Where To Have Drinks & Oysters In Miami
Because a cold drink and fresh oysters are never a bad idea.
Oysters are a reason to put on pants and leave the house all on their own. And if you add in a waterfront view, excellent martinis, cold beer, or a nice chilled lambrusco? Well, we'd agree to those plans even with someone we don't really like that much. The places on this guide certainly aren’t the only restaurants in Miami serving oysters, but these are all places you can go specifically for drinks and as many oysters as your budget/stomach will allow.
photo credit: Courtesy Water Lion
Water Lion Wine + Alchemy
Most hotel lobby bars in South Beach solely exist for tourists, but Water Lion is an exception. The tiny wine bar located inside the Sagamore is a lovely place to hide from the touristy mayhem that’s always happening outside on Collins. Here, there’s a nice selection of wines by the glass and sake cocktails, and some excellent bar snacks—including a variety of regional oysters, which are expertly shucked by friendly bartenders. Water Lion is a great pre-dinner drinks option, but we’d also come back here just for a glass of lambrusco and those oysters.
Mignonette isn’t the most budget-friendly oyster option (it’s usually around $3 or $4 per oyster) but it is a great spot for the kind of person who appreciates the subtle flavor differences between regional oysters (or at least pretends they do). You can sit at the bar and keep it simple with drinks and a dozen, or grab a table and get into some of the other delicious seafood they serve here.
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photo credit: Courtesy Joliet
Even though Miami is about as south as you can get in this country, good Southern American food is tragically hard to find. That’s why we really like South Beach’s Joliet. They don't overcomplicate the classics, and like any proper southern spot in close proximity to the ocean, they've got a nice oyster selection. They also have a killer mignonette selection, including a phenomenal passion fruit version that's very South Florida. You can come here for a big meal, but they also have a long bar where you can sit, have a cocktail, and a dozen all to yourself.
photo credit: Rami Sabban
Sweet Liberty Drink & Supply Co.
There is never a bad time to come to Sweet Liberty in South Beach, but every day from 4-8pm is certainly a good choice. Because between those hours, you can sit at the bar, order 95 cent oysters, and discounted drinks. Feel free to stick around after 8pm too, because this place is fun and embodies everything we love about going out in South Beach: it's sexy and colorful and not afraid of a hot pink neon sign. Also, their caviar onion dip and potato chips might be our favorite bar snack in town.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
Klaw is an excellent and luxurious steak and seafood restaurant where it's way too easy to spend $200 per person without trying. But Klaw's upstairs bar is...well, it's expensive too. But you will spend way less than $200 there on top-notch martinis (which are actually made with mignonette here) and a dozen east coast oysters. Those also come with an aerial view of Biscayne Bay so dramatic it might make you unironically whisper something like, “This is my city." The bar is an enclosed space with a roof, but there is a terrace that feels a lot more like you're drinking on a roof. You’ll also get leche de tigre for dipping/oyster dressing, which is an idea so brilliant it should scare the mignonette industry.
Not only can you get oysters at Downtown's Over Under, but you can do so while drinking their shell-tini, a briny martini that uses gin infused with the shells from the very oysters you're eating. Now that's the kind of sustainability we can get behind. Maybe one thing leads to another and you get a cheeseburger (very good) or some fish dip (also very good) too. This is the kind of place where you might just hang out for a couple of hours and have four drinks without really realizing it. But it might not be a bad idea to call first and check if they're offering oysters that day. They source them from a small Florida operation, so availability can fluctuate.
The River Oyster Bar
Sitting at the bar here with a dozen oysters in front of you is a good call, regardless if you’re looking for a seafood-heavy dinner or just trying to hide from the truly hideous rush-hour traffic that circles this place like a shark without car insurance. But whether or not you’re here for cheap Happy Hour oysters or the outstanding raw bar—it’s one of the best (and least pretentious) restaurants in the Brickell. They have a pretty big menu, but anything that used to live in the ocean is going to be good here.
Shuckers Bar and Grill
Shuckers is one of the few waterfront restaurants in Miami where the prime views don’t come with incessant house music and $300 bottles of rosé whizzing by your head. It’s casual, and the food here is what you want in a breezy raw bar. They have good wings, frozen drinks, and oysters too. But the best part of Shuckers is its wide-open view of Biscayne Bay. There are also a ton of TVs, and chances are they’re playing whatever game you want to see.
Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish
Garcia’s is a classic Miami spot for anything involving seafood. If it swam or lived in water at some point, they serve it here. And they probably make it taste good too. The outdoor seating has a view of the not-so-glamorous Miami River, while the inside feels like being inside an old wooden ship. Wherever you sit, you can get your oysters fresh, fried, or in an oyster cocktail shot.
Monty’s Raw Bar
Monty’s is a big, outdoor, waterfront restaurant in Coconut Grove that looks like a tiki hut that ate some magical beans and became huge. If they didn’t serve oysters here, we’d be a little offended. Luckily, they do. Gulf oysters are available all day long, and so are some strong frozen drinks, which are slightly cheaper during Happy Hour every Mon-Fri from 4-7pm.
You can go to Jaguar Sun just to drink, but even if you're not starving, you should be placing an order for two things: the Parker House rolls and a round of oysters. Both are a good call whether you're sitting at the bar or in their little dining room. Jaguar Sun is one of our favorite places for a fun dinner in all of Miami, because it hits that energetic sweet spot: it's upbeat enough to make you feel like you went out, but won’t have you waking up the next morning with ringing in your ears.
Amara At Paraiso
You can’t eat much closer to Biscayne Bay than at Amara—unless you own a boat or are a manatee. But if you are not a herbivorous marine mammal, then this is a really good choice on those days when you want to eat oysters and also stare at the same ocean that said oysters came from. The menu is pretty much all seafood, with a small raw bar, ceviche, and a very tasty grilled snapper. Come during the day if you really want to see the view in all its glory. And make a reservation for a guaranteed outdoor table, because this place is busy almost every night of the week.
We couldn’t imagine Michael’s Genuine without oysters. Thankfully, we don’t have to. The Design District classic still serves a daily selection by the dozen and half-dozen—and there's also an oysters and caviar package in case you woke up today in a mood to spend money recklessly. This isn't your casual oyster spot—you'll spend some money even if you don't opt for the caviar. But it's a good option if you want to feel a little fancy and possibly have a martini or two.