Miami

The Best Beer Bars in Miami Right Now

Boxelder Craft Beer Market
Boxelder Craft Beer Market
Boxelder Craft Beer Market

In the land of Miami Vices, vodka sodas, and piña coladas, a good beer is hard to find. And although the goblet-sized Coronaritas on Ocean Drive are definitely “good” in their own right, we want to gently nudge you towards something a little more artisan. Over the past few years, craft breweries have been popping up all over South Florida, and with those craft breweries come impressive beer menus at a few of our local bars. Check out the seven aforementioned bars below, and you’ll see what we mean. And yes, some of them will still make you a Coronarita.

Boxelder Craft Beer Market
Boxelder Craft Beer Market
Boxelder Craft Beer Market

Boxelder Craft Beer Market

WynwoodA beer lover’s fever dream come true
Walk into this beer shop-meets-taproom-meets-art gallery in Wynwood, and you’ve discovered the Holy Grail of beer. Dubbed a “craft beer market” by its owners — husband-and-wife duo Nicole and Adam Darnell, two art industry vets with a passion for good beer — Boxelder has 20 local brews on tap and 150+ eclectic bottles to go. If you want to belly up to the bar, choose from a rotating menu of mostly Florida beers from the likes of MIA Brewing, Funky Buddha, Cigar City and Gravity Brewlab, along with a couple kombuchas and wines. If you’re just there on a beer run, make your own six pack with random beers from Pennsylvania, Upstate New York, Virginia and more. Beer lovers will drool over weird food-and-beer pairings (Ben & Jerry’s and brews) and visiting beer experts, some of whom live stream-in on huge projection screens to lead beer-themed chats. When you do buy brews to go, don’t worry about bringing your car. The Darnells have six-pack holders you can attach to your bicycle.  

Yard House
Yard House
Yard House

Yard House

Coral GablesWhere you can get an evening’s-worth of beer for less than $20, and still feel classy
Don’t let the fact that it’s a chain deter you — when it comes to beer (and food and cocktails and atmosphere and people-watching and happy hour), Yard House knows what’s up. There are over 100 beers on tap, TWO half-price happy hours from Monday to Wednesday, a menu of beer blends and beer ice cream floats, a special “chalkboard menu” of seasonal brews, and even a beer sampler with six rotating, five-ounce beer shots for less than $10. Pro tip: Yard House truffle fries pair well with anything.

TAP 42 MIAMI
TAP 42 MIAMI
TAP 42 MIAMI

Tap 42

Coral GablesWhere there are, well, 42 brews on tap
Judging from the steady flow of regulars flooding the bar-restaurant for brunch or game days, you wouldn’t know this trendy gastro pub just hit the South Florida scene in 2015. Like its name implies, it has 42 craft beers on tap, from lagers, hefeweizens and double IPAs, to browns, nitro beers and Belgian ales, and even layered drafts like the “Bruised Apple” with Apple Orchard Apple Cider and Guinness. If you want to try more than one, get the handcrafted beer flight. You’ll get three six-ounce pours of anything on tap for just $15.

Kush by LoKal
Kush by LoKal
Kush by LoKal

Kush

WynwoodDelicious rare beers and quality burgers, from the same guys behind LoKal and Spillover
Beer lovers can go to this low-key joint for a rotating menu of 18 brews on tap, one nitro keg, and if you’re there on the right day, even a cask and an aged and reserve bottle list with beers you likely won’t find anywhere else. The ambiance is standard Wynwood (so, graffiti), but the food and drink menus draw a crowd that’s all of South Florida mixed in one. Choose whatever brew the bartender recommends and order the “Frita,” a burger topped with guava jelly, Gruyere, potato sticks and bacon. Together, you’ll get an effortlessly cool taste of Miami.

Union Beer Store
Union Beer Store
Union Beer Store

Union Beer Store

Little HavanaA taproom on Calle Ocho with 20 eclectic beers
Long gone are the days where Little Havana was only good for a pastelitos and cafecitos. Thanks to the former owners of Miami Brew Bus/past partner of Kush, this very Miami neighborhood now has a taproom, beer market, and growler bar all rolled into one. The beer selection is as random as putting a taproom in Little Havana, so expect 20 taps and chilled cases of out-there brews like an orange-lime-sherbet sour, a chocolate-vanilla-maple stout, a mango witbier, and just for Miami, a “La Playita” pilsner.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina

Miami BeachA pizza, burger, and beer joint from a James Beard Award-winning chef
Much like us, even award-winning chefs need a pizza or a burger every now and then. Although, unlike ours, Michael Mina’s pizzas come topped with smoked-BBQ short rib and house-pickled shallots, and his burgers are dry-aged and topped with truffle aioli, crispy prosciutto and caramelized onions. Luckily, we all drink the same beer. At this casual bar-resto at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, sit at the bar and choose from around 30 brews; the 10+ on tap come from Miami brewers, while the 18 bottled or canned beers are handpicked from all over Florida.

The Wetlab
The Wetlab
The Wetlab

The Wetlab

Virginia KeyA cheap college bar known for its tap takeovers, local craft beers and… taxidermy
If drinking at a bar in a marine research lab on a college campus is wrong, we Miamians don’t wanna be right. Hidden in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, just past a foyer full of taxidermy fish, this random watering hole is where you go for a cold beer on the water, live music, and local tap takeovers. It’s run by UM marine students, so order one of the 17 $3 craft beers on tap, snag a mix-and-match bucket of five craft beers for just $20, and spend your next couple hours enthusiastically sharing those shark migration facts you just Googled.Sign up here for our daily Miami email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Jennifer Agress is a Miami-based food writer and editor who had to Google “shark migration” to write this article.

Miami

Bad Bunny and David Grutman's Sexy AF Miami Steakhouse is Finally Here

The rapper does whatever he wants.

Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis

David Grutman is back at it again, and this time the hospitality guru is bringing a new partner into the fold-award-winning recording artist, Bad Bunny. Located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighbourhood, Gekkō, which translates to “moonlight” is a Japanese-inspired steakhouse that will serve fancy cuts of Wagyu alongside a bevy of sushi offerings. In true Groot Hospitality form, this isn’t your basic steakhouse, it’s also got a lounge that very well may play the sounds of Bad Bunny and the like into the wee hours of the night.

“Gekkō is the result of so many of my obsessions in food,” says David Grutman, Founder of Groot Hospitality. “It’s a steakhouse inspired by Japanese cuisine. There are delicious, innovative sushi rolls. There’s a lounge. I knew I wanted to do something that combined these worlds, and once I started speaking with Bunny, I knew he’d be a great partner. Gekkō is about having an incredible meal while having an equally incredible night.”

Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE

To celebrate the opening of Gekkō (not so coincidentally the same weekend Bad Bunny has two shows scheduled in South Florida), the crew hosted a massive grand opening party that attracted dozens of A-list celebrities and friends of both Grutman and Bad Bunny. Upon arrival, in his white Bugatti, mobs of fans who spent the entire evening swarming the restaurant began chanting “Benito! Benito!” as he exited his car in an all black suit paired with black sunglasses.

The night went something like this. A-list artists of every genre came out to celebrate. Future and Lil Wayne were seen on a couch in deep conversation and catching up with Mack Maine. Bad Bunny and Karol G were spotted running from table to table together, while DJ Khaled was seen embracing Bad Bunny and congratulating him on such a beautiful new restaurant. Timbaland and Andy Garcia were spotted hanging out for a long period, while Sophie Turner and her husband, Joe Jonas, hung with Victoria and David Beckham. Amidst that hundreds of average joes mixed and mingled while attempting to make their way to the bar so they could get a peek at some of the restaurant’s cocktails and sushi bites. It was quite a scene.

Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis

Okay, so back to the restaurant. Gekkō was designed by New York City-based architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, and is made up of three different rooms with seats for up to 185 diners. It’s centred around sultry jewel-toned decor with plush and stylistic elements like a custom gold and red dip-dyed rope installation, graphic wall coverings, and velvet drapery.

Now you might be wondering about the food, because that’s really why we’re going to a restaurant, right? Gekkō’s menu begins with shared plates where diners will find things like a signature Japanese milk bread, “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto Oysters, lobster dumplings, and a wedge salad. When it comes to raw plates there’s sushi and sashimi classics as well as an opulent 24k Otoro, that’s exactly what it sounds like-deliciously tender fatty tuna covered in a layer of 24k gold leaf.

Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision

Then there’s the steaks which include a Tomahawk cut, an olive-fed filet mignon from Kagawa, Japan, and a snow beef strip from Hokkaido, Japan. Specialty preparations include Wagyu skirt steak and a bone-in ribeye. And because Grutman is always sure his restaurants cater to the tastes of everyone, there’s even some plant-based chicken options and more.

“Sitting down with friends to enjoy a good meal is one of the moments I value the most,” says Bad Bunny. “I am thrilled that now I will have a hand in creating this experience for others.”

Gekkō opens tonight at 8 SE 8th Street in Brickell. The dining room and lounge serve customers from 6 to 11 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and 6 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday. Valet parking is available for $20 or you can attempt to find a street parking on Brickell. Visit gekko.com for reservations.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.

Related

Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.