There are days in Miami so pretty that being inside feels like it should be illegal. And on those days, a great outdoor bar can come in handy. This guide has our favorite ones in Miami. These are the bars where sitting outside is the whole point—places that are going to make you look around and mumble a prayer of gratitude that you’ll never have to learn what black ice is. They range from lush patios to sprawling wine bars to waterfront spots that’ll make you drunk dial your accountant and ask if you can afford a boat. Visit one next time one of those perfect days rolls around.
Wetlab is an unremarkable bar in a remarkable place: it’s slightly hidden inside UM’s Marine and Atmospheric Science campus with a view of Biscayne Bay that makes even the priciest hotels in town jealous. Even though it’s on UM property, it’s completely open to the public Wednesday-Friday. Finding this place feels like you’re on a scavenger hunt and you will get lost at least once, walk past classrooms, smile as you remember your own college days, then cringe as you remember more of them, then sprint before the memory of that time you went streaking for free Jimmy John’s comes flooding back. You’ll find this place eventually, though, and be glad you did—especially if you come for a sunset beer on their outdoor patio.
The Cleat is another slightly hard-to-find Key Biscayne bar with a view that’s worth shedding a tear. This place is located inside Bill Baggs State Park on the southern tip of Key Biscayne. And it has the best waterfront view of any bar in the entire city. It’s hard to describe without using cliche adjectives like breathtaking, especially at sunset. The Cleat has a very Keys vibe, occasional live music, and every seat in the house provides a view of Biscayne Bay you’d normally have to purchase a $300 bottle of vodka to enjoy. There is an $8 per vehicle fee to get into the park, but tell them you’re going to The Cleat and they (should) let you in for free.
Lagniappe is proof that not all wine bars are quiet, dim places that feel like libraries. This place gets packed and loud both inside—where you’ll find a weekly rotation of great jazz and plenty of good wine in a slightly cramped space—and outside, which is a back patio that all other back patios should aspire to be. There are string lights and tons of tables that look like they were collected from years of garage sales. It’s hard to get one of those tables on the weekend (when they’re usually full of big groups or first dates) so come early or just do laps until you see an opening. A night spent drinking wine and eating cheese here is worth the work.
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Terras is our favorite rooftop in town thanks to both the great cocktails and the wonderful view of the Downtown skyline. The Little Havana spot serves food as well, including small plates like queso fundido, hearts of palm salad, and short rib birria tacos—but you’re mostly coming here to drink (and possibly dance). The space is pretty and not too claustrophobic—great for a date or catching up with a few friends. And even though it’s on the roof of a hotel, it’s not annoyingly touristy.
Casa Florida works just fine when you’re in the mood to drink and eat underneath palm trees and string lights. There’s pretty much only outdoor seating here (including inside a retro bus) and it’s usually quiet enough to have a conversation, but not so quiet that any moments of awkward silence will feel unbearable. They also have a small food menu in case you’re hungry. But we come here to drink because the cocktails are really good (and better than the food). The Old Fashiorange tastes like an Old Fashioned made out with a Creamsicle and the tangerine negroni is refreshing and delicious.
Gramps is a time capsule of everything that made Wynwood exciting in the first place. Inside there are 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, a very popular Thursday drag night, 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.
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This Australian brewery in Coral Gables is a great place to drink and eat outside. Their front patio is really spacious, and laid out over a stretch of astroturf, so you can feel like you’re having a little picnic. This place is equal parts brewery and restaurant, and you can certainly come here to just drink—they’ve got some crisp, refreshing day-drinking brews. But if you did that, you’d be missing out on what are quite possibly the best fish and chips in town.
The Anderson holds Miami’s longest-running liquor license and it looks like it’s kept a design aspect from every decade it’s been open. Inside, it’s vintage ’80s with cheetah print wallpaper, a disco ball, and lots of shiny mirrored surfaces. But we like to hang out on the Anderson’s patio when we come here. It has a tropical personality, with lots of shade, plants, and a little tiki hut you can drink inside of. There are lots of places to sit too, which will come in handy in case you get hungry and pay a visit to the two food vendors here, which serve tacos and pizza.
This classic Mid-Beach spot is immensely popular because it’s a beautiful space—with poolside seating and a lush landscape. Broken Shaker also has one of the best cocktail menus in the entire city. It’s that rare bar that both tourists and locals love. So, if you’re coming on a weekend night, definitely expect a crowd (and maybe even a line to get in). But despite the crowds and pain-in-the-ass-parking-situation, it’s still one of our favorite places to drink outside in Miami.