Best of Miami®

Best Of 2000

Neighborhoods

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  • + Coral Gables/South Miami
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  • + North Miami
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  • + Out of Town
  • + Outside South Florida
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  • + Pembroke Pines
  • + Plantation
  • + Plantation/Sunrise/Tamarac
  • + Pompano Beach
  • + Pompano Beach/Deerfield Beach/Coconut Creek
  • + Riviera Beach
  • + Sea Ranch Lakes
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  • + Sweetwater/Westchester/West Miami
  • + Tamiami
  • + Unknown
  • + Upper Eastside/Miami Shores/Biscayne Park
  • + Wellington
  • + West Dade
  • + West Kendall
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  • + Weston
  • + Wilton Manors
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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Perfumery

"I can't even begin to describe Fahrenheit," says Keila Crucet, manager at Alberto Cortes. But after taking a whiff of the sample stick soaked in Christian Dior's hawthorn and sandalwood fragrance for men, she finds just the right words: "It's very out there." Besides offering such eloquent descriptions, Crucet will advise you on when to apply a certain eau de toilette. For instance Yves Saint Laurent's Opium is a winter fragrance that should not be worn in the mornings. "It's very overpowering; you would kill everyone around you," she cautions. She'll also acquaint you with the liquors, herbs, spices, and flowers stored in bottles and flacons, which are blended to rouse intoxicating, olfactory emotions. Boucheron Pour Homme includes orange, basil, sage, moss, and patchouli, among other ingredients. Lolita Lempicka, a floral eau de parfum, smells of violets, ivy leaves, vanilla, and more. Escada Pour Homme, a fragrance that evokes the Orient, is made from cognac and musk. For children Givenchy's Tartine et Chocolat is a fresh, sparkling scent of plum, peach, mango, and marigold. Most of Crucet's customers are South Americans who were referred by friends. At Alberto Cortes not only can you call upon a knowledgeable staff, but you can buy aromatic essences for about 50 percent less than retail.

Best Barbershop

Blink and you'll drive past this quaint barbershop tucked away in a dingy strip mall on the northern edge of the City of Progress. Want to take the pulse of Miami-Dade's second largest municipality? Plop down on one of the three red-vinyl barbers' chairs, grab a macho car magazine, and engage owner Manuel Perez in conversation. The tonsorial artist will boisterously complain about local politicians, critique a new restaurant, and tell tall tales of his latest fishing expedition. While he is snipping and clipping, a cast of local characters ranging from the neighborhood drunk to the beat cop will walk in to greet the middle-age barber, who sports a full head of salt-and-pepper locks. Spend a little time and you'll get not only the scoop, but a good cut for a measly $12. And Manny will even shave those pesky hairs from the back of your neck.

Best Hip-Hop Barbershop

An unlikely combination in an unlikely place. During the day this little storefront, wedged between an antique shop and a plumbing-supply store near the Miami-Coral Gables frontier, is mostly a haircut hangout. Nelson, an affable, experienced barber, dispenses 'dos and relationship advice, in both English and Spanish, to customers who recline in two barbers' chairs. DJ Flex Perez devotes one wall to baggy jeans and T-shirts the size of pup tents. Perez also oversees a rack of vinyl for party-spinning (heavy on rap and house), a few CDs, some caps, and some videos for sale. But the place's real genius lies in the crossmarketing. On his business cards, Perez emphasizes Nelson's scissors skillz, including "Fadez," "Caesars," and "Close Cuts." If you're kickin' it old-school, Nelson offers a half-price senior-citizen discount on weekdays -- five bucks.

Best Barbershop

Blink and you'll drive past this quaint barbershop tucked away in a dingy strip mall on the northern edge of the City of Progress. Want to take the pulse of Miami-Dade's second largest municipality? Plop down on one of the three red-vinyl barbers' chairs, grab a macho car magazine, and engage owner Manuel Perez in conversation. The tonsorial artist will boisterously complain about local politicians, critique a new restaurant, and tell tall tales of his latest fishing expedition. While he is snipping and clipping, a cast of local characters ranging from the neighborhood drunk to the beat cop will walk in to greet the middle-age barber, who sports a full head of salt-and-pepper locks. Spend a little time and you'll get not only the scoop, but a good cut for a measly $12. And Manny will even shave those pesky hairs from the back of your neck.

Best Skate Shop

The in-line skater brings home a new set of wheels. They are too big. This bothers him. He returns to Universal, where he purchased the wheels a day earlier. Returns are no problem, he's told, even though he'd opened the packages. "Where do you skate?" he is asked. A nearby rink, he replies. "Oh, really? I used to skate out there. These wheels are too hard for that surface. You'd be better off with something softer, such as these," the clerk says, holding out a new package of wheels. Not only is the clerk's selection the proper size and better for the intended purpose, it also costs a lot less money. The clerk wraps up the new wheels, signs a form, then reaches into the register for a twenty-dollar refund. The customer is bothered no more. In fact he is delighted. Service like this is rare, he thinks to himself. Service like this is why Universal wins the Best Skate Shop award year after year. Universal is the best, hands down.

Best Place To Style The Pooch

It's that time again. Fido is a mess, and you're in no mood to wrestle him into the tub. For 40 years Dog Charm has catered to the needs of area pet owners. At a cost of just $25, these canine lovers will bathe shaggy manes and brush them to groomed perfection. And they'll throw in a good nail-clipping. For $60 they'll perfectly shave him so he can withstand the brutal Florida summer. And this is no cost-cutting trim; these dog charmers are as sensitive to mutts' allergies as the little beasts themselves. Forget about ticks and fleas. One visit to this place and that annoying morning scratching will be a distant memory. Bring the pooch in early and you'll get him back by afternoon. Appointments are recommended.

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Best Perfumery: Alberto Cortes Cosmeticos y Perfumes

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