Miami’s Best Latin Nightspots

Dancing on the counters at Mango's. Tomas Loewy

When it comes to turning a party into a parranda, pachanga, or farandula (call it what you like), nobody in the United States is as skilled as Miami. So if you’ve been bit by the sudden urge to become fluent in salsa-stepping, mojito-swigging, and downright rachetera booty-shaking, look no further than these seven Latin hot spots.

Read More: Nightclubs for ages 18 and up

1. El Patio

el patio

At first glance, El Patio looks like just another shady haunt on Wynwood’s warehouse-lined 23rd Street. However, once you muster the courage the make your way down that dubious alley that serves as an entrace, you’ll quickly find yourself in an open-air Latin oasis that will make you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a vibrant locals-only backyard party somewhere in South or Central America. The cocktail menu is creative and delicious, the beer specials are unheard of ($7 for a bucket every day for happy hour?) and the music alternates between electro-cumbia, live Latin, and spanglish hip hop.

When to go: Pretty much any day of the week between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m.

  • Nearby

El Patio Wynwood, 167 NW 23rd Street, Miami. 786-409-2241 or www.elpatiowynwood.com

167 NW 23rd Street, Miami
2. Ball & Chain

As iconic as it is current, Ball & Chain on Miami’s historic Calle Ocho has been drawing night owls since the early 1930s (with a hiatus or two along the way). Now famous for its killer food and cocktails, live music, and awesome lineup of local talent, Ball & Chain has become the spot to go for some open-air dancing, drinking and blast-from-the-past fun.

When to go: Wednesdays – Saturdays from 7 p.m. onward. Ball & Chain features live jazz performances every Wednesday at 7 p.m., followed by live salsa at 10 p.m. La Pachanga plays every Saturday at 9:30 p.m., while Friday nights are usually a toss-up of local talent. Happy hour runs from 4-7 p.m. every day.

Ball & Chain, 167 N.W. 8th Street, Little Havana. 305-643-7820 or ballandchainmiami.com

167 N.W. 8th Street, Little Havana
3. Lique Miami

lique

Although not originally a Latin club, this gorgeous Sunny Isle waterfront lounge recently introduced a steamy new Noche Latina, a weekly party replete with Latin inspired cocktails and a DJ spinning salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton. Because as we all know, hips were meant to be shaken under the stars with a $7 tequila cocktail in hand.

When to go: Wednesdays from 6 p.m. until midnight.

Lique Miami, 3957 N.E. 163rd Street, North Miami Beach. 305-705-2425 or www.liquemiami.com

3957 N.E. 163rd Street, North Miami Beach
4. El Tucan

el tucan

Looking for more of an ‘old-world’ Latin experience? Brickell’s El Tucan will transport you to mid-century Havana with it’s lush and opulent decor, classic cocktails, and riveting variety show. Book a dinner reservation and watch the show from prime stage-side seating, or enjoy a birds-eye view of the action from the upstairs mezzanine. No matter where you’re situated, it’s hard not to enjoy live salsa performances, acrobatics, old-school burlesque skits and Copacabana-style go go dancers.

When to go: Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights, depending on which headliner piques your fancy.

  • Nearby

El Tucan, 1111 S.W. 1st Ave., Miami. 305-535-0065 or eltucanmiami.com

1111 S.W. 1st Ave., Miami
5. American Social

amso

While clubs and popular night spots all over Miami have begun incorporating Latin nights, American Social bosts one of the best. The famous eatery has partnered up with Miami Salsa Dream Team for a salsa and bachata party every Wednesday night featuring 50% off mojitos, $20 import and domestic beer buckets, and live Latin beats by DJ Mike Calderon. Show up at 9 p.m. and you can brush up your skills with complimentary dance lessons.

When to go: Wednesdays from 10 p.m. until close (dance lessons start at 9 p.m.)

  • Nearby

American Social Brickell, 690 S.W. 1st Ct., Miami. 305-223-7004 or http://americansocialbar.com

690 S.W. 1st Ct., Miami
6. Mango's Tropical Cafe

mangos

This famous Ocean Drive haunt has achieved near legendary status among Miami Beach locals and visitors alike. Known for it’s racy dancers, live Latin music, and anything-goes dance-on-the-bar attitude, Mango’s has earned its reputation as a go-to party spot whether you’re in the mood to cha-cha or just people-watch.

When to go: weekend nights between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.

  • Nearby

Mango’s Tropical Cafe, 900 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. 305-673-4422 or www.mangos.com/miami

900 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
7. La Covacha

la covacha

Anybody who tells you La Covacha is where you go when you want to get ratchet is telling you the truth. That said, we love it anyways (perhaps because of the ratchet factor). It’s the kind of spot that sucks you in after you’ve had enough of your main destination for the night and just want to keep the party going. Uncensored, unpredictable, and definitely Latin oriented, La Covacha is a lot like Las Vegas: what happens there probably should stay there.

When to go: Thursdays – Sundays from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

La Covacha, 10730 NW 25th Street, Doral. 305-594-3717 or lacovacha.com

10730 NW 25th Street, Doral.
8. Hoy Como Ayer

hoy como ayer

Hoy Como Ayer is your definition of a hole-in-the-wall gem. If you passed it on the street, you might not even realize it was a bar. Once inside, though, you’ll quickly find out you’ve discovered on a speakeasy-style sweet spot, replete with live Latin bands and performers, strong cocktails, and ample room to salsa the night away. Located on Miami’s iconic Calle Ocho in Little Havana, it doesn’t get more authentic than this.

When to go: Wednesdays – Saturdays around midnight.

Hoy Como Ayer, 2212 SW 8th Street, Miami. 305-541-2631 or www.hoycomoayer.us

2212 SW 8th Street, Miami
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