Best Doorman
Courtesy of Alan T

If you've been around Miami's club scene, you know Alan T. He's flamboyant, loud, aggressive, charming, and funny all at the same time. He has to be. He deals with throngs of people trying to get into some of the city's brightest hot spots. He has to hear, "But I know so-and-so, and he told me I was on the list!" about a hundred times every night. So you can't blame him for being curt with patrons. However, unlike the French doormen that litter Miami Beach's nightclubs, Alan T puts on a show, sometimes with a loudspeaker to amplify the insults he throws at people. Currently, he works for Space on Saturdays, but he's been around, working the doors for spots such as Pawn Shop Lounge and Nocturnal. In addition to being a doorman, he's also a house-music vocalist (he has the Discogs page to prove it) and holds a master's in architecture from Columbia University. He's basically a nightlife renaissance man. Still, Alan T's greatest talent is making the door at Space more interesting.

Best Promoter
Photo by Emanuele D'Angelo

Men tend to dominate the nightlife game in Miami. It's not that there aren't plenty of women who are involved. It's just that reporters — including some at this paper — can be a bit myopic when it comes to the women playing the game well. Nobody — man or woman — plays it better than PL0T founder Becks Lange. Her parties have long been the talk of the town, but she has really found her groove in the past few years thanks to stellar events such as the yearly Life and Death bash during Art Basel. And because Lange isn't necessarily beholden to one venue, PL0T parties float around to places like the Electric Pickle, Trade, 1306, and Bardot. (That being said, if you want to catch one of PL0T's parties, the Pickle seems to host them with some regularity.) She and her cohort of nightlife denizens are free to mold the events to their vision. They book some high-caliber underground dance acts like Nina Kraviz, DJ Tennis, and Âme. Lange doesn't do your average EDM fare and instead wants to expose Miami to acts that are bringing something different to the table. Miami is lucky to have her.

Sing Sing Karaoke

Karaoke might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Sing Sing. But the place is based on the hugely popular establishments in Japan that include multiple private rooms, each equipped with a karaoke player and microphones. At its flagship in Miami and two locations in New York, Sing Sing provides a public space, complete with a small stage in the corner, for budding sopranos or tenors walking in off the street. But the real value is in the private rooms. Standard room rates run about $8 per person for a space that accommodates ten to 12 people. Happy-hour pricing, from opening till 8 p.m., is about $4 per person. Plus, VIP rooms offer space for up to 22 people and are ideal for birthday and wedding parties. Sing Sing is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. The music catalog is regularly updated and about as international as Miami, with songs in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and English. Though, yes, it's necessary to buy a drink in order to sing in the public space, that's sort of the point, isn't it? Plus, you never know who you might run into. In 2014, none other than Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland crashed a karaoke set of a Destiny's Child song by a pair of very surprised customers. This place is all about being a star for a night.

Readers' choice: Ricky's South Beach

Best Place to Meet Single Men
courtesy of the Rhythm Foundation

Actually, finding single men isn't the difficult part. They're everywhere! They're sitting around the table at every poker game, chugging Bud Light at every sports bar in town, and ogling bikinis on South Beach every weekend. But those aren't the kind of single fellas you're looking for. You want a man who wants to spend the night paying attention to you and — gasp — who is willing to try something new. You'll find him every second Thursday of the month at the North Beach Bandshell, at Dance Band Night, an entirely free event (with an option to donate) put on by the Rhythm Foundation. The event comes in two parts: At 7 p.m., experts give lessons in every type of dance you might want to try in Miami, including salsa, swing, samba, and konpa. There is also a happy hour, when you can partake of a little liquid social lubrication to loosen things up. Then, at 8 p.m., you can put the moves you just learned to use with a concert from a killer live act such as Rose Max Samba Band or Batuke Samba Funk. If you can't find romance here — with stars in the sky, music in the air, and the beach only steps away — you might as well give up.

Best Place to Meet Single Women
Photo by Cris Ascunce / Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

We love bars. We spend far too much of our lives in bars. Bars rock. But bars are not the optimal place to make a love connection. Just take a look around. You can barely see in the dim light — how will you know if you're even really attracted to the woman you just met over overpriced tequila shots? And forget about intelligent conversation with that '80s rock blasting. There are better options, amigo, such as the volleyball courts at Lummus Park in South Beach. On these sandy courts, which are free and open to the public just off Ocean Drive, strangers of both sexes meet to bump, set, and serve in a gentle sea breeze. Under the bright sun, you'll have plenty of time to see how your potential romantic partner operates under pressure, how much blame she is willing to assign and accept after a botched point, and — yes, OK — how she looks in a swimsuit. And, hey, if it doesn't work out for you on the volleyball courts, there are plenty of bars a few steps away to drink away the failure. Just don't expect to find a good date over that whiskey.

Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men
Phillip Pessar via Flickr

Tired of scrolling through a seemingly endless stream of bros in manks (that's male tank tops, obviously) on Tinder? Done with the kind of dudes who text you only past 10 p.m.? Head to the Olympia Theater the second Tuesday of the month for the Moth's Miami StorySlam, where for $10 you can listen to true stories told live and sip cocktails for a few extra bucks. With open-mike topics touching on everything from love to loss, it's safe to bet the audience is packed with emotionally intelligent men — you know, the type who read books and tune into NPR. Catch eyes with one of them under the softly lit chandeliers of the historic, Mediterranean-inspired theater, and you just might have the perfect story to someday tell your smarty-pants kids.

When you hear Lutze Segu speak about the Femme Agenda's coalition, you might feel like a high-speed train just rushed by about three inches from your face. That's because the passion and expertise of Segu, who is the Miami Workers Center's gender justice organizer, are palpable — and are exactly what make this intersectional-feminist, grassroots committee the radical, inclusive, and sorely needed space South Florida needs. The Femme Agenda advocates for reproductive justice and adequate sex education in Miami-Dade, a domestic workers' bill of rights, and affordable housing and living wages for the women most affected by poverty and discrimination. Femme Saturdays is a space open to anyone in South Florida interested in learning more about social justice and allyship and has included everyone from seasoned black, indigenous, and trans activists to Pinecrest soccer moms foraying into sociopolitical activism. Looking to impress these brilliant femmes who gather in the Workers Center's MiMo District office? Take a few minutes to brush up on your bell hooks and Angela Davis before popping in. After all, if it's fiercely intelligent beauties you're after, you sure as hell should be willing to fight for their equality and access to opportunity.

Best Place for a First Date
courtesy of New World Symphony

Stop fussing about whether to take your Tinder matches out for Chinese or Italian, because any sane Miamian will admit they couldn't care less about General Tso's chicken and more about a date that limits awkward silences. Cinema Series at SoundScape Park has you covered. At 8 p.m. every Wednesday between October and May, a movie — anything from Finding Dory to The Great Gatsby and Napoleon Dynamite — is projected free of charge in glorious HD on the huge, 7,000-square-foot white wall of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center. There's plenty of space in the 2.5-acre park to spread out on a blanket and cozy up, or post up with lawn chairs next to the wall. One hundred sixty-seven individually tuned speakers installed throughout the park augment the sound and drone out those uncomfortable breaks in conversation between you and your new paramour. The park's location — conveniently located next to the Miami Beach Convention Center parking lot — allows for a stroll and a bite to eat before or after the flick.

Schnebly Redland's Winery

The very same things that make Miami fascinating and glorious also make it exhausting. It's a vibrant hub of international visitors, but those same visitors make traffic cutthroat, pack the always-bumping clubs, and choke up Wynwood's streets while snapping endless selfies. Locals need an escape. Look no further than Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery, a patch of paradise about 35 miles southwest of downtown Miami. The winery and brewery sit on 30 lush acres in the Redland — about as far as you can get from luxury high-rises and crammed streets. Schnebly even has waterfalls. The wine is made from local fruits such as lychee, guava, and avocado. Not your thing? You can guzzle beers brewed with mango and coconut at Miami Brewing Co., located right on the grounds. Winetasting costs $12.95 per person. (Friday nights, there's a $10 cover for live entertainment; Saturday nights, it's $12.50.) There's even a farm-to-table restaurant, the Redlander, adjacent to the winetasting area, and out back in the taproom, a grill serves bar bites such as chicken wings, ribs, and tacos. Spend an afternoon here to "uncork, unplug, unwind," as the company's tag line goes, and you just might be ready to take on life in the Magic City again.

Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners
Bobak Ha'eri

When Fidel Castro died last year, only one spot in town drew dozens of sweat-drenched reporters, flag-waving exilios, and politicians clad in guayaberas: Versailles, the still-beating heart of Miami's Cuban diaspora. Presidential candidates can't win in this town without first sipping a cafecito at the restaurant's ventanita. The building remains a relic from Miami's 1980s heyday, when Cuban dissidents hung out inside and plotted ways to overthrow the Castro dictatorship. Nowadays, the eatery remains a family-friendly outpost for locals and tourists alike, where you can still down a plate of ropa vieja next to a city commissioner or just a few viejos talking trash about Che. When your out-of-town guests want a taste of the loco energy that makes the Magic City tick, a quick stop at Versailles is the only ticket you need.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®