Best of Miami 2012: 25th Anniversary

Back in 1987, Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Michael Jackson released Bad. And a couple of hard-drinkin', troublemakin' Citizen Kane wannabes headed East from Phoenix to buy a year-old newspaper in Miami Beach called The Wave. They changed the name to Miami New Times, and the writers met in a tiny office on South Beach. Mike Lacey, king of the word, and Jim Larkin, maestro of the almighty dollar, immediately began thinking big, attacking city leaders, and diving into the arts like no other paper before.

A quarter-century later, we're still here, telling the story of the most interesting American city. In this extra-special Best of Miami® issue, we not only list 361 of the finest restaurants, bars, people, and places, but also review some of our biggest stories. There was an investigation that disclosed the United States was illegally siphoning arms to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, a chronicling of Hurricane Andrew's massive 1992 attack on our shores, a story that showed the 9/11 attackers' ringleader had entered the country illegally, a graphic description of arrests at the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas protests, and the tale of dozens of sex offenders being forced to live in a colony under a bridge.

History not your thing? You'll learn that the greatest go-karting is in Opa-locka, the best hidden gem of a restaurant is a tiny Asian eatery downtown, the number one happy hour is in the Grove, and the top public art is — where else? — Wynwood. Of course, you'll also find our choices for best athlete, politician, and artist. So read on.

We aren't the only ones celebrating this year. Readers cast far more votes in our Readers' Poll than ever before, almost 12,000 of them. This being Miami, of course, we had to throw out thousands of ballots. See, some voters cheated. But, hey, that's why it's called the Magic City.

Click the links below to view Best of Miami 2012:

Arts & Entertainment

Food & Drink


Shopping & Services

Sports & Recreation


Arts & Entertainment

Best Art Gallery: Dorsch Gallery

Best Art-House Cinema: O Cinema

Best Bar, Central: Ricochet Bar & Lounge

Best Bar, Miami Beach: Chalk

Best Bar, South: Bougainvillea's

Best Bar, West: Blue Martini

Best Blog: Antisteez.com

Best Band: PALO!

Best Dance Club: LIV

Best DJ: Pinchadiscos 305

Best Gay Bar: Twist South Beach

Best Festival: Ultra

Best Movie Theater: Regal Cinemas South Beach

Best Museum: Miami Art Museum

Best Radio Station: Power 96 (96.5 FM)

Best Theater for Drama: GableStage at the Biltmore

Best TV News Anchor: Belkys Nerey

Best Twitter Feed: Pepe Billete (@PepeBillete)

Food & Drink

Best Brunch: Fontana, Biltmore Hotel

Best Burger: Burger & Beer Joint

Best Chef: Massimo Giannattasio

Best Coffeehouse: Panther Coffee

Best Food Truck: Ms. Cheezious

Best Inexpensive Restaurant: Giardino Gourmet Salads

Best Late-Night Dining: Gigi

Best Mojito: Nikki Beach

Best Outdoor Dining: Scotty's Landing

Best Restaurant, Coconut Grove: GreenStreet Cafe

Best Restaurant, Coral Gables: Cibo Wine Bar

Best Restaurant, Design District/Midtown: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

Best Restaurant, Downtown: CVI.CHE 105

Best Restaurant, South Beach: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Best Sports Bar: Sports Grill

Best Sushi: Matsuri

Sports & Recreation

Best Coach: Erik Spoelstra

Best Dolphins Player: Matt Moore

Best Heat Player: Dwyane Wade

Best Hurricanes Player: Lamar Miller

Best Marlins Player: Giancarlo Stanton

Best Park: Kennedy Park

Best People-Watching Spot: Lincoln Road

Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners: Lincoln Road

Best Sportscaster: Dan Le Batard

Shopping & Services

Best Auto Dealership: The Collection

Best Bike Shop: Mack Cycle & Fitness

Best Bookstore: Books & Books

Best Clothing Boutique: Emporium

Best Gym: LA Fitness

Best Hair Salon: Control Salon

Best Hotel: Surfcomber

Best Liquor Store: Total Wine & More

Best Mall: Aventura Mall

Best Mechanic: Abana Auto Parts

Best Spa: The Standard Spa

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