By: Jennifer Agress and Yours Truly
Until recently Miami hasn’t had many really great bars. Now with notable new entrants on the scene that have raised the “glamour” quotient, happily others are stepping up their game, and then there are the classics that are always a good choice. Here’s the latest on the top bars Miami.
Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, in the same 1930s clubhouse that once hosted some of the most lavish celebrity parties from the 20th century, this jaw-dropping, al fresco champagne bar overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. A symbol of Italy (where the original restaurant stems from), this haute haunt gives guests a taste of “la dolce vita.” It boasts Miami’s largest selection of fine champagnes and a cocktail menu inspired by champagne and Italian aperitifs—all served in handmade Carlo Moretti Venetian glasses. As you do in a place like this, order a glass of your favorite bubbly and pair it with Italian bar bites sure to quench your craving: like an extravagant caviar menu, East and West Coast Oysters, bruschetta, eggplant parmigiana, shrimp canapes and more. Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar is located at 9011 Collins Avenue. The champagne bar is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Parking is available through hotel valet.
Sitting in the heart of the stunning St. Regis Bal Harbour, go to this bar for its luxe surroundings, seductive music, sushi and Asian-inspired plates, and impressive selection of the world’s finest champagnes, rare vintage wines and handcrafted cocktails. And when we say luxe, we mean it. This bar still has well-dressed waiters performing the classic ritual of “sabering” at 7:30 p.m. nightly, and thanks to a partnership with Lalique, serves three signature, over-the-top cocktails in the brand’s French crystal stemware… for $200 apiece. The St. Regis Bar & Sushi Lounge is located at 9703 Collins Avenue. This bar is open Sunday through Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to Midnight; and Thursday through Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Food is served daily, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.
MO Bar + Lounge
If you want to impress someone, but don’t want to break the bank, MO Bar + Lounge is where you go to do it. From its spot in Brickell Key, the open lobby bar overlooks beautiful Biscayne Bay through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a view that’s only complemented by the bar’s hip vibes and upscale service. Grab a table in its 76-seat lounge and get your night started on a tasty note; we think a Cloud Nine cocktail (a mix of St. Germain, Prosecco, Lychee and Hibiscus) and Tostone Sliders (with short rib, “mojo” red onions, queso fresco and garlic aioli) should do the trick. Go on Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll get another treat: Cuban jazz by Renoir Rodriguez and sultry Spanish guitar by the Fox Brothers. MO Bar + Lounge is located at 500 Brickell Key Drive. It is open Sunday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to Midnight; and Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.
Sitting inside the eye-popping-elaborate Faena Miami Beach, Saxony Bar is a picture of Golden Age glamour. This dark, colorful bar is as intimate and alluring as its drinks are interesting. Opt for the “London Fog”—a delicate mix of Stoli Elit Vodka, Pecha de Vigne, St. George Bruto Americano, blood orange and Earl Grey—and relax as the DJ spins an eclectic mix of tunes. At Saxony Bar, you’ll almost feel like you’re in a special hideaway; one with extravagant décor, classic cocktails, and a glittering, bar-like atmosphere that only Miami’s finest care to enjoy. Saxony Bar is located at 3201 Collins Avenue. It is open Thursday through Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.
Walk into Brickell’s EPIC Hotel, and make your first left! Here, you’ll find one of Miami’s hottest hotel hangouts: the sexy, sophisticated, two-level LILT Lounge. A bespoke cocktail bar with Magic City nightclub vibes, go here for specialty drinks, like the “Miracle on Ice” with liquor-infused ice, as well as live music, mixologist-led “Spirit of Cocktailing” classes, sharing plates and a carefully-curated menu of haute champagnes, wines and ports. LILT Lounge is located at 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way. This bar is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.
The Bar & Courtyard at The Setai, Miami Beach
Walk into The Bar & Courtyard at The Setai, Miami Beach, which sits right in the heart of Collins Avenue, and you might forget you’re in Miami. The bar, alone, is worth going for—it’s made of Mother of Pearl and is topped with glass containers of the spot’s own infused liquors. To really indulge, sip on your signature Chili Passion Martini (made with chili-infused vodka, passion fruit-infused rum, ginger syrup and chili flakes) and grab a couch by the serenity pond. And if you really want to splurge? Follow it up with a bottle of champagne; they range from $100 to $10,000 apiece. This bar is located at 2001 Collins Avenue. It’s open Sunday through Thursday, from Noon to Midnight; and on Friday and Saturday, from Noon to 1 a.m. The Courtyard is open Sunday through Thursday, from 3 p.m. to Midnight; and on Friday and Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.
Whisper Cocktail Lounge
Once known throughout the Magic City as Fifty Ultra Lounge, when the W Hotel franchise took over the Viceroy Miami just last year, this rooftop club, pool and evening hangout transformed into the swanky Whisper Cocktail Lounge. Perched on the rooftop of the W Miami, on Brickell Avenue, this sexy locale boasts one of the best and highest views in the city. When you’re there, expect a grassy outdoor pool surrounded by haute-white furniture and Miami’s finest. Inside, an entire two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows promise a dazzling view of the Downtown Miami skyline that only a lucky few get to see. This bar is located at 485 Brickell Avenue. It’s open on Wednesday and Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and on Friday and Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.
The Biltmore Bar
Want a classic martini? Look no further than one of Miami’s most classic hotels. At The Biltmore Coral Gables, the Old-World lounge resembles a celebrity hangout; it’s dark, sultry and covered in pictures of actors on red carpets. At the center of it all, the stately, carved-wood bar looks like it was taken from a chic hotel right in the heart of Ol’ Paree. The cocktail menu is served in a leather-bound book, and there’s nothing overly-creative about what you’re drinking. That’s not a bad thing, either—this sophisticated spot is timeless for a reason. The Biltmore Bar is located at 1200 Anastasia Avenue. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Parking is available through hotel valet.