Looking for the Best Bars in Fort Lauderdale?
Located on the Southeastern coast of Florida and known for its tropical climate and beautiful beaches, the city of Fort Lauderdale is a wildly popular destination for native Floridians and tourists alike.
Aptly known as “The Venice of America”, Fort Lauderdale has 165 miles of inland waterways to be explored via boat, kayak, or the city’s popular water taxis. Fort Lauderdale is also home to Port Everglades, a major cruise hub in Florida. A little further inland, visitors can enjoy museums, art galleries, and unique shops.
Once visitors have had their fill of water recreation, the city offers a vibrant bar scene. From breezy beachside bars or laid-back breweries to glitzy upscale venues with specialty craft cocktails, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s explore some of Fort Lauderdale’s best bars!
19 Best Bars in Fort Lauderdale You Gotta Visit!
1. The Wreck Bar
The Wreck Bar is a one-of-a-kind experience right on Fort Lauderdale Beach. It is located inside the historic ship-themed hotel, B Ocean Resort. Once visitors walk through the door, they are transported below deck on a “Shipwrecked Spanish Galleon” complete with a live mermaid show made visible through the bar’s many aquarium windows and portholes.
The Wreck Bar holds several shows and special events centered around their famous mermaids as well as Polynesian-themed nights, Burlesque Shows, and a favorite among locals, the “Mermaids and Mimosas Sunday Brunch”. The Wreck Bar has a cocktail menu that perfectly complements the nautical atmosphere with signature rum punches and mojitos.
For those looking for a dining experience, they offer a chef-crafted menu of fresh seafood and steaks that rival any other fine-dining establishment Fort Lauderdale has to offer. Patrons of The Wreck Bar can enjoy fine food, drink, and entertainment in an all-around immersive experience right on the beach.
One of the best bars in fort lauderdale for sure.
- See more: Best restaurants in fort Lauderdale
2. Elbo Room
Elbo Room is the oldest and perhaps the most iconic bar in Fort Lauderdale. Situated right on the beach with perfect views of the Atlantic Ocean from its two-story deck, visitors flock to the Elbo Room to experience a little taste of history.
Elbo Room was established in 1938 and quickly became popular with sailors in the 1940s. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Elbo Room was the destination for spring breakers that visited Fort Lauderdale. It was famously featured in the film “Where the Boys Are”.
Nowadays, the Elbo Room crowd has tamed a bit but is still a favorite among locals and tourists. Patrons of the Elbo Room enjoy live music in a laid-back beachside atmosphere. Visitors should be aware, Elbo Room is cash-only and does not serve food.
LauderAle Brewery and Taproom is known as “Fort Lauderdale’s first nano-brewery”. With 30 unique beer selections on tap and a cheery, open-air atmosphere that hosts food trucks and live music, LauderAle is a favorite among local beer drinkers.
Travelers to Fort Lauderdale also love LauderAle. It is conveniently between the Fort Lauderdale Airport and Port Everglades Cruise Terminals. It is currently rated #2 by Fort Lauderdale travelers on Trip Advisor. Visitors rave about their unique brews like “Peanut Butter Porter” and “Noodle Dood – a Szechuan Honey Ale”.
This brewery has plenty of seating both inside and out and is a dog-friendly atmosphere. While there is no food offered at LauderAle, patrons can enjoy a rotating selection of food trucks that visit the brewery so there is always something new to try. LauderAle also hosts special events such as trivia nights and “Ale and Asanas” yoga classes.
4. Blue Martini
For those that prefer a more glamorous night out, look no further than Blue Martini. Located on the outskirts of the upscale Galleria Mall, Blue Martini is a glitzy, dolled-up lounge known for its sultry blue lighting and signature martinis.
They offer an extensive list of unique martinis like “Jalapeno Passion Fruit”. Earlier in the evening, they offer a more casual Happy Hour with discounted cocktails and tapas. Later in the evening, the lights come down and the music goes up for a night of drinks and dancing.
Visitors should be aware, they must be 21 to enter and Blue Martini does enforce a more upscale dress code (no beachwear, flip-flops, etc). There is also a cover charge at certain times and some special events require advance reservations or tickets.
Known for its elegant ambiance and artisanal libations, YOLO, is a Fort Lauderdale favorite! Situated on the downtown strip of Las Olas Boulevard, YOLO draws visitors from all across the nearby business district for their famous Happy Hour.
Guests can sip cocktails at one of their outdoor fire pits or indoors at the chic modern lounge. YOLO is known for its impressive list of premium cocktails made with fresh fruit, herbs and beautifully garnished. Their signature cocktails include offerings like “The Smoky Rye” made with Rye Whiskey, Vanilla, Chocolate Mole Bitters, and then given a “Smoke Treatment”.
They also have an extensive list of custom “Old Fashioned” drinks. Guests looking to dine will have plenty of options as they have a full menu. From small plates like their signature “Smoked Meatballs” and “Szechuan Calamari” to gourmet salads or main courses of pasta, seafood, or steak, they have options for every palate.
6. The Wharf
Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale and overlooking the New River, The Wharf is more than a bar, it’s a nautical-themed immersive experience. Visitors can roam the 54,000 square foot entertainment complex enjoying live music and exploring drinks from 4 unique bars serving mojitos to craft beer.
There are also 5 restaurant pop-ups on-site featuring barbeque specialties, gourmet pizzas, tacos, sandwiches, and ice cream. Astroturf and picnic tables are dotted throughout the venue offering guests a place to gather and relax.
Tables line the bank of the New River offering stellar sunset views and boat watching. The Wharf also hosts several events and themed parties throughout the year such as game nights and their famous “Rose`All Day” Saturdays featuring Rose’s wine specials.
7. Bar Rita
Bar Rita is Fort Lauderdale’s hottest Mexican Cantina! Situated off Andrews Avenue a little further west of the beach and downtown areas, Bar Rita is a two-story, brightly colored fiesta for the senses. Patrons can enjoy sipping on some of their signature margaritas with unique ingredients and flavors like “Spicy Habanero Watermelon”, “Caramelized Pineapple”, and “Guava Basil”.
Their food menu offers some classics like tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, and fajitas. Visitors on Yelp rave about their signature appetizer, “Truffle Street Corn Guacamole”. Their rooftop bar hosts special events and live music on some nights and Sundays are known for “Buenos Dias Brunch”.
The Brunch includes options for “bottomless” margaritas or mimosas and serves up delicious specialties like “Huevos Rancheros” and “Tres Leches French Toast”. Bar Rita can also host private parties and is a popular place for group outings and celebrations.
8. Blondies Sports Bar
Blondies is a no-frills sports bar that is a favorite among local beachgoers. Its laid-back vibe complete with pool tables, arcade games, darts, and beer bucket specials make it a great spot for visitors wanting a break from the sand and sun.
They have a typical casual bar menu with chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and jalapeno poppers as well as burgers and sandwiches. Several flat-screen TVs line the bar and pool hall playing live sports. They are open until 2:00 am on weekdays and 3:00 am on weekends which also makes them a favorite among beach tourists looking for late-night fun that doesn’t require a dress code or long drive.
Perhaps the biggest draw to Blondies is what they call “The World’s Longest Happy Hour” which includes low-priced drinks all day, every day.
9. Chops and Hops Axe Throwing Lounge
Chops and Hops Axe Throwing Lounge is located in the up-and-coming Flagler Village area of Fort Lauderdale, just a few miles west of the Intracoastal waterway. Their motto is: “We are not just axe throwing. We are not just another bar. We are purveyors of social experience.”
Visitors can attest that they take that motto seriously and offer a bar experience like no other in Fort Lauderdale! They have a unique menu of cocktails like “Lemon Honeysuckle Old Fashioned” and craft beers from local breweries. Their snacking menu offers signature bites like “Buffalo Cheddar Popcorn”, Charcuterie Boards, and “Key Lime Coconut Pie in a Jar”.
Once patrons have had some bites and sips it’s time for the real fun, the axe-throwing! One of Chops and Hops aptly named, “Axperts”, will guide guests through the axe-throwing process and facilitate the games. Chops and Hops Axe Throwing Lounge is a favorite for dates, group outings, birthdays, and team-building nights. Visitors should be advised that all participants must be 21.
10. The Historic Downtowner
The Historic Downtowner has been a Fort Lauderdale landmark for nearly 100 years! Originally built in the 1920s and rebuilt after severe hurricane damage, The Historic Downtowner sits right on the New River and is a popular water taxi stop and local hangout.
They have a full liquor bar as well as selections of beer and wine. Visitors enjoy having drinks while overlooking the river and grabbing a bite of one of their signature “Hangover Burgers”. The Historic Downtowner offers a popular Happy Hour with discounted cocktails and appetizers.
They also host a “Trivia Tuesday” that is popular with locals and “Sunday Tunes” live Caribbean music. The Historic Downtowner also has an extensive menu of fresh seafood options and patrons enjoy their raw bar specials and peel-and-eat shrimp.
11. Shooters Waterfront
Another popular riverside bar in Fort Lauderdale is Shooters Waterfront. Easily accessible via car or boat (a popular stop on the water taxi route). Shooters has plenty of waterfront seating and an extensive menu of cocktails, beer, and wine.
Guests can enjoy live music while sipping on one of their vibrant island cocktails like the “Key Lime Martini” or “Mango Rum Punch”. They offer an elaborate menu with everything from the more sophisticated, sushi and steaks, to simple comfort foods like burgers and mac-and-cheese. They are also family and dog friendly so there is something for everyone at Shooters.
They offer a traditional Happy Hour at the bar with half-priced drinks and bites. On Sundays, they host a popular brunch buffet as well as other decadent specialties like their “Lobster Benedict”. Shooters Waterfront also hosts a variety of seasonal events throughout the year and is a popular venue for private parties.
12. Apothecary 330
Apothecary 330 is an intimate old-time speakeasy located in the historic Himmarshee District of downtown Fort Lauderdale. In true speakeasy fashion, this bar is “hidden” in another establishment, Pizza Craft Pizzeria. Once inside, visitors will be transported back in time with 1920s-style decor, cozy leather couches, and glittering crystal chandeliers.
Guests can enjoy elaborately handcrafted cocktails such as the Mule, Manhattan, or Old-Fashioned made with their choice of ingredients from an extensive list of spirits and herbal adornments. They also offer an impressive selection of “old-style” spirits such as absinthe, cognac, and brandy.
When guests are hungry, they can order from the main establishment’s pizzeria, Pizza Craft. The pizzeria offers a selection of homestyle Italian specialties like Chicken Parmigiana and Bolognese as well as their signature gourmet pizzas.
13. Tarpon River Brewing
Tarpon River Brewing is a unique brewery and gastropub located near the banks of the Tarpon River and the Fort Lauderdale Arts District. Tarpon River Brewing serves up craft beers and gourmet bites in an industrial-style taproom adjacent to the brewery.
Patrons can enjoy a wide selection of custom beers on tap including lagers, IPAs, sours, ales, and stouts amongst the shimmering background of copper machinery showcasing the brewing process. Their food menu includes gourmet versions of comfort classics like “IPA Mac and Cheese” and an assortment of gourmet burgers. Visitors also rave about their popular pretzels with beer cheese sauce.
Tarpon River Brewing has multiple seating areas including outdoors and is dog-friendly. They host several events weekly including Happy Hours, live music nights, yoga classes, trivia nights, and their popular “Two Mile Tuesday” running club. Visitors of all kinds will find something to enjoy at Tarpon River Brewing.
14. Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar
When guests step into Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, they are instantly transported to an old courtyard in Havana. Terracotta walls are adorned with Cuban art and rich colorful lighting accents. Palm trees line the wrought-iron terrace balconies.
Guests sip Cuban cocktails like Palomas and Mojitos while having a bite of their signature “Mango Butter Pressed Cuban Bread” or “Pineapple Guacamole Cubano” while upbeat salsa music plays. After 9 pm, the party heats up and salsa dancers descend on the crowd providing live entertainment and transition into Cuba Libre’s “Vive La Noche” Party.
Guests can then stay and enjoy more dancing and drinks until 3 am. On Sundays, they offer a brunch with Cuban specialties like “Chorizo Frittatas” and “bottomless” sangria specials. You’ll find Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar nestled amongst the glittery strip of bars and nightlife venues in the Riverwalk area, just off Las Olas Boulevard.
15. American Social
American Social is an upscale sports bar experience on the New River. Sports games play on multiple flat-screen TVs around the bar and American memorabilia hangs on the wall while plush couches and chandeliers offer a bit of glamour.
Outdoor seating overlooks the New River for perfect sunset views. American Social is a local favorite for their “Pour your own” beer taps, “Burger Mondays” and “Taco Tuesdays”. They also offer specialty cocktails like the “PB&J Old Fashioned” and “Strawberry Basil Gimlet”.
Their food menu has all the American classics like burgers, wings, and a raw bar. They offer specials on drinks and bites during their “Social Hour” 2 – 7 pm and are open late until 2 am on the weekends. Sundays are for brunch by the river with special brunch cocktails and plates like their frozen Rose`, “Frose`” and “Fruity Pebbles Chicken and Waffles”.
16. Rhythm + Vine
Rhythm and Vine is a new age beer garden in the Flagler District of Fort Lauderdale. A breezy open-air concept with picnic tables, lawn games, and a vintage airstream, Rhythm and Vine offers locally brewed beers and specialty crafted herbal-infused cocktails with live music and a laid-back vibe.
A lineup of local musicians and DJs play live music nightly. Guests can enjoy small plates from one of their daily food truck pop-ups. Food truck offerings change daily but include items like hot dogs, acai bowls, and barbecue specialties. Saturdays and Sundays at Rhythm and Vine are for their signature “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend” celebration with specials on cocktails and beer buckets.
Locals are a big fan of their “Local Love Wednesdays” when Fort Lauderdale residents receive half-off off their entire tab.
17. The Wilder
A little further North of the Las Olas and New River area sits The Wilder, a swanky upscale lounge with craft cocktails and a style reminiscent of the “flapper” era. Gold-tinged walls and blue velvet couches compliment the dimly lit lounge area and offer guests a glamorous yet relaxing experience.
Specialty cocktails with premium spirits and unique ingredients like smoked peaches and CBD-infused bananas offer guests a change of pace. The Wilder offers a food menu almost as unique as their cocktail menu. Their “Chorizo-Stuffed Dates” and “Goat Cheese Mushroom Toast” are crowd favorites. On Sundays, The Wilder offers “Burlesque Brunch” from 12 pm – 4 pm.
Guests can enjoy brunch favorites like omelets and french toast with a gourmet twist, drink specials, and a live Burlesque Show. Groups can partake in their famous “Birds of a Feather” 10 specialty shots served inside a beautiful bird cage.
18. Big City Tavern
Big City Tavern has been a landmark on Las Olas Boulevard for over 20 years. A rustic style tavern with brick walls and rich wood accents offer a welcoming environment for guests to enjoy a cocktail or bite to eat. Patrons enjoy their wide selection of draft beers and beer flights.
They also offer a craft cocktail sampler and specialty liquor infusions like “Jalapeno-Pineapple Tequila” and “Berry-Infused Vodka”. Big City Tavern’s food offerings consist of traditional pub fare like burgers and sandwiches as well as more gourmet items like charcuterie boards and caprese salads.
They also offer a selection of pizzas and housemade gelato. Big City Tavern’s convenient location and casual atmosphere make it a popular spot for visitors staying at one of the many hotels in the area.
19. Stache Drinking Den
Stache Drinking Den is an eclectic cocktail bar tucked away just a few blocks from the New River in the downtown Fort Lauderdale Arts District. Voted one of USA Today’s “Top Whiskey Bars in America” Stache Drinking Den offers patrons a unique cocktail experience with hints of speakeasy nostalgia.
Their cocktail menu features an impressively long list of specialty spirits and craft cocktails like “Cucumber-Mint Vodka Collins” and “Pineapple Rum Shipwreck”. Glittery gold bar tops and red accent lighting give Stache Drinking Den a luxurious feel.
Plush oversized couches give guests a comfortable place to gather and relax while they sip on their cocktails. Featured events include live music and Burlesque Shows. While Stache Drinking Den does not serve food, there are several dining options within a short walking distance.
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