Miami, FL

Hidden Gem: This Calle Ocho Taqueria Has A Secret Second Floor Cocktail Lounge

Best of South Florida
Photo courtesy of Los Altos

If you love tequila, mezcal, and live music — and finding all three together in the form of a clandestine cantina — then you'll love this speakeasy-themed hidden gem in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

While it might seem in plain sight, it often goes unnoticed thanks to its clandestine location. But for those in-the-know, it's the perfect hideaway. So, where is this secret Calle Ocho cocktail bar, you ask?

You'll find it up a back staircase that leads to the second floor above one of Little Havana's most famous taquerias. Here, imbibers frequent this tiny gem, tucked away atop Taquerias el Mexicano, to dance and drink the night away.
Photo courtesy of Los Altos

It's called Los Altos.

The intimate cocktail lounge founded by Madroom Hospitality (owners of Ball & Chain) draws inspiration from the cultural heritage of Mexico, from the creative mezcal- and tequila-infused drinks to the space's authentic, imported décor.

"It's our wish to provide our guests with an authentic Mexican experience, and a taste of unique cocktails that are in the spirit of what they would find upon their travels in Mexico,” says co-owner Zack Bush.

Located at 521 SW 8th Street, the 3,000-square-foot venue features design elements meant as a tribute to the beauty and culture of Mexico, each directly sourced from the country, including re-purposed doors that came from an abandoned church, vintage hardwood floors, stained glass window accents, hand-stitched furniture, and even the bathroom fixtures were hand-painted in Mexico.
Photo courtesy of Los Altos

Once you find your way inside, take a seat at one of nine velvet-draped VIP banquettes finished with plush leather seating in an artfully curated, well-decorated lounge. Or pull up a chair at the sleek, concrete-topped bar that sits beneath a gold leaf adorned ceiling and enjoy any of the menu's creative, high-end libations.

A number of crafty concoctions include the Oaxaca al Pastor made with Los Altos reposado tequila, Ancho Verde, honey, lime, and cilantro. The “Sayulita," is a mix of Sombra mezcal, mango, carrot, habanero, ginger, and fresh lime. And perhaps the most classic of all — a drink served at bars and cantinas in Jalisco, Mexico — the CantaRico, a combination of Olmeca Altose tequila, grapefruit juice, lime, orange juice, and a pinch of salt.

Los Altos is open Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., and serves happy hour from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. with half-priced cocktails and antojitos (bar snacks). For updates, follow them on Instagram att @losaltosmia.

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