Bar Hop: Miami Beach

Aww! Miami Beach! A city, much like New York, where you discover that no one is actually from there (in fact, a lot are from New York!). For us Torontonians, Miami is an easy getaway – it’s a 2 1/2 hour flight and stays within the same time zone. Because of this, it’s the perfect place to visit for a long weekend. We recently did just that as we escaped dreary November weather for a few days. Miami Beach is small. Book a hotel on Collins Avenue and you’ll discover that you can walk to most of the bars that you want to visit – and for those that you cannot, Uber is a short ride away. The cocktail scene here is growing quickly and it’s a great thing to witness. Here is our top pick for a great bar hop to do in Miami, you know, in between hanging at the beach/pool or checking out creations at Art Basel.

Bar Hop Miami | Bartender Atlas

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1/ Swizzle (Washington Park Hotel, 1050 Washington Avenue). The boys of Employees Only have moved into Miami Beach! At the time of writing this post, their main bar and restaurant has yet to open but what they do have up and running is a beautiful bar called Swizzle that is located in the lobby of the Washington Park Hotel. The circular bar mimics the surrounding windows and amongst the bottles on the back bar are vintage books. On the menu is a bunch of – you guessed it – swizzles. You cannot go wrong with any of them.

2/ Ricky’s South Beach (1222 16th St). Ricky’s is a lot of fun. They have arcade games and foosball, big screens playing live sports and vintage Muhammad Ali boxing matches. They have a great cocktail list and they have carnival food. Yes, all of the food that you wish you could eat all of the time without feeling any guilt. The good stuff. You can order your food directly from what looks like a food truck located inside the bar. On the day we ate the Ricky’s Loaded Fries, as recommended by the bartender Raymond, and I am still having dreams about them. Did I mention this place is fun?

2/ The Regent Cocktail Club (1690 Collins Avenue). Now you have some food in your belly and a cocktail. Take a stroll along 17th and up Collins to The Regent Cocktail Club which is located in the back of the Gale Hotel. The Regent is a proper cocktail bar. It’s dark and moody and there is likely a three-piece playing tunes in the corner. Every evening they have a different small cocktail list to order from. The bartenders wear bowties here. It’s a great way to class it up before you have too many cocktails in you.

3/ The Broken Shaker (2727 Indian Creek Drive). Mention to any bartender that you are going to Miami and every single one will tell you to go to The Broken Shaker. It’s one of those bars that has been on every “Best of” list and once you are there, you will see why. The Broken Shaker is inside the The Freehand Hostel. The actual bar is a small room with no seating that seems to be entirely lit with candles. The seating can be found in the courtyard: mismatched pieces of furniture and fairy lights strung in the trees. The drinks here are killer and the atmosphere just begs you to stay all night. But, alas, you cannot because you need to bar hop, baby!

4/ 27 Restaurant (2727 Indian Creek Drive). 27 Restaurant is located at the Freehand – it is their onsite restaurant. It’s located just past the courtyard that is The Broken Shaker. So since you’re here, you may as well check it out (as the Broken Shaker bartenders suggested to us!). You will see a small building with stairs, take them up and you have found yourself at the bar of 27.  Drinks, food and good times can be found here. When you go, be sure to say hi to Jack!

5/ Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company (237 20th Street B). Sweet Liberty is the bar that every bartender in Miami will tell you to visit. As soon as we walked into the vast space and I saw the neon sign stating Pursue Happiness, I was sold. This bar is wonderful. Micaela runs a killer bar team here. Absolutely killer. Plus the food here is fantastic – eat the pickled devilled eggs. You can have a snack or eat a full meal, they have it all. We were told that this place gets pretty wild at late night – I mean, they are open until 5AM after all. 5am!

6/ Repour (1650 James Avenue). Repour is located inside The Albion Hotel and from what we discovered, it is a bit of an industry bar. Which isn’t to say that you need to be a bartender to visit, but you will likely find some of them hanging out on both sides of the bar. On our fist visit, it was a quiet night which gave us lots of time to talk to the bartender. He told us that we should come back the following night as they were hosting a Bar War and you bet we did! Two teams of two competed against one another and it was so great to see the Miami bartending community out in full force. Like all of the other bars mentioned here, the drinks were amazing and the bartender is from New York. This is a great spot to call it a night.

Other Bars Worth Mentioning
The Anderson (709 NE 79th Street). A lot of people told us that we should visit The Anderson. We never made it there because it is a little ways away from South Beach but if you find yourself in Miami, please do check it out. (And then report back to us!)

Rum Line (1601 Collins Avenue – beside Loews Hotel). Rum Line is a bit seasonal because it is entirely outdoors so it wasn’t open on this most recent trip but I have been there in the past. There is lots of rum and tiki inspiration here which, of course, we love.

KUSH (2003 N Miami Avenue). KUSH is a beer bar located in Wynwood so if you see yourself a little thirsty after visiting the Wynwood Walls, I highly suggest you pop in here. They have a ton of beers on tap and a lot of them are local, or at least brewed in Florida. They also have some great food here so it’s a good place to fuel up after all that walking around to discover the best murals.

Do you have any bars in Miami to add to our list? Comment below.

Note: As with all Bar Hops, we are not encouraging getting inebriated. This is a list of great cocktail bars that we suggest visiting while in Miami. We want you to have fun and play safe. Check out How to Do a Good Bar Hop for some hot tips.

Jessica Blaine Smith
Co-creator at Bartender Atlas
Jessica co-created Bartender Atlas with her bartender husband Josh Lindley. She is a full-time photographer based in Toronto, Canada. In her professional life, she documents the lives of others. Her camera has taken her all over this beautiful world from Cuba to Trinidad to France to New Zealand and Australia. While not a bartender herself, she definitely loves a strong cocktail, preferably one that is brown and/or smokey. She also loves poutine, pilates, other peoples' children and, of course, sitting at all of your bars.
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