From Dive Bar to Disco, Here’s Your Guide to Miami Beach Nightlife

Party until the early hours on Miami Beach
Party until the early hours on Miami Beach | © Jose More / VWPics / Alamy Stock Photo
Jessica Vincent

Thanks to an influx of cool-kid breweries, neighborhood dive bars and intimate cocktail hideouts, Miami’s glitziest stretch of sand is finally offering something for everyone.

There’s the perfect fit for every kind of partier in Miami’s bustling nightlife scene

From queer megaclubs to 1970s-inspired rock bars, here are the best places in Miami Beach to drink, dance and play some drunken Pac-Man.

Clubs and bars line the popular Ocean Drive in Miami Beach

1. Have a game of ‘Pac-Man’ at Bob's Your Uncle

Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Beer, Cocktails, Snacks

Bob’s Your Uncle is unlike any other Miami Beach bar, with chandeliers and champagne making way for giant Jenga, pizza slices and Jell-O shots. There’s also a selection of 18 beers (eight of which are on draft), nine mule cocktails (the Cimarron tequila with Mexican mole bitters is the best) and countless board, card and video games, including Uno, Pac-Man and Cards Against Humanity. The open-plan bar is bright, spacious and suitably brewery-esque, with industrial light fittings, long wooden tables made for sharing and big chalkboards announcing the daily draft specials. The motto here is “come to have a drink, play a game and feel at home,” so it goes without saying that there is no fancy attire or bank loan needed – just bring your best gaming skills.

3. Step back to the ’70s at Kill Your Idol

Bar, Beer, Cocktails, Snacks

Inspired by the punk rock scene of the late ’70s and ’80s, Kill Your Idol is all about the music. You’ll find a schedule of live performances – with anything from drag shows on Mondays to open jam sessions on Thursdays – almost every day of the week. If you’ve arrived early and there isn’t a band playing, don’t fret: there’s a 1970s jukebox loaded with plenty of Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth and The Smiths to keep you rocking into the early hours. The decor doesn’t disappoint either, with light fittings made from recycled glass bottles, an upside-down astronaut hanging from the ceiling and a bar decorated with a giant Bruce Lee, Jaws head and a talking deer. Regular drink deals – like $3 drafts and $2 lagers on Mondays – make this rocking dive bar one of the cheapest places to drink in South Beach.

4. Play the big kid at Ricky’s South Beach

Bar, Snacks, North American, Beer, Cocktails

Ricky’s is where every big kid in Miami wants to hang out. Part bar, part pizza joint and part arcade, this 16th Street hangout is where you come to show off your table hockey skills, shoot some enemy robots in the Terminator game or ride a motorcycle through a 3D world. Once you’ve worked up a thirst in the video arcade, choose from a menu of 150 whiskeys or have the bartender mix a barrel of punch for you. The food menu here is just as fun: think vodka-cream pizza sold by the slice, strawberry-topped funnel cakes and buckets of toffee popcorn. The happy hour – which runs Monday through Friday, from 5pm-10pm – sees everything on the menu slashed down to 50 percent, including the pizza. And, if that weren’t a sweet enough deal, you also get two tokens to spend in the arcade for every drink you buy!

5. Skate and bowl ’til 5am at Basement

Nightclub, Bar, American

Most nightclubs in Miami Beach have a dance floor, a bar and maybe an outdoor smoking area. But how many can say they have a bowling alley and skating rink? Thursday through Saturday, Basement opens up four technicolored, ’80s disco-style bowling lanes for groups of friends to drink, dance and strike out until sunrise. Next door, there’s a 2,000-square-foot (186-square-meter) ice rink for you to practice your toe loops and double backflips to hip-hop and house beats. Bowling and skating aside, the huge dance floor (brought to life with glittering disco balls, neon lights and world-famous DJ sets) is quickly becoming Miami Beach’s hottest place to party.

6. Party like a Hollywood star at LIV

Nightclub, Pub Grub

Famous DJs regularly spin at LIV nightclub in Miami, where you can party ’til the wee hours
© Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams / Getty Images
Looking for the real deal? Try LIV, the granddaddy of all South Beach clubs, located at the top floor of the Fontainebleau Hotel. The cover price is mucho expensive, and the drinks are, too. It’s even a challenge to get in – bouncers choose out of the line, so dress to the nines. The lucky ones, however, will be partying like true Hollywood stars.

Pro tip: Miami is a late-night city. This means that most clubs don’t get going until at least 11pm or midnight. If you arrive earlier than this, chances are it will be just you and the DJ. We recommend going for a few drinks at one of the bars mentioned on this list first, then heading to somewhere like LIV or Basement later in the evening.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article