Shopping & Services

  • Best Botanica

    Botanica Yoruba

    A freak five-minute tropical storm tore through your back yard in Hialeah, knocking over your wood fence like Matt Mitrione pummeling Kimbo Slice. You had left your dogs on the patio, so they got swept away in the deluge and drowned in a nearby canal. Pieces of Spanish tile zoomed off of your roof and crashed into the windshield of… More >>
  • Best Outdoors Store

    Jet's Florida Outdoors - CLOSED

    You're a wannabe South Florida survivalist, so naturally you've made sure the family bomb shelter is sufficiently stocked with bottled water, canned goods, AA batteries, and other basic hurricane supplies. But honestly, that's not good enough. With the apocalypse almost upon us — Hello, 2012! — it's high time you began stockpiling nonstandard stuff such as double-strength nylon rope, fighting… More >>
  • Best Way to Get Filthy Clean

    Beer Soap Company

    Napoleon Bonaparte allegedly wrote his mistress to arrange a love tryst, saying, "I'm coming home — please don't wash." The magic word behind lust is pheromones, those elusive, odorless chemicals given off in response to sexual stimulation or even romantic fantasy. And while your partner might insist you stay ripe, 99 percent of the population would like you to scrub… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Taschen America

    "What is the use of a book without pictures or conversation?" If you agree with Alice, your Wonderland is waiting on Lincoln Road in South Beach at precisely 1111, a number some believe is a passageway to another reality. If there are few volumes in this clean, well-lighted place, most of the tomes seem larger than life, making you feel… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Dunbar Old Books

    It's becoming increasing difficult to find a good used bookstore. The only secondhand shops staying alive seem to be next to fast-food joints in minimalls and trade in cheap romance novels. So you have to try extra-hard to find an old-fashioned store with curious out-of-print volumes lining tall shelves, spilling onto the floor, and hiding in nooks and crannies. In… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language Bookstore

    Revistas y Periódicos

    It's no secret that Miami is a pretty Cuban-centric town. So it's refreshing to find a Spanish-language bookstore with entire shelves dedicated to literature and politics from Colombia and Spain (though there are two shelves filled with books by Cuban writers). Named Revistas y Periódicos for its vast selection of newspapers and magazines from across the Spanish-speaking world, the shop… More >>
  • Best Stationery Store

    The Scarlet Letter

    Dear John: If you're reading this note, you've already realized I've packed up my Twilight poster collection and left. Dr. Feinberg was right. You'll never change. You almost seem proud of the fact that you're the youngest person to be diagnosed with senile squalor syndrome. But I know it's all a big scam just to get on Hoarders. Here's a… More >>
  • Best Musical Instrument Store

    South Beach Music Exchange

    At 2 a.m., Purdy Lounge expels you from its grimy innards, three shots of tequila and a PBR later. The Venetian Causeway spins across the glimmering water as you stumble outside. The night is young! But for what? You're not hungry. And, you're not ashamed to admit, it's a Tuesday. Mirage-like, the soft glow of burnished wood catches your eye… More >>
  • Best One-Stop Art Depot

    Jerry's Artarama

    It's impossible to imagine now, given the range of designer colors one can buy, that in the early 17th Century, that artists such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Velazquez didn't have an affordable or stable blue to use. Ultramarine, which is extracted from lapis lazuli, was more expensive than vermilion or even gold. Artists had to cough up a princely sum… More >>
  • Best Plant Nursery

    Richard Lyons Nursery

    Ten acres of rare tropical plants? Check. Shrubbery that looks like artwork? Check. Butterflies and hummingbirds? Check, check. Big, gorgeous orchids? Check again. The smell of fruit in the air? Check, drool, check. In a hidden South Dade nook? Check (your directions). About 115 types of bamboo? Check... that out. A bunch of feisty nursery cats? Check yourself. Jade vine,… More >>
  • Best Place to Shop Like There's No Recession

    The Webster

    In the past few years, designer Christophe Decarnin has revitalized French fashion house Balmain by introducing exaggerated, almost Klaus Nomi-esque shoulders into many of his frocks. Recession be damned — fashionistas have been spending big dough on Balmain. In fact, a gray cotton sweatshirt that would otherwise be unremarkable save for the angry shoulders and deliberate deconstruction will cost you… More >>
  • Best Dress Shop

    Angel's Vintage Boutique

    You know that girl at prom who had balls? The one who had the cojones to wear something different? Something that wasn't, oh say, purchased at a suburban shopping mall? Something that was even — gasp! — secondhand. Well, pretend she grew up. Then pretend she opened her own clothing store in Buena Vista. That's what stepping into Angel's Vintage… More >>
  • Best Fashion Designer

    Karelle Levy - CLOSED

    Whether it's reinventing knitwear by turning it into swimwear or working with other local artists such as the TM Sisters for last year's performance-art piece "Whirl Crash Go!," Parisian-born, Miami-raised designer Karelle Levy has become the city's quintessential designer using the least Miami-friendly fabric. And it's not only the Magic City giving her props. She has won the 2008 national… More >>
  • Best Local Etsy Seller

    Recessionista

    The problem with hipsters: They love looking cool in their flashy-trashy '80s costumes, but they're way too lazy to go digging through the Salvation Army's stanky racks for themselves. Thankfully, there are go-getters like Miami's own Recessionista (AKA Christine Bourie), who actually enjoys the dirty work. A 23-year-old peroxide-blond pixie with a flawlessly ironic eye for kitschy vintage fashion, Christine… More >>
  • Best Secondhand Store

    Las Tias

    One could easily lose whole days rummaging through the dusty bins of secondhand stores and go home with only a torn ostrich-leather purse that smells of Brussels sprouts. Sure, the thrill of the hunt is part of the fun. But imagine a room packed with only the "Eureka!" finds of thrift-store shopping. Las Tias, a reasonably priced upscale resale store… More >>
  • Best Place to Donate Your Clothes

    Out of the Closet Thrift Store

    Sometimes we need a reminder that HIV/AIDS is not just a problem that plagues Africa and other far-off locations. In fact, according to the Miami-Dade Health Department's March 2010 statistics, there are 13,491 people in the community living with AIDS and another 11,542 living with HIV. And those are only the reported cases. A recent report from the Florida Department… More >>
  • Best Pawnshop

    Daddy's Cash, Inc.

    When reckless yuppie schemes and manic social ambitions have reaped nothing but divorce, major debt, and serious self-loathing, it's time to go rogue. So, shred your credit cards. Grow a beard. Stop taking showers. Burn your bed. Leave cryptic goodbye voicemail messages for everyone you know. Drop a bogus blood trail. Then stuff all of your remaining valuables into a… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Redland Market Village: Bargain Town

    If all you want are some faux Rolexes and blingy cell phone accessories, you can stop reading now and set out for the Swap Shop. For a flea market where you can lose a whole day just looking around, check out the Redland Market Village in Homestead. Here you'll not only find staple deals such as five deodorants for $4,… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    OJ Liquors

    Whether you're a lush, a boozehound, a college kid mounting the next barnburner, or just an average Joe picking up the occasional liquid entertainment, where you get your hooch is one of those things that inspires loyalty. A good liquor store should be like a longtime friend, attentive and always there for you. OJ Liquors off Galloway Road on Coral… More >>
  • Best Wine Store

    Sunset Corners Fine Wine & Spirits

    At Sunset Corners Fine Wine & Spirits, it doesn't really matter if your wine IQ is zero. You'll feel comfortable at the down-to-earth establishment, which has operated on Sunset Drive since 1954. The friendly staff, including owners Michael Bittel and Larry Solomon plus wine and cheese buyer Jamie Futscher, will guide you through their impressive selection of wines, priced as… More >>
  • Best Cigar Shop

    Sosa Family Cigars

    As Freud once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." But he might have added, "A cigar shop should not be just a cigar shop." Sosa Family Cigars provides just the right backdrop of sights, sounds, and smells for a real-life mise en scène that encapsulates the essence of Little Havana. And you don't have to brave damp, blistering… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Free Wi-Fi

    Metromover

    It's not often you'll catch this publication praising local municipal works. Miami-Dade's public transportation system, for example, makes Havana's '50s-era buses look like Japanese light rail. And earlier this year, New Times lambasted Miami Beach for spending $5 million on citywide free Wi-Fi that didn't work. But to give credit where it's due, we'll be the first to admit the… More >>
  • Best Gym

    David Barton Gym

    There's no denying looks matter in South Beach. But we think that applies more to the interior design of establishments than people. For instance, a restaurant could serve the most brilliant cuisine on the Beach, but if it's done in a white-walled room with folding chairs, that restaurant won't succeed. A hotel might be known for hideous service, but if… More >>
  • Best Gym Alternative

    Pole Dance Miami

    Let's get this straight. Pole Dance Miami is not a stripper school — perhaps to the disappointment of the patrons of the barbershop a couple of doors down in this nondescript Miami Lakes strip mall. Still, it takes its pole art seriously. While most dance studios throw in the occasional novelty class for giggling housewives, Pole Dance Miami is all… More >>
  • Best Rock Climbing Gym

    X-treme Rock Climbing

    Rock climbers from Miami are a lot like surfers from Omaha: shit out of luck. Northern getaways are one thing, but in a city with topography that looks more like a potato latke than a food pyramid, you also need a good gym. Thank God for places like X-treme Rock Climbing, a 14,000-square-foot warehouse with the tallest walls in Miami-Dade.… More >>
  • Best Sneaker Store

    Air Traffic Control

    Staying fly means knowing where to find a pair of dope kicks. Check in with the flight navigators at Air Traffic Control, where you're sure to walk out with sneakers that will allow you to move up the hipsterati social ladder. From iridescent Nike Dunks to patent-leather fluorescent Bathing Apes, ATC stocks designer sneaks for every baller. And you better… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Flying Lessons

    Miami Fly

    You will sweat profusely. You will regret never having made a will. And you might very well barf. But once you're back on the ground, you'll hanker to get up in the air again. To actually fly a small plane bears no relation to the experience of sitting on a commercial airliner. You finally begin to fathom: I'm doing something… More >>
  • Best Puppy Boutique

    Forever Teacup

    Warning: The New Times cute-o-meter just edged into a measurement range never before seen in the history of cute on planet Earth. Right now, somewhere near Coral Gables, there's a miniature dog teeny enough to take a bath in your Earl Grey, and it's been all dolled up like a little canine Oliver Twist, and it's sitting very, very patiently… More >>
  • Best Dog Grooming

    4 Paws Only

    Your dog needs a bath. No, we're not speaking generally to our entire readership; we're talking to you. Your dog smells like a rotting horse carcass. Your dog smells like the entire homeless population of Overtown emptied its bellybutton lint into a jar and allowed it to ferment. Simply put, your dog smells like the Metromover. But all hope is… More >>
  • Best Barbershop

    Carr's of South Beach

    Just admit it: In terms of brutal regular chores, getting a haircut ranks somewhere between bathing your girlfriend's nearly rabid poodle and using that toothpick-looking thing on your clippers to clean out the months-old dirt rotting under your big toenail. There's the half-hour wait under fluorescent lights, reading vintage 1997 issues of People with Fran Drescher on the cover; there's… More >>
  • Best Hair Colorist

    Diana Paternina

    Face it. You've been preparing for that milestone birthday by training for an Ironman Triathlon the past six months, but the new Lolita in your life remains unimpressed. Instead she has scrounged up some Viagra for the big occasion and made an appointment for you to visit her hair colorist, who she swears will knock off a decade from that… More >>
  • Best One-Stop Beauty Shop

    RikRak

    It's Friday after work and you've been so busy you failed to shop for "that dress" for "that special occasion." You have also failed to retouch your highlights, wax your eyebrows, and get your nails done. These epic failures have you scrambling last minute and so stressed out your nerves are begging for a drink. Ladies, this is your savior:… More >>
  • Best Gun Shop

    Lou's Police Supply

    A gun shop is just like a hair salon. Customers will always ask for the model they've just seen on their favorite celebrity. At Lou's Police Supply, they'll want the James Bond (a Heckler & Koch .45: $1,539) or the Jason Bourne (a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol: $759), and the armory is likely to have not just a couple lying… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Tattoo

    Tattoo Image

    When Ralph Chaviano was a little kid, his father would bring home reams of copy machine paper from the office. Pops would go down to the basement of their Brooklyn brownstone and place the packaged stacks in neat piles on the concrete floor. Whenever Chaviano completed a chore or brought home good grades, his dad would hand him a ream… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Tattoo by an Artiste

    Hell Bound City Tattoo

    Life moves fast in the concrete subtropics, every scar tells a story, and time flies on bat wings. There aren't many things you can buy that will be with you the rest of your life, so when you get tattooed, don't trust just anyone with a sharpened guitar string, cassette motor, and a bottle of India ink. For professional work,… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Piercing

    Luiz Segatto Tattoo

    So you want to stick it to your parents, society, the boss man, and just good taste in general. And you want to do it by, well, getting stuck. There are two keys to consider when you're thinking of letting a stranger slide a spike through your flesh: cleanliness and price. If that's your checklist, you should look no further… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Hat

    Hats & Hats

    Picking a fine chapeau to cover your dome can say a lot about your personality. A porkpie identifies you as the classic man-about-town who knows where to find the secluded watering holes in which jazz, blues, and ska sing from a vintage jukebox. A trilby, with its deeply indented crown and flexible brim, will give you that mysterious yet dashing… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Mack Cycle and Fitness

    If you like to bike in Miami, you know Mack. It's been here for a half-century. You might well know Manny, the mechanic who has done repairs for the past 38 years. Heck, you even might have perused the great clearance deals online for last year's bikes or dreamed about that 15-pound, $12,000 Pinarello the store carries. The best thing… More >>
  • Best Skate Shop

    SOFLO Skate & Bike Shop

    SOFLO is a killer skate shop, but it isn't just a killer skate shop. It's a bike repair place, community clubhouse, and barbecue spot too. Pick any random day, grab a few tallboys from Kwik Stop Mart down the street, and then roll up on your fixed-gear cruiser with a Baker board and hibachi strapped to your back. Without fail,… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Used Bike

    Federal Bike Depot

    Watch out for bicycle salesmen who wear ties. Or, really, anything besides a pair of beat-up jeans. Those clean-cut dudes will assume you can afford to peddle something that costs more than open-heart surgery. And they are as much fun to haggle with as a pot of boiled cabbage. To escape that snooty, yuppied-out bike scene, check out Federal Bike… More >>
  • Best Scooter Rental

    Roam Rides

    There is no better way to traverse South Beach than by scooter. All of the annoying aspects of the neighborhood — the traffic, the parking — melt away, replaced by a little buzzing motor and the whoosh of wind in your face. That said, renting a scooter on South Beach has always been a bit of an annoyance too, if… More >>
  • Best Exotic Car Rental

    American Luxury Auto Rental

    In Miami — a freeway city where flash is all that matters — your car is everything. Drive up to a club in a vehicle that costs more than the average two-family house and you'll be shocked at how deferential everybody becomes, from the valet kid to the bouncer to the vampire at the bar with fake boobs and money-symbol… More >>
  • Best Powerboat Rental

    American WaterSports

    So you want to impress your friends back in Cleveland by showing them you roll like T-Pain and bang mermaids. Well, the only way to bag half-human/half-fish babes is to bounce in a sea vessel with some serious horsepower. Whether you need an eight-passenger 20-footer for cruising Biscayne Bay, want to take an excursion to Key West in a 37-foot… More >>
  • Best Store for Boat Owners

    El Capitan Marine & Fishing Center

    We're not sure when it happened. Boating used to be the domain of hardscrabble scallywags, weird dudes with chum stuck in their beards who might have sex with a manatee if they've been at sea too long. Now it seems like country club yuppies have yanked the wooden steering wheel away. All you see are these smug yachtsman wearing loafers… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Aquaknots Dive Center

    Like dropping acid or flying to the moon, scuba diving is one way to leave the planet — or at least feel like you have. Humans, somehow, have learned how to temporarily become sea creatures, which seems like an exquisite prank on Mother Earth. To make sure the joke's not on you, the right equipment is crucial. That's why Aquaknots,… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Sunken Treasure

    Stone Age Antiques

    Not too long ago, when we were hanging out at Alabama Jack's, a salty dog with pink melanoma on his nose leaned over and asked, "Mate, have you done the Spiegel?" He wasn't talking about the women's clothing catalogue but the U.S. Navy landing ship submerged off Key Largo as an artificial reef. Other barflies at Jack's had bragged about… More >>
  • Best Auto Mechanic

    Leader Service

    Angel Sosa Sr. opened Leader Service in 1977 on a high-traffic vehicular artery through the city of Miami. More cars drive past it every day than there are liars in the auto-repair industry, and that's a lot. Today, the shop is busy as ever thanks to a solid reputation for honesty, quality repairs, and commitment to excellence. Look for the… More >>
  • Best Hubcaps for Your Hooptie

    Ramirez Tires

    Want your hooptie to look a little less crappy? Start by making sure you have four matching hubcaps. Ramirez Tires has an entire lot packed with thousands of hubcaps/wheels/rims/dubs, most of them priced for the extreme budget shopper. For some reason, the grimy employees seem to regard all customers with unveiled animosity, you'll do a lot of pointing if you… More >>
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