Shopping & Services

  • Best Vintage Store

    Salvation Army Family Store

    We know a seasoned vintage shopaholic who lovingly calls this place "Chez Armé." She proudly boasts about all of the amazing finds she's procured from here. It wasn't until she showed us photos of an incredible four-poster bed that seemed to be hewn from tree trunks that we began paying attention. When it comes to buying furniture, you can't do… More >>
  • Best Way to Discard Your Junk

    Freecycle Miami

    All of us have a bunch of stuff hanging around our homes that we don't want, don't need, or don't use. Why not streamline your life by getting rid of some of that junkç Freecycle, a national online trading post with a board here in Miami, is the perfect way to turn your trash into someone else's treasure. Here's how… More >>
  • Best Secondhand Store

    Rag Trade Happy Clothing Co. - CLOSED

    Don't want to spend $300 on a BCBG dressç If you're lucky, you can find one at Rag Trade for $30. You can also earn a little cash on the clothes you haven't worn for four years, the ones lying wrinkled and unused in a cobwebby corner of your closet. If you would rather barter for something in the shop,… More >>
  • Best Yarn Store

    Elegant Stitches

    Maybe South Florida doesn't seem like the best place to pick up knitting as a hobby — after all, summer is upon us. But there are always babies to crochet blankets for, relatives up north who need hats and scarves, and the three cold days next winter. Elegant Stitches carries more than 700 different yarns and offers knitting and crochet… More >>
  • Best Store for Crafty Chicks

    Gem and Bead Gallery

    Light catches your eye from all directions in the Gem and Bead Gallery. Everywhere you look, there are glistening gemstones of all varieties — amethyst, rose quartz, and glass beads that look almost exactly like them. Coral branches, turquoise chunks, and amber circles; jade beads and freshwater pearls. You can buy anything, from a $1000 sapphire to adorn that perfect… More >>
  • Best Costume Jewelry

    Marian's Jewelry and Accessories

    Ever wonder how abuela manages to strike an imperial air on her Social Security budgetç For years she and her blue-hair friends have been rifling the bins at this crumbling hole-in-the-wall in Little Havana, where for $5 or less one can amass a trove of ritzy baubles that would put a Romanov dowry to shame. Okay, so you won't find… More >>
  • Best Watch Repair/North

    Manley's Jewelry

    Founded in a booth in Allapattah by Edgar Manley, this joint is a part of South Florida history. Located in a neat, quiet, nondescript store in a North Miami strip mall (what else, we're in South Florida), the place is quick, efficient, and loaded with deals. Watch batteries can be changed for $6.50 and bands shortened for $3. There are… More >>
  • Best Watch Repair/South

    London Watch

    A recent survey conducted at a weekly work meeting revealed that watch popularity has decreased dramatically with the advent of cell phones and other digital time-displaying gadgets. But there's just something classy about wearing a watch. It doesn't have to be flashy or encrusted with diamonds to make a statement about the wearer. Just the simple act of watch-wearing reveals… More >>
  • Best Beauty Store

    GBS

    For 28 years now GBS the Beauty Store has been making South Florida women look and feel beautiful. The Bern family purchased its first location in 1979, naming it Gables Beauty Store. The chain has thrived by continually evolving and upgrading. GBS stocks its shelves with high-end skin-care, makeup, and hair supplies from companies that make the beauty product-obsessed go… More >>
  • Best Upscale Cosmetics

    Brownes & Co. Apothecary

    When considering the development behind most of the cosmetic offerings at Brownes & Co., imagine a legion of fit European scientists in immaculate white lab coats and wire-rimmed spectacles, grinding up rare Amazonian flowers with a mortar and pestle, adding a tincture of concentrated Arctic cloudberries, and testing their concoctions by swabbing the cheeks of dewy-skinned Ingrid Bergman look-alikes. Then… More >>
  • Best Bikini Wax

    Personal Touch Body Waxing

    Drop your pants and spread your legs. Don't worry, you're not being subjected to a cavity search, you're getting a bikini wax. Yes, it might be painful, but the silky-smooth result is so worth it — granted you go to the best in the biz. When it comes to handling your private bits, the ladies at Personal Touch have a,… More >>
  • Best Eyebrow Wax

    Meduhr Day Spa

    Let's face it: Plucking is a chore. When to stopç How much is too muchç How little is too little (i.e., the "gorilla look")ç Well-groomed eyebrows are essential, no matter what age you are — and they're best left to a pro. It's a bonus to find a waxing professional who is charming, unpretentious, and, most of all, gentle. One… More >>
  • Best Mall Manicure

    Pinkies Nail Spa

    Ah, the mall manicurist. These one-stop-beauty outlets are meant to provide respite for women whose feet ache from shopping all day long. But more often, getting your nails done at the commercial mega-mecca can be drama. It's like these stores share the same basic formula. All-white décor, stations crammed as close together as possible. Hand-shape chairs with red fingernails optional.… More >>
  • Best One-Stop Beauty Parlor

    Millenium Body Waxing

    Your face is as pock-marked as the moon's surface; your nails look like a homeless person's; the skin on your legs is hidden under a blanket of fuzz. You vaguely recall a time when you had two eyebrows (not one long one); your armpits need a weed-whacker; and a Boeing 747 could use your roots as a landing strip. And… More >>
  • Best Colonic

    Feel the Heal Massage and Skin Care

    At this moment you have approximately four to twelve pounds of shit in your colon. So in addition to feeling bloated, lethargic, and gassy, you're walking around with two shopping bags full of feces. Isn't that sexyç Have no fear. Suzy Herzfeld at Feel the Heal has just the thing for that little problem. Her colon hydrotherapy treatments are 45… More >>
  • Best Laundromat

    Big Wash

    Laundry is hell for those who don't have their own machines. Where to do it is often dictated by one of three things: price, location, and cleanliness. Big Wash has two of the three, hands down. It's cheap and clean. Don't let the fact that it's in the heart of Liberty City bother you — laundry knows no race, color,… More >>
  • Best Tailor

    Basil's Tailor Shop

    A good tailor shop is only as good as its tailor, and in this case, that's Basil Graham. Meticulous as he is professional, Graham makes an impression from the second you walk in his shop. Don't expect him to chat casually, because he's serious about his craft. He'll scrutinize every inch of fabric, every stitch and cut. Since 1989, Basil… More >>
  • Best Costume Shop

    Costumes Made by Me

    Colombian native Elsa Moreno is 79 years old. With no immediate family to speak of, she has dedicated herself to a different love, costumes. Her two-room store on Calle Ocho is packed with thousands of outfits. And she has designed them all, and had two seamstresses make them by hand. We're not talking prepackaged corporate brands that every kid on… More >>
  • Best Leather

    Dade Corners Marketplace

    Dade Corners Marketplace is the last supply stop on Eighth Street before you hit the Everglades. It sells everything a feller would need in the swamp: bug repellent, bullets, jerky, diesel, car parts, ten-gallon hats, knives, et cetera. But its flagship product, the one billed high on the marquee out front, is a full leather jacket for $19.95. Sure, it… More >>
  • Best Men's Store

    Arrive - CLOSED

    Attention, ladies: When you see a man carrying an Arrive shopping bag, it's safe to say that he just might have more style than you do. As one of the hippest clothing stores on South Beach, Arrive modestly touts itself as "the premier lifestyle destination for the ever-growing young and travel-minded jet-set consumer." When you walk through the glass doors,… More >>
  • Best Auto Mechanic

    Green's Garage

    Located in a green building in the middle of a residential neighborhood booming with new condos, Green's has been around since 1954. It originally belonged to Henry and Sam Green, but since 1982 the Triana family has continued the tradition of automotive repair. Says Orestes Triana: "We fix it right the first time," which must be why Wackenhut and Supra… More >>
  • Best Gun Shop

    Miami Police Supply

    Conveniently located next to the Bottoms Up Strip Club on Southwest Eighth Street, Miami Police Supply has been satisfying gun lovers since 1989. Check out the Glocks, AK-47s, and semiautomatics on display. "Everything that a government agency would need, we have," says the store's owner, Javier Alonzo. Stun guns, batons, gas masks, Tasers, and other military weapons designed to protect… More >>
  • Best Gun

    The Thunder 5

    In a town where stray bullets are a major problem, there appears to be only one solution: a four-pound revolver that fires shotgun shells. That's right, shotgun shells.The Thunder 5 (named for its five-round capacity) is manufactured by three old fellas up in Piney Flats, Tennessee. But John Lindahl, the only guy who distributes the Thunder 5, lives (where else?)… More >>
  • Best Place To Learn To Shoot

    Tactical Firearms Academy

    If you lack fond memories of your dad taking you down to the crick to shoot cans with an old .22, don't despair. Every Thursday night a quasi-, semi-paramilitary band of folks gathers to shoot. They don't pussy around either. They run, hit the dirt, and switch hands. And if you have the cash, you can join 'em — and… More >>
  • Best Car Wash

    Karma Car Wash and Café

    A car wash that got a nod from Gourmet magazineç If it serves tapas, wine, beer — even raspberry lambic — why notç Karma's well-designed waiting room is decorated in soothing shades of indigo and has copies of gossip magazines and the New York Times. If you're getting your car detailed during breakfast, they have espresso and pain au chocolat.… More >>
  • Best Sex Toy Shop

    Sensations Video

    Lurking behind a nondescript sign advertising "Videos and DVDs" and a window full of highly descriptive accessories is Sensations Video. It's a friendly store where clerks won't ask you what you are looking for or pester you with sales pitches. Nobody wants to know how your day was or what size and color you need. You're free to peacefully roam… More >>
  • Best Adult Video Store

    Adult Video Connection

    Have a few beers before heading into this place. Once you're in, you'll be privy to one of the largest selections of weird porn the world over. You can't beat the tranny collection: They have Asian T-Girl Latex Nurses AND Teenage Transsexual Nurses 2. You'd think the Internet revolution would have wiped a joint like this off the face of… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Vinyl

    Grooveman

    From its small storefront on Washington Avenue, Grooveman has weathered the supposed deaths and rebirths of South Beach as well as the supposed deaths and rebirths of dance music. One death it won't accept, though, is that of the twelve-inch. Sure, CDs and MP3s might be convenient, but for the faction of DJs who worship at the altar of the… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Latin Music

    Casino Records

    This roomy record shop packs in everything from classic Spanish zarzuelas to vintage Argentine tangos within the walls of its Calle Ocho locale. In Miami for more than twenty years, Casino bills itself as "the paradise for record collectors," and it's got the musical goods to prove it. Limited-edition box sets of rare Spanish folk music from groups like Los… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    The Dynamo at the Wolfsonian Museum

    The next time you're in the mood for the kind of quiet, thoughtful bookstore experience usually found in cities like New York and Boston, just head to the Wolfsonian Museum and stop by the Dynamo. This is the kind of bookstore where you can — and should — spend hours browsing through shelves packed with quirky gems not likely to… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

    Admission to the Miami Book Fair: $5.Cost of replacing Nike sneakers after a stray child at the fair threw her hot dog on your old ones: $70.Hot dog for your child, who threw a tantrum after realizing other kids were eating hot dogs: $5. Copy of Frank McCourt's latest release: $25.Amount of gas used waiting in line to get out… More >>
  • Best Comic Book Shop

    Avalon Manga Shop

    In this era of one-click online shopping, comic book shops need to deliver more than just the average monthly Spider-Man series if they want to survive. Dean and Sandra Gonzales, owners of Avalon Manga Shop, recognize the value of putting together a brick-and-mortar space for Miami's comic book heads. Open since 2004, Avalon is an oasis for collectors of all… More >>
  • Best Japanese Subculture Shop

    Soles Inc.

    Bustling capitals like New York City and San Francisco feature boutiques where things like sneakers and toys are displayed as pieces of pop art. Now thanks to the newly opened Soles Inc., Miamians can take part in the underground movement of Japanese subculture shops. The brainchild of Japanese owner Kenichiro Konomi, Soles carries the most comprehensive collection of Asian limited-edition… More >>
  • Best Botanica

    El águila Vidente

    Don't let the mysterious and somewhat cramped storefront keep you from venturing inside. Never mind that the windows are still taped up from last year's hurricane season and that the shop is darkly lit. Behind the web of duct tape crisscrossing this gritty botanica's panes is "Sister Maria" (she won't give a last name). For $35 she'll provide spiritual advice… More >>
  • Best Slice of the Caribbean

    The Strip Mall on SW 160th Street

    If you ask the friendly man at Caribbean Delite for the name of this strip mall, he responds with a quizzical look and a lengthy silence. It's like he's been asked to solve an algebra equation. "I don't know. I just think of it as the Caribbean strip mall," he eventually says. "Maç What's the name of this strip mallç"… More >>
  • Best Sneakers

    Addict

    Before you enter Addict, consider the sneaker not as utilitarian footwear but as objet d'art, and you won't be shocked by either the lacquered gold finish on a pair of Chuck Taylors or the $200 mauve limited-edition Pumas. There's a special line of Dwyane Wade-designed canvas Converse, whose $445 price tag is justified by the the fact that only… More >>
  • Best Custom Sneaker Store

    Philly in Miami

    It seems like every homeboy on and off the block is bedazzling or Sharpie-ing their sneakers in (often lame) attempts to customize their footwear. But at Philly in Miami, they've got this unique art down to a science. From Nike Air Force Ones to Adidas, these guys have a huge inventory of one-of-a-kind sneakers. And to make those exclusives even… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Running Shoes

    The Runner's High

    Some might be familiar with that euphoric rush, the runner's high. Chances are, though, you are far more aware of the crushing pain associated with ill-fitting shoes more commonly associated with greedy sales reps trying to cash in on a quick commission. See, whether you're a serious sprinter or a Sunday-morning stroller, your kicks can help reduce the risk of… More >>
  • Best Tennis Store

    Strictly Tennis

    This store is small, but every available nook and cranny has been stuffed with tennis supplies. Rackets (for both tennis and racquetball) hang from the ceiling. The walls are covered in shoes. Apparel, equipment, strings, dozens of brands of balls (sold by the can or by the case), ball hoppers, and ball machines are all crammed in and sold by… More >>
  • Best Place for a Used Bike

    Jay the Bike King

    On the western edge of Miami, three triple-alarmed tool sheds are packed with swing bikes and lowriders, bikes for the mountains and the road, children's bikes, and tandems. Burning Marlboros through a bushy handlebar mustache, The King rebuilds bike after bike from a shed so stuffed that it seems ready to vomit cans of paint, primer, oil, and grease. He… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Coral Way Bicycle Shop

    Finding a really good bike shop can be tricky. You want a place that's low-key, a little run-down, maybe: a place with mechanics who understand your crappy bike, who'll help you fix it without asking you to empty your wallet. At the same time, a cheap fix can be a cheap fix, and a good bike shop should have good… More >>
  • Best Powerboat Rental

    Captain Joe's Boat Rentals

    Few powerboat rental places come close to the captain's prices, and those that do, usually bump up their rates for weekends or offer rundown craft. At Captain Joe's, you have your choice of seven boats — from a twenty-foot Four Winds runabout with room for eight people, to a 40-foot Tiara with teak decks and massive outboards. Two hours on… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Tarpoon Dive Center

    Tarpoon Dive Center's Hialeah store is pretty much where diving began in Miami. Opened in 1952 (and in its current building since 1956), The 'Poon has helped generations of locals find their way to the silent world just offshore. Its founder, the late Mike Kevorkian, was a legend in the underwater education world. He produced hundreds of live marine biology-oriented… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Tivoli Liquors

    It's just past midnight on Saturday and you're about to bring your date back to your place for, you know, a drink. Only your liquor cabinet is empty and your date is one of those "I don't do beer" types. What's a horny toad to doç The answer is illuminated by a neon sign of tipping bottles — the blue… More >>
  • Best Wine Shop

    W Wine Bistro - CLOSED

    It's not one of those wine warehouses that took over a defunct Winn Dixie and still has a row of checkout registers up front. And it's not one of those trendy storefronts that stock only Bordeaux and other cocky wines that cost three figures. No, this little brick-walled bistro lets you eat and drink — and take home a bottle… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Loosies

    Alton Food Plaza

    Listen up, all you wimps who lack the backbone to quit smoking. Sure, you don't have a pack of cigarettes lying around the house. It will only tempt you. But sometimes you just need a fix. Whaddya doç You can find loosies in any New York bodega or Philly Chinese carryout, but Miami is well, weird. So here you have… More >>
  • Best Handmade Cigars

    El Titan de Bronze

    Evelio Guelmes, age 83, is steeped in the knowledge of what it takes to create a robust, full-bodied cigar. The master, who crafted his own brand of cheroot, El Turco, in Carbaiguan, Cuba, is one of eight veteran roleros — with a combined 150 years of tobacco-twisting experience — who work their nimble-fingered magic at El Titan de Bronze Cigar… More >>
  • Best Fruit and Veggie Van

    The van in Little Haiti near a church

    At night this space is an empty lot, desolate and spooky. By day it's a thriving mini farmer's market in the middle of bustling Little Haiti, usually staffed by Bernadette, a large Haitian woman who doesn't speak English but has a mile-wide smile. She and a few other Haitians sit under umbrellas and sell produce straight from Homestead out of… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Wholesale

    Brothers Produce Inc.

    The warehouse and wholesale food district on NW Twelfth Avenue between Twentieth and 29th streets features some pretty apocalyptic shopping scenes — tubes of ground chuck longer and fatter than human legs, twenty-foot freezers, cans that look like steamrollers, and cases of ramen noodles big enough to float to Cuba. Great prices, yes, but the experience can be daunting for… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Parlor

    Ochoplacas Tattoo Company

    Upon entering this tiny den of epidermal art, you might wonder where all the tattoo designs are. The answer: in your head, from where they will be skillfully extracted by an artist (and they are real artists, working in a variety of media other than skin). This parlor does custom ink only. For $150 per hour an Ochoplacas artist will… More >>
  • Best Place for Piercing

    U.S. 1 Discount Mall

    This air-conditioned shopfest offers not one, but eight jewelry places that'll be pleased to pierce you anywhere. So if you don't like what the lady behind the counter is wearing or the way she chews her gum, just walk over to one of the other half-dozen piercing joints. And if you're still not too keen on the idea, you can… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Emilio Robba Boutique

    Emilio Robba was first inspired by watching his mother arrange a handful of flowers into a bouquet. Decades later, Robba makes bouquets of his own, and he's known around the world for it. Only he doesn't grow or buy the flowers like most florists. He builds them. Christened by the international press as the "Sculptor of Flowers," Robba creates silken… More >>
  • Best Orchids

    Kerry's Bromeliad Nursery

    They've got orchids that hang, orchids in pots, even orchids with names. In fact Kerry's grows more orchids than any nursery in the United States. And if you aren't an orchid person, don't worry, because Kerry's is the second largest bromeliad grower in the country, too. Want a Guzmania named Hilda or a Vriesea called Tiffanyç You can cruise to… More >>
  • Best Tearoom

    Amate Tea Lounge - CLOSED

    Enough with the coladas and the chain coffee stores. It's time to slow down and drink a nice cup of tea at a place owned by a local. Amate is perfect. Sit in the covered patio on a comfy orange couch or sprawl out in the bamboo-lined outdoor area. The space is a tiki-Zen mashup, but it's a welcome respite… More >>
  • Best Internet Cafe

    e2 Café

    The room is alive with the flickering of computer screens and clicking of keyboards. Gamers of every age, shape, and size battle each other, as well as hundreds of others online around the world, to see who is the best at Counter-Strike, Battlefield 1942, Diablo II, and EverQuest. The three locations of E2 are powered by a dedicated T1 server… More >>
  • Best Wi-Fi Connection

    Miami-Dade Public Library System

    Easy, free, fast, reliable. Even in our wired age, those four words are seldom used to describe what it's like to hook up your laptop to a wi-fi network in South Florida. At the library you don't need to buy a $5 latte, enter a password, or have a credit card number on hand to retrieve your e-mail. And you… More >>
  • Best Useless Invention

    Doggy Hairpieces

    Who among us hasn't looked at the tiny canines parading on Lincoln Road and thought, Damn, that puppy needs a toupee. Well, problem solved. A Bay Harbor Islands woman who was once the wig-master and makeup artist for The Jackie Gleason Show has begun designing hairpieces for dogs. Ruth Regina's creations attach with rubber bands and allow for pointy ears.… More >>
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