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Oh, Miami. The land of bottle service and six-inch stilettos. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes there’s nothing better than dancing the night away amongst strobe lights and fog machines in your tightest dress and highest heels. But if you’re anything like this Miami girl, your idea of a perfect night out involves hanging out with good friends somewhere that you can actually sit down and not have to lose your voice shouting over the music of an EDM DJ.

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Fortunately, there is another world beyond the velvet ropes of South Beach: A Miami that the true locals —  and some of the luckier tourists — get to enjoy every day. So if you’re in the mood for a Miami that’s a little, well, more laid-back, then here are 10 places you should definitely check out.


Ball & Chain

Located in the heart of Miami's Little Havana, this place celebrates the Miami vibe of yesteryear, complete with vintage chandeliers and black-and-white photos of old-school Miami. Outside on the patio, you can enjoy classic salsa performances on the pineapple stage while you sip on pretty decent mojitos. Visit Ball & Chain on a Sunday afternoon to feast on the weekly Paella party

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If you're into hand-rolled cigars and old-school Latin jazz, Rhumbar, located inside The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne is a must-visit. 


Lagniappe House

Walking into Lagniappe in Midtown is like walking into the house of a good friend. The patio area is quaint and inviting, with twinkling lights and mismatched patio furniture. Inside there's a small "living room" area with vintage couches and chairs. You can enjoy live jazz here on some nights of the week, plus it's got great deals on wine bottles and cheese plates. 



If you want to hang with some locals, Gramps in Wynwood is the bar to visit. It's a total jeans and T-shirt kind of place. Plus, there are plenty of craft beers on tap.

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Wood Tavern

Or Wood, as the locals call it, has a similar vibe to Gramps. Plenty of beer, outdoor picnic tables, and, oh yeah, there's a taco bar that's pretty delicious. 


The Broken Shaker

Okay, if you really want to venture around Miami Beach, the Broken Shaker needs to be one of your stops. It's laid-back and the handcrafted cocktails are really good.


The Corner

At first glance, The Corner looks just a little sketchy. It's a tiny spot located on a pretty desolate street in Downtown Miami. It's also usually really dark inside. But trust me when I say that this place makes some of the most interesting cocktails I've ever seen. It's soooo worth a visit.


El Carajo

This tapas restaurant, which is located inside a gas station (yep, you read that correctly), is one of the coolest spots in Miami. The wine selection is huge, and the food is pretty amazing. 


Above Mayfair Rooftop Lounge

If you're all about rooftop views, then head over to this bar in Coconut Grove. The drinks are a little pricier, but the sunsets here are worth it.


Books & Books Cafe

I'm a sucker for a good read, so anywhere where I can enjoy a glass of wine while browsing the shelves in search of my next literary adventure gets an "A" in my book.