Shopping & Services

  • Best Mall

    Village of Merrick Park

    In 2002, the Village of Merrick Park did what no other shopping mall seemed capable of doing. It broke the stronghold the Bal Harbour Shops had on luxury goods. If you wanted to drop outrageous amounts of money on ready-to-wear items from the world's top designers, you had to travel to the small town near the Broward County line, quite… More >>
  • Best Secondhand Store

    The Rabbit Hole

    When your party-animal level reaches such a high point that only an explosion of '80s sequins and shoulder pads can do it justice, or when your art-gallery day job requires you look like a '70s Lolita adorned in ruffles and soft chiffon, only one store can adequately quell your ravenous vintage appetite. Tiny, well-organized, adorned with a huge black-and-white print… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Fifteenth Street Books

    Given that most of the used bookstores left in Miami are in strip malls and half of their stock comprises multiple copies of the same wildly popular romance and teen novels, Fifteenth Street Books could easily be mistaken for a book museum. The store, which occupies the original site of Books & Books, is lined floor to ceiling with wooden… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Vinyl

    Goodwill Central Store

    Believe it or not, there's better treasure at your local Goodwill store than just macramé owls, velvet Elvises, secondhand underwear, busted-up ham radios, and cracked souvenir ashtrays from places you'll never visit. Of course, we're talking about highly collectible vinyl. Basically, as baby boomers age, enter nursing homes, and fall into open graves, they need to get rid of their… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Used Bike

    Tamiami Cyclery

    With gas prices this high, even the most motor-loving among us must be considering the benefits of switching, at least on occasion, to self-powered transportation. But maybe we're not ready to shell out top dollar for a new bicycle. If you're looking for a used bike or used parts, check out Tamiami Cyclery. The small strip-mall spot has been in… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    All 4 Cycling USA

    Not to sound like yuppies, but we feel like we're in danger of contracting tetanus whenever we enter most bicycle shops. We always have to climb around some ancient, broken-down tricycle — maybe right by the door is not the best place for that — to get to the oil-blackened bike dude. We're carrying our own bike, which has a… More >>
  • Best Gym

    YMCA Village of Allapattah Family Branch

    What Miami needs more of is a YMCA culture. We're not talking about men wearing construction-worker or police-officer or Indian-chief costumes while making letters with their arms. We're talking true YMCA culture, like those in cities such as Cleveland or Baltimore: blue-collar dudes and wealthy-commissioner types working out in the same gym and then sweating together in the steam room,… More >>
  • Best Fight Gym

    Thump Fight Gym

    Some people would argue that the best Jim is Jim Carrey. Or Jimmy Johnson. Maybe even Jiminy Cricket. But workout junkies in Kendall know the number one place to break a sweat is Thump Fight Gym, hidden in the lushly green Kings Creek Shopping Center. Since 1997, this seemingly rugged boxing gym — decked out with a ring, ample bags,… More >>
  • Best Self-Defense School

    Miami Lakes Krav Maga

    The musk inside the training room is overpowering. Dressed in black T-shirts and training pants, a couple dozen students simultaneously perform a series of devastating combinations of hooks, uppercuts, and roundhouse kicks aimed at imaginary opponents. Their instructor, Julio Castrillo, walks among his students, watching their form, making sure their fighting stance is perfect, their pivoting effortless, their follow-through ferocious.… More >>
  • Best Gun Shop

    Pantera Guns & Guitars

    "One sunny day, the God of Gun and the God of Rock had a drunken night of pleasure after too many shots at Mansion in South Beach. They named the result of their sacred, drunken union Pantera, and it was good." Maybe that's not exactly how Pantera Guns & Guitars came to be, but it might be close. This little… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Ninja Gear

    MAC Sports Supplies

    Being a ninja in Miami is hard. Not only is it really hot under that black uniform and mask, but there are hardly any tall buildings to scale. And even when you find one, everyone assumes you're another MMA fighter acting like an asshole. So where do you go when you're a master in the art of stealth and seeking… More >>
  • Best Musical Instrument Store

    Allegro Music Center

    Say the ghosts of Frédéric Chopin, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Antonio Vivaldi were all spending a weekend in Miami and performing a once-in-a-postlifetime concerto at the Arsht Center to benefit the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Where would they go to find sheet music and tune their instruments for the night? Probably the place that carries South Florida's largest collection of sheet… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Adventure Scuba Diving

    Ted Gawronski is a man of the sea. For years he raced powerboats up and down the East Coast. Then he settled in South Florida and now runs a place he calls "the only dive shop/dive charter facility on Miami Beach." The place has been around for 16 years and provides divers with two boats: the 36-foot Temptation and the… More >>
  • Best Plant Nursery

    Pine Island Nursery

    Can you name 32 varieties of avocado, 39 types of mango, and six different sapodillas? Heck, do you even know what a sapodilla is? The folks at Pine Island Nursery do, and after being in business for 35 years, they are not only knowledgeable enough to tell you all about each, but also savvy enough to send you home with… More >>
  • Best Scooter Rental

    Grow Verde

    Explore Miami on a Vespa. For $75, Grow Verde will deliver an Italian scooter anywhere in the city, let you keep the thing for six hours, and pick it up when you're all scootered out. The price includes gas and insurance. But the most unique thing about Grow Verde is its Vespa-sharing program. Are you a recent college grad who… More >>
  • Best Powerboat Rental

    Sunshine Boating Group

    Want to roll like a real Miamian, or at least the kind who pops up in hip-hop videos and furthers the stereotype of a glamorous party city? Then you need to be riding, not rolling, and it has to be on the water like in that "I'm on a Boat" SNL short. Sunshine Boating Group can make your delusions of… More >>
  • Best Private Beach Club

    Soho Beach House

    This private club, hotel, and spa is located on the historic site of the Sovereign Hotel, which was entirely redesigned and expanded to include a 16-story oceanfront tower. Soho Beach House includes 49 rooms, a screening snug, two pools, and a beach club, as well as an expansive Cowshed spa and a Cecconi's restaurant open to nonmembers. Since it opened… More >>
  • Best Limo Service

    Carefree Lifestyle

    Miami is all about appearances. So when faced with the decision to (A) drive your 1989 Volvo to the club, (B) hail a taxi, or (C) rent a fully loaded stretch Escalade, you probably pick the last. That's because getting into a South Beach club is hard enough without the right connections, but pulling up to the joint in a… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Knickknacks for Your Cuban Grandma

    China Cabinet

    It can be tough shopping for abuela. You want to give her a superuseful blender or a collector's-edition box set of ¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?, but you know that, at the end of the day, she'll most appreciate a pastel figurine of a pigtailed girl under a parasol walking a poodle. So quit trolling the DVD section of El Dollarazo like… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Home Décor

    Victoria's Armoire Showroom

    Sure, Victoria's Armoire on Ponce is nice, but insiders know to walk straight past, across the alley, and through the doors of an unmarked entrance for more interior and outdoor pieces, especially because this location has an adjoining sale room. This monster showroom holds about ten times the amount of merch as the main space, plus there's a discounted area… More >>
  • Best Furniture Store

    CB2

    In a city where your furniture options amount to superpricey Design District showrooms, unimaginative pieces at City Furniture or El Dorado, or cheap, user-assembled items from Ikea, CB2 is a godsend. The store is basically a younger, hipper version of Crate & Barrel geared toward 20- and 30-somethings without the funds but with the desire to decorate their dwellings in… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Used Furniture

    Bargain Barn Thrift Store

    Do you know how expensive it is to furnish a house or apartment? First you get that nice couch from West Elm, then you add the dining set from CB2. Sure, maybe you settle for the build-it-yourself dresser from Ikea, but you just can't say no to that amazing desk from Luminaire. At the end of the designing day, you're… More >>
  • Best Auto Mechanic

    Plaza Tire & Auto Center

    Maybe you're tired of going to Hialeah every time your car breaks down. Sure, your guy there is dirt-cheap, but every drive ends up in frustration and wasted time. Your GPS can't even find its way around Hialeah. And then there's the unnecessary trip to Flamingo Plaza. Stop buying pantsuits you'll never wear, and stay central. The guys at Plaza… More >>
  • Best Clothing Boutique

    Kiliwatch Miami - CLOSED

    A little more than a year ago, siblings Alban and Paloma de Mazieres opened Kiliwatch Miami, a boutique in the heart of Miami's Design District. The store faces stiff competition from more recognizable names located just around the corner, but where Alban and Paloma excel is in the careful curation of items selected for sale. And while clothes are the… More >>
  • Best Etsy Store

    James Anthony

    Designer James Anthony must have a lot of nightmares. At least we would after combing through countless creepy, antique medical books and science journals. But for Anthony, who cites as inspirations photography pioneer William Fox Talbot and the sideshow-style photography of Joel-Peter Witkin, these vintage, macabre images are his muses. And it's not just his predilection for the Victorian Gothic… More >>
  • Best Designer of Retro Threads

    Diane Brache

    Three reasons to wear retro threads: (1) The crap you buy at Gap and Target falls apart in three weeks. (2) Today's dresses and tunics are designed for those who have never eaten a sandwich or endured puberty. (3) Almost everything nowadays is made out of cotton jersey, making your lady lumps look like smuggled ham hocks and cottage cheese.… More >>
  • Best Vintage Lingerie Shop

    L.A. Boudoir

    Cross the threshold of this retro temple of drool-inducing, naughty lace and silk confections and you'll feel as if you're intruding on the sumptuous dressing room of Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, or any other Tinseltown bombshell of yesteryear we all fantasize about. Inside you'll discover hard-to-find marabou-covered slippers or peep-toe stilettos to go along with frilly panties, curve-cinching corsets, sheer… More >>
  • Best Men's Underwear Boutique

    Creative Male

    Red thong and blue thong and orange thong and green thong. If you're looking for such there's only one place you belong. Neon-print Speedos and a gold-embossed jock strap. You won't find any such things at the mall's Gap. Enter the doors of midtown's Creative Male store. Its quirky selection certainly won't bore. Why you need such things isn't our… More >>
  • Best Sneaker Store

    CJ Urban Wear

    Looking to cop a pair of those electric-blue-and-yellow "Entourage" LeBron 8 Nike kicks? Or maybe you've been saving to get your hands on those "Cool Grey" Air Jordan 11s? You could log on to eBay to find a rare pair of sneaks, or you could take a day trip to downtown Miami, where CJ Urban Wear serves up an exclusive… More >>
  • Best Jewelry Designer

    Mixon by Anna Mixon

    A model turned designer isn't exactly a new phenomenon. But when 21-year-old Anna Mixon started designing jewelry as a way to remain fashionable while earning a beginner model's wage, the hobby seemed unlikely to turn into a business. However, after Paramore frontwoman Haley Williams wore one of Mixon's pieces to the MTV Video Music Awards, the hand-crafted jewelry — Mixon… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Pierced

    Tattoo & Co.

    They might as well call it Tattoo & Co. Body Art Gallery, because the professionals at this Westchester shop have mastered the crafts of tattooing and body piercing like it's nobody's business. They've been around since 2003, proudly (and safely) piercing Miami's counterculture one hole at a time. From Prince Alberts and hoods to nipples, nostrils, and navels, Tattoo &… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Shop

    Green Machine Tattoos

    Like a glowing brick of kryptonite, the shop's slime-green paint job dominates the Bird Road landscape. And the work produced inside is unique as well. That's because artist/owner James Rossi and his staff are committed to drawing your idea instead of depending on the generic flash work that covers the walls of most tattoo shops. Rossi is a classically trained… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Tattoo by an Artiste

    Eazy Street Gallery - CLOSED

    [Redacted] — one of Miami's most notorious graffiti artists, hounded by police investigators for two decades — is known to ink here, and his work on skin is as clean, vibrant, and creative as the rich "vandalism" he leaves on highway signs and abandoned buildings throughout three counties. The gallery where he works, which holds graffiti and photography exhibitions in… More >>
  • Best Botanica

    Botanica Yemaya & Chango

    Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, a young boy in a Pokemon T-shirt astounded those who came to have their fortunes told with his soothsaying abilities. The boy is all grown up now, and they still come from all over the city to have their futures divined in the seashells he tosses in the back storage room. But… More >>
  • Best Nail Salon

    NailBar & Beauty Lounge

    In a city where looking good is the norm and staying connected a necessity, the least a girl can do is keep her nails nicely done while multitasking. At NailBar & Beauty Lounge — a loft-like, minimalist space with comfy white pedicure chairs, iPod docks, and back massagers — a girl doesn't have to disconnect. While a nail technician trims… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Nails Shellacked

    DK Nails

    We know you sometimes have issues with those Asian nail salons, but this one is worth visiting if you're in the market for a good shellacking. No, that's not a nickname for some kind of Middle Eastern torture. Sheesh. It's a type of polish and treatment that makes manicures last about two weeks without a chip. DK is the number… More >>
  • Best Hairstylist

    Nicole "Nikki" Gravitt

    Editor's note: A previous version of this item used phrases from a Yelp.com review. The item has been rewritten to remove the wording. Nicole "Nikki" Gravitt wields her scissors and blow dryer like a pixie spreading magic dust with her wand through an enchanted realm. The petite, ginger-haired Tampa native is one of Miami's most sought-out hairstylists. She can credit her… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Makeover

    Terribly Girly

    OK, fine. Hello Kitty, appletinis, maxi pads, Lifetime movies, and wallpapering your home in Cathy comic strips are all things that are gag-worthy femme. But what if a gal wants to knock it down a notch and just be terribly girly? Well, Wynwood's Terribly Girly, a funky little photography studio that looks like a colorful mess of cool-chick chic, will… More >>
  • Best Boob Doctor

    Lenny Roudner

    Lenny Roudner deserves to have an image of his face next to the word precision in the dictionary. The Aussie doctor has performed more than 13,000 breast augmentations. No wonder he's been dubbed "Dr. Boobner." He has enhanced the racks of celebrities, centerfolds, socialites, and porn stars from Coral Gables to the Far East. He is the master who innovated… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Sex Toys

    Ricky's NYC

    What's better than a shop where you can buy purple wigs and feathered fake eyelashes? Well, a shop where you can buy purple wigs, feathered fake eyelashes, and anal beads, of course! Ricky's NYC stocks lots of hard-to-find hair products, novelty items, and cosmetics on its main floor. You can bring your grandmother and let her get lost in the… More >>
  • Best Spa Treatment

    Willow Stream at Fairmont Turnberry Isle

    Imagine our surprise when we discovered our "ultimate facial" began at our feet. Oh, yeah. We were escorted out to a sun-soaked balcony, treated to a cup of tea, and asked to plant our tootsies in a warm tub where — get this — the therapist got down on her knees and scrubbed us toe-to-knee and then rinsed our legs… More >>
  • Best Eyebrow Threading

    Blush Nail Lounge & Boutique

    The act of eyebrow threading is an odd and ancient one. First you choose the color thread — gold, magenta, white (Vogue claims fluorescent green and nude are all the rage this season) — and hand it to your threading technician, who, while you were making your color selection, was purifying a large needle for this holy act by chanting… More >>
  • Best Hair Salon

    Control Salon - CLOSED

    That ruffled, I'm-too-busy-creating-art-to-care-about-my-hair look is harder to maintain than you think. And that bleached-out, blunt-edge cut that peeks out from a wide-brimmed fedora takes more than one drunken night ending with broken scissors, empty Clorox bottles, and a hairy bathroom floor. A more likely explanation for such a do is the small, spartan shop tucked between a graffiti mural and… More >>
  • Best Barber

    Hugo Tandron

    You work for a global mail-carrying corporation, which means you wear brown short-shorts eight hours a day, you earn just below the national average income, and you didn't get a Christmas bonus last year. Don't ask how we know — that's not the point. This is: Despite the pedestrian nature of your life, you can still get your hair cut… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Tropicana Flea Market

    Every great flea market should have the following three things: incredibly low-priced produce, quirky vintage knickknacks, and delicious Colombian hot dogs. Tropicana Flea Market delivers on all fronts. Open Friday through Sunday from 7 to 7, el pulgero on NW 36th Street is an indoor/outdoor bazaar with more than 200 booths selling everything from $1 lettuce heads to discounted 600-thread-count… More >>
  • Best Dog Boarding

    Rio Pet Grooming

    There's nothing sleazier than a crappy dog-boarding place. You walk in and you're hit with the overwhelming twin scents of canine halitosis and petrified feces. All the dogs are behind bars and loudly acting crazed, like cast members in some Milo & Otis version of Oz. By the same token, screw the dog B&Bs — those ridiculous chateaus where the… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Free Wi-Fi

    City of Miami Beach

    Since launching in 2009, Miami Beach's free public Wi-Fi has taken some heat. Perhaps expectations were too high. The service was never meant to replace reliable home Internet service for every Beach resident, but when you're in a pinch and need to check your email on your laptop or download a new book on your Kindle, it does its duty.… More >>
  • Best Newsstand

    Mindy's News & Gift Shop

    Those of us who love the printed word are under attack. Tech companies come out with new and improved e-readers and tablets every month, while the magazine rack seems to shrink at the market, and even big-box bookstores are beginning to disappear. Getting our hands on those sweet, glossy pages has become more difficult than ever. Luckily, a few old-fashioned… More >>
  • Best Wine Store

    Wine Depot & Bistro 555

    More than 400 bottles of wine line the aisles and back walls of Philippe Buchbinder and Jean-Luc Oizan Chapon's Miami Beach wine warehouse. The industrial-like space has a pleasant ambiance and houses not only a wine store but also a wine bar and bistro, making it a cool spot to either pick up a bottle to go or enjoy it… More >>
  • Best Reason to Get a Beer Belly

    Yo Beer Guys

    Who wants to walk or drive all the way to some beer store to get an enormous quantity of beer? Ugh, barf. Clearly, the way a true luminary — we're thinking William "Refrigerator" Perry — would get beer for his beer party is by calling up the beer guy on his (beer?) phone and ordering it like some General Tso's… More >>
  • Best Drugstore

    Jorge's Pharmacy

    For Cubans, actually most Latinos, Jorge's Pharmacy is a place where you can buy those otherwise hard-to-find items: Maja-brand soaps and face powder, Fitina tablets (think Hispanic Focus Factor), a Mirta de Perales hair brush, and El Bebé champú. For non-Latinos, Jorge's is a throwback to B.C. (before CVS) — a time when you knew the name of the person… More >>
  • Best Pawnshop

    Don Z Cash Pawnbroker

    The pawnshop is the most maligned of all shopping institutions. It's the place where dreams (in the form of wedding bands) go to die and where lifelong cherished relics are traded for sweaty balls of cash that fund everything from next month's rent to this week's bail. But every so often, a shop like Don Z comes along that feels… More >>

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