Although the Magic City is known for their nightclubs that close at freakishly late hours, the bar scene here is just as good as anywhere else. They should, without a doubt, get some respect here since they do have to compete with the Spaces, Mansions and Prives of South Beach. In Miami they’re known as an escape, but for ClubPlanet.com they’re the best watering holes in the city. From small brewpubs to commercial gems, here’s the list of the top ten best bars in Miami.
#10 Best Bar in Miami
Hofbrau Beer Hall
943 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
There are a lot of places that claim to be authentic German restaurants, but not many are as authentic as Hofbräu Beer Hall. Their glassware, beer and chefs are all imported from Germany and their menu consists solely of authentic German food (with a few exceptions, such as cheeseburgers and grilled fish).
While the Miami location of Hofbräu Beer Hall has only been open for about a year, the original brewery in Munich (which brews all of the beer) is over 400 years old. To this day, it is still the official state-owned brewery of Bavaria. They have three beers on tap year-round, with two rotating seasonal beers. Surprisingly, most Germans who visit the restaurant order “Radler” a mix of beer and Sprite. The beers that really stand out are their Strong Bock, which is high in alcohol content but smooth, and their Hefeweizen, which has very strong banana and clove characteristics, but isn’t too sweet.
Another thing that makes Hofbräu unique is the fact that it is the only restaurant that ships kegs of beer straight from Oktoberfest in Munich to the United States. What that means is that what’s on tap on Lincoln Road is the same stuff being served in their beer tent in Munich. If you’re feeling adventurous (or just finished watching Beerfest) try drinking it out of one of their two-liter boots. Happy hour is every Wednesday from 5PM- 7PM, with two-for-one half liters.
#9 Best Bar in Miami
28 North East 14th Street
Miami, FL 33132
PS 14 normally isn’t know for their bar, mainly because it’s usually used to throw smaller scale parties, but if you come on an off night, the bar there is just what you need to sit quietly, listen to some good tunes and throw a few back, making it one of the best bars in Miami.
Located on the infamous 14 St. near Overtown, the area may not be South Beach, but you can bet that you’ll get better service there than in most of the clubs and bars around the city. With an intimate patio out back, that also has it’s own DJ most of the times, you’re not limited to just the wooden stretch of drinks. We recommend that you get there early so you can skip out on the cover charge, because really? Who wants to pay cover charge when you’re just trying to grab a beer?
#8 Best Bar in Miami
3148 Commodore Plaza
Miami, FL 33133
Everyone knows that Coconut Grove is a hotbed for some of the best bars in the city. But when this place opened up, it seems like one of the best imports in the area. It’s not everyday that you can find a three-story pub in your neighborhood with great beer selection and one of the best menus that Coconut Grove has to offer.
At first glance, although it may seem like there’s only two stories, there’s a hidden basement with nothing but poker tables for some of the biggest tourneys in the area. The middle floor is reserved for the big drinkers and dancers. The dance floor may not be huge, but it’s all you need to cut a rug. Then there’s the game room, where drinking games are endless and range from pool to air-hockey. This place is strictly fun once you walk in the door.
#7 Best Bar in Miami
Gordon Biersch Brewing Co.
1201 Brickwell Avenue
Miami, FL 33131
The Gordon Biersch located in Brickell might be one of 33 around the country, but don’t expect the watered down offerings typical of chain microbreweries. Unlike Titanic, which specializes in Ales, Gordon Biersch specializes in German-style lagers, which are crisper, less sweet, and include no added fruits or flavorings (in compliance with “Reinheitsgebot,” or the German purity law of 1516).
Their heaviest (and most popular) beer is the Märzen, a strong but sweet beer with 5.7% alcohol. Most of their beers are lighter, however, such as their Golden Export which is crisp, refreshing, and not too hoppy. Their Schwarzbier (literally “black beer” in German) is the darkest in color, but is light bodied and lowest in alcohol content. Their menu, consisting of steaks, seafood, and oven-baked pizza, can get a bit pricey but isn't unreasonable. The combination of the great ales and this menu is what ranks Gordon Biersch as one of Miami’s best bars.
In September, to celebrate Oktoberfest, they’ll debut their seasonal Oktoberfest beer and will feature a tradition German menu. Happy Hour is 4PM – 6:30 PM Monday through Friday, and 10PM – close seven days a week, with $5 Grey Goose martinis and a dollar off drafts.
#6 Best Bar in Miami
172 Giralda Avenue
Miami, FL 33134
Located near Miracle Mile, a small posh area of Miami, The Bar’s a traditional bar with everything that you’d expect from great beer selections on tap to a decent menu to balance the vision out after you’ve had quite too many. It gives off a very ‘Cheers’ vibe because of the great service you get and the familiar faces you’ll get to know after a few visits, making it one of Miami’s best bars.
Definitely a local favorite, The Bar is just as simple as its name. This is the perfect place to go for a few after a long day at work, or to catch up with a friend whom you haven’t seen in quite a while. Sometimes you don’t need much to be a special far. Simplicity is always key.
#5 Best Bar in Miami
Lunar Star Café
775 North East 125th Street
North Miami, FL 33161
Even if Luna Star Café didn’t sell 120 different varieties of beer, it would still be a great place to hang out. While they do specialize in beer, it feels more like a coffee shop than a beer hall, featuring open mic nights, acoustic performances, and the occasional raspberry espresso. They don’t specialize in specific region or type of beer, but they do boast an eclectic selection, making it one of Miami’s best bars.
Serving five out of the seven available Trappist beers, 11 different varieties from the Flying Dog brewery, and such hard to find brews as Corsendonk Abbey Ale, Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus (one of Alexis’ personal favorites), and St. Peter’s Cream Stout. They do offer mass-produced beers such as St. Pauli Girl, Guinness, and Presidente, but owner Alexis refuses to serve Budweiser, Coors, Heineken, or Amstel Light. Luna Star is also a good place to grab a bite to eat, serving pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and burgers, and even offer a Lindemans Framboise Lambic ice cream float.
#4 Best Bar in Miami
Titanic Restaurant and Brewery
5813 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
Miami, FL 33146
Out of all of the independent brewpubs in Miami, Titanic boasts one of the best and widest selection of beers brewed in-house. They’ve won many awards, but their most notable achievement is the fact that they’re also the only Florida brewery to win a world beer cup award.
“We are really pushing the envelope,” says owner Kevin Rusk. “No one is doing what we’re doing.”
Although they only brew ales, they have something for everyone, with six beers permanently on tap and three rotating seasonal beers. One of the most notable beers of the bunch is the Double IPA, which boasts about 10% alcohol by volume. Hop-heads will love the beer, but the taste isn’t overpowering and you can barely taste the alcohol (which explains why there was a one-per-customer limit at one point).
Titanic also does things that most brewpubs will not, occasionally serving their Britannica Bitter in a traditional hand-pumped cask and infusing liquor with different flavors (such as their sugarcane infused mojitos). Beer selection, combined with excellent cocktails is what lists this great bar as one of the best in Miami.
If you want to grab a bite while downing a brew, their menu is made for beer drinkers, with such pub favorites as ribs, fried chicken wings, Po-Boys, and burgers (but don’t fret, they still have salads, sandwiches, and seafood). Happy hour is 4PM – 8PM, with a dollar off drafts.
#3 Best Bar in Miami
100 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33109
If you ask most locals what the best bar is to take a date, nine times out of 10 they’ll point out The Room, an intimate watering hole on South Beach, precisely why it’s made our list as one of the best bars in Miami. If you can impress a date with a bar, then it should be no problem to pick out a restaurant.
The beer selection is for the guys, but the sexy and intimate atmosphere, combined with the sleek bar is what’s got the ladies attention. Think about it. Even the mention of the name…’The Room,’ sounds sexy. Trust us on this one. The Room’s the way to go.
#2 Best Bar in Miami
The Abbey Brewing Co.
1115 16th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139
The Abbey isn’t your typical Miami Beach haunt, which automatically lists itself on our list of best bars in Miami. While most bars on South Beach will boast of their decadence and high-profile clientele, The Abbey humbly describes itself as a “friendly, European style pub.” But don’t be fooled by the modest description, the owner and Brewmaster Raymond Rigazio is incredibly passionate about his beer. Ray’s passion for beer is reflected in The Abbey’s three home brews, which are nothing short of spectacular, making it one of Miami’s best bars.
Their Abbey IPA is hoppy enough to satisfy the IPA aficionado, yet mellow enough for the average beer drinker. Father Theodore’s Stout is one of the best Imperial Stouts around, with a chocolate flavor, smooth consistency, and a much mellower finish than the average Imperial Stout (it also won a gold medal in the 2006 Best of Florida Beer Championship). Last but not least is Brother Dan’s Double, which can hang with the best of the Belgian trappist brews.
If you’re one of the best bars in Miami, you’ll have some beers that you usually won’t find on tap elsewhere, such as Delirium Tremens, Rouge Dead Guy Ale and Lindemans Framboise Lambic. Their bottle selection is also very extensive, consisting of 21 different beers. Happy hour is from 4PM – 7PM Monday-Friday, with a dollar off select drafts.
#1 Best Bar in Miami
625 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 33139
If you aren’t looking for it, Zeke’s is the kind of place that’s easy to miss, and at first glance it’s nothing special. The décor is cluttered, the inside is a bit cramped, and they serve everything in plastic cups. But there is one incredibly redeeming quality about Zeke’s: every beer, from cheap American swill to tasty exports, is only $4, easily making this the best bar in Miami.
Their on-tap beers rotate, but they’ve featured such gems as Young’s Double Chocolate stout and Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA. They also stock the standard selection of mass-produced American beers, such as Yuengling and Budweiser, but their vast collection of imports is hard to resist. I wouldn’t recommend having a family dinner at Zeke’s, but they do offer hot dogs, popcorn, and pretzels to munch on while you drink.