Best Jukebox 2015 | Yambo Restaurant | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
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Yambo is the most famous Nicaraguan fritanga in Miami, rightly as renowned for its knickknack-jumbled decor as the carne asada, gallo pinto, and maduros. Oddly, this SW First Street landmark is also one of the few remaining Dade County spots with a jukebox that doesn't look like a giant, dumb iPod. Amid the burro masks, "Chancho con Yuca" signs, and chicken statues, there is a vintage coin-operated CD machine loaded with mariachi music, Juan Gabriel, reggaeton records, Yo Quiero Bachata compilations, and Nica folk tunes. Pop four quarters into the slot. Punch the buttons. And sing along. This is what they call una fiesta in Managua. Especially when you've got a mouthful of queso and a cold Toña in your hand.

Wanna make your heavy-metal fantasies come true? Every week, Miami's premier purveyor of karaoke nights, Kara-O-King, headbangs into Kendall sports bar Little Hoolie's with "members of South Florida's most brutal rock bands" for an evening of amateur AC/DC, Metallica, and Ozzy covers. Go be the 400-pound behemoth of a man who belts out a growlingly perfect note-for-note take of "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" after guzzling a dozen Foster's Lager fat cans and slamming four shots of Jameson. Or maybe you're more the sort of metalhead who wears spike heels, leather pants, and a Satan skull choker, sips Jäger like soda, smokes clove cigarettes, and likes to show off a scorching version of "Master of Puppets" that once made James Hetfield himself shed tears of fear. We've even seen a funny guy with long hair and purple-lensed round sunglasses mumble his way through the opening verse of "Crazy Train" before ripping into the chorus like a clone of the Prince of Darkness. But hey, even if you can't sing, you can scream.

Readers' choice: Sing Sing Karaoke

Alexander Oliva

For the past 13 years, Theatre de Underground has been a weekly creative free-for-all where Miami's aspiring singer-songwriters, punk rockers, and noise freaks have gathered to strum, scream, and literally crap their pants in hopes of booking a paying gig at the legendary Churchill's Pub. Of course, the talent has never been exclusively musical. As the self-described "most open-minded (and longest-running) open-mike night in town," Theatre de Underground has steadfastly preserved its backyard patio stage's reputation as a lawless, judgment-free zone upon which any humanoid with a performative talent can endeavor to earn fame, fortune, or unshakable shame. Over the past decade and counting, there have been, the evening's overseers say, thousands and thousands of "poets, storytellers, musicians, bands, comedians, magicians, jugglers, and a few things that cannot be categorized." This is the quintessential Miami open-mike night. And it isn't always good. But it's always what the average Churchill's drunk would describe as "fucking entertaining."

Photo by Jessica Gibbs

Tucked away amid an array of warehouses in southwest Miami is your latest wax addiction. Museo del Disco has hooked up music junkies with a wide selection of CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and more since 2001, but the institution's foray into vinyl began just a couple of years ago. As interest in the once-obsolete format continues to surge, so too does Museo's burgeoning collection, with new rows of classic wax appearing every month. All artists are lumped together alphabetically, although there's a classic blues and jazz section that stands alone for music fans with a classic edge. Sift through the LPs to find vintage concert recordings like Miami Pop Festival or new hit makers from Fun to Ariel Pink. The price is right considering all the records they carry are brand new. And if you need any guidance in how to stuff your vinyl crate, musically obsessed owner Hinsul Lazo is sure to come by and show you around before you even have to ask.

Courtesy of HistoryMiami

Amid yet another futuristic-looking development boom, filled with towering cranes and shiny skyscrapers, it's easy to forget the Magic City has a rich past. Thankfully, a few minutes spent wandering through HistoryMiami cures that misconception in a hurry. Stashed away in an expansive building in downtown Miami are scores of archives, artifacts, and photographs from every era of South Florida's development, including more than a million images from the late 1800s to today. HistoryMiami grew even bigger this year thanks to the neighboring Miami Art Museum's move to a glittering new building on Biscayne Bay. The extra space allowed HistoryMiami to usher in several memorable exhibitions, including "Some Like It Hot," which concentrated on the evolution of the burgeoning street art community in Miami, and "Concrete Paradise," which featured audio clips, images, and historic plans concerning Miami Marine Stadium, an iconic architectural gem shuttered after Hurricane Andrew.

Readers' choice: Pérez Art Museum Miami

Iwan Baan

Last year's public feud between the City of North Miami and the board of its Museum of Contemporary Art got ugly. But at least it had a happy ending: the addition of the Institute of Contemporary Art to Miami's ever-evolving art scene. Founded by former MOCA board members and staff, the ICA opened with a bang during Art Basel 2014, showcasing the politically charged works of New York artist Andra Ursuta alongside an immersive installation, Sanatorium, for which Mexican artist Pedro Reyes trained local volunteers to offer free "therapy" to museum visitors. Participants engaged in everything from theater warm-up exercises to hypnosis, creating one of the most unforgettable events to take place during Miami Art Week last year. The ICA also showed off its commitment to Miami by opening its exhibitions to area schoolchildren before the general public. And all of this went down at the Moore Building in the Design District, an area that in recent years has been better known for designer shopping than boundary-pushing art. Oh, and did we mention admission is free?

Even in a town where pop-up galleries burst onto the scene and disappear with fruit-fly-like speed, Guccivuitton is a new kid on the block. Headed by local artists Loriel Beltran, Domingo Castillo, and Aramis Gutierrez, the cheekily named outpost opened its doors in 2013 in Little Haiti. The gallery hit it big with its very first show, "Art404 — IRL (In Real Life)." Since then, Guccivuitton has hosted a variety of smart and interesting exhibitions, including the 2014 group show "Luxury Face," which elegantly skewered consumer culture. That exhibition caught the attention of the New York Times and Vice's i-D. And most recently, the gallery hosted what was likely the most interesting of the Purvis Young shows that have flooded the city in the past year. Perhaps it's also worth mentioning that the gallery has managed this success without the hype of Wynwood's graffiti-covered walls. Guccivuitton recently expanded its reach to Miami's museums. The collective's collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art is on view at that museum until September 25. The gallery's hours are Saturday from noon to 5 and by appointment.

Readers' choice: Locust Projects

A room partition decorated with busty beach babes. A love seat constructed out of concrete dividers. Planters made of South Florida earth and tiny treasures, like action figures, that the artist himself dug up. Emmett Moore's exhibit at Design Miami last year brought peak 305 flair to the art fair — and cemented the gallery representing him, Gallery Diet, as the first Miami-based space to earn a spot at Design Miami in its ten-year history. Miami Art Week 2014 may have been the first time that out-of-towners discovered Moore's work, but locals in the know have been familiar with the sculptor and designer's simple, striking creations for years. Sometimes they're functional, like his artfully designed chairs and shelves. (Moore studied furniture design at RISD.) Sometimes they're abstract, like pieces of plywood digitally printed with trippy designs. And often they reference the city Moore calls home, whether through the outline of a pair of sunglasses he installed on Gallery Diet's exterior or the sign he rescued from Miami Marine Stadium and folded into a sculpture, which was on view at Swampspace last year. Moore applies his restrained taste to Miami's outrageous ambiance, and the result is a body of work that'll inspire you to see the city in a new light.

Walking through Wynwood is like taking a master class in street art: You're surrounded by murals created by an ever-changing roster of artists practicing a wide variety of styles. But for the students at Wynwood's Jose de Diego Middle School, the trip to school was once the only arts education they got. Despite its location in Miami's busiest arts district, funding shortfalls meant Jose de Diego had been without an arts program for five years. But then Miami's booming street art scene got involved. In 2014, dozens of artists, organized by creator Robert William, joined forces to beautify the school's plain white walls — and to help its students in the process. Now students attend classes surrounded by works of art created by the city's top names, like Ahol Sniffs Glue and Typoe, as well as international talent including UK artist D*Face and Italy's Pixel Pancho. The project debuted during Art Basel. Now the murals provide limitless inspiration for the kids who walk its halls — and Jose de Diego's new arts program is slated to begin in the fall thanks in part to money raised by the mural-painting event.

Gideon Barnett isn't your average Miami photographer. You won't find perfectly sunlit photographs of the waterfront skyline hanging in his shows, and the city's beautiful people aren't usually posing for his camera. Miami, however, is omnipresent in Barnett's work. If you quickly glance at his series of photographs titled Modern Pictures, you'll simply see a perfectly composed photograph of the Magic City, but look closer and the city starts to unravel: In Dolorous Interlude, children play in idyllic weather in a verdant park, but in the corner of the photograph lies a passed-out homeless man; in Landscape With Fallen Child, expensive boats dock at Bayshore and the scene's splendor makes it easy to miss the small child drowning in the photo's middle ground. Modern Pictures captures Miami's dichotomy: on one hand glittering and gorgeous, on the other dysfunctional and dangerous.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®