Best of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of 2013

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  • + Pompano Beach
  • + Riviera Beach
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  • + South Miami
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  • + Sunrise/Plantation
  • + Tamarac
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  • + Weston
  • + Wilton Manors
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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Record Store
Confusion Records

Well, the name is apt. Not exactly a tidy place, Confusion looks a lot more like a collector's bedroom than a record store. Records are seemingly carelessly strewn across every square inch. They fill bins, are scattered on the floor, are tucked in corners, hang on the walls — even the ceiling! CDs too, and cassettes! It's easy to assume that there is no order to this chaos and that the one must-have record you need for your collection will never be found in the madness. Ah, but Confusion Records is fueled by a unique kind of enthusiast/owner, one who doesn't have a website and seems to rarely answer the phone (we could track down only his first name — John), who knows the store inside and out and can direct you, without hesitation, to whatever it is you're looking for. You will (perhaps literally) stumble upon a lot of great stuff, but if you're looking for something in particular, you're going to need John's help, which means you'll strike up a conversation with him, which means you'll learn a thing or ten from the vast store of musical knowledge in his most amazing brain.

848 Park Ave., Lake Park, 33403
MAP
561-848-1882
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845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 33304
MAP
954-762-9488
Best Holistic Helpers

Information regarding health and nutrition is more plentiful and easily available than ever before, yet somehow, many of us are not quite exemplars of well-being, especially amid the 9-to-5 grind. Fortunately, there are folks out there devoted to spreading the... health! Red Carrot Wellness provides health and nutritional coaching to individuals, groups, and corporations. These folks will help you shop for groceries, cook, and dine out more wisely. They'll come to your place of business to lead weekly yoga classes (just $175 for up to 40 people — tell the boss!), monthly nutrition workshops, detoxification cleanses, and more. Who among us could not benefit from tapping into the power of Pilates or learning more about the perils of sugar consumption?

425 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 33301
MAP
321-231-2237
Best Florist
Flowers and Found Objects

Whether for a big wedding or a random Wednesday, the good people of Flowers and Found Objects will help you celebrate life with their brilliant vision and creations. Arrangements for all occasions can be found within the fragrant Las Olas boutique. Browse the portfolio and discover tasteful displays like the "Vanda Orchid Assortment" ($70 to $125), "Tropical Garden Centerpiece" ($125 to $150), and "Casablanca Lilies in Cylinder Vase" ($125 to $250) — all of which look as poetic as their titles. You can work with them to customize an order, or Flowers and Found Objects will take care of it completely. Or if you'd just like to pick out a single rose or sunflower, that's fine too. As if flowers weren't enough, the shop also offers lovely gourmet gift packages ($75 and up) and interesting decorative pieces — "found objects" such as clocks, vases, and statuettes that their stylish buyers have gathered from across the U.S.

521 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 33301
MAP
954-523-4155
Best Bookstore
Second Edition Book Shop

Stores that hawk books are hard to find in South Florida, even if we count corporate Starbucks dispensaries tricked out with two stories of teen fiction, celebrity magazines, and more literary lions on the walls in pretentious murals than in the stockroom. Second Edition Book Shop is one of the few remaining members on the endangered-species list — and the best. Tucked into a shopping center off Stirling Road in Davie, Second Edition is tight and cozy on the inside. Stocked floor to ceiling, all the books choke the store with the sweet aroma of well-thumbed pages. Books cost half the sticker price or less. Up front, you'll find inviting leather chairs for test-driving the books. Although there's a literature section way in the far back, Second Edition's sweet spot is genre potboilers — mysteries and sci-fi adventures and sweaty romances, anything you might need to speed through a day at the beach.

6812 Stirling Rd., Hollywood, 33024
MAP
954-961-5063
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4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill, 33319
MAP
954-748-0181
Best Animal Shelter

Nothing tugs at the heartstrings like doe-eyed pups and fuzzy kittens — particularly those with no home to call their own. They gaze up at you with their innocent expressions, tilting their scruffy heads and raising one lone paw. All they want is love. But don't be fooled by Sarah McLachlan and her corporate shill. The folks at Warm Hearts Pet Rescue are doing the real work — pulling pets from the pound, enduring heartache and tough decisions, bathing, feeding, transporting — to save as many lives as possible. Warm Hearts is donation-based and volunteer-run, and its no-kill facility comes complete with two backyards for running, playpens for socializing, mega-sinks for washing, and all kinds of other pup perks to keep residents happy, entertained, and exercised until they find their forever homes. Need a new love in your life? If so, now you know where to go. And it ain't cheap to run a rescue this size, so maybe think of all those adorable animals next time you have some spare coin to contribute.

550 Industrial Way, Boynton Beach, 33426
MAP
334-561-0083
Best Liquor Store
Happy Pappy's

Counterintuitive or just plain amazing? These were our first thoughts upon encountering Happy Pappy's, a drive-through liquor store in Hollywood. Located on Griffin Road across the street from a pawn shop and next door to Happy Pappy's Sub Shop, this standalone mom-and-pop establishment looks like a little hut of joy, complete with a terra-cotta-colored awning and rainbow bubble letters spelling out the Happy Pappy's name. While the selection and prices are pretty middle-of-the-road, the mom-and-pop quality gives the establishment a dose of charm. As soulless, warehouse-sized Disney Worlds of liquor stores like Total Wine continue to dominate suburban markets, we're content with rolling up and getting serviced with our usual brown-bagged adult beverage of choice, especially since we don't even have to get out of the car. Happy Pappy's, which has been around since the '80s, is a clear favorite among locals, while its proximity to Fort Lauderdale airport makes it all too convenient for tourists looking to stock up on weekend supplies.

4551 Griffin Rd., Davie, 33314
MAP
954-792-9536
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Best Record Store: Confusion Records

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