There are almost as many bars and clubs in South Beach as there are grains of sand on the beach. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but nightlife is one thing South Beach is definitely not lacking.
What’s also great about the nightlife in South Beach is the variety of different sorts of places you can go. There are fantastic chill-out bars where you can sip cocktails while watching the sun go down, bars that are infamous for live music, karaoke bars where you can sing your heart out, and clubs where you can dance until the sun comes up.
It might be tempting to try to work your way from one end of Ocean Drive to the other on an improvised pub crawl, but don’t. There are far too many bars on Ocean Drive to visit them all in one night. There are some you definitely shouldn’t miss, though. So drop your bags off at a South Beach luggage storage and put your best outfit on for a night on the town!
The Best Bars On Ocean Drive
Mango’s Tropical Café
If there’s anywhere on Ocean Drive with a real vacation vibe, it’s Mango’s Tropical Café. Walk into Mango’s, and you’ll be in a colorful, two-floored venue that’s taken tropical décor to the extreme. Think jungle vibe, and you won’t be far off track. It’s wild.
Start your night here slowly with a mojito on the terrace, then get ready to be surprised as the place erupts with a Las Vegas-style dinner show before morphing into a nightclub called the Vodou Room. When you want to spend your night in one venue only, you won’t go far wrong at Mango’s, as you’ll have everything you could possibly want under one roof.
A Fish Called Avalon
If Mango’s sounds just a little too wild for your tastes, then slip into A Fish Called Avalon. A Fish Called Avalon is the bar and restaurant of the Hotel Avalon and has a more chilled-out atmosphere. When you want a quiet dinner followed by live music, then this is the spot to go to.
A Fish Called Avalon has been one of the most popular go-to places on Ocean Drive for 30 years, which can only mean they’re doing something right. Here you can start your night early with the happy hour they have every day from 5:30 pm to 7 pm, enjoy a leisurely seafood meal, and then sit back and relax while listening to live swing and jazz music.
If you’re more into pubs than clubs, you’ll love Wet Willie’s. The atmosphere here is more relaxed and down to earth than in many bars in South Beach, and they don’t have a strict dress code like many others do, either. It’s the sort of place you can drop into straight off the beach after staying to watch the sunset and carry your night on without wasting time having to go back to your room to get changed.
Wet Willie’s specializes in frozen daiquiris which are the perfect drink for the South Beach climate. They have a super range of flavors that are definitely not what you’d find anywhere else but be warned, daiquiris like these are seriously addictive, especially when you can also invent your own. One is never going to be enough.
Bars In South Beach With A Difference
When you want to take your night out to a new level, you need to go to the Sky Yard. The Sky Yard is the rooftop bar at the Lincoln Eatery on Lincoln Lane. It’s cool without being over the top, and you’ll get a breath of fresh air, too, as it’s open air.
This is a great bar for a date night when you don’t want to have to shout over the music to make yourself heard or to sit and chat with friends while having a few drinks. There’s only one thing to say about the views of Miami Beach from the Sky Yard, and that’s they’re fantastic.
Kill Your Idol
Kill Your Idol is a bar on Espanola Way in South Beach that’s about as eclectic as they come. Go for a drink here, and you’ll spend more time staring at the life-size Bruce Lee mannequin posed to leap from above the bar than you will at your drinking partner.
Everything about this bar is different, including the music. Here they go for the No Wave music of the 70s played live by local musicians. It can get quite lively as the night goes on and the dance floor gets packed, so if you like to strut your stuff after a few cheap drinks somewhere there’s no cover charge either, write Kill Your Idol at the top of your must-go-to in South Beach list.
Do Not Sit On The Furniture
With a name like Do Not Sit On The Furniture, you know you will be dancing into the early hours at this nightclub. Located on 16th Street, this club is renowned for having regular sets played by top international DJs who know all there is to know about house music.
You don’t need to be dressed to the nines to get in here, as their dress code is smart casual which is a bonus. When it all gets too much, and you need a breather from bopping, they have a super outdoor terrace where you can go to recuperate.
The bars mentioned here are really just a drop in the ocean of South Beach’s nightlife. Although these are some of the best, if they’re not what you’re looking for, don’t despair. There are also many more besides these.
Don’t forget, if you do decide to go on a self-guided pub crawl of Ocean Drive, take it easy because even if you can handle the pace, you’ll probably only get halfway down it before you’ve forgotten where you started.