Night life

Miami’s Secret Bars and Speakeasies

What’s more satisfying than savoring a cocktail at a bar that took a little leg work to find? Perhaps knowing which ones are worth searching for.

Sure, there are plenty of not-so-hidden hotspots across Miami. Most locals and tourist-minded imbibers already know you can use the “employees only” door at Wynwood’s Coyo Taco, or push through the faux bathroom at the Miami Beach Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, revealing speakeasy-style bars.

But there could be a few back-door bars you may be missing out on —  and you can find them all with the help of this list.

Below, listed in alphabetical order, is a handful of South Florida’s hottest drinking dens no one should keep quiet about.

click to enlarge Search out the red "bathroom" door to find Back Room. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BACK ROOM AND DIYA MIAMI

Search out the red “bathroom” door to find Back Room.

Photo courtesy of Back Room and Diya Miami

Back Room

1766 Bay Rd., Miami Beach
305-763-8948
diyamiami.com

Built by locals, for locals, the new Back Room behind family-owned Indian eatery Diya Miami is equal parts speakeasy, live music venue, and game-day imbibing bar. After indulging in the vegetarian- and vegan-friendly eats in the main restaurant, search out the red “bathroom” door at the back of the restaurant to find the entrance, and be instantly transported to the Back Room where pool tables, TVs, and an intimate bar await.

click to enlarge Dragon Lounge is hidden upstairs Katsuya, - PHOTO COURTESY OF SLS SOUTH BEACH HOTEL

Dragon Lounge is hidden upstairs Katsuya,

Photo courtesy of SLS South Beach hotel

Dragon Lounge

1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
305-455-2995
sbe.com

Dragon Lounge, a mysterious bar hidden away inside the SLS South Beach, offers a speakeasy aesthetic with an exclusive ambiance. Discreetly hidden beyond the dining room and up the often-overlooked staircase of Katsuya South Beach, this semi-private bar located on the restaurant’s second floor is perfect for guests looking for an intimate experience just steps from one of Miami’s hottest restaurants. It’s also affordable during the lounge’s daily social hour offered from 6 to 8 p.m., with a selection of sushi rolls, starters, wine, and cocktails all priced less than $10 apiece. Or take advantage of two weekly specials: the “Sunday Sucks Less With Sake” offering a choice of three sake samples paired with light fare for $30, or “She Loves Sushi” every Monday when ladies receive a complimentary appetizer and a glass of sparkling wine.

click to enlarge Mezcalista offers a large array of mezcals and a speakeasy vibe. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL KLEINBERG

Mezcalista offers a large array of mezcals and a speakeasy vibe.

Photo by Michael Kleinberg

Mezcalista

921 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
305-423-0094
mezcalistamiami.com

Not-so-secret — but super sexy — Mezcalista is tucked away inside Moxy South Beach with an entrance at the back of Como Como that offers some major speakeasy vibes. Beyond an arched doorway that leads into a seductively lit lounge, the catacomb-like space is a dark cavern of Mexican spirits. The majority of this bar program is dedicated to the ancient traditions of mezcal, and copper shelves hold dozens of rare and small-batch bottles, available for tasting or as the highlight for a small list of rotating cocktails. Behind the stone-topped bar, mezcaliers are on hand to engage with guests and explain the varied floral and smoky notes. Adjacent to the lounge, a velvet-draped, stone-walled tasting room provides an intimate setting for private parties. For guests, it makes for a sultry escape to Mexico — minus the need for a passport.

click to enlarge You need an invite to get into Room 901. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ROOM 901

You need an invite to get into Room 901.

Photo courtesy of Room 901

Room 901

100 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
954-353-1234
roomnine01.com

One of South Florida’s most hard-to-find speakeasies isn’t the type of place you can seek out. Instead, you’ll need a special invitation to get into Room 901, the clandestine retro cocktail den hidden inside the Hyatt Centric hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Once a reservation is made, guests will receive a secret password that must be shared at the hotel’s front desk in return for an unmarked key that will allow entry into the speakeasy. The real draw here, however, isn’t the location, but the ever-changing theme. Each week, the bar invites different mixologists to share their talents for the evening’s reservations-only crowd. The idea, born from the pandemic, was a way to transform an empty guest room into an intimate cocktail experience. Owing to the limited attendance, the experience requires a food and beverage minimum of $50 per person, with a one-hour minimum for up to two guests and a two-hour minimum for three to six guests. Make reservations using Seven Rooms.

click to enlarge The Tea Room is the speakeasy-themed bar at the East hotel in Miami. - PHOTO COURTESY OF EAST MIAMI

The Tea Room is the speakeasy-themed bar at the East hotel in Miami.

Photo courtesy of East Miami

Tea Room

788 Brickell Plz., Miami (in the East Hotel)
305-712-7000
easthotels.com

For a breathtakingly beautiful speakeasy-themed experience make your way to Brickell City Centre’s East Hotel — but not to the venue’s eateries Sugar, Domain, or Quinta La Huella. Instead, head upstairs to search out Tea Room. Designed to spirit guests to a Hong Kong-inspired cocktail lounge, the bar itself is located behind a black door. Inside, Tea Room serves up some serious moods, from the creative cocktails and live music to its unique five-course Asian night brunch, a two-hour dining experience served in the Tea Room’s intimate space. The $88 per person brunch experience pairs free-flowing wine, Champagne, prosecco, or beer with dishes like a Thai lobster salad, Vietnamese spring rolls, Bombay-spiced lamb ribs, bang bang shrimp, or Korean short rib. Or choose from the long list of wines by the glass or bottle, spirits pours, and the bar’s own list of bespoke cocktails. Reserve seats via Seven Rooms.

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