We have complicated feelings about Wynwood. Over the last decade, the (at one point in time) unique arts district has been almost comically over-developed. It has since morphed into less of a cultural epicenter, and more of the place where the most annoying people you know go to drink way, way too much. That said, there are still good things in Wynwood - like some very good restaurants and also these bars, which are the few remaining places we still actually like to drink in the neighborhood.
Gramps is a time capsule full of everything that made Wynwood exciting before developers tore it to shreds: lots of color, culture, and booze. Inside you’ll find sneaky good cocktails, cold beer, and just the right amount of kitsch. And outside, there’s a tropical kaleidoscope of palm trees and paint, where fantastic DJs, drag, and live music take turns sharing the stage. You can spend a lot of time at Gramps without getting bored, and when you get hungry, they also have the best pizza within a five-mile radius.
As Wynwood grows more chaotic by the month, Boxelder becomes all the more important to those who just want good beer in a relaxed space, where no one’s standing on the bar and pouring warm tequila into people’s mouths. Boxelder is a beer bar, and they have a consistently awesome selection - a good mix of local brews with hard-to-find international options. There’s also usually some sort of food pop-up in their backyard on the weekends, where you can find something delicious that’ll pair well with a beer.
Cerveceria is an indoor/outdoor brewery and restaurant big enough to have its own zip code. This place is inspired by a Havana brewery founded in 1888, so expect a mostly Cuban/Caribbean menu with things like yucca fries, jerk chicken wings, ceviche, and shockingly good plantain chips that are crispy and cupped like pepperonis on pizza. Most of the food (except those incredible plantain chips) is pretty good. But it’s more of a place to drink, snack, and watch live music - which they usually have outside during the weekend. Things also don’t get too wild here, so this is one Wynwood bar where you can confidently bring the family.
Beaker & Grey is technically more of a restaurant than a bar, but we still love the cocktails here, and it’s perfectly acceptable to grab a seat at the bar and just have a drink. It’s a nice place to either start or end the night, sipping on a fantastic gin and tonic and possibly snacking on cheeseburger croquettes.
Wynwood Brewing is a modest taproom that’s been serving great beer since the early days of Wynwood. Thankfully, they’ve stuck around and are still a great place to have a beer, play a board game, and chat. Sometimes there’s a food truck parked outside - and they have outdoor seating now, too. It’s a laidback spot that’s a couple blocks away from the busiest parts of the neighborhood, so you can come here knowing there’ll be no DJ abusing the airhorn sound effect.
Fans of beer, Star Wars, or reasonably chill bars free from house music will probably enjoy J Wakefield. And if you happen to like all three, you’re going to love it here. J Wakefield is a small brewery covered in murals of Star Wars characters (including a Baby Yoda dumpster in the front). It’s a simple space, but there are always a good selection of rotating beers, and also an incredible smash burger pop-up, Ted’s Burgers, that flips patties outside on the weekends. There are picnic tables in the front where you can eat, drink, and stare at Dumpster Baby Yoda.
There aren’t many places left in Wynwood where you can have a good cocktail in a small room that doesn’t feel like Flo Rida is about to pop out and start singing at any moment. But Spanglish is that kind of bar, and it’s a fun enough spot to make us feel like we’re going out in Wynwood, but not annoying enough to make us regret going out in Wynwood. There’s a food menu that can work for dinner or snacking, but the drinks are the main attraction here. The Cafetera Old Fashioned, which is poured out of a bright red espresso maker, is one of our favorite cocktails in Wynwood - especially because we don’t have to worry about a 21-year-old Spring Breaker bumping into us while we drink it.
Dogfish Head is a Wynwood brewery with indoor and outdoor seating. This place used to be Concrete Beach Brewery, and it looks almost the same except for a new paint job. But it’s still a great choice to grab some beers with friends or an after-work drink with coworkers. It’s quiet enough to have a conversation, there’s lots of shaded outdoor seating and booths good for small groups, and the beer is tasty. If it’s a hot day, try the SeaQuench Lime Slushi, a very good frozen beer blended with sugar and lime. They also have a food truck that churns out bar snacks like conch and crab fritters, empanadas, and wings.
Miami is not a sports bar town, but if we ever do have a reason to care about sports, Wynwood’s Grails is a solid place to cheer on the [insert team here] to victory. The bar, which is right next door to Spanglish, has a lot of outdoor seating, and a menu with OK chicken wings and other decent bar food. Plus, there are TVs everywhere so you can watch your game of choice no matter how crowded it is. They also have one of those mini arcade basketball hoops, which gets 30% more fun after each drink you have.
Veza Sur is another brewery in Wynwood, which has more breweries per mile than any other neighborhood in Miami. Like a lot of the other brewery options, it’s a welcome antidote to some of the neighborhood’s rowdier spots. No one’s going to be dancing on the bar here, and it’s a good call if you just want to have a conversation, some crisp beers (which they also make into beer cocktails), and maybe a bite from one of the rotating food trucks out back.