Exploring new and interesting bars and cocktail lounges is a fun way to kick back, relax, and enjoy your well-deserved vacation. Whether your preferred style is an uber-chic roof bar, Prohibition-era speakeasy, a raucous dive bar with a live band, or an elegant lounge with a view, Fort Lauderdale has amped up its bar scene and you will find your new favorite spot for an adult beverage break.
Fort Lauderdale offers sparkling skyline views, toes-in-the-sand beachy vibes, and glorious sun-filled days, making it a prime vacation destination. It’s always a good time to visit Florida, and it’s always five o’clock somewhere.
Some information in this piece was obtained during a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are my own.
1. Room Nine01
Dark and mysterious, secretive and exciting, Room Nine01 is tucked away in the Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale. The glamorously appointed speakeasy, with its rich velvet drapes and ornate period decor, instantly transports guests to a time when luxury and style was the hallmark of the rich and famous.
Don your best dress or arrive decked out in elaborate Gatsby flapper threads. You will be intoxicated by your surroundings while you happily sip a glass of Prohibition-era forbidden fruit. Relax and enjoy a honey-laced Bee’s Knees, a classic Sidecar, or the bartender’s specialty cocktail and have a roaring 20’s good time. The chef’s menu changes seasonally with expertly crafted and stunningly plated nibbles that complement the cocktails and the decor.
The reservation only speakeasy seats up to eight guests per two hour reservation period. Guests can reserve the entire room and party with their friends or an intimate table can be reserved on an individual basis. The room is designed to host a stand-around-the-bar cocktail crowd or quiet, romantic tables for two.
Pro Tip: Room Nine01 hosts a Bartender in Residence program that brings in outstanding bartenders from around the country to show off their mixology skills. The program is focused on aiding and promoting hospitality industry staff.
2. Cruisin Tikis
Dreaming of thatched-roofed huts and tall tropical drinks? Sail away on your own private floating cocktail bar. Cruisin Tikis Fort Lauderdale will float you down the Fort Lauderdale waterways for a scenery-changing, cool-breeze-blowing, fun-in-the-sun boat ride.
Day drinking options include morning or afternoon cruises that focus on beautiful shoreline scenery and fun in the sun. At night the floating bar takes in the gorgeous sunset as you cruise by fantastic yachts and beautiful coastal homes. There is even a late-night Jazz Cruise to keep the party going all night long. Enjoy the twinkling lights of the city and shoreline while you float on a sea of cool jazz. Alternatively, book a Sandbar Cruise, where you can jump in and enjoy the refreshing coastal waters.
These private, customizable trips accommodate up to six guests.
Pro Tip: The Tiki Cruise is a fun adventure for a group of friends or a romantic date night sailing excursion.
3. Elbo Room
The legendary Elbo Room has been serving customers since 1938. A Fort Lauderdale beachside staple, the Elbo Room is a classic beach bar with turquoise hues and palm tree style. Through the years, young and old have flocked to this classic beachy dive bar for a cool beverage, to revel in the good old days, and to make new vacation memories.
If you are a movie buff, you will recognize the bar from the 1956 film Where The Boys Are starring Connie Frances, George Hamilton, and others.
Pro Tip: They offer live bands that amp up your good-ole-boy entertainment experience.
4. Riverside Market
Imagine rows of chilled beer refrigerators lining the wall, stocked to the brim with colorful cans and bottles of craft beer. What brew to try is a difficult decision. The Riverside Market And Cafe stocks their coolers with a selection of over 550 different craft beers from far and wide. Along with an unbelievable collection of beer, Riverside offers an assortment of wines and soft beverages for the non-brew enthusiast.
While you enjoy your chosen beverage, you can nosh on a collection of sandwiches. The Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy, Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich, or their classic Black and Bleu Burger are perfect accompaniments for your brew.
Pro Tip: Your favorite four-legged doggie friend is welcome in the outdoor seating area.
5. McSorley’s Kitchen & Bar
McSorley’s Kitchen & Bar is a classic Irish Pub with a Florida twist. The first floor will transport you to Ireland with its traditional brick and dark wood interior. The collection of large-screen TVs displaying sporting events are the only hint you are in a modern-day establishment. As you progress up in floors, you reach the lounge and cigar bar on the middle level. At the top, enjoy a rooftop bar where you can dance to the beat of the DJ’s record spinning with views of the beach.
While you enjoy an expertly pulled Guinness or another cocktail of choice, you can peruse the menu that offers classic American fare with a few take-me-to-Ireland options. Try the Stout Shepherd’s Pie with Guinness Gravy, Bangers and Mash with locally crafted Irish sausage, or the classic Fish and Chips and immerse yourself in the Irish dining experience.
Pro Tip: If the music and merriment get too loud on the rooftop deck, head down to the first-floor pub for a relaxed, kick-back vibe.
6. Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar
Wilton Manors is known as the P-town of Florida. and Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar is in sync with the Provincetown vibe. It’s all about the Monkey’s secrets — see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. This restaurant, bar, and nightclub celebrate alternative lifestyles to the max. Hilarious drag shows featuring stunningly beautiful queens, VJs playing fabulous music videos, DJs rocking the house, and so much more.
Reserve your spot for their Saturday Brunch, hosted at the perfect time for sleeping in. The brunch begins at 2:30 p.m. The brunch features endless mimosas, mojitos, and bellinis along with classic brunch nibbles. The main draw is the brunch-long drag show. You will love every wild minute.
Pro Tip: If you have the chance to visit Provincetown, Massachusetts, aka P-town, go for it. The beautiful views and fun atmosphere is worth the drive to the end, the very tip of Cape Cod. To learn more visit The Best Things To Do In Provincetown, MA: Where To Eat, Stay, And Play.
7. Lulu’s Bait Shack
Lulu’s Bait Shack serves fun, beachy drinks from kitschy coconut heads and fishbowls with a beach view. The menu offers cajun and classic southern options like Gator Bites, a Coconut Shrimp Basket, a Shrimp Po’ Boy, and a Ragin’ Cajun Quesadilla. Wash it all down with a Hurricane, Tiki Punch, or a Swamp Water cocktail for a fun, libation-filled adventure.
Pro Tip: The restaurant has live music and friendly service.
8. Rooftop @1WLO
Hoping to enjoy a night out at a spot that offers a casual, elegant ambiance and a killer view, look no further than the Rooftop @1WLO. It’s a beautiful rooftop garden where you can relax and soak up the Fort Lauderdale skyline while enjoying an expertly crafted cocktail.
Try something refreshing like their Violet Sky, made with Grey Goose Vodka, violet liqueur, blackberry, and sage, or their Garden Party, where Tito’s Vodka is mixed with prosecco, cucumber, and strawberry. Add a few sumptuous nibbles, like Bulgogi Beef Skewers, Miso Pork Belly Flatbread, and Match Green Tea Doughnuts, to share with your table.
Pro Tip: Rooftop @1WLO’s Sunday brunch is a popular option for upscale brunch cuisine — this is not your mama’s brunch menu. Reservations are highly recommended.
At the Dalmar Hotel, 25 stories above street level is Sparrow, a rooftop, urban-chic lounge. Happy hour on a beautiful Florida evening should be enjoyed with a great glass of bubbly and a fabulous view. The celebration to welcome in the night should be special when you are on a holiday with someone you love.
Start with happy hour and stay for dinner. The Asian-inspired menu includes Edamame Dumplings, fabulous sushi, and sweet taiyaki for dessert. Sparrow’s offerings will satisfy your desire for expertly prepared and elegantly plated culinary creations.
Pro Tips: Reservations are strongly recommended
Fort Lauderdale has successfully shed its old reputation as the Spring Break mecca and landed squarely in the east coast Florida vacation destination arena. The options for enjoying an adult beverage are wide and varied. One night you may want to dress up and paint the town red; the next night you may be looking for a great craft beer and a good burger. Having a wide variety of options is always good.
For more information about Fort Lauderdale, check out The Best Restaurants To Try In Fort Lauderdale, Florida For Every Budget.