Barter Wynwood combines a cocktail bar with a thrift store | Courtesy of Barter Wynwood
The birthplace of Miami’s craft beer scene, Wynwood is a worthy contender when it comes to choosing a night out in the 305.
Beer isn’t the only tipple on the Wynwood menu: al fresco wine bars, market-style drinking dens and Latin-inspired patios make this art-loving neighborhood one of Miami’s most diverse nightlife spots. Here is Culture Trip’s pick of the best bars in the area.
Miami isn’t short of fairy-lit cocktail rooftops and chandelier-drenched wine bars. Meanwhile, go in search of a gritty, graffiti-sprawled pub serving cheap beer in plastic cups, and you might have a tough time. That’s why Wood Tavern – an indoor-outdoor dive bar that attracts artists, musicians and beer aficionados from Wynwood and beyond – opened its doors in 2011. And it became an instant neighborhood favorite. Choose from over 30 local and international bottles and cans, or treat yourself to a choice of 12 draft IPAs, amber lagers and wheat ales. While the exposed-brick bar is where all the draft action happens, the best place to hang out is on the patio. Communal picnic tables, live bands and an always dancing crowd make it easy to have a good time here.
You can exchange your vintage goods for a drink at Barter Wynwood | Courtesy of Barter Wynwood
Got a vintage piece at home gathering dust? At Barter – a combination of cocktail bar and thrift store – money is entirely optional. Instead, the preferred currency comes in the form of unique, well-worn timepieces: think antique clocks, typewriters, lamps, briefcases and sports memorabilia. You can trade with your fellow partygoers or haggle with Barter staff to exchange your piece for a generous bar tab. If you don’t fancy going out with a typewriter in your bag, not to worry: cash is accepted, but we think it’s way more fun to bring a typewriter.
Home to Miami’s largest selection of hard-to-find and newly released American and Belgian beers, Boxelder is one of Wynwood’s original taprooms. Here, you’ll find over 150 bottles from around the world, with another 20 brews (which rotate weekly to give its regulars a reason to come back) on draft. The decor – suitably brewery-esque – features high ceilings, grey floors and high metal bar stools with some group-friendly tables and board games out back. While Boxelder doesn’t have its own kitchen, it regularly partners up with local food trucks to bring beer-pairing classics such as flame-grilled sausages, burgers and hot wings to its weekend punters. Check out the bar’s events schedule for all-you-can-drink festivals, tap takeovers, and beer and food pairings.
Miami’s Latin influence is less prominent in Wynwood, but that’s not to say you can’t find somewhere to dance salsa, drink mojitos or eat a good empanada. El Patio – Wynwood’s favorite Colombian-inspired cocktail bar and late-night dance club – pays homage to its owner’s homeland with live salsa bands, meat-loaded tacos and vintage furniture. Some of it was specially shipped from Cartagena to give the bar its old-school, pastel-colored grandeur. There’s scotch, whiskey, beer and vodka on the menu, but what Miamians really come here for are the craft cocktails. El Patio prepares each mixed drink with the bar’s signature home-made honey-based syrup, a golden liquid said to owe its distinct flavor to the lychee field-raised honeycombs. Don’t miss the Queen Bee, a fruity concoction of Jack Daniel’s, mango, peach, limes, mint and plum bitters.
Offering everything from tempura shrimp to poke and pad thai, the 10,000-square-foot 1-800-Lucky initially draws visitors for the food. But it’s not what keeps them here: come Friday, this party-starting indoor-outdoor food hall is transformed into a happening late-night hang-out with live jazz, hip-hop and Latin beats. The bar here serves a range of drinks, including craft beer, wine, tequila shots and coco locos. If you fancy making a night of it, book one of the Japan-inspired karaoke rooms, where you can sing, dance and order drinks straight to your private booth until the early hours.
Gramps offers a well-made cocktail without the dress code | Courtesy of Good Exposure
If it weren’t for the sign saying “air conditioning, cold beer and cocktails” out front, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the bright orange, container-shaped building for a dive launderette or diner. But inside this dive bar rests a homey, palm tree-dotted backyard strung up with technicolor bistro lights and a mismatch of furniture made from hand-painted recycled crates. A well-stocked bar serves craft beers, spirits and – Gramps’s pièce de résistance – explosive hand-crafted cocktails that see scotch served with black pepper syrup and tequila with smoked paprika and grapefruit soda. If you get hungry, there’s a pizza truck out back, too. Check the bar’s Facebook page for a schedule of drag shows, live music, DJ sets, bingo and trivia nights.
If you’ve just about exhausted every craft brewery and cocktail bar in Wynwood, then you might be looking for something a little different. The New Orleans-style Lagniappe offers a selection of over 150 bottles, from full-bodied Spanish reds to light, fruity French whites. Once you’ve selected your favorite wine from the cooler, kick back a vintage sofa in the fairy-lit backyard. In true New Orleans style, come 9pm you’ll be tapping your feet to the sounds of Miami’s best jazz, folk, blues and soul bands. Don’t miss the Italian cold meat and cheese platters, the ultimate red wine accompaniment.