Pepito's Plaza

You're moving so fast you didn't even notice it until that annoying warning began pinging and the tiny yellow light glowed from the dashboard: You're running on empty. Empty. As you contemplate the word amid the usual Doral traffic sludge, it seems to resonate — something else important, it suddenly seems to you, is also empty. But what? That's when you notice the growls, feral and angry, coming from the very pit of your stomach. Luckily, there on the corner, is an Exxon station. Sure, it's got the gas to keep your car running. But the real reason your day just got a lot better is what's inside: Pepito's Plaza. A smorgasbord of all things South American food, this Doralzuela hot spot has four restaurants where you'll find everything from pepitos (Venezuelan Philly cheesesteaks) overflowing with carne asada and papitas, arepas oozing with melted cheese and shredded chicken, Colombian hot dogs drenched in pink sauce, and even fresh ceviche. In fact, the best time to fill up your tank at this station is late into the night, conveniently enough around the same time those 2 a.m. munchies kick in. Sure, you'll have to wait in line with like-minded hungry drivers, but you'll leave full and satisfied. Just don't forget to fill up your car's tank.

Readers' choice: Europa Car Wash & Cafe

The wedding venue has been booked, your kid just asked his first girlfriend to the prom, or it's time for a madhouse celebration of your 30th birthday. The fact is this: You'll need a whip a little hotter than your '05 Corolla to get you to the party. Time to call Padrino Limousine, which since 1968 has been in the business of making getting where you're going as glammed-out — and worry-free — as possible. The fleet includes a ten-passenger stretch limo, a 20-passenger limo bus, and a 40-passenger luxury minicoach if you've got more friends than you can count on fingers and toes. If classic cars are more your style, Padrino can pick you up in a 1955 Bentley Silver Cloud or two Rolls-Royce Phantoms from 1956 or 1962. Prices are listed directly on the company's website (an hour in the ten-person limo will set you back $99, while the eight-person ride costs $86 per hour), and you can make reservations online. Even those hypersensitive and highly unstable creatures known as brides love Padrino Limo, and for good reason: The rides are clean, the company is bent on customer service, and drivers are somehow able to navigate Miami's notoriously bad traffic without breaking a sweat.

The Magic City Bicycle Collective aims to be less of a store and more of a friend, a pal who hands you a wrench and lets you do it yourself. Located in Miami's Park West district, across the street from the Corner, the MCBC's home base is humble. But the space has all the tools you'll need to get that bike in fighting shape. The spot is open Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m., and a $5 donation is all it takes to get an hour of repair time. If you already know how to fix the bike yourself but simply lack the very expensive tools, no problem. The MCBC will give you access to its stockpile of bike stands and gear and let you do your thing. But for those fresh off the training wheels, you too will be embraced by the MCBC. You'll find no bike snobbery here. A volunteer will happily work with you one-on-one to show you how to fix and maintain your bike, as well as answer any questions you might have about becoming a cyclist in Miami. The MCBC has a tent at every monthly Critical Mass, as well as at various festivals and concerts around town. Keep an eye out for them. It's never too late to be inducted into Miami's cycling family.

Readers' choice: Fritz's Skate, Bike & Surf

The Fit Shop
Courtesy of the Fit Shop

From extreme boot camps to boutique cycling and Pilates studios, Miami's sweat scene works overtime and always seems to have a new trend on the horizon. A little more than two years ago, North Miami's Fit Shop wanted in on the action. Instead of creating another high-priced luxury gym, though, owners Adriane Abraham and Kaisa Kerwin concentrated on one thing: girl power. The industrial-like warehouse space is filled with heavy weights and strong women, where bodies are transformed mentally, physically, and spiritually. Though about 70 percent of the shop's clientele are women, men get their fair share of butt-kicking too. The women-run gym offers four signature classes focusing on techniques such as high-intensity interval training, cardio conditioning, flexibility, balance, and resistance work, plus a kids' class. As you work out, expect to jam, because Kerwin, who spends her time as a DJ when she's not training, curates all workout playlists. Prices vary depending upon specials (Kerwin might still be able to get you in at the $199-per-month rate), but other packages are available too, with individual classes running $30 and ten-class packages costing $260.

Readers' choice: Equinox

JetSet Pilates
Courtesy of JetSet Pilates

The rest of America can never know our struggle. Oh, you have to get your beach body in order three whole months of the year? Poor dude! Living in South Florida means a bikini-ready physique is necessary 12 months of the year — and all while living in a culinary capital where croquetas always beckon. JetSet Pilates is here to help. Founded in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood in 2009 on the simple premise of getting South Beach utterly ripped through resistance-based conditioning classes, JetSet has been a hit. The unique approach fuses Pilates, weight training, and cardio, and the bulk of each 50-minute class is done on a machine that uses weighted springs to target all the muscles — even the little ones you never knew you had. Classes are pleasantly small, because there are only eight machines in the room, meaning plenty of personalized attention from an enviably toned trainer. A single class is $30 to $35 depending upon the location, and package deals are available. Because every exercise here targets the core muscles, you'll walk out with the best abs of your life — even if you sneak a croqueta here or there.

In a perfect world, it would be great if you could throw all of your dirty laundry in a bag, fall asleep, and magically awaken to the sight of your clothes freshly washed and perfectly folded. However, we don't live in a perfect world. Prince is dead, Trump is a presidential candidate, and the Dolphins are forever 8-8. But pay a visit to Spin Laundry Service off Bird Road, and the staff can make at least one of your dreams come true. With operating hours of 7 a.m. to midnight Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, it's easy to work a drop-off and pick-up around your schedule. There's also free pick-up and delivery. And the price of $19.50 for washing and folding 20 pounds of clothes (and $1 per pound afterward) is beyond reasonable for a service this valuable. Aside from washing your clothes, the joint also offers alterations and dry cleaning. Make adulting fun again and let someone else handle your dirty laundry.

Caliente Adult Superstore
Photo courtesy of Caliente Adult Superstore

Listen, we understand. Lots of people hear the term "adult superstore" and feel the creepy-crawlies, imagining weirdos in trench coats stroking their mustaches and lurking around dark corners. But you're about as likely to see that scene at Caliente Adult Superstore as you are to find a doctor prescribing leeches at Jackson Memorial Hospital. At this huge, sparkling-clean shop in Hialeah, the customers look like the folks you'd see walking around Dadeland Mall on a weekend afternoon. The store setup is simple and easy to navigate. You've got sexy undergarments to your left, some DVDs to your right, and all the toys you can dream up in the middle. The staff is friendly and willing to help answer even your silliest question without judgment. Plus, with its strategic location between some anonymous warehouses, Caliente is perfectly placed for a clandestine visit. There's no need for a billowing trench coat — unless, you know, you're into that kind of thing.

Razor's Edge is the definition of a Miami neighborhood barbershop. That means regulars, lots of bull sessions, and good people. Jose Burgos and Yami Aguila, two of the barbers, are Cuban, fun, and know how to make you comfortable. The new guy is Manny Verde, also Cuban and also talented. They are also very good at any kind of trim. The price for a regular haircut is $17. And if you want a pedicure or a manicure, you can get those too. OK, so the place is in a strip mall between a dollar store and a pool store. This is Miami, remember — everything is in a strip mall. Hell, that makes parking a breeze. And the neighbors will all get to check out your new do.

Readers' choice: Golden Touch Haircuts & Shaves

Elle Air Blow Dry + Makeup Bar
Photo by Cedric Killings

You need an extra spark in your step. Your options: a third cafecito of the morning, an excruciatingly cold shower, or — our personal favorite — getting your makeup professionally done. Not only will you emerge feeling like a million bucks (minus the Cuban-coffee jitters), but also the application lasts three times longer. If you have a special event coming up, it's even worthier of the splurge. At Elle Air — a stylish shop on Harding Avenue in Surfside — customers can choose between full-face makeup applications (for $50) or eye makeup only ($25) , a distinction that not every salon offers. It's also a one-stop shop: It also provides hairstyling services and treatments (from $28 to more than $275), including highlights, keratin treatments, and spotlights. Elle Air is intimate in the best way, staffed with courteous and accommodating experts working at a local business where the needs of the customer come first and last. Forget about that cold shower. Grab a seat in one of the plush white chairs at Elle Air, and let your stylist do the rest.

Anastasia Molchanov Salon

Living in Miami has so many benefits: the warm sun, the sandy beaches, the ocean waves, the pristine hotel pools. Of course, those are the very same things that also fry your hair into a massive, out-of-control frizzball. If you feel like a cross between Bozo the Clown's insane secret twin or suddenly wake up to find a family of squirrels nesting in your coif, don't panic. Just call Alexia. A vintage-loving, tattooed version of a Disney princess, this wonder woman will turn even the freakiest, most damaged hair into something runway-ready. If you want to go bold, she'll totally give your hair that purple ombre look you want, but if you simply don't want to be mistaken for a homeless poodle, she'll do that too. In fact, Alexia does it all — keratin, color, cuts — all while you sip Nespresso in a convivial salon that's sort of a hip, modern-day version of Dolly Parton's hair palace in Steel Magnolias.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®