The perfect birthday bar needs a few things: free entry and a decided lack of velvet ropes, music that makes you dance all night, classy drinks and a place to spread out.
In Miami, these bars have everything you need and more.
Recently named No. 22 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, the Shaker has put Miami on the cocktail map with the city’s best handcrafted libations. In them: house syrups, elixirs and infusions with herbs plucked straight from their garden. Space is plentiful, with comfy couches and poolside lawn chairs. And should anyone get hungry, dive into doughnuts coated in spicy sugar and served with dulce de leche–coffee dipping sauce.
Human-size Jenga blocks and a huge selection of beer is what you will find at Wood Tavern. Picnic tables provide plenty of seating for any size party, and if you’re lucky enough to have your birthday land on a Tuesday, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the stationary taco car, Pancho Taco, serving free carnitas and mushroom tacos.
No shots or hard alcohol in this New Orleans–style wine and beer bar. But they do boast more than 100 boutique wines at near-retail prices. Live jazz, soul or blues plays every night, but if you’re in the mood for a quieter party, the back terrace is a beautiful place to spend the evening.
DJ spinning tracks into the late hours of the night? Check. Pool table up for grabs without having to feed it quarters? Check. Bourbon cocktails from one of the James Beard Awards’ bartenders-to-watch list? Definite check. Fifteen flavors of complimentary popcorn, and snacks like a BBQ pork waffle sandwich? You probably know where this is going at this point.
The relaxed atmosphere, handcrafted cocktails and board games make this a solid choice for a celebration. Try to get there for the happy hour, when the signature cocktails are buy one, get one free, including the namesake Blackbird: Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka, fresh blackberries and lemonade served over crushed ice. Have a happy, happy birthday.