Miami is a vibrant, tropical paradise with a uniquely Latin heartbeat and stunning Art Deco architecture. Even Will Smith couldn’t help but sing its praises in one of the most iconic dance songs of the 90s. One of my favorite things to do in the city, apart from gorging myself on Cubanos and ropa vieja, is spending the evening in one of the many wallet-friendly establishments studded throughout the various neighborhoods. Next time you find yourself in the Magic City, stop by a few of my favorite cheap bars in Miami for cold beers, killer cocktails, and an unforgettable atmosphere.
222 14th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: (305) 531-6200
Mac’s Club Deuce holds the illustrious title of being the oldest bar in Miami, opening its doors in 1926. It’s had the same owner– the eponymous Mac– since 1964, and he’s cultivated a laid-back, pool and brews-type establishment that’s become a favorite local haunt. Mac’s is a dive bar throwback amidst a sea of upscale establishments, just a short way from Lummus Park and the stunning white sands of South Beach. I highly recommend it for their daily 2-4-1 Happy Hour until 5 PM.
176 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127
Phone: (855) 732-8992
The charmingly named Gramps is an eclectic little joint in the Wynwood Arts District near the Wynwood Walls and Roberto Clemente Park, proudly offering “cocktails, cold beer, hot pizza, and AC.” Their biggest draw is the massive list of standup, live music, and other artsy events, making it one of my favorite destinations anytime I’m in the 305. They also have an ace rotation of craft beers, so there’s always something new to try on tap.
230 NE 4th St, Miami, FL 33132
For a more upscale Miami Bar experience, I like to swing by the Jaguar Sun. The restaurant and cocktail bar combo is located in the Alea building– which used to be the X Miami Apartments– in downtown Miami. Given its proximity to the American Airlines Arena, it’s a great place to get drinks after catching a Heats game. They offer a Happy Hour from 5-7 when you can slurp down some ½ price oysters while you sip on $10 classic cocktails, including Manhattans and Mamie Taylors.
237 20th St suite b, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: (305) 763-8217
Located in Collins Park near the Bass Art Museum and a block away from Miami Beach, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company is the creative brainchild of award-winning mixologist John Lermayer. During Happy Hour, you can snag some East Coast oysters for cheap while enjoying $10 cocktails, my favorites of which include the Cherry Cola and Chocolate & Bananas. They also have a generous wine, champagne, and beer list and a veritable cornucopia of “new school” mixed drinks.
1035 N Miami Ave #101, Miami, FL 33136
Phone: (305) 961–7887
I’m a major fan of The Corner, one of the best cheap bars in Miami, for a quiet nightcap after an afternoon spent wandering through the Museum Park along Biscayne Bay. It’s a rustic, cozy spot with a New Orleans-style ambiance that is a quiet breath of fresh air in the middle of a high-energy city. You can grab a draught beer for less than $4 or splurge on one of their many imports, including an unforgettable Saison Dupont farmhouse ale.
218 Española Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: (305) 672-1707
Lost Weekend has a rather curious inspiration: John Lennon’s 18-month affair with his assistant May Pang. They want their visitors to get long amongst the hustle and bustle of 80s arcade machines and folks enjoying Alibi Philly cheesesteaks. Of course, it can’t be one of the best bars in Miami without drinks. If you find yourself amidst the Mediterranean architecture and color facades of Espanola way after a show at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, stop by for dozens of craft beers and domestic favorites.
528 SW 9th Ave, Miami, FL 33130
For an authentic taste of Miami, Terras is the place to be. This rooftop hideaway on the Life House Hotel in Little Havana has all the rattan patio furniture and lush tropical greenery you would expect from this Floridian paradise of a city. During their “Hora Feliz,” you can enjoy $7 beers, $10 wines, and $12 house liquors while chowing down on pollo tacos and honey-glazed chicken lollipops. They also have a garden-inspired cocktail “map,” featuring drinks that balance spicy, herbaceous, and fruity flavors straight from the bar’s courtyard garden.