By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
Back in 1987, Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Michael Jackson released Bad. And a couple of hard-drinkin', troublemakin' Citizen Kane wannabes headed East from Phoenix to buy a year-old newspaper in Miami Beach called The Wave. They changed the name to Miami New Times, and the writers met in a tiny office on South Beach. Mike Lacey, king of the word, and Jim Larkin, maestro of the almighty dollar, immediately began thinking big, attacking city leaders, and diving into the arts like no other paper before.
A quarter-century later, we're still here, telling the story of the most interesting American city. In this extra-special Best of Miami® issue, we not only list 361 of the finest restaurants, bars, people, and places, but also review some of our biggest stories. There was an investigation that disclosed the United States was illegally siphoning arms to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, a chronicling of Hurricane Andrew's massive 1992 attack on our shores, a story that showed the 9/11 attackers' ringleader had entered the country illegally, a graphic description of arrests at the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas protests, and the tale of dozens of sex offenders being forced to live in a colony under a bridge.
History not your thing? You'll learn that the greatest go-karting is in Opa-locka, the best hidden gem of a restaurant is a tiny Asian eatery downtown, the number one happy hour is in the Grove, and the top public art is — where else? — Wynwood. Of course, you'll also find our choices for best athlete, politician, and artist. So read on.
We aren't the only ones celebrating this year. Readers cast far more votes in our Readers' Poll than ever before, almost 12,000 of them. This being Miami, of course, we had to throw out thousands of ballots. See, some voters cheated. But, hey, that's why it's called the Magic City.
Click the links below to view Best of Miami 2012:
READERS' POLL WINNERS
Arts & Entertainment
Best Art Gallery: Dorsch Gallery
Best Art-House Cinema: O Cinema
Best Bar, Central: Ricochet Bar & Lounge
Best Bar, Miami Beach: Chalk
Best Bar, South: Bougainvillea's
Best Bar, West: Blue Martini
Best Blog: Antisteez.com
Best Band: PALO!
Best Dance Club: LIV
Best DJ: Pinchadiscos 305
Best Gay Bar: Twist South Beach
Best Festival: Ultra
Best Movie Theater: Regal Cinemas South Beach
Best Museum: Miami Art Museum
Best Radio Station: Power 96 (96.5 FM)
Best Theater for Drama: GableStage at the Biltmore
Best TV News Anchor: Belkys Nerey
Food & Drink
Best Brunch: Fontana, Biltmore Hotel
Best Burger: Burger & Beer Joint
Best Chef: Massimo Giannattasio
Best Coffeehouse: Panther Coffee
Best Food Truck: Ms. Cheezious
Best Inexpensive Restaurant: Giardino Gourmet Salads
Best Late-Night Dining: Gigi
Best Mojito: Nikki Beach
Best Outdoor Dining: Scotty's Landing
Best Restaurant, Coconut Grove: GreenStreet Cafe
Best Restaurant, Coral Gables: Cibo Wine Bar
Best Restaurant, Design District/Midtown: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Best Restaurant, Downtown: CVI.CHE 105
Best Restaurant, South Beach: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
Best Sports Bar: Sports Grill
Best Sushi: Matsuri
Sports & Recreation
Best Dolphins Player: Matt Moore
Best Heat Player: Dwyane Wade
Best Hurricanes Player: Lamar Miller
Best Marlins Player: Giancarlo Stanton
Best Park: Kennedy Park
Best People-Watching Spot: Lincoln Road
Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners: Lincoln Road
Best Sportscaster: Dan Le Batard
Shopping & Services
Best Auto Dealership: The Collection
Best Bike Shop: Mack Cycle & Fitness
Best Bookstore: Books & Books
Best Clothing Boutique: Emporium
Best Gym: LA Fitness
Best Hair Salon: Control Salon
Best Hotel: Surfcomber
Best Liquor Store: Total Wine & More
Best Mall: Aventura Mall
Best Mechanic: Abana Auto Parts
Best Spa: The Standard Spa
awesome! congrats to everyone that won. Thanks to our fans for making this this possible :) Big shout out to @MsCheezious for filling our bellies at the Food Truck events.
I congrats all the winners but MOST IMPORTANT to my FELLOW LOCAL BUSINESSES IN LITTLE HAVANA. YOu are all doing good work. And another best of Miami NEW COMMUNITY ONLINE GUIDE, LittleHavanaguide.com. COngrats.
Best news person is Schbilkies Nerey? I am still the best radio talent in Miami, and I have been dead for over a year.
Ten or 15 years ago I might've cared, but now the whole "best of ..." concept seems just another tired, artificial manifestation of a neurotic categorization fetish and a cheap form of public relations that discourages open-minded exploration of the city. l'll pass this time and figure it out for myself...