The Recycled Closet
Courtesy of The Recycled Closet

Thrifting is fun until it's not. Why spend a Saturday digging through smelly, hit-or-miss secondhand shops searching for a hidden gem when you can wander into a treasure chest? Owned by mother-and-daughter duo Jennifer Vosters Kaloti and Jenna Kaloti-Ramirez, the Recycled Closet does all the work of curating those vintage finds for you. Inside this cheery shop near the Falls, you'll find brands like Alice + Olivia, Free People, and Wildfox, all for 70 percent less than what you'd pay at the mall. New merchandise is posted daily on the shop's Instagram (@therecycledcloset) page, along with styling ideas for those perfectly dated duds. And if you have old clothes of your own, the Recycled Closet is happy to accept them on consignment: You'll pocket 40 percent of the sale price.

Readers' choice: Miami Twice

Antique & Collectors Emporium
Photo by Jessica Gibbs

Can a storefront facing South Dixie Highway — Miami-Dade's busiest road, which seems to be a gridlocked catastrophe at all hours — really be a secret? The owners of Antique & Collectors Emporium must have some Harry Potter-level concealment spells at work, because stumbling across this gem in a Palmetto Bay strip mall feels like unlocking a longtime mystery. Don't worry, though — even for the uninitiated, poking around this treasure trove of artifacts is far from intimidating. Jackie Nangle, the shop's proprietor, loves showing newbies around her place, which is packed from floor to ceiling with affordable, rare finds and new merchandise arriving daily. Start that old bottle collection you've always dreamed about, deck your abuela out in some funky vintage brooches, or turn your home into an antique furniture gallery. Heck, by the time you leave Nangle's emporium, you might be able to turn your living room into a museum and charge admission.

Before discounted goods became ironically fashionable, flea markets were places where you could grab everyday items on the cheap — if you were willing to dig through some junk. Though these flea markets still exist, their new cousins seem to have stolen the limelight — you know, those markets where everyone seems to think the clothes out of their closet are worth a 300 percent markup? If you're ready for the real thing, the Redland Market Village Flea Market is the epitome of the original flea market. The flea market, once known as Bargain Town, is a weekend affair attached to the weekday farmers' market, food court, and covered booths. Sprawling across the parking lot and beyond, tents displaying everything from tools and dish soaps to mattresses and orchids will tantalize your inner deal hunter. Venture to the periphery of the lot to snag some real savings, if only because the sellers there want to get out of the scorching sun. The tacos, pony rides, and fresh produce are the cherries atop this gem, as long as you don't require a millennial with a mustache telling you how he found this $250 vintage couch during his cross-country tour with his folk-punk band.

Johnson Firearms

Buying a gun isn't like purchasing a washing machine or picking up the latest flat-screen TV. This is serious business, and you want to get your weapon from someone serious about their craft. That's Johnson Firearms in a nutshell. This family-owned-and-operated shop on the outskirts of Wynwood does it all right, whether you're interested in buying, selling, looking, or learning. There's a huge selection of new and used firearms and knives, and a good portion of the 4,000-square-foot space is dedicated to every accessory imaginable, from body armor and hydration packs to optics and ear protection. The standout, however, is the people. With more than 50 years of field experience in military, hunting, and law-enforcement firearms and training, everyone here, from the owner to the staff, is eager to help. You'll never feel stupid for asking the difference between a 9mm and .45-caliber or what type of accessories you should get for that new Glock 19. Every employee at Johnson Firearms has a specialty, from store manager Josh (nicknamed "Josh-opedia" for his infinite knowledge of all things handgun-related) to Manny (a firearms connoisseur). Looking to get your concealed-carry permit? They offer classes onsite to make it an easy and comfortable experience.

El Carajo
George Martinez

Is it a gas station? Is it a tapas restaurant? Is it a wine shop? Why do you have to shove everything into a stereotypical box, bro? It's all three. At El Carajo, you can top off your tank outside and then do the same thing for your stomach inside. Through the doors of this unassuming BP convenience store at the bitter end of I-95, you'll find yourself transported to an Old-World European wine cellar and restaurant. The unexpected transition is exhilarating. Do yourself a favor and linger. Wander into the far back, where a wood-and-brick-lined wine room holds a staggering selection of imported and European varieties. With more than 500 bottles to choose from, you can enjoy a rare Tempranillo and then gas up your ride. You'll also find a quaint eatery offering something rarely associated with gas-station convenience: seated table service featuring a selection of reasonably priced Spanish tapas. Order the house special, tabla de carne: a massive strip of ribs, churrasco, pork loin, and sausage. The traditional, 36-month-aged jamón bellota, ceviche, and paella are all good too. Thirsty for something other than vino or craving something less formal? El Carajo also has a sizable selection of imported and local craft beer by the bottle and can, as well as a take-away counter where you can find the usual Miami-style eats.

Angelina's Coffee and Yogurt
Photo by Kat Bein

The smell of buttery crepes and grilled meats greets your nose as the colorful chalkboard menus and local art on the walls instantly spark that warm, cozy feeling that the Danes call "hygge." If you're looking for a place that offers free Wi-Fi so you can pop open your laptop and get good work done or you simply want a spot to take a break after a Shops at Midtown spree, Angelina's Coffee & Juice is the hookup. Chow down on a wide array of breakfast options, sweet or savory crepes, sandwiches, and soups. Go light with a smoothie or fresh-pressed juice, or hit it hard with an espresso or delicious cold-brew. The employees don't mind if you camp out, and the windows are large and full of sunshine to keep you smiling and motivated. The connection is always strong, with download speeds of at least 9 Mbps. The only catch is you have to arrive early: Angelina's adorable café opens at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. on weekends, but it closes at 4 p.m. daily. That just means you'll have more time to carry those good vibes into your evening.

Best Florist
Valeria Nekhim Lease

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Flowers should be affordable,

This much is true.

The sad reality, though, is that ordering a floral arrangement often costs more than $100. Who has time to go to a florist these days? But online flower purveyors often offer cheesy options and overcharge for their better arrangements. Enter Dolce Flor, an online floral delivery service catering exclusively to the Miami area. Former New Yorker Rachel Pellman started the business so locals could easily order chic, Instagram-worthy flowers without having to make it rain serious cash. Dolce Flor's modern arrangements, starting at $49, are handcrafted using only the freshest blooms. Looking for the perfect gift? A month of weekly flower deliveries costs only $140. Dolce Flor's creations are made to last a solid week, and the company creates new compositions regularly. Fresh flowers are good for the soul, but stylish flowers are even better — especially when you can afford them.

Readers' choice: Lottus Floral Design

If years of binge-watching Say Yes to the Dress has given you unrealistic expectations about the cost of a white gown, it's time to snap out of it. Run by best friends Viviana Planas and Jenise Castro, La Vie en Blanc opened in 2012 to give uncompromising brides the dresses of their dreams at a slightly more reachable price. Hundreds of preworn, last-season, and designer sample gowns line the walls of this lovely, welcoming space in an otherwise unremarkable industrial park. Dresses run 25 to 75 percent off retail and are helpfully organized by price. Perfect for procrastinators or those otherwise on a time crunch, dresses can even be brought home the day of purchase. And for the truly budget-conscious, consider this: After the wedding is done and the honeymoon is over, you can sell the dress right back to the shop to recoup some of the expense.

Unless you're a blinged-out professional rapper, chances are you don't spend a ton of time playing the market for jewelry. So when you need some serious ice, how do you pick the best store? You could choose the one with the catchiest radio jingle or settle for a chain store at the mall, but if you're looking for solid customer service and fair pricing, you want a family-owned shop like Brickell Jewelers. Longtime diamond dealer Sam Nissim opened the business in 2008 and has since been joined by his two sons, Mike and Danny. Whether you're looking for a stainless-steel Rolex, a pair of sapphire-encrusted earrings, or a simple gold wedding band, there's something sparkly in most price ranges. Diamond engagement rings start around $300 and top out at $50,000. Repairs are moderately priced, with battery replacement running $20 and ring resizing ranging from $20 to $150. Whether you have a video shoot with Drake lined up or you plan to pop the question, the Nissims will take good care of you.

Stripe Vintage Modern
Photo by Valeria Nekhim Lease

Jeff "the Dude" Lebowski had it right: Sometimes a rug really does tie a whole room together. Not to fear: Whether your crib is missing that all-important floor covering stolen by nihilists or simply needs a touch of style via that unique piece of '60s lighting or that angular '70s couch, Stripe Vintage Modern is ready to help. Owners Eric Cody and Arel Ramos are well known for their interior design projects and their curated collection of midcentury-modern furniture, lighting, and accessories. Everything you see in the shop is vintage, and nearly all of the merchandise has been restored so it looks even better than new. Be warned: This level of chic doesn't usually come cheap, especially because most pieces here bear the names of famous midcentury designers like Gio Ponti and Paul Frankl. A Karl Springer mirror in embossed crocodile leather can set you back $3,000, while an Italian brass and rattan bar cart costs $2,850. If you've got the cash, you might just pick up a new family heirloom, but even if you can't afford those premium prices, it's worth wandering Stripe just for design inspiration. When the store opened in 2005, it was one of the first to set up on a block now known as Miami's "20th Century Row," just across the street from the Museum of Contemporary Art. Now it's a mainstay for anyone looking for a little Mad Men, or perhaps just some Big Lebowski, flair for their home.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®