Sunny Miami is a perfect place to get a dose of vitamin D while relaxing on its beaches and sightseeing among the handsome art deco buildings of South Beach. While the city’s daytime attractions are apparent to visitors, these secret nightlife spots are where you’ll find the locals after dark.
Those who love Mexican cuisine can happily indulge in tasty tacos smothered with house-made hot sauce. Order them from a vintage, retrofitted Airstream trailer, which acts as the order window and kitchen inside the restaurant. For a classic cocktail and cool DJ grooves, walk through the baños to the spacious speakeasy at the back and chill. Be sure to knock twice.
At 17th Avenue near US1, the LA Food Store & Deli gas station is a place to get fuel, and not just for the car. This station also houses a restaurant and café serving Spanish tapas and fresh baked goods and features a 24-hour international wine shop, stocked with vino, sake and craft beer, making it big with thirsty night owls.
Look for the unadorned, blue door below the blue awning on 11th Street. Follow a dark hallway to discover a 1920s speakeasy parlour with vintage mirrors, velvet curtains, oversized chandeliers and a baby grand piano. The decor may be of the past, but the music is definitely contemporary: electronic beats and strong drinks encourage dancing.
Located in a nondescript strip mall on Alton Road, Drunken Dragon’s misleading sign reads “Market.” Not a market at all, it’s a contemporary Asian gastropub. The spacious restaurant features wood furniture, and hungry diners enjoy table-side grilled pork and beef, stir-fried Asian vegetables, steamed bao and tiki-themed cocktails.
The nefarious looking red light aglow in that back alley may appear sketchy, but it’s a welcome beacon to the late-night crowd. It marks the location of a low-lit bar in Miami Beach where patrons can play darts, shoot a round of pool or shake their moneymakers on the dance floor to the au courant sounds provided by the resident DJ until sunrise.