Best Of Shopping & Services

  • Best Charity

    Food Not Bombs South Florida

    Homelessness was at the forefront in Fort Lauderdale this past year, what with the city enacting an ordinance that restricted people from sharing food with the homeless outdoors. Enter Food Not Bombs, like Batman with a plate of food and love. As things got hairy, Food Not Bombs was there, calling the ordinance what it was: a "homeless hate law."

  • Best Bookstore

    Big Apple Bookstore

    While some local shops have survived by specializing (like Murder by the Beach in Delray), Big Apple has remained a generalist, offering fiction, romance, science fiction, children's, self-help, business, etc., as well as CDs, DVDs, and even vinyl records.

  • Best Comic Book Store

    Zaldiva

    Zaldiva knows that comic-book collectors in 2015 are some of the most technologically savvy people around, so it offers numerous services to capitalize on this, including a grading service that helps you determine if your comic is salable. Comic-book collectors in South Florida can't ask for much more.

  • Best Adult Store

    Rock Hard Love Stuff

    Inside its brick-and-mortar store, you'll find a buttload of butt plugs and penis enlargers, plus more sex-positive toys for women who love women than any other store in South Florida that we've visited; trust us, we've looked.

  • Best Clothing Store

    The Archives

    Women have endless boutiques filled with all kinds of unique threads that you can't stumble upon at the mall. Men? We gotta search. The Archives is the solution to that problem.

  • Best Boutique

    W Hotels — The Store

    The Store stocks everything you'll need for a day in the sand and a night on Las Olas, from brands like Parker, Botiker, and Finders Keepers. The inventory is expertly curated and captures everything we love about South Florida style.

  • Best Thrift Store

    Out of the Closet

    Chain stores don't usually rise to the Best Of category, but this particular Out of the Closet does, because of its proximity to South Florida gay ground zero. Let's face it: Gay dudes are great dressers.

  • Best Swap Shop Vendor

    Dr. Sound

    Some Swap Shop purchases are fun for a minute but fall apart by the time you get home. Not so with Dr. Sound. They guarantee their work, and they'll have your system and tints installed by the time you've finished that coconut.

  • Best Market

    Oakland Park Flea Market

    Broward County's longest-running flea market opened in 1972 and boasts more than 200 vendors selling everything from jewelry and shoes to cell phones and smoking accessories.

  • Best Mall

    Palm Beach Outlets

    The Palm Beach Outlets provide a pleasant alternative to the 1 percenter boutiques of the city. With stores including Banana Republic Factory Store, Calvin Klein, J. Crew Factory, and Steve Madden, you'll be so shiny, you'll have to pop into the Sunglass Hut to pick up a new pair of shades just so you can look in a mirror.

  • Best Gym

    110 Fitness

    At 110 Fitness in downtown Fort Lauderdale, post- or prework calorie burners looking for a refreshingly normal layout will be presently surprised. But that's not to say this gym is boring. With yoga, group fitness and cardio classes, and one-on-one personal trainers available, 110 Fitness will get you a six-pack.

  • Best Yoga Studio

    Bamboo Garden

    The studio offers an impressively wide variety of classes, from sunrise to sunset, from beginner vinyasa to advanced aerial yoga (where poses are done by positioning one's body in loops of silken material that hang from the ceiling).

  • Best Massage

    Martin Ibarra

    Martin Ibarra is a mobile masseuse who is so talented with his hands, you might forget your name at the end of the session. Ibarra specializes in a gentler, meditative "Muscle Energy Technique" as well as deep-tissue and Swedish massages.

  • Best Spa

    Tiffany Nail & Foot Spa

    This full-service spa offers full body massage, eyelash extensions, waxing, and alternative medicine such as acupuncture.

  • Best Nail Salon

    Pour and Polish Nail Salon and Wine Bar

    Choose from 16 bottle selections and sip on some wine while you get pampered. After ten visits, you'll be sent home with a whole wine bottle as a reward for keeping your cuticles nice and pretty.

  • Best Hair Salon

    Sha La La Salon

    Bringing the attitude and expectations of the Lower East Side to Fort Lauderdale, master stylist Dice-K (real name: Daisuke Matsunaga) has men and women willingly sitting in his chair for three hours, if that's what it takes, while he works down to individual strands perfecting your 'do.

  • Best Hairstylist

    Retro Red, AKA AnnMarie Macko

    You don't have to idolize Marilyn Monroe or Bettie Page to walk into her beauty shop at the Kreepy Tiki, but AnnMarie Macko believes everyone looks good with classic hair and makeup — go ahead and try it on!

  • Best Florist

    Kathy's Florist

    Roses are red. Violets are blue.

    You forgot her birthday. Now what do you do?

    Get in the car, and step on the gas.

    Head to Kathy's Florist, and make it real fast!

    Now get out your wallet and grab a bouquet,

    and thank Kathy's Florist for saving the day.

  • Best Liquor Store

    Liquor Fountain

    Here you will find everything from Four Loko ($7.99) to IRU Vodka ($10.99) to four-packs of Nicki Minaj's line of moscato ($9.49). They even have a cooler to chill their stock of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, which comes in sizes ranging from "Sneaking at the Movies" to "She Dumped Me and Kept the Ring."

  • Best Dive Shop

    Sea Experience

    If you leave the Bahia Mar Marina on one of Sea Experience's two boats, the journey will take you through the Intracoastal Waterway, along the mansions on Millionaire's Row, through the inlet, and past Fort Lauderdale's miles of gorgeous shoreline. That's the kind of view you want before taking a look below through the glass-bottom boat and finally jumping in the water at one of a few carefully selected snorkel and dive spots.

  • Best Head Shop

    Puff Puff Pass

    When Federal Highway is overflowing with bushels of Purple Haze and OG Kush, will you be busy trying to MacGyver a bong out of an apple, or will you be sitting back on your couch with some high-quality pieces courtesy of Puff Puff Pass? We hope, for you and your apple's sake, that you hit up the colorfully graffitied shop some time before the next election.

  • Best Cigar Shop

    Cigar Outlet

    This place has the lowest prices on the sticks or humidors around and plenty of selections to puff on. The best thing about Cigar Outlet is that it's known for friendly salespeople who remember you from your last visit and ask you how you enjoyed your last choice of cigar.

  • Best Vape Shop

    VaporFi

    VaporFi allows customers to sit at a bar, try different flavors, and eventually choose a kit that suits their budgets and lifestyles. They have more than 30,000 flavor combinations to pick from.

  • Best Gun Shop

    Big Al's

    This basic box of a building has the best gun supplies you can find in the area and some of the hardest-to-find ammo. Whether a seasoned shooter or just starting out, you can rent, shoot, pawn, buy, or just look at an assortment of guns.

  • Best Tattoo Shop

    Dragon Lily

    At this shop, which started with an outpost in Rhode Island, artists take their time and give you ink you'll be proud to show off for years.

  • Best Record Store

    Radio-Active Records

    Twenty-five years ago, no one thought records would outlast cassettes and CDs, except maybe the proprietors of Radio-Active Records. While much music is now streamed, people still like things, and this store has shiny new and fashionably used music on vinyl (as well as on cassette and CD).

  • Best Furniture Store

    Adam's Interiors

    The store is an exclusive dealer for many lines of furniture, including the plush "Stressless" collection of chairs, and "Adam's Signature" line is unlike what you'll find anywhere else.

  • Best Used-Furniture Store

    American Thrift

    The store has a vast selection of used furniture displayed in such a way that you imagine it in your home, not on the curb after someone moved last week. At the Lauderhill location, expect to find friendly employees, like store manager Beatriz Bosio, who will happily help you select the piece that best fits your home, then help you get it there.

  • Best Boat Supply Store

    Yacht Next

    Yacht Next is the place to go if you need anything boat-related — especially if you are looking to pimp your boat out properly. It provides customers with stylish, seaworthy interiors, custom outfitting, and employees who know their Sunbrella from their Naugahyde fabrics.

  • Best Tackle Shop

    Aces Bait and Tackle

    For more than a decade, Aces has stocked lures, rods and reels, hooks, sinkers, and polarized sunglasses. Just off the Hillsboro Inlet, Aces is on your way to the water. It offers professional spooling services and expert fishermen who can answer any questions you might have, so it's the place to stop if you admittedly have no idea what you're doing.

  • Best Paddleboard Shop

    Surf World

    The team that runs this family-owned business has been known to brag that it has "more paddleboards in stock than all the other paddle shops in South Florida combined" (not to mention a killer selection of sandals and skateboards).

  • Best Martial Arts

    Studio 4 Martial Arts

    Fitness. Focus. Fun. That's what you'll get at Studio 4 Martial Arts, which is focused more on helping people develop excellent character and self-esteem and less on getting all "hi-yah!" on a stack of bricks. (Stay long enough, though, and you'll learn cool tricks like that too.)

  • Best Music Lessons

    Computer Music Production School

    Computer Music Production School proprietor and super-nice guy Ed Unger explains that, more important than just learning how to use a specific piece of equipment or software, his students develop a deeper understanding of recording, mixing, and mastering that will stick with them even as technologies evolve. The full course is taught online over seven sessions.

  • Best Place to Buy Condoms

    Spice of Life

    Hey, let's be honest here — you can buy condoms anywhere; there is no need for some special trip if you want the basics. But basically, if you're looking to do anything but the basics, Spice of Life is where you should be buying your condoms.

  • Best Car Wash

    Majestic Car Wash

    Majestic Car Wash offers everything from a basic exterior wash to a complete and total auto face-lift, and it does it all with speed and precision.

  • Best Mechanic

    Custom Exhaust

    If an auto parts store can be "charming," it's this one, its walls decorated with wood paneling, muffler parts, and grease, and the longtime owner, Doug Ketcham, behind the counter writing out receipts by hand, as he has for more than 30 years.

  • Best Auto Dealership

    Alpine Jaguar

    This place earned the title of "#1 Jaguar Dealership in the World" in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013, and it took the top spot nationally in 2014.

  • Best Bicycle Shop

    Two&

    If Two& isn't your favorite bicycle shop, it should be. Maybe you already have a favorite bicycle shop, where they charge you a fair price, custom-build you a bike, or craft a hybrid built from various components tailored to specific needs. But can they do all that and also pour you a beer? Two&, owned by husband-and-wife bicycle-loving team Elmo and Zoe Love, is a bike shop, a bar, and an all-around fun place to hang out.

  • Best (Gay) Wedding Planner

    Amy Bloom Inc.

    Ultra professional and impossible to rattle, Amy Bloom can pull together any event, even when the flower-delivery truck gets a flat tire or the singer calls in sick. Pretty much all you have to do is show up.

  • Best Kids' Birthday Party

    Bluefoot Pirate Adventures

    Captain Black Sparrow meets families at the dock by Bahia Mar and hooks them up with pirate vests, face paint, eye patches, and swords. Then they hit the water for a cool trip down the Intracoastal Waterway, Sparrow narrating — and sneaking in some adult jokes — while a superfriendly lady pirate, Black Rose, entertains the kids.

  • Best Eyewear Selection

    Clearsight Opticians

    From Moscot to Chanel, Silhouette to Oliver Peoples, Clearsight carries a stunning array of frames for every face and lenses in every hue. And if you ask, the friendly folks there will gladly give you their opinions on what suits you best.

  • Best Realtor

    Tom Moffett, Exit Realty

    It’s clear from his kind, twinkly-eyed, church-going demeanor that this is an honest gentleman who would never, ever rip you off. But also: Lurking inside those dad jeans is one fierce real-estate killer — calmer, more organized, and more brilliant a negotiator than your accountant and your lawyer put together.

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