The Bar Hit List: New Miami Bars To Try Right Now

The new bars that are worth the hangover.
The Bar Hit List: New Miami Bars To Try Right Now image

photo credit: Courtesy Higher Ground

In order to help you figure out which new restaurants are worth your time, we created The Hit List, our guide to the new spots that we actually like. And we do the same thing for new bars in Miami. All the places we visited are less than a year old, and they include outdoor music venues, rooftop spots, and an incredibly fun tiki speakeasy. But what do they all have in common? We’ve visited them, really liked them, and felt they were well worth the varying degrees of hangover.


photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc


Coconut Grove

$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good CocktailsEating At The Bar
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

This small bar in CocoWalk is more than what its name suggests. Yes, it has delicious east and west coast oysters. But it also has tequila snow cones and dishes like a snapper dog—our favorite thing on the menu—which has a pork and snapper sausage that’s thick, snappy, and topped with pickled fennel slaw. It’s somehow not too fishy and tastes like eating a fancy hotdog in the ocean. The cocktails are generous, strong, and reasonably priced between $14 and $17. Get the mango and tequila snow cone. It’s served in a paper cone, sprinkled with tajin, and makes us feel like we just won a prize at the fair.

ZeyZey, a mostly outdoor venue in Little River, is doing a lot of things. There are a couple bars serving wine and frozen drinks. About four food vendors (including the excellent Maíz Project) operate from little huts scattered around the space, which is essentially a giant house. There’s a stage for live music, and a DJ booth in the living room for late-night dance parties. Before the sun sets, you might see some families with small children running around. But as the night goes on, dancing intensifies, and it’s a really fun place to spend the night (whether or not you partake in said dancing). There’s usually a ticket or RSVP required for entry, so check ZeyZey’s Instagram for a link to that. 

Kaona Room is a speakeasy attached to its older sibling, Esotico. And while Esotico is a more mainstream interpretation of a tiki bar that occasionally plays loud pop songs, Kaona Room is more of a classic tiki experience. Inside the dim space it’s all palm fronds and bamboo. Bartenders shake flammable spices onto cocktails as fake thunder plays through the speakers. Drinks are strong (and tasty). The whole experience makes you feel like you're in the hull of an old wooden ship—as a proper tiki bar should. Plus, there’s sometimes live music that makes the place feel a bit more romantic. This is a great spot to mix up date night drinks, or for whenever you feel like wearing a floral shirt and drinking rum. 

The bad news: Happy's Stork, a classic dive bar in North Bay Village, closed. The good news: It reopened in a new space about 800 yards west. This new Happy’s is bigger and a bit shinier, but its loyal regulars seem to have survived the transition. Also, there’s a new restaurant that operates from within Happy’s. It’s called Last Call Diner and serves things you want to eat in a dive bar, like wings, smashburgers, a Texas toast BLT, and more. This new Happy’s is still a fine spot for day drinking (they open at 10am) or for a late-night beer and burger. 

Thoughtful, modern touches are what set this Downtown cigar lounge apart from the rest of Miami's cigar bars. If you like lighting up with a soft flame, a candle and spills are provided. After you’ve finished your cigar, you get a finger bowl of aromatic oils to wash your hands and a gingery citrus shot to cleanse your palate. They have a pricey cocktail list that uses high-end liquor and a meticulously curated cigar program that’ll make both cigar connoisseurs and novices happy. Plus, there are food options that go way beyond your average cigar bar menu, like caviar and poutine. The overall look of the space kind of makes you feel like you’re hanging out inside a very rare cigar box.

Medium Cool lives in a pleasant sweet spot between club and cocktail bar. If you’d prefer more of a cocktail lounge atmosphere, come earlier, particularly for the jazz night (Thursday through Saturday from 7-10pm). After 10pm, the bottle service crowd starts to arrive, a DJ replaces the live music, and Medium Cool becomes an intimate club. The cocktails are solid and the crowd is much more tolerable than the rest of the South Beach bottle service spots. The key to a good experience here is knowing what kind of vibe you’re after, and timing your visit accordingly. 

Higher Ground is a Wynwood cocktail bar inside a hotel that, depending on which night you go, is either a great place to hide from the chaotic nightlife of Wynwood, or partake in a more sophisticated version of it. The cocktail bar is broken up into three different rooms (one of which has a pool table). And there’s also an outdoor deck that feels like a rooftop even though it’s not technically on the roof. The cocktails are very good, and—whether for a relaxed drink after work or a crowded Saturday night party—Higher Ground should be in your Wynwood bar rotation. 

Kaiju is a cocktail bar inside The Citadel food hall in Little River, and it has one of the best cocktail menus in Miami. The menu itself is a fun little anime-inspired zine with great drinks named after different mythical monsters. They are the kind of impressively engineered cocktails you’ll want to sip slowly and appreciate, which is actually difficult because they’re so good you might chug them like a post-recess Capri Sun. Kaiju is located in what looks like a fancy bird’s nest on The Citadel's second floor, and can only fit about a dozen people. But if there are no open seats at the glowing red bar, there’s overflow seating just outside.

Miami Sound Bar is a cocktail bar in Downtown inspired by the Japanese listening bars that have become an international trend—and are starting to catch on in Miami too with places like Dante's HiFi. But this is one trend we can get behind, because we quite enjoy sipping cocktails in dark rooms while DJs play vinyl on excellent sound systems. And that’s exactly what you can do at Miami Sound Bar. This place also takes reservations, which is a smart idea since the narrow space is a tight squeeze, and it’ll be comforting to know you have a guaranteed seat (especially if you’re coming here on a date). The cocktails are very good and they have a couple bar snacks too. 

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

A rolled up piece of swordfish with an edible leaf on top of it.

The Hit List: New Miami Restaurants To Try Right Now

The new spots we checked out—and loved.

An outdoor table alongside Biscayne Bay.

The best bars in Miami, according to us.

A Guide To Miami’s “Super Cute Reasonably Priced Restaurants To Catch Up With A Few Friends”  image

Where to finally meet up with those people you haven’t seen in six months.

A sandwich, steak and eggs, and a pancake on a table.

The best brunch spots in Miami, all in one place.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store