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  • Best Sneaker Store

    Project 51 Premium Goods Store

    Courtney Williams is rummaging through a bottom cabinet inside Project 51 in Coconut Grove. He pulls out an alien-looking boot in a moss green, violet purple, and night black color motif. The heavyset sneaker pimp proudly holds up a Nike Convoy Huarache basketball shoe, circa 1993. "I had a pair just like these when I was a kid," Williams explains.… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Gifts for Friends You Wish You Had

    Base

    Maybe you make this mistake. Every year during the holiday season, you shop for gifts for your friends and family at the places you like to shop, instead of the places they shop. We do this all the time, and usually we wind up at Base. The place is a one-stop shop for the hip-junkies of any type who need… More >>
  • Best High-End Clothing Boutique

    Adidas Y-3

    Face it. Not everyone is suffering from the effects of the economic downturn. For people looking to still spend cash indiscriminately on high-end clothing without looking like a complete jackass for dressing ostentatiously in these hard times, the Adidas Y-3 store in the Design District might be their best bet. Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto pairs up with the German sports… More >>
  • Best Men's Boutique

    U.D. Stylelab Miami - CLOSED

    OK, fellas, if you want to get into Louis or Mynt, both on Collins Avenue, pleated khakis and an Oxford are not gonna cut it. We suggest you jettison your faux pas style while cruising Biscayne Boulevard and pull into U.D. Stylelab Miami, the perfect one-stop boutique for banging jeans, T-shirts, hats, CDs, jewelry, toys, and gadgets. This place takes… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Diamond Ring

    Seybold Building

    So, after years of breaking up and then making up, you've decided she's the girl for you. Now you must find that sparkling diamond engagement ring that is gonna make her say, "Hell, yeah!" We suggest you take a trip to the Seybold Building in downtown Miami, where more than 280 jewelers are ready to help you make sure you… More >>
  • Best Jewelry Store

    Jackie Abraham & Co.

    The baubles at Jackie Abraham & Co. are wearable works of art. The diamonds scream for your attention, while the cool platinums dare you not to look. Face it — if you flip off someone while wearing a jewel-encrusted panther upon your middle finger, the recipient of your gesture will know you mean business. The same thing goes for a… More >>
  • Best Boutique Bar

    Shop Bar - CLOSED

    This past March, a few clothing racks popped up in place of the never-popular washing machines at the former Laundry Bar on North Lincoln Lane in South Beach. That's because the venue — which has been revamped and renamed Black Sheep Bar — is now more than just a place to down Coronas and meet boys dressed like girls. Inside,… More >>
  • Best Clothes You Can't Afford

    Marni

    Being broke has an upside: You generally pay less taxes, know about the coolest free stuff in the city, and have an excuse to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. Then there's the downside. Like, say, when you spot a gorgeous green jacket in the window of Marni, peek at the price, and realize it's worth more than your car. Still, fashionistas… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    Modani

    We thought Jane Jetson's interior design aesthetic was an unattainable vision of what the year 3000 would bring to our homes. The lines were both hard and soft, straight and curved — in other words, oh so unlike the tufted disasters sitting in our own living room. Ultimately, we didn't have to wait a thousand years to follow in Jane's… More >>
  • Best Powerboat Rental

    Club Nautico

    Miami has so many waterways that it would seem appropriate if residents got boats when they reach the legal driving age. But time, money, and an overall dislike of having to anchor your vessel might deter you from actually purchasing one. Luckily, Club Nautico has an entire fleet of powerboats and luxury yachts to rent for four or eight hours.… More >>
  • Best Scooter Rental

    Beach Scooters

    Many South Beach scooter rental joints are guilty of shilling the same Japanese-born vessels, which is an absolute shame, because when you're coasting down Ocean Drive with your hair blowing in the wind, you want to be in something exclusive. Beach Scooters gets it and has a fleet of 49cc and 250cc two-wheelers that will get you from point A… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Austin's Diving Center

    The last time Austin's Diving Center made the news was back in 2002, when the FBI issued an alert that terrorists were seeking "an offensive scuba diver capability." The FBI checked out more than 1,300 scuba shops across the nation, including Austin's, and pretty much came up with zilch. They're still looking for those weapons of mass destruction too. The thing… More >>
  • Best Junk Store

    Urban Garden/B West Studio

    You know that saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure"? Well, week-old milk and scratched James Bond DVDs sort of disprove that one. But over at Urban Garden, a charming, slightly kitschy art studio-meets-furniture shop on NE 79th Street, the ponytailed, Coral Gables-born artist in residence, William Valanilla and Peter Caruso, may as well have invented the idiom. He… More >>
  • Best Auto Mechanic

    Shorty & Fred's

    In that ironic way that makes perfect sense only to Miamians, one of the county's busiest independent garages is parked in the least car-friendly neighborhood outside of downtown. Shorty & Fred's has serviced the needs of Miami Beach's drivers since 1956, when the city had way fewer cars fighting for precious spots. Although Fred long ago sold out, and Shorty… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Bell's Bicycles

    Cycling enthusiasts come in many varieties. There are those who love the racetrack and those who prefer mountain trails. With so many biking alternatives around, there's bound to be some confusion when getting a new set of wheels. Thankfully, that's not the case at Bell's Bicycles, the place to go for all cycling categories. Whether you are just starting out… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Used Bike

    Cuba Bike Shop

    Never trust a bike shop owner who's got his Benz parked behind the store. As a matter of fact, steer clear of bike shops with bright fluorescents, shelves stuffed with rich-man's gadgets, and bikes that cost as much as a car. Cuba Bike Shop, ironically named because the owner is Colombian, keeps it simple. Picture a sunlit warehouse on Wynwood's… More >>
  • Best Piercing Shop

    The Industry

    Ancient peoples used piercing as a way to protect themselves from evil spirits, yet today we use it as a way to look more badass. There's something about a bar through the bridge of your nose that makes grandmas clutch their purses and bad-boy-lovin' beauties cream themselves. Since we were born with a set number of holes in our bodies,… More >>
  • Best Barbershop

    The Chop Shop

    When Amir Youseff and his brother Big Ed decided they were gonna open a barbershop in the 305 two years ago, the New Jersey natives banked on a name that would bring instant brand recognition. So they created the Chop Shop, a men's hair- and beard-trimming spot that incorporates the look and feel of an automobile body shop, where the… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Tykes for a Haircut

    Kids or Not

    If you've ever had to hold down a squirming, screaming child for a trim, Kids or Not is the place for you. The salon offers a fun environment for kids' haircuts: Children sit in toy racecars while kid-friendly stylists cut and style their hair. It also offers nail painting, hair accessories, and birthday parties in a "Princess" section of the… More >>
  • Best Salon for Curly Girls

    GBS Salon

    Once upon a time, there was a little princess born with a wild mess of thick, coily locks. As she grew up, all of the pretty, fair-haired maidens in the kingdom laughed and pointed at her. Some yelled, "Rat's nest!" and threw bottles of straightening gel at her head. Fearing she'd never find a prince, she spent hundreds of dollars… More >>
  • Best Eyebrow Wax

    Uni.K.Wax Center

    Ever since the ancient Egyptians discovered that a unibrow limited one's dates, both men and women have been torturing themselves to achieve smooth, hairless skin. With multiple locations across town, Uni.K.Wax has been keeping South Floridians baby-ass smooth the past 15 years by using their patented green herbal wax that makes the process pain-free. Even if you aspire to be… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Beach Body

    NOMI Pilates

    A few years ago, Pilates broke into the collective consciousness of fit Americans looking for the latest trend. However, the practice has been in use since World War I, when founder Joseph Pilates developed the techniques to help rehabilitate injured vets. We know, you don't give a damn about how it came about — results, results, results is what you… More >>
  • Best Spa

    Nouvelle Day Spa

    Sure, there are plenty of fancy-pants spas in town, but with the recession threatening to crater the world as we know it, we've got to keep our splurges within reason. And there's no better place for working girls looking to indulge in an orgy of hedonistic excess than this soothing health retreat. It's a full day's pampering fit for a… More >>
  • Best Laser Eye Center

    The Laser Center of Coral Gables

    Staffed by doctors Albert Aran and Adam Stelzer, two of Florida's finest eye surgeons, this über-friendly, state-of-the-art practice will tweak your peepers into 20/20 perfection in super-fast time. Thousands of their clients, who have ditched their contacts and eyeglasses to become free of their Mr. Magoo-like fumbling, swear by these guys. The procedure is quick, uncomplicated, and painless, and the… More >>
  • Best Wine Store

    Bin No. 18

    Overzealous lovers of vodkas and gins and cognacs are called alcoholics no matter which way you slice it, but wine lovers' affection for their potion is so severe they have their own cute little moniker: wino. These grape-loving creatures roam the Earth searching for a vine from the right place at the right time. They twirl wine glasses, looking at… More >>
  • Best Liquor Delivery

    M & B Liquors

    It's 2 p.m. on a Tuesday and you're craving something stronger than the 2 percent milk in your fridge. You tell yourself a bit of Belvedere would be nice, a shot of Scotch even more proper, and a jigger of Jäger would be right on time. The problem? You're home alone, in a full body cast, and controlling everything around… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Mr. Liquors

    This friendly Little Havana booze emporium is well stocked and open from 9 a.m. to midnight year-round. Locals often gather at the counter for a complimentary shot of the weekly "specials" and to help Guillermo, the owner, with his crossword and jigsaw puzzles while arguing for hours on end about Hugo Chávez and his new chum Obama.… More >>
  • Best Botanica

    Brave Guede Botanica

    Brave Guede has everything from voodoo dolls and the pins to prick them to herbal flu and impotence remedies, but the highlight of this mystical one-stop in the heart of Little Haiti is the vast behind-the-counter collection of oils. Tiny $5 vials of seemingly innocuous liquid are labeled "Quick Money" or "Destroy Everything," and resident priestess Marie warns that those… More >>
  • Best Plant Nursery

    Log Cabin Nursery

    There's no shortage of plant nurseries in our subtropical clime, but something besides its excellent selection and reasonable prices puts Miami Beach's Log Cabin Nursery at the top of its category. The pleasant one-block complex features an open-air garden ringing the center cabin. It's also a nonprofit organization that trains and employs the developmentally disabled. An on-site "coach" helps adults… More >>
  • Best Green Store

    Imagine Gifts

    Unlike skinny jeans and nerd glasses, going green is a trend everyone can rock. We don't need to mention that each ounce of environmentally friendly living is like giving Mother Earth a great big hug — but we do hear she likes hugs. A store that's participating in some major PDA and selling goods to help you do the same… More >>
  • Best Pawn Shop

    Cash Inn of 79th Street

    Peddle your late abuela's sterling flatware set or live by candlelight until the end of the month? To us, that decision is an easy one. With South Florida's economy about as vibrant as Kimbo Slice's fighting career, sentimentality has become an unaffordable luxury. Pawn shops are paying less for merchandise these days, but well-equipped ones such as the heavily bulletproofed… More >>
  • Best Gun Shop

    Sunshine Air Guns and Collectibles

    T.I. had to learn the hard way, but trust us when we tell you not to purchase your weaponry off the street. Sure, it'd be hard for a multiplatinum artist to fly under the radar when doing some illegal ish, but even Tom, Dick, and Harry can't be promised a smooth getaway. So where do you go to replenish your… More >>
  • Best Secondhand Store

    Give Good Works

    A brief dissertation on the ethics of consumerism during the current depression: Proposition #1: Reject high-volume manufacturing. An object's quality generally lies in inverse proportion to its availability. While this is not necessarily true of simple items (ketchup, pencils, lubricants), it becomes more and more true as the object's construction increases in difficulty (hamburgers, computers, battery-powered sex toys). Proposition #2:… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Opa-locka/Hialeah Flea Market

    This sprawling, 900-vendor emporium, easily spotted from the Gratigny Expressway for its industrial-yellow mosque-like domes, is a place where empires of dust, disarray, and copyright infringement are bought and sold for the price of a few wrinkled bills. Come with $40 and leave with an artificial-wood-and-leather steering wheel cover, an unlicensed Dwyane Wade jersey, a cockfighting hat, six tropical fish,… More >>
  • Best Place for DJs to Buy Vinyl

    Uncle Sam's Music

    The past decade has been nasty to brick-and-mortar record stores. Almost every week, there has been news of yet another great music shop closing up. That's why it's so refreshing to know Miami Beach's Uncle Sam's is still thriving. In business since 1984, the place remains the sweet spot for local and international DJs and music producers. The selection covers… More >>
  • Best Musical Instrument Store

    Sim Music

    Big-box music stores are all right, but sometimes it pays to venture into the unknown, and for musicians, the right place to set out to is North Miami's Sim Music. This neighborhood institution has three floors of new and used merchandise; from DJ equipment to amps and guitars, this place has the coolest selection of new gear. With a couple… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Books & Books

    For a town that has produced a substantial stable of top-shelf writers, it's surprising there are so few bookstores in the Magic City to pay them homage. There's a Barnes & Noble here and there, but as far as independent, funky, uniquely Miami booksellers, we have only a handful of options. That said, Books & Books does what any locally… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Free Wi-Fi

    The Bookstore in the Grove

    The time will come when charging for wi-fi will seem as ridiculous as charging for air, yet there are still many places that will take your Hamilton if you want to check your email or watch the latest YouTube video of a cat balancing a sardine can on its nose in a hot-air balloon. Because you can't wait till you… More >>
  • Best Foreign Video Rentals

    Lion Video Foreign Films

    Take one: A teenage boy pursues his masochistic piano teacher (The Piano Teacher). Take two: A dying Spanish fisherman fights to legalize euthanasia (The Sea Inside). Take three: A child sells himself on the streets of Brazil (Pixote). Doesn't sound like the plot of Hollywood's latest blockbuster? That's because they're all foreign-made films stocked at Lion Video, where 80,000 of… More >>
  • Best Bollywood Style

    Bhoom Shanti

    Miami's Indian population has slim pickings when it comes to restaurants and even slimmer pickings when it comes to authentic fashion and home décor. That's why Biscayne Boulevard's Bhoom Shanti is a mini-mecca for expats and India-philes — a riotous explosion of ornate fabrics, dazzling jewelry, and heavily carved furniture housed in the corner storefront of an otherwise vanilla mixed-commercial… More >>
  • Best Asian Market

    Japanese Market Inc.

    There's an old proverb that goes, "First the man takes a drink; then the drink takes the man." Whatever. At Japanese Market — a tiny stop-and-shop with a fresh, by-the-roll sushi counter — sometimes the drink is the whole point. With more than 50 brands of hot and cold sake ranging from $4 to $74 to choose from, you can… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Gourmet Goodies at 4 a.m.

    Compass Market

    Late-night food runs on South Beach usually mean pizza pies or greasy (yet delicious) tacos. Sure, it's fun to stumble out of the club and end up at 7-Eleven, stuffing footlong hot dogs down your gullet, but you could hit Compass Market for gourmet goodies that are worthy of A-list munchies moments. Got two gallons of tequila in your stomach?… More >>
  • Best Adult Video Stores

    Adult Supermarket and J&R Books & Video

    From the outside, these two establishments look like they'd have to be connected. Come on, who would put two porn shops directly next to each other? But look closer and you'll see there are actually a couple of inches of space where one wall stops and another begins. To your left, a sign heralds "Adult & Non-Adult Video," while the… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Sex Toys

    Playthings

    Unlike the adult outposts of old, Playthings isn't some sleazy shack marked with a big, red triple X. Located across the street from Bird Bowl, this locally owned sex shop blends seamlessly into the family-oriented strip mall. And once inside, you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself browsing $20 PVC underwear alongside a young mother and her screaming toddler. However,… More >>
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