: Draft beer, wine by the glass, and classic cocktails are all included. Take the discounted beverage of your choice to the adjoining room, where classic arcade games await. 1222 16th St., Miami Beach; 305-704-3602; rickyssouthbeach.com. Happy hour 5 to 10 p.m. daily.