There is more to the gay party scene in South Florida than the white-centric, steroid-drenched circuit party. Trance music, electronic diva music, and drum and bass get as monotonous and obnoxious as the middle-age muscle clones who haunt the clubs looking to score a gram of Tina. Club Boi, located in the heart of black Miami, just above a ramshackle female strip club, offers a refreshing, if not grittier alternative. Here the bruthas and those who love them party all night on Fridays and Saturdays to the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, house, reggae, and old school. The macho rapper posturing is charming during hip-hop nights and the old-school/house music crowd on Saturdays is among the rockingest parties in town.

Readers Choice: Twist

There is more to the gay party scene in South Florida than the white-centric, steroid-drenched circuit party. Trance music, electronic diva music, and drum and bass get as monotonous and obnoxious as the middle-age muscle clones who haunt the clubs looking to score a gram of Tina. Club Boi, located in the heart of black Miami, just above a ramshackle female strip club, offers a refreshing, if not grittier alternative. Here the bruthas and those who love them party all night on Fridays and Saturdays to the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, house, reggae, and old school. The macho rapper posturing is charming during hip-hop nights and the old-school/house music crowd on Saturdays is among the rockingest parties in town.

Readers Choice: Twist

Tough times in Haiti seem to have spilled into Miami. After the closing of Planet Kreyol in Miami Shores, there are no more exclusively Haitian clubs. What's more, at least one of the places that used to regularly host Haitian music (last year's winner: Spirit Lounge) is now turning to salsa. Luckily the Haitian music scene is still alive and playing at other venues throughout Miami-Dade. Gusto's Bar & Grill on Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach features Haitian musicians on Friday. And Gusto's on NW 79th Court in Miami Lakes presents Haitian music on Saturday. If you still have some energy on Sunday, head for Gemini Night Club in Hollywood.

When a bar racks up as many New Times Best of Miami awards as Fox's has over the years, you have to assume the owners are related to someone at the paper, or some juicehead New Times writer(s) spends a little too much time sucking down booze and basking in the cigarette haze at this South Miami gem. In any case the two-for-one happy hour at Fox's (4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Tuesday and Saturday) is nothing unique; it's the seedy ambiance (more like bankrupt-businessman-drowning-his-sorrows-in-gin seedy than bikers-and-whores-and-Saturday-night-fighting seedy) that keeps you coming back. There is a timeless quality supplied by the big booths, excellent food, and jazz and big band standards on Fox's free jukebox that, combined with the permanent twilight, makes the bar its own reality, a bourbon-scented, melancholic escape pod from the pressing business of everyday life. In other words, the perfect afternoon antidote to the relentless fluorescent lighting of an office, or the rage-inducing rush hour that caps off many an unfulfilling workday. Proprietor George Andrews, who has owned the bar for 36 of its 58 years, says 60 percent of his customers are regulars from the South Miami neighborhood. "It's like a pub-style bar that they'd have up north or in England, where everybody goes to congregate at the end of the day." Because of its proximity to the University of Miami, Fox's also draws plenty of undergrads, gawking and giggling over the retro charm and slurping down happy hour drinks.

You look across the table, and the person across from you smiles. Your date is going well, you think. Take it up a notch! Take it up a level! Take it ...Upstairs at the Van Dyke. Snuggle into a cozy table, grab a martini, and sit back and soak it up. Rub shoulders with your date and the musicians who are just inches away. It's jazz, not at its best, but at its livest. You've scored. Now it's time to take it up one more level ...

As bars go, Beaches, in the dingy basement of a beachside Days Inn, is the opposite of Miami Beach glam, literally the end of the line for evening revelers on the way home (and a symbolic end for the crew of aging alky regulars who sit around the bar, sad and still as empty bottles). But the jukebox kicks ass. The juke at Beaches has everything from soul (best-of-Motown compilations, Marvin Gaye, Barry White) to blues (B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan) to elegant oldies (the Platters, Sinatra, Tony Bennett). The schlock rock (and even the hippest electronica devotee is up for a little Guns N' Roses after a night of alcoholic excess) spans the decades, covering Queen, Bob Seger, George Thorogood, and Creed, and there are classic collections from Bowie, the Stones, and Lennon. There are only a few hip-hop tracks (mostly on "Best of '99"-type compilations), but every other modern music genre is covered.

Readers Choice: Foxs Sherron Inn

This is a weirdly cool place. The dim lighting, black paint peeling off the walls, and wobbly stage decorated by guitars, horns, and drum sets sit in stark contrast to the bright and busy milieu just outside on Collins Avenue. The portraits on the wall pay homage to recording stars of yesteryear, Elvis, Dean, and Frank among others, but the spotlight glares mostly for young hipsters prodded into belting out popular tunes as recent as 50 Cent's "In Da Club." The best time to visit is in the wee hours of the morning. You'll hear the strained crooning even before you enter; that's when hopped-up club hoppers usually drop in to see if they can be an American Idol, even if it's just in front of friends and barflies. Speaking of American Idols, last year's runner-up, Justin Guarini, is a regular there. He likes to show off and without Kelly or Simon around, he's always the best in the room. The true draw, though, are the drunken buffoons who muddle the spelled-out words to "Red, Red Wine." Don't be afraid to get up onstage. You might sound as good as you do in the shower. Ronnie, the Regis look-alike at the helm of the PA system, takes requests -- but don't be pushy, he can be a little impatient with rabble-rousers.

First there were the glory years in that wonderful hole in the wall on Calle Ocho, when the beautiful boys in Grupo Nostalgia used to jam till dawn with whatever master musician was in town, and Matt Dillon took to running around in a guayabera, smoking tabaco. Then there were the glamorous if not so glorious couple of years annexed to Jimmy'z at the Forge in Miami Beach, with film premieres and full-on concerts by Latin jazz greats, and really, really expensive drinks. The likes of Marc Anthony and Celia Cruz and James Olmos still stopped in, but the boys in the band began to look a little haggard. Even the unflappable Pepe Horta, proprietor and brainchild of the first two incarnations, grew tired and threatened to retire to Paris. And then there were those brief few months on the Miami River, with a boatload of investment capital breathing new life into Pepe's smile. And Yenyere, a new bunch of beautiful kids on the bandstand, breathing new life into the multimillion-dollar dance space that had earlier opened and closed under the name Rio. But by then Miami's love affair with postrevolutionary, pre-special-period Havana was over. Or maybe Miami's love affair with post-special-period Miami was over. Whatever the reason for the empty dance floor and the empty bar, our nostalgia for Nostalgia lives on.

Latin pop music is blowing up among young Hispanics with the tenacity of Shakira's wild blond locks. Play a Carlos Vives, Bacilos, or Maná track for this crowd, and the obligatory circles of young maidens will break out into song, all crooning toward the sky together as young men try to shuffle their rumps in between. Latin pop music drips with sexuality, and Friday nights at Señor Frog's are brimming with sexual energy. It's become the new mecca for Latin synergy among young Colombians, Dominicans, Boriquas, and Venezuelans. Warning: Don't load up on salsa before you shake, shake, shake.

Readers Choice: Bongos Cuban Café

It seems gay women in Miami have always lamented the fact that a nightclub for lesbians is as hard to find as a hot woman who doesn't mind nesting with them for the rest of the foreseeable future. We say it takes a little work, Betty, but it pays off when you find it. The Concorde, a spicy late-night dive on the edge of Coral Gables, has a knack for attracting single, fun-loving gay women with its mix of salsa, cumbia, merengue, rock en español, and American pop. The club has a large dance floor where you can twirl a fabulous lipstick girl or rumba with a Latin butch mama. While women frequent the Concorde, the club allows anyone over eighteen (straight, gay, man, or woman) in.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®