Travel deep through Virginia Key’s park and when you think you’re lost, keep going a little further and you’ll be there. This place is the definition of the dirty south, with hillbillies galore. Try some of their smoked fish, because it’s the only thing they serve besides beer. Chill out in their funky shacks or on their picnic tables and maybe play some bocce ball on the clay courts. The environment is friendly with a run-down hippie vibe. But don’t be fooled, modeling shoots, music videos, movies, and television shows have all been filmed here, so bring a camera! It’s a great place to sip on some cold brews in the daylight hours.
Distance from campus: 8 miles
Location: Virginia Key
Crowd: Wasted fishermen who are super friendly
ID: Although you may not think they do, they card.
Alcohol: Canned beer
Hours of Operation: All day, until the night falls and people leave
Hiding out behind Big Pink sits the ultimate dive bar: Ted’s Hideaway. You’re greeted by the wide, dimly lit bar where the only thing shining is the pool table. Play some rock on the jukebox and ignore the silence. Their menu choice is selective – strictly finger food – but the exact opposite goes for their alcohol – they have infinite options. It’s the ideal “local’s” bar, the perfect place to disappear from the showy South Beach commotion and simply chill out.
Distance from campus: 13 miles
Location: South Beach
Crowd: Mostly men, so bring some ladies!
Service: Good service with hot waitresses
ID: Always card
Alcohol: They have everything…so choose your drink of choice or try something new.
Hours of Operation: Noon – 5p.m.
You walk into a cloud of smoke…it’s not cigarettes, but a mouth-watering mesquite BBQ scent burning throughout the place. This is the ideal spot for sport fans. Watch your favorite sports team, drink some beer, and chow down on wings. If you’re “WINGIN’ IT” be careful when you order the Miami Heats, they are non-refundable.
Distance from campus: 12.5 miles
Location: Hammocks/ Kendall
Crowd: Sports Fans
ID: Some of the waitresses forget to card, even during happy hour!
Alcohol: BEER, BEER, BEER! They have 21 draft beers for a good price.
Hours of Operation: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. (Sundays: Noon-Midnight)
Uncle Tom’s BBQ
It’s BBQ the Latino way. Enjoy diverse cuisine from baby-back ribs to camarones enchiladas. It’s a great place for a cute date, as long as you don’t mind getting a little messy. You can be rowdy with some salsa and soccer on the picnic tables outside, or be intimate with a fancy bottle of wine on the inside. Careful, though – don’t overindulge on their tasty garlic bread, uniquely made on mini-hamburger buns – or you’ll spoil your dinner!
Distance from campus: 4 miles
Location: Calle Ocho
Crowd: Mostly Cuban; Calle Ocho residents
Service: Great service, but practice some Spanish before dining because most of the staff knows little, if any English.
ID: Let the language barrier work to your advantage; they do not know how to ask for ID.
Alcohol: Pitchers of beer are always fun, but they are most noted for their foreign wine.
Hours of Operation: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
“It’s where the elite meet to eat.” Enjoy their Irish hospitality and eccentric atmosphere where the ceiling and walls are covered with every imaginable sports emblem and beer cans, mugs, taps and fluorescent neon signs hang from the walls. They only accept cash but an ATM is conveniently located inside for those of us who only carry around plastic. And every night beer is buy one get one free starting at 11 p.m.
Distance from campus: 2.5 miles
Location: Coral Gables on Red Road
Crowd: A family place until the younger crowd takes over late at night.
Service: EXCELLENT! Someone checks on the table consistently throughout the evening to make sure it’s clean and that you’re satisfied.
Alcohol: Their personally brewed Duffy’s Red is a knock-off of Killian’s Irish Red – the waiters will even admit that. Word of advice: Killian’s is not only cheaper, but tastes better!
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. – 1a.m.