The Irishmen

The ideal where-to-go-for-your-daily-pint bar strikes a healthy balance between "record stops when a stranger walks in" and "a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet/would you like to hear our drink specials?" insincerity. The atmosphere at the Irishmen certainly strikes genuine notes. Live music, plenty of horny and happy college kids, more than 30 beers on tap, servers who are friendly with newbies but tend to spend a bit more time shooting the shit with the regs? Yeah. That's how your neighborhood bar should be.

Kim's Alley Bar

It's another Tuesday night at Kim's Alley Bar in Victoria Park. You're sharing a table with your significant other at the front bar thinking about all the fighting you two have been doing lately. After gaining some liquid courage, you decide it's time to pull the plug on the relationship. The room is dark, good for hiding any tears and runny makeup. The jukebox is loud, and drunks are shouting the lyrics, perfect for masking any fighting. And when it's all said and done, you can head over to the second, back bar to get away without being too far from a drink.

The Hurricane Bar & Lounge

By the time Sunday night rolls around after a long weekend of fun, it's not uncommon to experience an aversion to activities like cooking and putting on shoes. If this sounds familiar, find your perfect weekend-capper at Rockout With Your Cookout, the weekly Sunday hangout put on by Brotherly Love Productions at Hurricane Lounge. Each week, a different local, regional, or national band is featured — usually of the jam, funk, or reggae sort and often in a stripped-down configuration to match the laid-back mood of the scene. While the band plays, free-spirited folks who smell like incense enjoy free food from the grill accompanied by the last drinks before the workweek.


It's 2 a.m.; most of the bars on Himmarshee have closed out tabs and shuffled the drunks out the doors. You and your gang want just one more drink. Hell, maybe you want two or three more. Nobody is judging you; we want somewhere to hang out late night too. That's why we head over to the Poorhouse. Open until 4 a.m., this legendary local dive is the place to go before calling it a night. There's usually a late-night band onstage, and if not, the jukebox is packed with drunk-sing-along anthems. The bartenders' pours are heavy, and the atmosphere is completely relaxed.

Havana Hideout
Christina Mendenhall

Just as Lake Worth stubbornly refuses to shower, shave, and dress up for tourists, Havana Hideout remains an ungentrified gem. Sand crunches beneath your flip-flops when you sit at picnic tables shielded by thatched tiki huts. Beer and sangria are served in plastic cups, and there's no gin or tonic here. On cool nights, the regulars crowd inside at the tiny bar, but on Taco Thursdays — when tacos are $1.50 apiece — the outdoor picnic tables overflow with people. Always, there is live music. It might be the hesitant, meandering twang of open-mic night or a Beatles cover band that makes the whole neighborhood stop and listen. On any given night, Lake Avenue is more alive because of Havana. When the breeze rustles the palm trees above the tiki huts, this bar reminds us why we moved to Florida and why it's so hard to leave.


A canopy of trees, under the stars, on a swath of Jupiter Inlet where the water laps sweetly at the shoreline. Pull up a barstool near the waterfall and listen to a surf-reggae band croon. This is the way your guests imagined Florida, so it's only fair to give them what they seek. Every inch of Guanabanas murmurs vacation, from the tiki huts to the wooden deck chairs where you can sit, nurse a beer, and contemplate moonlight on the water. Greenery this lush doesn't exist much anymore in South Florida's concrete jungle, so the perfectly landscaped paths here have a slightly Disney feel. But it doesn't matter. The trees are real, the breeze is comforting, and your guests are tipsy and guzzling conch fritters. Welcome home.

Bimini Bay Bar

Located just off of a particularly industrial stretch of Andrews Avenue, the Bimini Bay Bar has no windows, no lights, and no hope. There's a gun shop one block south, a tractor-trailer dealership one block north, and a "grocery store" attached to one side of the building that offers little other than potato chips, Slim Jims, and the pungent smell of old seafood. The bar itself is a musty, disorienting cave, chiefly illuminated by two televisions playing hard-core porn that occasionally features the bartenders. Women's underwear and a sombrero hang from the ceiling, and the bartenders wear bikinis even in the afternoon, which is also the only time enough light sneaks in to reveal, whenever someone opens the door, that one of the walls is made of brown plywood. Phil Collins is on the speakers, a giant NASCAR schedule hangs on one wall next to the dartboard, and a giant mirror behind the bar is almost entirely obscured by a red-eyed Jolly Roger. A can of Bud will cost you less than $3, but be warned — if you're not addicted to cigarettes on the way in, you sure as hell will be on the way out.

Mickey's Bar

Mickey's Bar may look different from other "family" establishments , but it is just as worthy of the title. Like a model family, Mickey's patrons gather to celebrate birthdays and holidays and, occasionally, to pay tribute to a family member who has passed on or who is going through tough times. Truly, the regulars here share something deeper than being fans of motorcycles. But one glance at the place or the folks who fill it daily and it's easy to see that Mickey's is worthy of the "biker bar" title as well.

Organic Brewery

Can't decide between getting drunk while doing some grade-A people-watching or taking the more contemplative route of imbibing to the point of inebriation over a dramatic view of the ocean's vastness? If that's the case, pull up a seat on the porch of Organic Brewery along Hollywood's Broadwalk and do both. The natural ebb and flow of Broadwalk strollers is a veritable conga line of flabby old-timers, trashy-T-shirt aficionados, and disappointed tourists. Tilt your head at the right angle and the railing of the porch blocks out this meandering gaggle of entertainment, leaving only the big blue sea in your line of sight. Some great beers are brewed on-site, and they don't carry the pretentious price tags often associated with microbrews. A hefty 35-ounce chalice of stout will set you back about $10, or you can go for a standard ten-ounce glass and save a few bucks and not look like a total lush. If your boozy sweet tooth takes over, just flip to the dessert menu and order the beer cake, a blend of hazelnut, raisins, dark beer, and two types of cheese. Have fun digesting that one.

Treasure Trove

The Treasure Trove is an institution on Fort Lauderdale beach. Neither hurricanes nor avaricious landlords can shake it from its moorings. But in rough seas or calm, it's Jenny who keeps things shipshape. She'll scold you for making a mess of the hot-sauce bottle on Taco Tuesday. She'll outright yell at you for using cocktail napkins to clean up a spill. But she'll also bring you a much-needed shot on a bad day, hide a friendly note in a to-go taco order for a coworker left back at the office, and generally make you feel like you've come home the minute you walk in the door. She's like your big sister forced to baby-sit you on a Saturday night. Yeah, she's having some friends over for a party, but if you shut up and play nice, she'll let you drink with the big kids.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

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