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A South Florida Travel Guide :: DRINK {South Florida Bars That Don't Suck}


I had high hopes for this South Florida bar post... and then as I sat down to add more places, add commentary, and edit... and I realized... maybe, I don't know a whole lot about GOOD South Florida bars anymore. Many of the places I used to go, expanded (blegh, lost its charm) or I haven't been to in over a year, so yah know, they could still be awesome, but they could also be just terrible now--- and I have no idea. Maybe I should start off by saying there really aren't a lot of super amazing South Florida bars. Florida is newer than the north east and much of the country. We don't have a lot of that older bar charm that other cities might have. There are a lot of beer laws here (well, everywhere too) and you're not going to find the widest selection of micro-brews like you could out west or up north. (Even Orlando, two hours north has much better options). 99% of bars here are giant smoke pits, because smoking laws have yet to change (will they ever?). But, there is a lot of variety--- and so you can't really go wrong with that. I should also put out a good reminder on here, that choosing what kind of bar you like or don't like--- its an incredibly personal thing. Some people enjoy a club atmosphere, while others enjoy a lounge, a small dive, a loud pub, or a tv filled sports bar. I try to find bars with a nice beer or wine selection, while liquor is usually last on my list. I hate tvs in my bars (I'm there to enjoy drinks and friends, not watch television). And occasionally I enjoy smaller dive bar type places. If I'm in the mood to dance, I enjoy more of an indie dance crowd, with the occasional electronic or freestyle mix (not dub-step, thanks)--- but those are all my personal preferences. (And I'm not at all implying that everything else sucks, there are a billion bars in this area, I haven't been to 99% of them, and going out for me is a rare experience these days, so I try to stick to my favorite things). That being said, I tried to include a good variety on here--- hopefully something that might catch your eye, when traveling, or whatever. There are probably more places to check out these days, but I don't know. I'm pretty boring and leaving my house past sunset is like a miracle, so I'm not the best source of information for a late night party spot. Hopefully in the future, discovering more will be something I can do, until then, here is my South Florida bar recommendations. 

Miami

.
5501 NE 2nd Ave  Miami, FL 33137
Dirty and fantastic. Depending on the night and the band it's either completely packed---- or dead empty. Check out the event calendar first--- because you may not want to go on a loud local death metal night---- seriously. You can get cider on tap 100% of the time. Decent bartenders. Decent beer and liquor too. 



407 Meridian Ave Miami Beach, FL 33139
Favorite Miami Lounge. If you don't know it's there, you won't find it (it's on the bottom floor of a house). It's tiny tiny. Great beer, great wine, good music (and if you don't like it, you can usually ask for a music change), comfortable couches. A little smokey at times, but that's Florida for you. It's a thumbs up and a nice escape from Miami beach clubs.


1234 WASHINGTON AVENUE MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139
Ping pong bar with a dance floor. Pools tables too. In the middle of south beach, so parking, you know, sucks, but if you're on the beach, its a good mix between club and bar. I think I've been on a friday? It was a very good time. 


The Electric Pickle
2826 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127
Lounge, bands, DJs, backyard, it's a good mix of a lot of things. Decent drinks. And you can gets dirty pickle martini, with a house made pickle or a bacon and bourbon cocktail. It's different each night, so check the calendar. Last time I went it was an acoustic set downstairs, and a gay/lesbian dance party upstairs. I went upstairs, it was a blast. 


The Vagabond (Vagabond)
30 NE 14th St, Miami, FL 33132
This was my favorite dance spot when I lived in Miami. I don't think I ever paid more than a 10$ cover, but usually 5$. Three rooms. A smaller more indie dance one, a bigger one with a stage and more electronic to the right, and huge backyard, with a fire pit, sometimes late night munchies, and more bands and DJs. Decent drink options. Party until 4 or 5 am. 


The Seven Seas
2200 S Red Rd, Miami, FL 33155
I don't know how to describe this place--it might be impossible. My best description: A spanish speaking (singing) karaoke dive bar? The only karaoke place I've ever enjoyed. 


There's also Bardot or Treehouse, neither of which I've been too, but I've had good friends recommend. 




West Palm Beach


519 N Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Usually not super packed. Nice to grab a beer before you head out dancing or whatever. Sometimes they have decent (read: not wonderful, but okay) local bands playing (does a good local band exist down here?). Rumors are they have a pretty decent monday reggae 
night. Beer selection is okay, with a few local beers on tap.


517 N Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Actually right next door to Long Boards. A newer place, good beer, good whiskey, food is a thumbs up, nice atmosphere, and a giant airstream in the back to fill up with all your friends. 


531 N Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Because every bar list needs an irish pub on it.


410 Evernia St #107, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
I'm hesitating putting this up here... because it's so small and tiny... and I want no one to go there ever... because I love it so much (...and I hate crowds). My favorite wine/beer bar in ALL of South Florida. My secret spot forever. (It's still a secret, right?) On the rare occasion that I leave the house these days, I'm happy to start my night here. Wonderful drink selection, yummy snacks, and good, friendly, and knowledgeable bartenders. (Get a pretzel)  


213 S Rosemary Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
The drinks aren't great, but the atmosphere is nice on a nice night.



518 N Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
It's 21+, but expect to feel old if you're 22+. Open til 3 or 4 am. Dollar something tallboys on thursdays. Smokey as all hell, but pretty much the only decent dance spot (on thursdays or saturdays) in South Florida (not in Miami), unless you want hiphop, dub step, or electronic.  


221 N Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Beer is decent, not great.... but they have packman and air hockey. 


There's also The Yardhouse (in Palm Beach Gardens) or World Of Beers (West Palm or Wellington) more of a large restaurant sport bars chain type place, if you're looking for that vibe. Lots and lots of (good/decent) beer. 





In Between 


2621 N Federal Hwy, Boca Raton, FL 33431
A hookah bar. Really great beer. They brew their own stuff there too. Stage with bands. The vibe is okay. If you're into jambands, they do a lot of that kind of thing there. 


52 N. Swinton Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444
Actually a restaurant, but I didn't include it in my restaurant guide, because I never go there for the food (you could, but there are other options around)... BUT the atmosphere is pretty awesome. The inside is dark, small, eclectic and a bit romantic. The outside is much of the same. Perfect for a quiet date or a fun evening with friends. They sometimes have bands. Go on a cool evening, you won't be disappointed. 


201 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444
Modern American. Not somewhere I typically go, but I'm never bummed to go there either. Gatro-vibe. Decent beer. Burgers/french fries. A good option for Delray.


The Blue Anchor
804 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483
A nice quiet pub atmosphere, feels different than the rest of delray, like it's been there for a while and isn't just another place to just be turned over. Good beer and liquor selection. 


325 NE 2nd Avenue # 104, Delray Beach, FL 33444
I'm not keen on the vibe here. A bit like a stale coffee shop, but they have great beer, and if I'm not mistaken, you might be able to buy them to go? Maybe? 


3599 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
A polynesian restaurant/bar built in the 1950's... need I say more? Haven't eaten there, so it's not on the food list, but this place is a (huge) super fun time warp. Live polynesian shows, waterfalls, fishtanks, tikis everywhere, and all the drinks are made from fresh fruits and homemade syrups. Do not try to steal the tiki glasses, they frown on that.   


And of course, if you're local or love visiting, and have recommendations, please let me know. I'd love to remember, re-discover, or learn of new fun places for date night or friend nights out :)

See the (vegan-friendly) restaurant guide HERE.

Happy Weekend everyone! 

9 comments:

  1. Perfect! I'll be in the area in May and planned to spend most of my money on nightlight rather than amusement parks.

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    1. :) May will be lovely! Shouldn't be too too hot then!

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  2. We must live right near each other because a lot of my favorites made your list. Bardot IS awesome if you get the chance to check it out. It's super laid back with big comfy couches and it basically feels like hanging out in your friends super cool living room or something, but the drinks are a little pricey.

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    1. That's exactly how my friend described bardot :) Alex and I tried to go one evening in october-ish maybe? (we traveled down there for dinner, not to visit bardot) But a band was playing (flight facilities) so it was packed packed packed. The door was a shit-show and there was only VIP left, so we opted for Electric Pickle.

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  3. I was pregnant the while time I lived in soflo. :/ When I visit you are taking me out!

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  4. This list makes me want to go out right now! We like the same kind of bars. I love how unique they're all seem.

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  5. And now all I can think about is going to Mai-Kai and stealing a tiki glass...

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  6. LOVE LOVE Electric Pickle and Vagabond (was there this weekend - such a great time)

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  7. My boyfriend's band, Spred The Dub (rocksteady/ska/reggae), plays Monday nights at Longboards. I think they might be that good local band you've been looking for :)

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