5 places where the rhythm is gonna get you in Miami

1) Ball & Chain

Hugely popular on Calle Ocho, especially on weekends, this historic bar was established in 1935 as a saloon, then as a nightclub featuring live jazz. Today it’s a mainstay that books acts ranging from Grammy-nominated headliners to salsa bands to DJs. Always colorful, always representative of Miami culture. No cover but often a wait; 21+.

neon street sign of Ball & Chain Miami

1513 SW 8th Street, Little Havana

+1 305 643 7820


2) The Cabaret South Beach

Don’t be surprised at this piano bar when your bartender or server takes the mic. Nearly every server here sings while delivering drinks called such whimsical names as ‘The Talking Melon’ and ‘The Bourbon Thief’. A full dinner menu and light bites are available. Live music Friday and Saturday; no cover.

red lighted interior of The Cabaret South Beach

At: Shelborne South Beach, 1801 Collins Avenue, South Beach

+1 305 504 7500


3) Living Room

Grammy Award- and Latin Grammy Award-nominated musicians take the stage at this comfy, hip and colorful lobby lounge. Here you can keep a jazz, funk, pop, or country beat while you sip on creative craft cocktails and munch snacks. EDM DJs are also invited as part of the establishment’s residency programs.

interior of bar Living Room at the W Hotel Miami

at: W South Beach Hotel, 2201 Collins Avenue, South Beach

+1 305 938 3000


4) Gramps

A favorite with the locals, Gramps features a different genre, from indie punk bands to DJs to R&B, nightly. It also features drag shows, game nights, and arts events. And to be clear, there’s a warning to those who imbibe too many Gramps Old Fashioneds: Tip automatically applied to tabs left open overnight.

neon-sign "shirley's" at Gramps bar in Miami

176 NW 24th Street, Wynwood


5) Komodo Lounge

This pan-Asian restaurant is a steady forerunner (make reservations to dine). But for music, take your Golden Geisha, Samurai Jack and Pikachu cocktails upstairs on the third floor, where owner and nightlife aficionado David Grutman books live musicians and DJs on the weekends. The names are always a surprise, but expect celebrities.

people dining and drinking at Komodo Miami

801 Brickell Avenue, Brickell

+1 305 534 2211


Buy this book

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Miami's best-kept secrets.

Go to bookshop

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up