Though craft cocktails and hot spots are often what’s on the agenda, the dive bar offers a far-from-glamorous allure that attracts those who appreciate the simple things in life.
Truly great dive bars are typically dens of dim lighting, strong drinks, and cheap beer. Some have pool tables, some have live music, but all of them have a special kind of charm that sets them apart from the rest. These unpretentious spots are home to plenty of good times.
Here are ten Miami dive bars that should be on everyone’s radar.
Bob’s Your Uncle928 71st St., Miami Beach
The original location of this dive bar stands on New York’s Upper West Side and was re-created after owner Danielle Savin visited Miami Beach and decided it was a great place to open a little watering hole. It’s Normandy Isle’s favorite place to be treated like family, even when you don’t want to be around your own. Whether it’s a classic cocktail, beer on tap, or even a Jell-O shot — everything is served with a smile at Bob’s Your Uncle. The bar's personality extends to the hallway to the restroom, adorned with photos of famous Bobs throughout history — from Saget to De Niro. Pro tip: Bob's is the perfect spot to grab a cold one while waiting for a table at the adjacent sushi restaurant, Katana.
Churchill’s Pub5501 NE Second Ave., Miami
A Miami institution, Churchill's Pub has been home to more live shows than almost any other venue in town. For more than 40 years, this dive bar has been Miami’s haven for punk and alternative bands on its indoor and outdoor stages. The grungy drinking den has stayed true to itself throughout the years as it has hosted everyone from Marilyn Manson to that random guy down the street who just wanted to play his music — Churchill’s has a reputation for welcoming musicians of all kinds to its stages. Cheap beer, great music, and a classic menu of bar food are the makings of a beloved dive bar, and Churchill’s offers them all.
Las Rosas2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami
Dive bar lovers will find Las Rosas in Allapattah just a few blocks west of the hip and trendy Wynwood. There's not much signage, but once they step inside, thirsty patrons find a large neon rose indicating they're in the right place. The drink menu is simple, and the arcade games are set to free play. The Mexican-themed dive bar also presents up to ten local live music acts a week, its Wine & Words open-mike night Wednesdays, and the Love Below dance party every Tuesday.
Lost Weekend218 Española Way, Miami Beach
Step off Collins Avenue and into Lost Weekend, where it’s easy to forget you're in the center of South Beach. Wednesday is ladies' night, when women score six drink vouchers upon arrival to use on beer or house spirits. There are plenty of bar games, including pool, air hockey, darts, and foosball, for those looking to get a little competitive. Pop into Kill Your Idol, its sister bar next door that’s full of fascinating adornments, including an astronaut hanging from the ceiling and a life-size Bruce Lee statue sticking out of the back bar.
Mac’s Club Deuce222 14th St., Miami Beach
Not only is Mac's Club Deuce one of the city’s best dive bars, but it's also one of the oldest. It’s open from 8 a.m. till 5 a.m. daily, and two-for-one happy hour stretches from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The place is dark and grimy in the most charming way. Neon signs installed during the days of Miami Vice glow over the pool table that almost always has a game going. On any given day, find locals who stop by regularly, celebrities looking for a place to hang, and tourists who want to check out the bar Anthony Bourdain said was one of his favorite places in the world. Oh, and be sure to bring cash — the Deuce doesn't accept any other forms of payment.
The Mighty2224 Coral Way, Miami
Gourmet sausage might not be the first thing on anyone’s mind when entering a dive bar, but the ground-meat product dominates the menu at the Mighty, a brick-red spot on the edge of Miami's Shenandoah neighborhood. These aren’t run-of-the-mill sausages. Think duck, lamb, or chicken con queso sausage, with queso fresco, jalapeño, and mango bits. The place also offers a menu of $10 stiff drinks, an array of beer and shot combos, and an impressive beer list.
Mike’s at Venetia555 NE 15th St., Miami
For more than 30 years, Mike’s at Venetia has remained one of Miami's hidden gems. Locals in the know frequent this Irish dive bar that’s located on the ninth floor of the Venetia condo, situated at the west end of the Venetian Causeway. Drinkers will find a welcoming bar with a seemingly never-ending list of beverage options and daily menu specials ranging from pizza to rib-eye to mussels and shrimp pasta. There are also a dozen or so TV screens, perfect for watching whatever sport is in season. Mike's offers half-priced appetizers and $1 off drink during its weekday happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.
On the Rocks217 71st St., Miami Beach
This neighborhood sports bar in North Beach is open 365 days a year till 5 a.m. On the Rocks offers inexpensive drinks, several TV screens, and Friday-night karaoke. The walls are just about as colorful as some of the characters sitting at this bar. It’s got all the makings of a classic dive, right down to the smoky smell of cigarettes and $5 beers. Guests often find themselves jamming to rock 'n’ roll covers by the local band Thrino, which takes the stage regularly.
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Seven Seas2200 SW 57th Ave., Miami
Boasting a beach-town vibe even though it’s miles from the ocean, Seven Seas offers a nautical vibe just west of Coral Gables. The bar is known for its karaoke nights, so if you love belting out “Don’t Stop Believing,” get your fill every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night. Perform in the show or grab a seat at the bar and enjoy the entertainment. This gem opens at 9 a.m. daily and welcomes anyone looking to grab a breakfast beer without judgment.
Ted’s Hideaway124 Second St., Miami Beach
Tucked away in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood, Ted's Hideaway is a comfort for those looking for a dark place to escape Florida's searing sun and the Beach's glitz and glamour. During its daily happy hour from noon to 8 p.m., the spot offers $3.75 domestic beers, $5 imported beers, and house cocktails for no more than $6. It’s a great place to watch a sporting event, play a game of pool, or make a new friend.