The 5 Best Spots for Casual Bar Bites

5 mins read
CJ Crab Shack

Sometimes, you don’t need a fancy meal. Instead, a stiff drink and some bar snacks will often do the trick. Not all shareable plates are created equal, though: These five spots serve up some standout casual bites to pair with your drink of choice.

CJ’s Crab Shack

The 5 Best Spots for Casual Bar Bites - best, best type, CJ's Crab Shack, Koko by Bakan, Lobster Shack, PaperFish Sushi Bar, TItanic Brewery & Restaurant - February 2024

Crabs are king at CJ’s Crab Shack, where the crustacean makes up a significant part of the menu. Get cozy at the bar and load up on plates like garlic shrimp, crab dip, fried calamari, and other flavorful items that will make your doctor wince (but your palate dance). 

Expect to get a little messy as you chow down on oysters, fried shrimp po boy, and other handhelds, while also enjoying specialty drinks like mango daiquiris and margaritas. Whether you’re looking for a few items to fuel your night on South Beach or a few bites to end it, CJ’S Crab Shack is a true Ocean Drive gem. 

Koko

Over in Coconut Grove, Koko is wowing guests with stellar Mexican cuisine. The spacious bar offers plenty of room to enjoy a drink and order to your stomach’s desire. Cocktails at Koko lean heavily on mezcal and tequila, and the watermelon margarita is a good starting point; beer and micheladas are also abundant, so you won’t go thirsty.

 If you’re looking for something small to snack on, we recommend the street corn or the shrimp agua chile. Otherwise, opt for one of the enchiladas or moles; they can easily feed two people.

Koko is located at 2856 Tigertail Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL 33133. For more information, visit their official website

The Lobster Shack

The 5 Best Spots for Casual Bar Bites - best, best type, CJ's Crab Shack, Koko by Bakan, Lobster Shack, PaperFish Sushi Bar, TItanic Brewery & Restaurant - February 2024

Just like its crab-focused sibling CJ’s Crab Shack, The Lobster Shack doubles down on all things lobster, namely its exquisite lobster rolls. Enjoyed chilled or warm, these lobster rolls are ideal for noshing on at the bar with one of Lobster Shack’s affordable – and strong – drinks. Other bar bites to consider: the fish tacos and the seared tuna salad. And of course, don’t forget to save room for key lime pie. 

Paperfish Sushi

The 5 Best Spots for Casual Bar Bites - best, best type, CJ's Crab Shack, Koko by Bakan, Lobster Shack, PaperFish Sushi Bar, TItanic Brewery & Restaurant - February 2024

Paperfish Sushi in Brickell stands out as the perfect destination for those seeking delightful bar bites in a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. Known for its delicious fusion of Peruvian-Japanese cuisine, PaperFish Sushi offers a memorable dining experience thanks to bites like Nikkei ceviche, torched salmon nigiri, miso black cod, and other standouts. Grab a seat at the spacious bar, order a couple of items, and wash everything down with one of the restaurant’s signature martinis. 

Paperfish Sushi is located at 1421 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. For more information, visit their official website

Titanic Brewery & Restaurant

It doesn’t get more casual than Titanic Brewery & Restaurant in Coral Gables. The iconic pub is a Miami landmark, serving tasty bar bites since 1997. There’s no one type of cuisine here: Expect a diverse menu with everything from smoked fish dip, jerked chicken quesadillas, and pork katsu sandwiches to fish and chips, shrimp and grits, and meatloaf. 

The beer selection is a nice mix that includes beloved brands as well as their own in-house brews; make sure to try at least one while you’re here. Our perfect meal: a Triple Screw light ale and a chicken Philly sandwich. 
Titanic Brewery & Restaurant is located at 5813 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL 33146. For more information, visit their official website.

Geoffrey Anderson

Geoffrey Anderson Jr. is a contributing/staff writer for Dish Miami. For over six years, he has covered the South Florida dining scene with his wife for the award-winning local food blog Miami Food Pug. When he's not writing about food, he's eating it—or attending rock concerts and traveling.

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