Bars & Clubs

  • Best Hip-Hop Artist


    Almost three years ago, ¡Mayday! released its self-titled debut solo album to serious Internet buzz and positive critical reception. On the strength of that disc's breakout single, "Groundhog Day," which featured Cee-Lo singing the hook, it seemed like ¡Mayday! was ready for national play. But after a couple of years on the grind, founding members Plex Luthor and Bernbiz decided… More >>
  • Best New Electronica Artist

    Panic Bomber

    Playing live around town for less than a year, the shadowy character known as Panic Bomber has already developed some minor lore. Legend has it that once upon a time, Richard Haig was a local rock musician who got fed up with the grind of being hustled offstage in time for the night's main event — a DJ. So he… More >>
  • Best Band

    Awesome New Republic

    To call these guys simply a "rock band" would be woefully leaving out a large chunk of their musical stew. Disco, soul, funk, and a large dose of the Purple One all figure into the sound. Still, it rocks. And though they broke up for a minute a couple of years ago, it didn't last long, and ever since then,… More >>
  • Best Metal/Hardcore Band

    Poison the Well

    Is Poison the Well a surprise pick? No, but it's time to give credit where it is long overdue. Frontman Jeffrey Moreira reps Hialeah (hard), and the rest of the members hail from towns across South Florida. Poison the Well sprang from the same fabled anything-goes, late-'90s South Florida hardcore/punk scene as fellow success stories Shai Hulud and New Found… More >>
  • Best Latin Singer


    Here in Miami, there's certainly no lack of talented Latin crooners. Still, the young balladeer known as Jean stands above the rest. This Puerto Rican-raised popster, who's also the younger brother of Latin superstar Luis Fonsi, has been building a solid and loyal following through a unique take on Latin R&B. What makes Jean exceptional is his natural knack for… More >>
  • Best Latin Band

    Electric Piquete

    There's something truly refreshing about Hialeah's six-piece Electric Piquete. They don't seem to be concerned with following trends, so their fresh, jazzy Latin sound is miles away from that of any other local band. Founded in 2007, Electric Piquete debuted at Churchill's yearly HialeahFest, where the sextet's unforgettable performance quickly led to more gigs. Their sound collage is dominated by… More >>
  • Best Latin Alternative Rock Band


    Every once in a while, there's a band that gets everything right: the right sound, the right look, and, more important, the right vibe. The genre-defying Kayakman fits perfectly with our city's eclectic ambiance. The group's Latin American musicians love mixing things up, fusing sultry tango with Caribbean rhythms over a solid punk-rock beat. A main reason for the foursome's… More >>
  • Best Caribbean Band


    There's something to be said about a killer rhythm section. A great drummer combined with a gifted bassist can make or break any band. Luckily, the stunning boys of Dangerflow know very well how to get down and dirty with thick-ass bass lines that will make you jump to the nearest dance floor. Formed in late 2007, Dangerflow is that… More >>
  • Best Solo Musician

    Dino Felipe

    Straight up, Dino Felipe is weird. This should come as no surprise given the local label through which he releases his music. Schematic is home of fellow freaks such as the scatologically obsessed Otto von Schirach. Dino doesn't tour much, blithely explaining it away with his lack of a job, driving skills, and a booking agent. No matter; he has… More >>
  • Best Jazz Musician

    Silvano Monasterios

    Local jazz fans are lucky to have a star such as Silvano Monasterios playing in our mist. A bona fide piano prodigy, he was born in Venezuela and schooled at the University of Miami's prestigious music program. The always-cool Monasterios then stuck around the city and became the most admired and requested piano jazz man in town. He has performed… More >>
  • Best Acoustic Performer

    The Big Bounce & Brendan O'Hara & Komakozie - CLOSED

    South Beach loves music that inspires snorting lines or sweeping the ground with one's hind parts. But it's not so hot for the kind of melody that makes people swing-dance, two-step, and do the running man. Yet each Tuesday night at the Florida Room, the Big Bounce — Brendan O'Hara & Komakozie (comprising singer/piano man O'Hara, beatboxer Michael "Komakozie" Rodney,… More >>
  • Best Percussionist

    Joe Collado

    Back in the '70s, when Joe Collado was a boy living in New York City, he was lucky enough to witness many of the greatest percussionists in the history of Latin music. It was during that time when Collado — taken in by the rhythms of Fania legends such as Ray Barretto and Mongo Santamaria — decided to become a… More >>
  • Best Collaborator


    Join us live, all stream-of-consciousness style, as we browse the MySpace page of local electro maven Kentsoundz, AKA Kent Hernandez. Oh, look up there in the music player. There's his well-loved tune "Not Goodbye" with folkster Raffa Jo Harris. It reminds us of those simpler times when we first heard the warm vocals of a more twee-inclined singer against the… More >>
  • Best Songwriter

    Honor Roll Music

    Around the turn of the 20th Century, the New York City songwriting collective that came to be known as Tin Pan Alley turned out some of the most memorable hits from that era. Sixty years later, the Brill Building housed legendary songsmiths such as Carole King, Burt Bacharach, and Neil Sedaka, whose output is something of legend. Fast-forward to present-day… More >>
  • Best Tribute Act

    Rockit to Russia

    Die-hard Ramones fans will readily admit it doesn't take a lot of technical skill to faithfully reproduce the New York punk rockers' power-chord assault. What it takes, though, is a kind of scrappy joy that revels in that simplicity and harnesses it into a slap-happy party. South Florida's Rockit to Russia has plenty of that, as well as a near-obsessive… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    The Electric Bunnies

    This quartet's appellation is as plugged-in, fuzzed-out, and likeable as its lo-fi garage punk.… More >>
  • Best Band to Break up in the Past 12 Months

    The Remnants

    Since the Remnants' inception around 2004, the foursome had been a live favorite across the South Florida rock-dive circuit. The group was a grimy, swinging, rock 'n' roll outfit, led by firecracker frontwoman Cynthia DuVall, that described itself — quite appropriately — as "the Who fronted by Tina Turner." In fact, in 2005, New Times awarded DuVall Best Female Rock… More >>
  • Best Solo Album

    Rachel Goodrich, Tinker Toys

    It's been a good year for South Florida's quirky local indie darling, Rachel Goodrich, what with a glowing shout-out from the New York Times this past November and her official debut appearance at South by Southwest in the spring. It was all well deserved and timed with the October 2008 release of her debut full-length, Tinker Toys. Like the actual… More >>
  • Best Local Album

    Torche, Meanderthal

    The underground metal cognoscenti revered the 2005 self-titled debut album by heavy hometown heroes Torche for its melodic take on sludgy sounds. But it was last year's followup, Meanderthal, that won the band a wider audience and even more critical praise. (And even though at the time the album was recorded, half the musicians lived outside of their hometown, we'll… More >>
  • Best Local Anthology

    Charlie Pickett, Bar Band Americanus: The Best of Charlie Pickett and...

    South Florida had two kinds of rock aficionados in the '80s: those who whined about the barren wasteland before them and those who thanked their lucky stars for a musical oasis named Charlie Pickett. In reality, the scene wasn't quite that bad, but mention Pickett to a roomful of veterans, and you'll find a diverse assortment of grateful fans. Whether… More >>
  • Best Music Festival to Die in the Past 12 Months

    Langerado Music Festival

    The sudden cancellation of the Langerado Music Festival this year was one of the sadder events of the local scene. Critics, however, would say it was expected. Long ago (well, in 2003), Langerado began as the brainchild of hometown promoters Ethan Schwartz and Mark Brown. At first, it was an informal jam-down at the smallish Young Circle in Hollywood. By… More >>
  • Best Music Festival

    Ultra Music Festival

    Once upon a time, Ultra was a one-day beach party, a rogue daytime rave coinciding with the annual Winter Music Conference. Some 11 years after its birth, though, it has morphed into a two-day, multistage extravaganza that long ago received the official WMC blessing; it's become an international destination on the festival circuit. Every important electronic act has played at… More >>
  • Best Concert Series

    DWNTWN Concert Series

    When was the last time you went to Bayfront Park for any reason — besides attending a music festival, showing around tourists, or boarding a casino boat? If you can't remember, don't worry. The folks at the Miami Downtown Development Authority gets it. So this past spring, they started the DWNTWN concert series at the park. On regular early Friday… More >>
  • Best Venue for Live Music

    White Room

    Sure, there're the AAA, the Arsht Center, the Knight Center, and all of those wonderful monsters that fill our downtown. They are loud and cool and we love 'em. But the White Room, ah, the White Room! It has welcomed plenty of local acts to play on its modest stage, including Otto von Schirach, Astari Nite, José El Rey, Kill… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    Danny Daze

    Danny Daze has been doing the DJ/producer thing for a while now, but he has definitely been getting plenty of attention. He spends as much time on the decks at clubs around the nation as in Miami, and when he's here, you can catch him at South Beach bashes such as LIV's Wednesday-night Dirty Hairy party and Rokbar's Good Clean… More >>
  • Best Latin Record Store

    Spec's Music

    For many among us, there's nothing better than walking into a well-stocked record store and discovering a cool new artist. And while there's nothing wrong with getting music through the computer, there's still something magical about a real record palace. This being Miami, one of our most cherished record stores caters deeply to the Latin music aficionado. Located between Sunset… More >>
  • Best Rock Club

    Churchill's Pub

    Churchill's has pretty much stayed the same for 30 years while fancier newcomers have come and tanked. Why? Because the place has stuck to the magic formula of successful, no-frill rock clubs: a strict commitment to live music (no bullshit DJ nights), cheap drinks, and regrettable bathrooms. Pretty much anyone can play here, and as any number of local micro-scenes… More >>
  • Best Underground Venue


    The upstart warehouse venue Goo is quickly becoming something of a Churchill's Junior, with a bustling near-daily schedule of music and art shows. The important distinction, though, is that this place is strictly DIY — no bar and earlier start times make it friendly to the underage crowd. Still, it's no kiddie playground; there are plenty of clued-in legals showing… More >>
  • Best Latin Club

    90 Degree - CLOSED

    Traditionally in Miami, all the top Latin clubs have resided somewhere in Little Havana, but this year there's a new sweet spot. Downtown's newly christened 90 Degree is now boldly bringing Latin vibes to the house-music-oriented club strip on NE 11th Street. Every Saturday night, the place's Sábados Elegantes party jams with the latest reggaeton, merengue, and old-school salsa. Even… More >>
  • Best Dance Club


    Before Set opened in 2007, ultra-lounges such as Mynt and Mokai were popping up everywhere, aiming to taking over the Beach's — and the Opium Group's — high-end clientele. So what did these mega-club wizards do? They created a monstrous lounge with minimal dance-floor space but plenty of couches for VIPs looking to consume copious amounts of liquor. It's a… More >>
  • Best Hotel Lounge

    Louis at the Gansevoort South - CLOSED

    As the Opium Group expanded to national locales in New York and Las Vegas, the last thing we expected was a new addition to its Miami Beach portfolio. But 2008 brought exactly that with the introduction of Louis at the Gansevoort South Hotel. And while most beach hotel lounges are slickly integrated into the lobby or pool, Louis takes guests… More >>
  • Best After-Hours Spot

    Random Wynwood warehouse

    We could have gone the obvious route and chosen a locale in the Park West district, but where's the fun in that? In fact, for years there has been an (often-illegal) after-hours scene happening right under the city's nose. Though the Wynwood Art District enjoys plenty of crowds during its Second Saturday gallery walk and Art Basel, 90 percent of… More >>
  • Best Weekly Party

    (((Shake))) at the Vagabond - CLOSED

    Hipsters love irony. But don't call the Sweat Records and ¿Que Pasa M.I.A.? crews responsible for this Thursday-night fiesta hipsters. That's totally not what they're trying to attract. They're more interested in spicing the event with scrumptiously dirty 305 flavor and enticing those who enjoy an anti-South Beach party. They do very uncool quince-themed nights featuing grilled pan con lechón.… More >>
  • Best VIP Room

    Skyboxes at LIV

    So you secured a smoking-hot date for the evening and you want to be like Bruce Wayne taking out a Russian ballerina. Flash your credit card at the nearest exotic car rental, select that gunmetal-gray Lambo, pick up your honey, and head to LIV at the Fontainebleau. Find the VIP host and request one of the six skyboxes suspended over… More >>
  • Best Nightclub to Die in the Past 12 Months

    Studio A

    M.I.A., Justice, Simian Mobile Disco, Girl Talk, Bonde Do Rolê, Chromeo, Moby, Cat Power, and many others graced its stage. It hosted a slew of infamous weekly parties, including Revolver, Plastik Fantastik, SceneWolf, and Misfit. It was the city's only rock 'n' roll nightclub and its only midsize venue. Nothing hurt us more than having to say bye to Studio… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

    Ladytron at Studio A (June 12, 2008)

    A few weeks before the demise of Studio A, British electroclash quartet Ladytron kicked off its North American tour in this downtown venue. News of Studio A's closing was already public knowledge, making the night bittersweet. Ladytron put on an unforgettable show to a packed space, complete with walls of pulsating lights that made almost everyone present want to prevent… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    Splitsville Luxury Lanes and Dinner Lounge

    There are two kinds of acceptable sports bars. One is the dive: a hardscrabble, hole-in-the-wall with cheap drinks, bad neon, and a decidedly partisan clientele; it's the kind of place where you'd be stupid to wear the visiting team's jersey. The other kind is the upscale sports bar, which, to qualify, must be truly upscale, and thus may not even… More >>
  • Best Gay Bar

    Club Azucar

    On the road to equality, it's important to stop at fabulous dance clubs. All of that droppin'-it-like-it's-hot can only be good for morale. And sure, the Beach is still the best place for stylish gay boys and their stylish gay martinis. But for a grittier, more authentically Miami experience, leave your fancy clothes behind (someone will spill on them) and… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/North

    Point Lounge and Package Store

    It's well documented that people from Milwaukee and other Midwestern locales enjoy an escape to Miami. Less known, though, is that Miamians sometimes want a taste of the laid-back, unpretentious, and inexpensive Milwaukee-esque lifestyle. But we don't really wanna, you know, buy a plane ticket. Thank God for the Point Lounge, which is the Midwest encapsulated into tavern form. The… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/West

    Hopping from the patio of Bahama Breeze to Gatsby's to Kendall Village Diner

    Kendallites love their chains. There are the figurative ones that seem to lock them to their red-tiled roofs and peach-colored walls. And they adore the literal ones as well — the Targets, Best Buys, Denny's, and... honestly, did Don Carter's and one of the last strawberry fields in the area really need to get demolished for another Staples and a… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/Central

    The News Lounge

    It seems like Mark Soyka's 55th Street Station can do no wrong when it comes to providing urban dwellers with a one-stop gastronomic oasis. Soyka and Andiamo! have long been local favorites, and now the News Lounge is quickly becoming a preferred watering hole. The 1-year-old spot offers indoor and outdoor ambiance complete with a saloon-style bar, comfy couches, and… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/South

    Little Hoolie's Sports Bar and Grill

    Aging cover band? Check. Blue-collar Betties dancing to "Hit Me with Your Best Shot?" Check. Dudes in Hawaiian shirts chugging Bud Light? Check, check. Said dudes in Hawaiian shirts hitting on blue-collar Betties? Check again. Spicy chicken wings on a table somewhere? Check. Sports game flickering on a flat-screen? Double-check. Two-for-one drink specials? Check, hiccup, check. Three-dollar margarita? Buuuurp, check.… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Bar/Miami Beach

    Bleau Bar

    In most parts of the world, the term neighborhood bar brings to mind those smoky holes-in-the-wall where you can comfortably wile away afternoons drinking with the regulars — a place where everybody knows your name. Well, this is Miami Beach, baby. And our neighborhood bar, like our hood itself, is ridiculously over-the-top, probably overpriced, yet worth every damn dollar. Bleau Bar… More >>
  • Best New Bar

    Bella Rose

    In the Boom Boom Room's former digs, with the help of Cocaine Cowboys producer Alfred Spellman and tastemaker Keith Paciello, a unique lounge has blossomed. What keeps this Rose from wilting are reasonable drink prices and no shortage of debauchery. Bella Rose welcomes everyone. There's no door drama. Yet it has attracted the likes of Calvin Klein, Josh Hartnett, Kirsten… More >>
  • Best Poolside Hotel Bar

    The Viceroy

    The Viceroy wants to make sure you never have a cocktail near or below sea level again. As part of the ten-acre Icon Brickell compound and one of the newest (and most fab) buildings to spring up on the Miami skyline, this place is chic defined. The 15th-floor pool deck is outfitted with a life-size chess game, scores of cabanas,… More >>
  • Best Dive Bar

    Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3559

    It's the kind of joint you'd see in Fight Club or a snuff film. It's hard to believe the place could actually exist. Smack in the middle of South Beach is a grimy, real-life dive bar you've never heard of. So you check it out. You head to the Floridian, a towering condo on West Avenue located a stone's throw from… More >>
  • Best Billiards

    Bird Bowl

    Have you ever had an old boyfriend for whom you always had a soft spot, despite the fact that he was, well, a little lacking in certain important places? Then a few years later, you run into him randomly, hit the sack for nostalgia's sake, and it's like, "Whoa! Where did that elephant's tail come from?" And it turns out… More >>
  • Best Drunk Bingo

    Bingo Night at the Standard

    This ain't your great-aunt's bingo night. Every Sunday, a mostly 20- to 30-something group of hipsters and other drunks packs into the comfortable Art Deco lobby of the Standard Hotel to dab with giant markers at paper game cards. The atmosphere gets a bit raucous, nudged on by the hilarious (and hot) female MC, who specializes in campy innuendo: combination… More >>
  • Best Place for Cocktails

    Sunset Lounge at Mondrian South Beach

    One of the perks of living in Miami is the opportunity to sip a cold, refreshing beverage while basking in the sun and enjoying spectacular water views. Luckily, the outdoor Sunset Lounge at hipster hotel the Mondrian makes good use of its waterfront locale to offer sweeping vistas of Biscayne Bay amid a daydreamy landscape outfitted by Dutch designer Marcel… More >>
  • Best Place to Taste Wine

    Cavas Wine Tasting Room - CLOSED

    Like a well-aged Brunello, Cavas Wine Tasting Room hits the (visual) palate with a complex burst of impressions. The décor lands first. Casual leather sofas rest near floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the masses wandering happily along Española Way. Chic, tall black tables with tiny candles fill the floor, and hundreds of wine bottles, attractively lit with soft bulbs, line… More >>
  • Best Happy Hour

    Fridays at Tobacco Road - CLOSED

    Ninety-six isn't necessarily a cool age. Your diaper has to be changed every few hours, walks through the mall are as tiring as watching young whippersnappers such as that bow-tied punk Larry King yammer on your talking picture box, and Metamucil comes in only so many flavors. But if you're a 96-year-old rock club that snagged the first liquor license… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary

    Clarke's - CLOSED

    With truly serious cases of Sunday sickness, there's absolutely no time for an experimental hangover cure. In these situations, the only acceptable remedy is a proven one: the ever-reliable bloody mary. And Clarke's serves the staple right. Their version includes pulpy tomato juice spiked with vodka and seasoned with celery salt, pepper, and fresh horseradish. It's all poured into a… More >>
  • Best Nightlife Trend

    Bringing a flask

    Perhaps you've noticed longer lines to the bathroom at your favorite bar. Or you've seen revelers sneakily turning their bodies into nightclub corners to hide some illicit activity. It's not Miami's newest white-powder renaissance (that we know of). In today's economy, it's hard out here for a pimp — or a ho or a bus driver or a laid-off journalist… More >>
  • Best Place to Smoke a Hookah

    D'vine Hookah Lounge

    "Is that a real freaking watermelon?" Get ready to answer this question from more than one tourist when you head for D'vine Hookah Lounge. At this Lincoln Road establishment, they don't mess around with conventional hookahs. Order the watermelon special for $35 and you'll get a hookah pipe rammed right down into half a fresh-cut melon, stuffed with premium watermelon-flavored… More >>
  • Best Bar Food

    Scully's Tavern

    Leave it to Guy Fieri — a cook who whips up dishes with names like "Tater Tot Halibut" prepared in a way that "would make your lunch lady proud" — to find escargots served in mushroom caps ($8.95) at a Kendall bar. This is precisely what he did in an episode of his Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,… More >>
  • Best Karaoke

    Out of the Blue Cafe - CLOSED

    All of those residents in the new downtown and midtown condos finally have a cool place to get happy. Every Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Out of the Blue Café, things get a little crazy with some great karaoke action courtesy of the most talented amateur singers in Miami. An excellent time to meet new people, karaoke… More >>
  • Best One-Nighter

    Lil Wayne's Birthday

    This is Weezy F-Baby, and in case you ain't heard, I am the greatest rapper alive, Man, even Michael Phelps can't get into my T-Mobile fab five, So he didn't get the text message invitation to my birthday soirée this past October 7, When I took over Mansion and turned it into Cash Money Millionaire heaven, Hooking up with models and sipping champagne bottles… More >>
  • Best Party to Disappear in the Past Year

    Money Shot

    It seems like all the best things in Miami crash and burn in a glorious spectacle. For example, Money Shot, which made its debut in late 2006 at the now-demolished Pawn Shop Lounge as a way to popularize indie hip-hop (or hipster-hop, to be exact). After a few months, it moved to Love Hate Lounge in Miami Beach. Then it… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    WDNA 88.9 FM

    When Clear Channel-owned 93.9 FM changed its format to a guilty pleasures station that unironically played Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," jazz on commercial radio in Miami became a thing of the past. But serious jazz lovers knew they still had WDNA-FM (88.9). While other noncommercial stations devote blocks to the genre, 88.9 is the only FM station… More >>
  • Best Recording Studio

    The Shack North

    Operating under a self-imposed mandate to foster the South Florida indie scene, this Hialeah recording/rehearsal studio is a creative crash pad paradise. The design ethic is post-ironic thrift hipster, mixing sombreros, Christmas lights, retro sofas, and lots of blond wood. Likewise, the gear list is eclectic and old-school: a 1965 Silvertone Twin 12 amp, a 1957 Harmony steel-string guitar, and… More >>
  • Best Record Label

    Financial Ruin Records

    Not long ago, South Florida had a relatively thriving community of small, independent labels, mostly run by kids who released singles and their friends' CDs out of their bedrooms. Some of these eventually grew (see: Fiddler Records), but most just fizzled out. For years, the true upstart indie label was a labor of love, centered around a core of musicians… More >>
  • Best Liquor-Fueled History

    Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba

    Living in Miami, it's all too easy to feel like you already know everything there is to know about Cuba. Why on Earth, you're already saying to yourself, would I read another sentence about the island's past? We'll tell you why: Because Tom Gjelten, a veteran NPR correspondent, decided to tell the history of Cuba through rum. Turns out it's… More >>