Bars & Clubs

  • Best Local Album

    The Postmarks, by the Postmarks

    Although most local bands figure the best way to start out is to play as much as possible, the Postmarks took the opposite tack. They didn't play out — at all. Instead they holed up in a studio and polished their blend of bookish, sticky-sweet Anglophilic pop until it was totally ready for the harsh light of the South Florida… More >>
  • Best Local Electronica Artist

    Lazaro Casanova

    The long-haired, natty Lazaro Casanova got his start playing at the old Malibu Grand Prix's infamous Full Moon parties in the late Nineties. But he really became a local marquee name as the musical selector du jour for indie-ish dance parties in Miami, most notably at the long-running, now-defunct Revolver. But when pressing play on White Stripes discs got boring,… More >>
  • Best Latin Band

    Tiempo Libre

    Miami has its fair share of illustrious Latin bands. Still, the sizzling rhythms of Tiempo Libre stand far above the rest. Formed in 2001, Tiempo Libre — Free Time — plays in the style of timba, which blends traditional Afro-Cuban beats with fresh pop genres such as hip-hop, house, and jazz. Known for its ultravigorous live shows, the seven-member ensemble,… More >>
  • Best Local Pop Band

    Los Primeros

    Remember when bands had magical powers and went on adventures and shit? Like the Beatles, for example, when they took that submarine trip; or Josie and the Pussycats, how they had their own spaceship; or the way David Bowie led that girl into his magical labyrinth just so she could be in his music video in the end. Nowadays, what… More >>
  • Best Acoustic Musician

    Rachel Goodrich

    You know Rachel Goodrich. You were drunk, it was Churchill's or PS14 or wherever, and there was this girl playing music, and you didn't really give a crap, but then you noticed everybody else was paying attention, so you started to listen and — zammee! — you were, like, Holy shit. This girl's pretty good. A blurry minute later, you… More >>
  • Best Local Jazz Artist

    Jon Saxx

    Jon Saxx was sleeping when the sound of a saxophone hit his preteen ears. The tones resonated in his soul, he awakened, and in that moment, he fell in love with the horn that makes us fall in love with him. He's been playing ever since. A virtuoso on the soprano, alto, and tenor sax, Saxx plays by ear —… More >>
  • Best Jazz Club

    Upstairs at the Van Dyke Cafe - CLOSED

    With Sandoval's shuttered and Jazid following a more eclectic blend of funky music, Upstairs at the Van Dyke remains a hidden gem for jazz lovers — on Lincoln Road, of all places. Earlier this year, the café changed ownership, and with the new guard came a welcome infusion of energy and enthusiasm for livening up the music programming. While many… More >>
  • Best Comeback

    The Eat

    As rumors flew that The Eat was spending a lot of time in a not-so-secret rehearsal space, the collective excitement felt across South Florida's music scene was palpable as far and wide as our hipsters are astute and with it. The Eat, previously named Best Band of All Time by this publication, had not played in about a dozen years,… More >>
  • Best Venue for Live Music

    The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater

    When concert-production company Live Nation announced a rebranding of several storied music venues across the country, to be named after San Francisco's historic Fillmore, more than a few eyebrows raised. But Miami was one of the cities to benefit most from the retooling, with the company's takeover of the Jackie Gleason Theater. Sure, it boasted a star-studded past, but in… More >>
  • Best Concert

    Iggy & the Stooges

    This past December, it was just a little too easy for the local smart alecks to make cracks about Miami Beach regressing into a retirement community for musical has-beens. Kicking off Art Basel was one of the most influential bands of the late Sixties — led by rock's most emulated singer (an adopted local no less) and joined by punk's… More >>
  • Best Concert Series

    Rhythm Foundation's annual season

    The nonprofit Rhythm Foundation is celebrating its 20th year of spreading global musical cheer in South Florida, and each season seems to get better than the last. That's a tough feat, given the group's track record. Founded with the intent of showcasing the best in "world music," the outfit has managed to shake that term's sometimes boring and crunchy connotations… More >>
  • Best Local Rock Band

    Black Tide

    Local quartet Black Tide has accomplished what few far-Kendall rock acts could ever even pretend to dream of doing. Within the past two years, they've been discovered by an A&R rep at a Florida music festival and been flown across the country as subjects of a major-label bidding war. They've landed a plum deal with Interscope and been duly carted… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    Hot 97.7 FM

    "This is the best radio station in Miami," says DJ Bo. "Go ahead and change the station — I dare you." This is old-school, Miami-style pirate radio from the hood. "Fire it up and get loose," he says. "It's time for some booty music." He plays hip-hop songs at high speed, so they sound as if the Chipmunks were rapping… More >>
  • Best Open-Mike Night

    Can You Rock a Little Softer? (CYRALS)

    Who would've thought that a weekly night of quieter, strummed sounds would turn into one of punk dive Churchill's best-loved regular events? Well, local duo Raffa and Rainer, the brains behind the operation, must have had some idea. They've created a weekly Wednesday event that's as warm and welcoming as a group hug yet still attracts topnotch talent. Everybody gets… More >>
  • Best Karaoke

    Tom's NFL Club

    Tired of sharing the mike with those pesky beach tourists? For folks serious about karaoke, there's nothing worse than listening to drunken amateurs ruin a perfectly good song. That's where Tom's NFL Club comes in. This relaxed neighborhood bar, the ideal local oasis for the dedicated karaoke enthusiast, has no cover charge or outrageous liquor prices. Instead Tom's offers a… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    The Vagabond - CLOSED

    Somewhere between lounge, bar, and club sits The Vagabond, a lovably comfy new hangout in the old I/O space on NE 14th St. This is a place with a mission statement unlike no other in town: Everybody is welcome here as long as they dance and have a good time. Just see the club's official slogan: "You are no one.… More >>
  • Best Afterhours

    Space Saturdays (and Sunday afternoons)

    Six signs of a serious afterhours party: 1. A crowd that goes to sleep insanely early, only to arise around 3 a.m. and then begin getting ready to go out. 2. A hard-core subset of that crowd that won't deign to do afterhours, or even party much, anywhere else. 3. A 24-hour liquor license (!). 4. Marathon sets by some… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Love Hate Lounge - CLOSED

    You don't need us to tell you which of the cavernous superclubs is "best" — that's a matter of nightlife politics and the quickly shifting winds of whatever the crowd deems cool. Instead, our pick for where you can really shake it is a not-so-well-kept secret: Love Hate Lounge, just south of Fifth Street and blocks from any of the… More >>
  • Best Club DJ


    Induce is sort of like the dark horse of the DJ pack. What he lacks in superhigh-profile residencies at boring danceterias he more than makes up for in skill, deep musical knowledge, and diversity. A young DJ with an old-school mindset, he's the type of guy who still lives with rooms of old vinyl and who doesn't need Serato to… More >>
  • Best Club to Reappear

    Shine - CLOSED

    Shine, nestled inside the glam Shelborne Beach Resort, was a labor of love for DJ Jonathan Cowan, whose family has long owned and operated the hotel. With a veteran dance-floor conductor at its helm when it opened in the spring of 2006, the club quickly distinguished itself for its stellar Steve Dash sound system and even more stellar DJ lineup.… More >>
  • Best Nightlife Trend

    Overtown and Park West

    For a while, only the most intrepid venue owners and clubbers ventured to the edge of Overtown around NE 14th Street and North Miami Avenue. For several years, the medium-size indoor/outdoor club I/O flourished there, and then tiny watering hole PS14 opened a couple of doors down. Alas I/O closed, leaving PS14 alone. But then the megaluxury palace Karu &… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Tobacco Road - CLOSED

    Tobacco Road has provided a venue for local artists, and booze for its loyal patrons, for what seems like an eternity. (Actually, in Miami, the club's 96 years comes pretty close to eternal.) But The Road stands out among its competitors for more than its longevity; you'll be tapping your toes and rocking out any day you walk in. The… More >>
  • Best New Local Rock Band

    Mad Martigan

    What do you get when you cross a wiry, tattoo-covered Vincent-Gallo-look-alike batshit frontman, slashed-speaker Stooges-style power chord freakouts, and gigs at places such as adults-only female wrestling events? Pure fucking rock and roll, that's what. Mad Martigan can't even be bothered to put up a song sample on its MySpace page, but if you hit the local circuit enough, you… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Blue Martini Lounge

    It's 4:59 p.m. ... one more minute. Just one more minute. The longest minute. You've worked hard all day. Why won't that clock's stupid little hand hurry up?! And then it happens: 5 p.m. and all's well. The time has come for twenty- and thirtysomethings across the city to loosen their ties and unbutton their shirts. In the heart of… More >>
  • Best Place for Cocktails

    La Paloma

    Cocktails are weird. They're prim, in a Mamie Eisenhower kind of way, and yet they're meant to get you sort of drunk before you eat.Plus they're kind of expensive. So don't try to beat around the bush by drinking your cocktails somewhere cheap and normal. Go to La Paloma. You've seen it before; it's that restaurant on North Biscayne Boulevard… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    Los Marinos Lounge - CLOSED

    Don't confuse this nautically themed viejo haven with the Los Marinos Restaurant or the Los Marinos Cafeteria. (They all share the same building, painted up kinda like a boat, across the street from the dog track).During the week, this lounge is full of smoky old men playing cubilete for dollars and drinking. On weekend nights, though, it transforms into the… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Club Boi

    Don't let the name of this club fool you. These are some real men — well hung and swangin' that thang. Club Boi is the only black-owned gay club in South Florida, and it serves as a welcome alternative to the same old stuff on South Beach. There is nude male dancing, and the vibe is hot. Even for heteros,… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Shuckers Bar and Grill

    Dark, macho, foul-smelling sports bars are easy to find in every American city. What makes a great sports bar is its ability to incorporate the style of the town into its atmosphere. This is the beauty of Shuckers Bar and Grill: There aren't too many burgs where you can sit outside comfortably to watch a December NFL matchup. The bar… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar

    The Happy Stork

    Ah, to drink where the booze is cheap; the bartenders are tough, hot women; and all the patrons are salty drunks. Look no further than the Happy Stork. Forget this town's lame pretensions about dressing up to drink. Come to this place directly from work, order yourself an Anchor Steam, and strike up a conversation with someone who can really… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/Miami Beach

    Halo Lounge

    "Lemon Green Tea Martini," "Effen Black Cherry Cosmo," "Elderflower Fizz," and "Leblon Caipirinhas" are only some of the tempting concoctions luring cocktail lovers to this bar just off Lincoln Road. Already a must-stop on the gay and politico circuits, Halo Lounge is quickly becoming a favorite with straight locals looking for something a little out of the ordinary. While the… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/North

    Billy's Pub Too

    Calling all beer pong masters: If you're on a quest to become the ultimate ponger, head to Billy's on Wednesday nights for the eclectic bar's weekly tournament. In addition to great prizes, there are beer specials all night long. The raucous event is one of the reasons Billy's holds a place in the hearts of many area locals. Others are… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/Central


    PS14 is like the rec room that belongs to the coolest friend you had in high school (or the one with the most permissive parents). You can show up whenever, stay as long as you want (even past what would be your welcome at most other places), break things, and generally behave however you want, as long as it doesn't… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/West

    LA Sports Bar and Grill

    This bar is Miami's version of the Eighties sitcom Cheers, where everybody knows your name. "This place is like a family. I know everybody in here," say Steve, a regular, as he waves to a "drinking buddy" across the bar. The vibe is friendly, the bartenders are sexy, and the pitchers are cheap ($6 domestic). Located across the street from… More >>
  • Best Local Solo Musician

    Jose El Rey

    Exactly how much of the mysterious, greasy fellow known as José El Rey is a put-on? We don't know or care — and neither, apparently, does his rapidly growing legion of fans. His lo-fi renditions of tinkling freestyle and booming Miami bass, coupled with his flashy Miami Vice-era stage wear and rico suave sexual banter, cause unanimous commotion among the… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/South

    Town Kitchen and Bar

    South Miami is rapidly becoming like a miniature South Beach, with fancy cars, inconsiderate pedestrians, and a complete parking clusterfuck. Who's to blame? We think hot newish restaurant/bar Town started the fire. Daytime, it's ideal for an early afternoon drink-up on the weekend. By early evening it's a classy, trendy, minimalist restaurant that specializes in "global comfort food" like brick… More >>
  • Best Poolside Bar

    Monty's South Beach

    Sometimes you just want to kill everyone in Miami. The traffic, the sweating, the general idiocy.Cool down there, chief. You need to get your ass to Monty's. Enjoy a quiet beer on the water's edge. Stare out past the marina and watch the ships go by. Contemplate the vastness of the ocean and the insignificance of your worries.Or order a… More >>
  • Best Strip Club

    Take One Cocktail Lounge

    Located in Little Haiti, Take One Cocktail Lounge is ghetto-fabulous. It's a place where thugs chill, a small strip club with the stage directly behind the bar. The smell of ganja fills the air, and the staff makes you feel welcome. Most of the patrons are locals, and the strippers have some of the biggest booties you will ever see.… More >>
  • Best Weekly Party

    Miami Live at Santo Restaurant and Lounge

    You couldn't turn up your iPod loud enough to replicate the groove you'll find at Miami Live. Sure, you could fork over some of your hard-earned bucks to Ticketmaster, but even then you probably couldn't get closer than 100 feet to the artist; at Santo, no one is farther than that from the stage. Each Wednesday, locals and tourists mix… More >>
  • Best Party to Reappear


    We never thought Poplife would really go away. Hell, the party/crew/local-culture juggernaut can take the lion's share of credit for launching the city's indie-type scene, back when it was a little gathering called Life at an art gallery in Coral Gables. Since then, it's turned into a watermark (brand sounds so crass) for progressive, creative thinking in a city that… More >>
  • Best Local Songwriter


    With their infectious rhythms and dance-a-licious beats, Afrobeta's songs are classic yet modern, borderline underground yet so Billboard chart-friendly. Cristina "Cuci Amador" Garcia's pop sensibility resonates through a blend of bilingual proficiencies that even Shakira might covet, while Tony "Smurphio" Laurencio burns holes through his Moog keyboards with funky fire. It wouldn't be surprising to find Afrobeta writing songs for… More >>
  • Best Local Album Cover Artist

    Arnold Steiner

    The average cool-kid record-store shopper probably can't place Arnold Steiner by name. But if the same music fan has any taste for the finest in underground hip-hop and electronic sounds, he or she has probably seen his stunning, stomach-dropping artwork. Under the moniker AS1, Steiner has created breathtaking covers and imagery for the likes of world-renowned beatmakers such as Venetian… More >>
  • Best Local Song to Go Worldwide

    "Low," by Flo Rida

    It started out silently — but violently — whispering through the speakers of local strip clubs and on in-the-know radio DJs' playlists. The voice flowing over the ridiculously hot beat declared, Shawty had them Apple Bottom jeanzzz. Then the T-Pain-crooned hook could be heard bumping out of Bentleys rolling down Ocean Drive, tricked-out Hondas roaring along Bird Road, and D'd-up… More >>
  • Best Local Rap Artist


    Born Algernod Lanier Washington, 32-year-old Plies launched his career when he teamed up with Akon for their chart-topping hit "Hypnotized." Plies released his breakout album, The Real Testament, in 2007 and went from being best known for allegedly firing a gun into the crowd at his own show in Gainesville to becoming a celebrated representative of street life authenticity. His… More >>
  • Best Latin Singer


    Mixing traditional flamenco with modern sounds is not easy, but Spanish-born Rayito (a.k.a. Antonio Rayo) has a natural knack for assembling three-minute Latin pop gems. A child prodigy, Rayito learned to play Spanish guitar from his father, and by the age of 12, he had earned fame as a brilliant flamenco guitar player. After studying in Miami's New World School… More >>
  • Best Flower Bar

    Flower Bar

    The term florist just doesn't cover this gem, which moved to its current location in time to be covered by construction dust from Miami Shores' downtown renovation. Not only does Flower Bar deliver some of the most stunning arrangements you'll ever see, but also it's an art gallery. And a tearoom. Plus, you'll be able to buy gourmet sweets there… More >>