Lagniappe
Photo by Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr

Quality wine, delicious food, great atmosphere — Edgewater wine bar Lagniappe is inviting for most any occasion. With live music nightly from 9 p.m. to midnight, it's one of the hippest evenings out you can have in Miami. If you're looking for jazz, Sunday is the best night to catch some of the city's most in-demand jazz musicians, such as the Derek Fairholm Organ Trio and Rodolfo Zuniga Trio. It's a great way to cap off the weekend and still make it to work Monday without a hangover. Lagniappe doesn't take reservations, so arrive early if you want a choice spot to enjoy the music and wine.

Revolution Live
Courtesy of Revolution Live

Miami can't keep a midsize venue open to save its life. But just 20 miles north, Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live has been making it look easy for 14 years. With Live Nation in charge of bookings, there's no shortage of stellar touring acts to check out every week. Never mind the thousands of shows over the years — last year alone, Revolution welcomed bands like Social Distortion, Lany, Clutch, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Spoon to its stage. And thanks to a layout that makes for easy viewing from any level, Revolution continues to be a favorite of rock concert connoisseurs. Here's hoping the venue makes out of its teenage years unscathed.

Best Venue for Local Acts
Photo by FujifilmGirl

There's no shortage of places where local musicians can perform in Miami, but few attract crowds as large as the Wynwood Yard. Thanks to its inviting atmosphere and mission as a food incubator, locals and tourists alike flock to the outdoor, open-space venue every day of the week. Local bands are routinely booked to enhance patrons' experience, exposing artists to new listeners. Unlike other established venues, the Wynwood Yard's audience tends to go there more to eat and socialize than to hear music. But it's a testament to the Yard's musician-friendly atmosphere that it frequently hosts local acts like Locos por Juana, Jahfe, and Yoli Mayor, and has surprised guests with pop-up performances by Coldplay's Chris Martin and Shakira.

Best Zine
Courtesy photo

Remember zines? There were the Kinko's-made publications your emo friend in high school used to hand out. Snicker all you want, but for many, it was a way to combine writing, photography, and design into a neat little package. Steve Saiz and Lillian Banderas, cofounders of Dale Zine (pronounced the way Pitbull says "dale"), are keeping the art form alive in Miami while introducing it to a new generation that's more "Tumblr and Snapchat" than "scissors and glue stick." In nine years, Dale has released more than 50 titles, and the zine has recently opened a pop-up at 777 International Mall, where billionaire investor Moishe Mana has extended his art empire. Stop by and peruse Dale's collection of zines and quirky knickknacks, which make unique gifts for the friend who has it all.

New World School of the Arts
Courtesy of New World School of the Arts

When Tallahassee was set to slash funding for New World School of the Arts last year, a veritable who's who of homegrown talent rose up to speak out against the cuts. The downtown Miami magnet high school and college counts Moonlight playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, Cocaine Cowboys director Billy Corben, and Hamilton music director Alex Lacamoire among its alumni. In the end, lawmakers made a last-minute decision to abandon their plans. That's good news for locals: The 30-year-old institution provides a topnotch arts education and is ranked the 17th best school in Florida by U.S. News & World Report. Best of all, it's a public school, so any kid in the county has the chance to attend and become Miami's next big thing.

Guitar Over Guns
Courtesy of Guitars Over Guns

This year's horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas shifted all of America's attention to Parkland. But further south, gun violence against children is depressingly commonplace. Between 2013 and 2016, 94 kids were killed in shootings in Miami-Dade County alone, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. Students whose communities have been wracked by gun violence find an outlet through Guitars Over Guns, which provides mentorship through music and the arts. Since 2008, the Miami-based nonprofit has linked about 2,000 at-risk middle and high school students with artists who teach them to sing, dance or play musical instruments. The result? Students do better at school and sharpen their decision-making skills. That's something to get behind, whether you donate to Guitars Over Guns or head to a student showcase to see the kids show off their new musical chops.

Wood Tavern
Courtesy of Wood Tavern

Self-declared pussy grabber Donald Trump is president, and women still earn about 80 cents on average for every dollar a man makes, with women of color earning even less. Let's face it: Being a lady is no walk in the park. Cheap drinks are the least society can offer, and fortunately for Miami chicas, Wood Tavern will do you one better and let you drink free once a week. From 8 to 11 p.m. every Wednesday, the Wynwood hangout offers women well drinks for the very reasonable price of zero dollars. And don't worry, fellas. Dudes aren't left out on Ladies' Night: The bar offers $6 shots of Jameson to both sexes.

Beneath all the glitz, Miami has always been awash in political corruption and questionable cash. And over the last couple of years, few have done as much to expose the shady side of the Magic City as Nick Nehamas. The business-turned-investigative reporter made a name for himself in 2017, when he shared a Pulitzer Prize with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for the Panama Papers investigation. The series showed how the rich and powerful — and in some cases, criminal — used offshore shell companies to snatch up luxury real estate in South Florida, driving prices far above what most locals can afford. Nehamas, who joined the Herald in 2014 as an intern, hasn't slowed down since winning journalism's top prize. Last year, he and colleague Joey Flechas revealed that Miami Beach mayoral candidate Michael Grieco had close ties to a secret political action committee that knowingly accepted a donation from a foreign national. The story tanked Grieco's mayoral ambitions, and he ultimately pleaded no contest to a criminal violation of Florida's campaign finance laws. In 2018, Nehamas has already hit another home run with a series exposing how drug traffickers smuggle dirty gold through Miami to turn cocaine into clean cash. His hard-hitting, far-reaching work is exactly the kind of journalism Miami needs.

The 17-year-old daughter of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber faced the daunting task of addressing thousands of people gathered for the March for Our Lives rally in Miami Beach on March 24. She came through, harshly criticizing the older folks and politicians who have allowed the National Rifle Association to run roughshod over local, state, and national leaders for decades. A week and a half after organizing a walkout at Miami Beach Senior High School and a month after the horrific Parkland mass shooting, Hannah Gelber told the crowd that — after her upcoming 18th birthday — "I will vote against any candidate who takes money from the NRA. They will have to listen to me." Her speech brought down the house. Let's hope Hannah follows her father and grandfather (judge and former Miami Beach Mayor Sy Gelber) into politics.

Best Power Couple
Photo by Alex Rosu

When a Miami hospitality guru and the great-granddaughter of famous Vogue editor Diana Vreeland come together, you know they'll be the talk of the town. Yes, Jason Odio (Ariete, Sidebar, and Baby Jane) and Caroline Vreeland were already getting inches in Page Six in 2016, but it seems like Vreeland only recently adopted Miami as the home base for her jet-setting lifestyle. (Her Instagram page is filled with photos in far-flung destinations and is the stuff of envy for every aspiring social media star.) Odio is not exactly a shy boy himself. With three ultra-successful businesses, he's one of the few people who's made the leap from glitzy South Beach to more authentic experiences on the outskirts of Brickell and Coconut Grove. The couple was recently featured in a video for Harper's Bazaar focusing on Vreeland's favorite places to eat around town, which include Stanzione 87, All Day, and, of course, Ariete, all while her "Cuban papi" provides playful banter about her eating habits. How long before Vreeland starts ending her sentences with "bro"?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®