Best Tattoo Shop 2018 | Iris Tattoo | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Courtesy of Iris Tattoo

You know, many tattoo parlors are pitch-dark, have inexplicably low ceilings, and always seem to be a boys' club where Slayer records play at volumes that can wake the dead. That's not Iris Tattoo, which is sure as hell a good thing. Iris sits inside a condo complex on North Miami Avenue in Wynwood — but the room is multiple floors up from the ground, and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer a panoramic view of the city while you sit for six hours getting that back piece inked up. There's even a balcony where you can take a quick breather. Iris' website says its parlor was designed this way on purpose: The teals, pinks, and yellows make the place look clean, fresh, and welcoming, and the owners told New Times last year that they opened their original shop in Buenos Aires after getting treated rudely at a local parlor. So this isn't the place to ask for gang tats, but that's a good thing. Iris happens to employ some of the best artists in town — Karry, in particular, specializes in delicate, linework-heavy pieces, from intricate Buddhist mandalas to mystical animals to Hayao Miyazaki characters.

Attention to detail, competence, and patience: Those are the attributes you should look for in a body-piercing artist. Empire Ink checks every box. The well-known and reliable artists, clean environment, and stellar reputation make this shop tops. In fact, we're confident in saying you'd be hard-pressed to do better. In terms of sheer variety, Empire Ink has you covered. Numerous artists can show you an astounding number of examples of past work. There are certainly many choices when it comes to body piercing, but Empire Ink is the only place you will ever want to visit. The shop also has locations in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.

Courtesy of Cloverleaf Adult Video Store

Not everything has to happen on Amazon. Sometimes you actually want to, you know, see and touch a product before you buy it. Remember that? Remember shopping at, like, places? So weird. Sure, visiting Cloverleaf Adult Video Store isn't exactly running to Walmart for toothpaste and baking soda, but it's still a store! In 2018, sex should be something people openly talk about. Sex, in a way, is a craft, and Cloverleaf provides tools for the trade. What sets this place apart are the fun displays that offer just about everything one could imagine when it comes to fun between the sheets (and beyond). Do you like chocolate, vanilla, or grape so much you need condoms in that flavor? Well, you're in luck! Is a vibrator that looks like a bunny something you might like? Cloverleaf to the rescue! The store also carries a wide variety of adult videos, so there's something for everyone. If they don't have it, they'll find it. If they can't find it, they'll let you know where to find it. The staff is very helpful, and you won't feel odd asking them just about anything. It's all fun and games at Cloverleaf, which is how it should be. Open 24 hours.

Photo by Jesse Scott

You have not seen a flea market until you've visited the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale. This place is nothing short of a spectacle, with nearly 2,000 vendors selling anything and everything on God's green earth. The Swap Shop is open seven days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.), but the heart of the action happens on weekends. Things to check out: the expansive produce area, the indoor food court, and even a drive-in movie when the entire space is transformed into a 14-screen outdoor theater at night. The Swap Shop has been going strong since the '60s — it remains a South Florida icon and must-see.

Chances are, if you're visiting a pawnshop, the best-case scenario is you want your spring cleaning to be profitable. The worst case: You're desperately in need of cash and are willing to part with your left foot until you get in better financial shape. It's easy for pawnbrokers to take advantage of their customers, but Sergio of Cash Now Jewelry & Pawn doesn't do that. Instead, he and his team will walk you through the process of pawning and give you an excellent price for your valuables. Then they'll lock your stuff away in a bank vault until you're ready and able to collect. The shop also buys and sells jewelry and other items, so if you're looking for a gently used diving watch or a pre-owned chain, stop by.

Sometimes great things come in small packages. Not every liquor store needs to look like an airplane hangar or have attractive models at the end of each aisle asking if you want to try the newest Bud Light Rita flavor. Sometimes you just want a locally owned corner store that treats you as if you matter. That's what Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar is all about. The place offers a great selection, friendly customer service, convenient locations, and, most important, zero hassle. You get in and out, with no frills or long lines. You don't need a membership card or special coupon to get a deal here either. The prices are always on point. At the end of the day, we're all looking for the same thing out of a liquor-store experience: new and exciting choices at decent prices. Vintage Liquor & Wine Bar is a diamond in the rough and an excellent alternative to the chain liquor stores that don't concentrate on customers.

Courtesy of Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar

Miami is home to a heaping handful of cigar shops boasting the latest sticks from the most respected brands. But few spots offer the buyers' choice of delicious beverage pairing with their cigar selection. On that front, Prime Cigar has the competition beat. Along with stocking dozens of brands in its enormous, walk-in humidor, Prime offers a full bar specializing in whiskey — more than 50 kinds, originating from Kentucky to Canada to Japan. It also has a decent wine list and more than a dozen craft brews. But can you even taste your drink in a smoky cigar bar, you ask? Not a problem, thanks to the bar's air-control system, which ensures patrons never sit in a cloud of their own making.

Believe it or not, vaping was not invented to annoy people by blowing candy-flavored smoke in their faces. Before it was a semi-ironic fad, e-cigarettes were meant to help people kick their smoking habit. It's only now that a vast community has sprung up around vaping, with millions of people and dozens of companies dedicated to modifying vaporizers and producing new flavors of e-liquid to plug in and smoke. It's extremely confusing, which is why the fine folks at Vapor Life are here to help. They carry products for every level of vaping enthusiast, whether you're a chronic cigarette smoker looking for a starter kit to help break the habit or an aficionado wanting to take it to the next level.

People will travel great distances for good customer service. For proof, look no further than All Import Tech, whose Yelp page is full of reviews from people who've driven from as far as Delray Beach to get their auto problems fixed. The owner, Julio, is a consummate professional who's willing to get down and dirty to keep patrons happy. Rather than try to upcharge you on unnecessary repairs, he'll explain what's wrong with your car and offer a reasonable price. Then, while you wait in the comfortable lobby, the team will go to work and make sure your automobile is in perfect working order. Driving is a part of life in Miami, and All Import Tech makes sure it's not more of a hassle than it needs to be.

Sometimes you just want your car washed without it being an ordeal. At Busy Bee's three Miami-Dade locations, economy car washes start at $6, and you can zip in and out without getting out of your vehicle. Monday through Thursday, Busy Bee offers happy-hour discounts from 6 to 8 p.m., and if you're the type of person who prefers regular washes, you can stop by every day for a monthly fee of $19.99. Employees are always around to assist with complimentary vacuum stations, air for your tires, and a free wash on your birthday. The place is friendly on the wallet too.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®