Tate's Comics
Photo by Carina Mask

Comic-book nerds and geek-culture lovers in South Florida have a mecca. Tate's Comics is located in Lauderhill, but any self-respecting collector will tell you it's worth the drive for the sheer volume of comics, manga, toys, and collectibles in the shop's massive indoor space. Multiple walls at the back of the store are lined with the week's newest comics from a variety of publishers, including DC and Marvel, alongside an enormous archive of back issues for those looking to find a specific release they might have missed. Tate's also stocks a sizable collection of graphic novels and trade paperbacks, but the crowning jewels are the collectibles: multiple well-illuminated cabinets spotlighting statues, busts, and figurines that run the gamut from superheroes to G.I. Joes to Alien vs. Predator memorabilia. If you have a niche interest the chances are good that Tate's has you covered.

Enter a medieval wonderland, inspired by nature and mythological folklore. Great Oak Tattoo is a woman-owned company whose queer Hispanic artists prioritize all bodies while specializing in traditional and fine-line, and even eyebrow microblading or cosmetic tattooing. When your tattoo is done, linger to browse and sample the homemade herbal remedies and apothecary. The shop opened in 2021 and has already grown to six artists, abetted by frequent guest artists who bring their own years of experience. With styles for everyone from cartoon fanatics to psychedelic spiritualists, this is a must visit if you're shopping for your next — or your first — encounter with ink.

Oddballs Nifty Thrift does more than live up to its name. As soon as you walk through the doors, you're in the midst of a madcap collection of eclectic odds and ends that seems to go on forever. Multiple rooms filled with myriad relics provide hours of fun for the eagle-eyed collector and the breezy browser alike. Oddballs offers consignment services, and vendors can rent space throughout the Oakland Park storefront to show off their weird wares. For buyers, prices are negotiable and the staff will do its best to help you snag that vintage dress, hand-carved cane, or wacky wall art. The best part about shopping here? Oddballs is equipped with a beer fridge, so you can enjoy a cold one (or three) while you're perusing the multitude of treasures that lie within.

Lower East Coast
Photo by Jesse Fraga

Yes, Lower East Coast kind of falls into the "hypebeast" category, but you've got to hand it to partners Rees Escobar, Jonathan Rodriguez, and Steven Sanz: They've proven they're more than capable of curating a shopping experience. Unlike most streetwear stores, LEC doesn't seem particularly interested in stocking brands like Supreme and A Bathing Ape. Rather, this is a place where you can discover the next big thing. And that's on purpose. The shop, which includes a bookstore, is about championing emerging brands. The quality is excellent, which means you'll pay more than you would at a mall chain, but if you're looking to break the addiction to fast fashion, LEC is your cure. Some of our favorite labels here include Stray Rats, Carhartt WIP, and Real Bad Man.

Kith
Photo by Douglas Markowitz

Streetwear brands like Supreme and Bathing Ape have long garnered all the hype, but can you buy Cap'n Crunch-flavored soft-serve at their stores? You can at Kith,the Manhattan-based luxury clothing brand whose flagship Miami Beach store fuses street fashion and food in a unique concept. Kith's swanky Collins Avenue shop is filled with designer clothes and footwear from Nike, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, and Saint Laurent and boasts arches throughout its modern space, constructed with hundreds of cast Air Jordan 5 sneakers. Along with the apparel, the store is known and loved for its signature Kith Treats, which include cereal-flavored milkshakes and soft-serve ice creams designed by the likes of the late Virgil Aloh and rapper Action Bronson.

Whether you're looking to strut through the streets or in need of a period piece to finish off a costume, you'll discover a world of posh fashion history inside the House of Findings. Owner Mayra Gonzalez has been in the vintage game since 1989, and her taste is finer than any designer sitting on South Beach. Clothing as far back as the '30s, international garb, upcycled and handmade goods — she has it all. You can hit the mall and dress like everyone else, or you can visit the House of Findings and look iconic. Which do you prefer?

Over the past decade and a half, the mother-daughter duo of Nicole Valenzuela and Rosana Mattioli has mastered the art of elegant swimwear. Nikki's Beachhouse Boutique's collection of vibrant bathing suits, lingerie, and even bridal beachwear uses high-quality materials and fuses styles from Valenzuela's native West Coast and our own backyard. Whether you're shopping online or at the brick-and-mortar stores in Coconut Grove and South Miami, one thing is guaranteed: You won't find anything basic. Splurge on a reversible bikini set and a white cotton coverup or a matching canvas tote and floppy hat set.

Dadeland Mall
Dadeland Mall

Until someone invents a time machine, taking a trip to the mall is the next best thing to rewinding the VHS of your imagination. Stepping into Dadeland Mall is a bit of a throwback: All your teenage favorites are there, from the Auntie Anne's pretzel kiosk and Mandarin Express in the food court to a two-story Urban Outfitters stocked with thrift-store styles at unaffordable prices. This isn't to say there aren't newer additions, including a Sephora, an Apple store, and a Shake Shack. There are plenty of seating areas and phone-charging stations throughout the mall, plus a play area for restless kiddos. Make a day of it or, if you're so inclined, a night — last fall, an AC Hotel opened up next to Macy's, offering you the opportunity to extend your retroactive respite for as long as you care to.

Palm Court
Ra Haus

It isn't often you find restroom stalls with full-length doors —you know, the kind that extend all the way to the floor — let alone in a public facility. But the bathrooms at Palm Court in the Design District offer privacy and more. In addition to men's and women's rooms, there's a genderless "everyone" restroom for anyone who might need it. In the ladies', you'll find soft, warm lighting and a full-length mirror for last-minute fit checks. Next to the sinks are your choice of paper towels or a Dyson hand dryer. Feeling antsy? Distract yourself with the Buckminster Fuller-designed geodesic dome in the courtyard on the street level or chill in the comfortable lounge area out front while your girlfriend touches up her lipstick.

It's your real-life Central Perk but with fewer sweaters and a more environmentally conscious attitude. SpecialTEA Lounge and Café, Tamiami's very own specialty coffee, beer, and, well, TEA shop, is conveniently located in the Columbia Shopping Plaza within walking distance of Florida International University's main campus, the better for students in need of a cozy study sesh. You can count on the fast, reliable internet, and there are outlets to plug into arrayed across every wall. Whether you've procrastinated on a school or work assignment or just have a hankering for caffeine and organic munchies, SpecialTEA outlasts most café around town, staying open from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. Make yourself comfortable on a couch, in a booth, or in a cushioned chair while you jack the Wi-Fi to your heart's content. Having a rough day? The expert baristas can sling any customized drink you request, with aplomb. Bring a jacket or hoodie, though — the air conditioning's topnotch too.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®