Best Skate Shop 2020 | Mad Skate Shop | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

Is there a better socially distanced activity than skateboarding? Whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting started, Fort Lauderdale's Mad Skate Shop is on a mission to keep the sport alive, even through the pandemic. The store carries plenty of familiar brands like Adidas, Thrasher, and Krooked, and its knowledgeable staff of skaters stands ready to help clueless parents. Is your kid interested in learning how to skate? The shop offers lessons to children as young as 3 at its Skate Spot area at 99 SW 14th Street in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to helping beginners, Mad Skate also supports a team of up-and-comers who are helping keep South Florida's skateboard scene on the map.

Buying a car is supposed to be exciting — but the process is notoriously anxiety-inducing. The beginning and the end are a blast, but the in-between is pure torture. Lexus of Pembroke Pines does its best to make that in-between part manageable so you can actually enjoy one of the bigger purchases of your life. Selection isn't a problem, as there are well over a thousand cars in the inventory to choose from. Customer service isn't an issue, either. And the prices can't be beat: You'll get the best deal, whether the car you're looking at is new or used. And if you don't see what you want, the dealership will find it for you. What more can you ask for? If you want a pleasant car-buying experience, start your search at Lexus of Pembroke Pines. The dealership is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

A friend of ours was a late bloomer when it came to automobiles. After getting her license at 24, she became the ill-informed owner of a beat-up mid-size crossover SUV — and only after the car broke down on I-95 did she realize that an occasional oil change might be necessary for optimum car health. The team at BMA Automotive could easily have hustled this amateur, but as noted in various online reviews, the El Portal mechanic shop is incredibly service-minded, with a trustworthy team helmed by the knowledgeable, professional, and reassuringly friendly Ron. And while the customer is not always right in this line of business (no, those lights flashing on your dashboard are not a suggestion), customers are definitely at the top of the priority list for BMA, which has delivered premium-quality services at reasonable rates to Miami drivers for the past 30 years.

Your filthy car is begging for a wash, but you're too lazy to DIY it, and the gas station drive-thrus aren't worth the high prices they charge for soap and water. Hand car washes with great attention to detail are what make the service worth paying for, not some robot arms and a red arrow that tells you when to stop. So before someone leaves a scrawled "Wash Me" note in the dust on your window, take your baby to Karma Car Wash. Karma has perfected the old-fashioned hand car wash and has a pricing scale for every budget. In addition, the experts here will spiff up the interior of your vehicle just as well as the outside. While you wait, settle into one of Karma's umbrella-covered Adirondack chairs; you'll soon forget you're there to get bird poop cleaned off your bumper.

If ever there was a time when CBD was needed, 2020 is it. CBD can be a game-changer for users, but it can take a lot of time and money to find the brand, product and dosage that are right for you. With so many companies trying to cash in on CBD's popularity, the market is rife with scammers. In contrast, Herbin Living Smoke Shop offers the knowledge and products that will get customers the relief they're looking for, including its own full-spectrum CBD brand. The shop's inventory addresses a variety of consumer needs, from glass pipes and vape tools to kava and kratom supplements, and its prices are honest. So skip the gas station snake-oil stuff and make your way to Herbin Living instead; doors open daily at 10 a.m.

Photo by Kristin Bjornsen

With three locations in Miami and more scattered around South Florida, Trulieve has clearly cornered the flower market in these parts. But convenience is just one reason we like the dispensary chain so much. In addition to all the other products in stock, ranging from concentrates and inhalations to tinctures and capsules, Trulieve has helped pioneer the advent of edibles in this state, even setting up a 10,000-square-foot commercial kitchen near Tallahassee. While Miami's medical customers can shop from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Trulieve's delivery is also quick and accurate — another plus. And we admit that we're suckers for the puns on the company's website and text messaging. Happy Shatterday, indeed!

Like Disney World, but for vaping: That's the best way to describe the Vape & Smoke Shop location on Biscayne Boulevard. One step inside the store brings a blast of sensations, from the smell of the myriad flavored products to the visuals created by the colorful array of merchandise. A wall of incense and knickknacks draws you in on one side, while candles and hookahs intrigue on the other. Wide varieties of tobacco pipes and vaping tools are available; display cases highlight jars, pipes, and a vast assortment of other items that would look great on your coffee table. The shop also carries several lines of CBD brands. Just about every vaping flavor imaginable is proffered here — but if you don't see what you want, Vape & Smoke will order it for you. And if you're just familiarizing yourself with vaping, the staff is happy to answer any questions you might have. Vape & Smoke Shop opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Courtesy of Cigar Cellar

It's been a long day, and you just want to unwind and let off some steam — or smoke, preferably in the form of rich fumes emitting from the tip of an expertly rolled cigar. Head to Cigar Cellar of Miami for a complete cigar-centered experience. Like a traditional cigar lounge, the Coral Gables establishment features soft leather recliners for guests to melt into and light up. There's also a bar within the store so you can enjoy a libation with your smoke. Don't feel like leaving the house? Cigar Cellar delivers! Order from a wide variety of exquisite cigars online, including a box of ten Padrón maduros for $144. Cigar Cellar also offers an annual membership that includes, among other benefits, your own temperature-controlled locker for the ultimate in cigar storage.

Photo by Julian Delamaza

Competitive prices and great selection on booze — what more could we ask for from a locally owned liquor store, especially in 2020? The price and selection at Big Game Liquors are much like what you'll find at the big boxes, but the small team here is well-versed in what they stock, making shopping here a breeze even if you aren't quite sure what you're looking for. The compact space features nicely stocked shelves that are organized by spirit with a vast array of options. What makes Big Game stand out even more? There's an app! Available on Apple or Android, the Big Game Liquors app allows customers to place orders for easy pick-up or delivery, browse dozens of cocktail recipes, create a list of "favorites," and even peruse lists of top sellers and staff picks. Hooray for the little guy! Hooray for Big Game!

Photo courtesy of HistoryMiami

Before his death last November, Walter Mercado left us one final gift: a horoscope with New Year's Eve rituals designed to help us live our best lives in 2020. Goodness knows what Walter would say if he were still here to ride out this dumpster-fire-on-a-roller-coaster of a year with us. The kind, encouraging words of everyone's favorite cape-wearing astrologer, imparted over a 50-year career, will remain with us forever, as will his legacy. Not just in the bathroom at Stephen's Deli in Hialeah, either, but in our hearts. Everything Walter gave, he gave con mucho, mucho amor.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®