A Night Out at Miami’s Most Stylish Bars

The front of the bar at Employees Only in Miami, Florida

For a cocktail enthusiast seeking a night out in the city, ambiance can hold as much weight as the lure of imbibing with a one-of-a-kind libation. And from the Brickell district to South Beach, there are myriad establishments in Miami’s urban sprawl that thoughtfully blend unique atmospheres with creative offerings for unforgettable experiences.

With an enticing array of ingredients designed to capture the vibrant flavors of South Florida, as well as venues accentuating the ambiance of the ocean and city skyline, Miami nightlife is as much of an art as it is a way of life. Luckily, savvy visitors don’t have to look far past the white sands of Acqualina Resort & Spa to find prized institutions that specialize in whipping up the necessary elements for late-night revelry.

To make your Miami experience even more flavorful, here are five of our top recommendations for bars, sure to be as satisfying as they are original.

AQ Bar

The lounging area at Acqualina's AQ bar in Miami, Florida

Sunny Isles Beach

Adjoined to Acqualina’s AQ Chop House by Il Mulino, AQ Bar draws inspiration from the smooth and provocative era of the Parisian jazz movement. The resort’s newest attraction, artfully designed by Sean Saladino, pairs hand-crafted cocktails with an eclectic ambiance complete with original works by multiple world-renowned artists, including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

Both visually magnetizing and buzzing with energy, this plush space with brass finishes and midcentury furniture conceives the ideal environment for stimulating conversation over a round of chess or backgammon. Play a game or two as you sip a tasty concoction from the bar’s highly-trained mixologists.

Our Recommendation: The Eternal Summer, expertly crafted with vodka, watermelon juice, lime, mint, and homemade jalapeño syrup, is equal parts refreshing and invigorating and will help you transition from a relaxing day on Sunny Isles Beach to a vibrant night.



The bar front at Sugar in Miami, Florida

Sophistication meets international flair in Sugar Miami’s lush and exotic garden oasis, set on EAST, Miami’s rooftop 40 floors above the ultra-luxe Brickell City Centre. The Asian influence of this stunning bar and restaurant doesn’t only shine through its Balinese décor, but also an intriguing drink menu launched just last spring that offers a libation for every palette, with bases ranging from gin to rye to rum.

As the sun goes down in South Florida, the best part about sipping a cocktail high above downtown Miami is a panoramic view of the skyline as it illuminates the evening cityscape with an electric blue glow.

Our Recommendation: A tropical fusion of Zacapa 23 rum, hibiscus, passionfruit, ginger beer, and lime juice, the Tiger Lily is a zippy and refreshing complement to the bar’s unbeatable vantage point overlooking the surrounding city.

Photo: Sugar Miami


Downtown Miami

The patio of Seaspice Miami in Miami, Florida

On the northeast bank of the Miami River, Seaspice Brasserie and Lounge captures the essence of a sophisticated waterfront, complete with yacht-gazing and live music and set to a backdrop of the Miami skyline. Come by in the early evening to enjoy globally-inspired seafood paired with a garden-fresh cocktail while taking in a gorgeous sunset from the courtyard lounge or lavish garden bar. Or, swing by later to dote on a drink while the varicolored city lights twinkle on the river’s surface.

Our Recommendation: Try the Mangolini, a chilled concoction made from Prosecco, mango puree, and orange twist. Bubbly and bright, its fruity overtones capture the innate tropical spirit of the region.

Photo: Seaspice Miami

The Forge

Miami Beach

The Forge Dining Room in Miami, Florida

Experience one of Miami’s most iconic hangouts like the city’s elite have done for the past four decades. Just as alluring as The Forge’s elegantly lit, palatial exterior are the chic rooms inside – each one singular in its immaculate beauty and blending owner Shareef Malnik’s love for interior design, art, and entertainment.

Whether sitting under the opulent JFK-era White House chandelier in the main dining room or in the library’s throne-sized chairs (among book-laden walls punctuated with stained glass from Trinity Church), guests can savor a signature drink designed by in-house mixologist and Miami blogger Andres Aleman.

Our Recommendation: Made with Sobieski voda and jalapeño-infused olive brine and garnished with bacon-stuffed olives, the signature Hot and Dirty is a fresh take on the dirty martini.

Photo: The Forge

Pearl Champagne Lounge

South Beach

Dress the part and head to Pearl Champagne Lounge in the heart of the South of Fifth neighborhood for a truly upscale lounge experience. Set above the sand at South Pointe Beach, the Pearl’s wraparound terrace affords an opportunity to sip on a glass of bubbly or the bottle of your choice while soaking in sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.

True to its namesake, this opulent nightclub’s sleek décor gleams with elegant hues of white on white. Stop in on a Sunday night for to catch their legendary party featuring premium champagne, live burlesque shows, and guest DJs spinning up tunes quintessentially true to the vibes of South Beach.


Featured Photo: Employees Only