Michael's Cafe
You might be wondering: Is it a gas station, a restaurant, or a barç It's really a combination of all three. This former Texaco station has been converted into an elegant Middle Eastern eatery that specializes in alfresco dining, an experience formerly unheard of on bustling Kendall Drive. You can indulge in all of the traditional cuisine of the region — we recommend the beef shawarma platter, which costs a mere $11.99 and comes with delicious roasted meat, lentil rice, hummus, pita, and a salad. Although Michael's is a cafe, it functions just fine as a bar. The restaurant's owner, Michael Touma, made the most of the gas station's built-in glass-door fridges. Now Michael's offers what may be the finest beer selection of any Middle Eastern restaurant in the region. A sixteen-ounce Tucher costs a mere $3. Every night is hookah night, and on Fridays and Saturdays the typically calm scene is transformed into a live music and bellydancing haven, with a bevy of damsels in spangled clothes spinning and gyrating around the tables where gas pumps used to be.

Best Nightclub to Die in the Past Year

Shine

Only in South Beach does a nightclub experience a short-lived revival during Winter Music Conference. Such is the case with Shine at the Shelborne Hotel. It opened in late 2005 under the helm of nightlife veteran Gerry Kelly and techno music extraordinaire Jonathan Cowan. The place was divided into four environments, from a swanky lounge with handcrafted rock walls; to the ballroom where the hard-pounding house was played; to the "Terrace Café"; to the poolside retreat, complete with beds, hammocks, and torch lights. But the club had a contentious existence as condo residents hammered the city to shut down Shine's weekend parties. In April of last year, Shine held its closing party and Kelly moved on to another nightclub venture. Yet during the halcyon days of WMC 2007, Cowan resuscitated Shine for some of the most outstanding electronic performances in town. Greats like Todd Terry, Kenny Dope, Miguel Migs, Frankie Knuckles, and Satoshi Tomiie took to the decks that, for at least seven days, brought the Shine back to Collins Avenue.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®