Shopping & Services

  • Best Place To Buy A Barstool

    Barstools to Go

    We didn't know there were so many types of barstools. Tabasco maple. Natural oak. Pine. Leather. Animal prints. Vinyl. Chrome ultrasuede. Backless. Cushion swivel. "We carry something for everybody," says manager Roberta Dubonet, noting that there are more than 1000 stools from which to choose. "I even have a barstool named after me," she says. It's called the Dubonet, an… More >>
  • Best Place To Furnish Your Apartment For Less Than $200

    St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

    And now, a quiz. Does your apartment décor rely heavily on gaping blank wall spaces? Do you believe a row of beanbag chairs lined up against a wall is a reasonable facsimile of a couch? Are you aware that none of the folding chairs around your kitchen table match? If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're poor… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    Rhythm Clothiers

    Nine Inch Nails pumps through the store, indicating that a trip to Rhythm Clothiers is not your typical shopping excursion. Street-savvy duds by Miss Sixty, Diesel, and Juicy share the racks with more refined designs from BCBG Max Azria, Vertigo, and Parallel. "It's all in the mix," co-owner Gerry Novoa says of his take on trends and the attention he… More >>
  • Best Place To Brew Your Own Beer

    Brewmasters South

    Home-brewing is a sticky business. The pot of wort -- the stew of hops and barley malt that eventually becomes beer -- boils over at least once when a beginner's at the helm. That's why Brewmasters South is a good place to start. Tom Perlman, who owns the brew-it-yourself outlet with wife, Leslie, sets customers up at one of the… More >>
  • Best Skate Shop

    Super Skates

    Inline skates and skateboards are sidelines at surf and ski shops, but Super Skates specifically targets wheeled warriors. This specialized approach gives each store the atmosphere of a boutique. The shop on Fort Lauderdale beach is wide open to the salty breeze and outfitted with a smattering of clothing racks and rows of metal skate mounts. Skateboards and oversize T-shirts… More >>
  • Best Comic Book Shop

    Phil's Comic Shoppe

    If you're into comic books or know someone who is, you've probably heard of Phil's Comic Shoppe. And if you're looking for that hard-to-find Silver Surfer No. 15 or Superman: The Complete History, Phil has it. Even some of his competitors say Phil Beracha is the best, and there are plenty of reasons why. He has more than 30 years… More >>
  • Best Place To Buy Antiques

    Dania Antiques District

    After World War II when Port Everglades was dredged, Dania was drenched in salt water, and the land that made the city famous for its tomatoes went bad. Land values plummeted, and the main drag on Federal Highway emptied out. Then Genevieve Ely, a member of one of South Florida's pioneering families, opened up an antiques shop. Soon one antiques… More >>
  • Best Sex Toys Shop

    Wicked Leather

    Those big, bright megastores in which dildos, strap-ons, and inflatable Jacks and Jills compete for wall space with hard-core porn videos have their advantages. But we prefer erotic shopping to be, well, a little more erotic. Wicked Leather, a tiny boutique snuggled up against a wine store, caters to a largely gay male clientele and offers a few choice high-end… More >>
  • Best Video Arcade

    Grand Prix Race-O-Rama

    We may be dating ourselves here, but by concentrating on stocking the hottest new virtual reality simulators, operators of some arcades have left many old favorites out of the mix. The best arcade should have it all, and Grand Prix Race-O-Rama certainly comes close. While the kids virtual-fight on Tekken-3 or swoosh toward victory on Alpine Surfer -- a snowboarding… More >>
  • Best Mall

    Town Center at Boca Raton

    If you're like most people, you know one-stop shopping is the only way to go. You can find it all, from Saks Fifth Avenue to Sears, at Town Center mall in tony Boca Raton. Town Center offers a variety of shops and specialty stores, including the Polo Shop and Bruno Magli. And for a mere $3 (pretty cheap, especially for… More >>
  • Best Used-Book Store

    Robert A. Hittel Bookseller

    "What was holding him up was his own fat. His body was folded down against his enormous thighs, and the thickness and fatness of them held him that way, kneeling, poised solid. It would have taken a couple of good blocking backs to knock him over." If you like crime fiction, you know there are few things as fun as… More >>
  • Best Place To Buy Secondhand Chanel Suits And Beaded Ball Gowns

    Déjà Vu

    "Nobody in Palm Beach will buy used clothes, or sell them," locals told Maxie Barley when she opened the consignment shop Déjà Vu 12 years ago. But Barley suspected that residents of this exclusive isle shared her dual devotion to designer clothes and bargains. Indeed, one of her wealthiest big-name customers won't buy anything unless it's 50 percent off the… More >>
  • Best Place To Find Toy Soldiers And Military Antiques

    Grande Armée

    If you can tell the difference between men and boys by the price of their toys, the miniature regiments stationed at Grande Armée serve as age indicators. Contemporary figures, starting at $10 for a single and $75 for a set of six marching men, could launch a young collector on a course that culminates in a $2600 game of turn-of-the-century… More >>
  • Best Adult Video Store

    Megasex Adult Emporium

    Size does matter. That's why we journey to Megasex Adult Emporium for our XXX video needs. With about 20,000 titles available for rent, the place stocks something for every fetish and fantasy. Looking for celluloid she-males? There's a whole section dedicated to the testosterone-challenged. Titillated by outrageously endowed women? Check out the "Big Tits" section. The women featured here make… More >>
  • Best Used-CD Store

    CD Warehouse

    Pawing through bins of used CDs can be rewarding when you find that gem in a jewel box, but it's an investment of time that doesn't always pay off. Say you've finally decided to step out of the stone age and replace your favorite albums of yesteryear with CDs; buying them used is far more economical than busting the bank… More >>
  • Best Place To Buy Vinyl

    Larry's Records

    Because DJs need vinyl, they depend on specialty stores that offer the hottest dance music and 12-inch-single remixes. But what about the record collector who never gave up on vinyl in the first place, who's still looking for yesterday's, and some of today's, releases? "There is no type of music we don't sell," claims Larry Paul, owner of Larry's Records,… More >>
  • Best Nursery

    Living Color Garden Center

    You want low prices? Go to Home Depot. But if you want selection, Living Color is the answer. The nursery has more perennials than just about anybody else, from hybrid hibiscuses to heliotropes to guara to argeratheums to ground orchids. Palms? Choose from spindle, triangle, bismarkia, bottle, royal, queen, Christmas, coconut, and Alexander, among others. Citrus? Well, you get the… More >>
  • Best SPA House Calls

    Spa to Go Essentials

    Your back muscles whine with every twitch, your hair is an affront to good taste, and your nails look like a deck hand's. But the effort required to go to the nearest spa is simply more than you can muster. Spa to Go Essentials will come to your home, office, suite, boat, or cabana ready to rub, style, and file… More >>
  • Best Fetish Clothing

    The Fetish Box

    So, is your submissive play-partner looking a little down at the heels these days? Here's a solution: Drag that disobedient slave by the choke chain straight down to this latex-and-leather emporium incongruously located in the heart of downtown Dania Beach's antique district. Here you'll find all the erotic-fetish apparel your evil heart could desire, everything from latex hobble dresses (custom-molded… More >>
  • Best Wine Store

    The Best Cellar

    The Best Cellar has a measly 220 or so bottles of wine and champagne for sale -- a pittance compared to what's offered by the alcohol emporium Beverages & More. But whatever Best Cellar lacks in quantity, it more than compensates for with a discerning selection and knowledgeable service. "My mother was born in France, and when I was four… More >>
  • Best Picturesque PortraitStudio

    Bougainvillea Place, Home of Stark Photography

    Bougainvillea Place is like a Star Trek holodeck: Suggest a time and place, and photographer Butch Stark will transport you. He'll place you in a Victorian sitting room or on a Southern veranda, complete with white wicker swing. He'll turn your son into Boy Blue or Little Lord Fauntleroy, your daughters into fairies fluttering their wings atop magic mushrooms. Stark's… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    The Gifted Child

    Gather round, small fry. You say you want toys? Then hold your breath (or at least threaten to) until your folks take you to the Gifted Child. I know, the name is, like, barfy -- but look, you've gotta think strategy here. Do you really think your folks are gonna let you run wild in, say, the Swap Shop? Sure,… More >>
  • Best Place To Order Second-Skin Swimwear

    Custom Swimwear

    Every spring the comic strip character Cathy frets in a fitting room amid mounds of less-than-flattering swimsuits, lamenting yet another torturous attempt to find one or two scraps of fabric that won't embarrass her at the beach. Her frustration is familiar to women whose figures don't conform to the proportions of mass-produced bikinis. Enter Custom Swimwear, which caters to all… More >>
  • Best Health Food Store

    Wild Oats Community Market

    If Adam and Eve were still around, this is where they'd do their weekly grocery shopping. You won't find any MSG, nitrates, or yellow dye number 5 in the aisles, but you will find environmentally friendly bleach and toilet paper and ayurvedic herbs. "Ayur-what?" you ask. Dr. George Love tells customers just how to use the Asian herbs to lose… More >>
  • Best Barber

    Guys and Dolls Hair Salon

    Customers of Guys and Dolls are sternly advised to "Please sit up straight, uncross your legs, keep your feet off the furniture, and please don't smoke while your hair is being cut." The sign on the wall is no joke, says co-owner Linda Lafrato; at the height of the season, her colorful beachfront salon draws weird walk-ins like driftwood. Maybe… More >>
  • Best Dive Shop

    Divers Unlimited

    Like a sunken galleon lying on a sunlit reef, South Florida is overrun with divers. Dive shops, too. Around these parts you'll find dive shops in all shapes and sizes, from storefront mom-and-pops to national chain outlets. For our money the best of the bunch is Divers Unlimited. Not only does the store carry one of the largest inventories of… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing Store


    A sepulchre, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, is a burial vault, or a receptacle for sacred relics. That sounds about right, if you take a quick look at the vintage clothing store known as Sepulchre in Lake Worth. A hearse is parked outside, Marilyn Manson posters adorn the walls, and love beads and bell-bottoms are nowhere to be found.… More >>
  • Best Haitian Cultural Store

    St. Pierre Botanica Shop and Spiritual Store

    Looking for beads or Virgin Mary candles, a tiny voodoo doll with which to terrorize your boss, spices to ward off evil spirits or lure a potential lover from the next cubicle? This tiny cluttered hole-in-the-wall has been making Haitians feel at home in Broward County for more than a decade, dealing in potions and folk medicine -- everything you… More >>
  • Best Video Store

    Blockbuster Video

    We're still waiting for the day when a link between cable TV and the Internet will provide us with a video library, a one-stop rental site replete with every movie known to man, from The Birth of a Nation to The Waterboy, with all the obscure, naughty, horrifying, and gut-achingly funny picks in between. Then we'll just click on, say,… More >>
  • Best Record/CD Store

    Best Buy

    Sometimes the bottom line rules, and the simple fact is this: Best Buy is the cheapest place to buy compact disks. Super-mega-monstrosity-chain store or not, it's where we turn for the latest music. New arrivals? Always $11.99 or $12.99. Everything else in the store? You won't pay more than $14.99. Just about any other music emporium (the other megachains included)… More >>
  • Best Head Shop


    Jerry Garcia may have turned in his tie-dyed T-shirt and electric guitar for a pair of white wings and a harp, but his spirit lives on at this popular hippie stop. In business for more than 13 years, this one-stop shop for countercultural paraphernalia features a back wall stocked with more than 250 water pipes, ranging in size from six… More >>
  • Best Bait Shop

    Hinkle Bait and Tackle

    When Betty and Earnest "Blackie" Hinkle opened Hinkle Bait and Tackle on State Road 84 in 1955, a sprinkling of lures hung on the wall, and the empty boxes were put on display to make it look like they had more in stock. The trick worked, because enough customers returned to justify increasing the inventory. Soon the store was recognized… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Haircut and a Beer While Watching the Game

    MVP Sports Salon

    It's not as if an earth-shattering cry arose from some vain, beer-guzzling sports nuts looking for a place to throw back a cold one, get a haircut, and watch the Panthers game. But Brian Fischer hated going to his local barber shop and having to sit and wait -- and wait -- for the next available stylist. So he teamed… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

    Let's say you're planning a cocktail party for some friends with particularly sophisticated palates. Along with the usual nibblies -- cheeses and crackers, chips and nuts, pickles and olives -- you want your spread to include, say, three kinds of caviar, as well as some citron vodka Swedish meatballs and miniature puff pastries with assorted fillings. Your bar will be… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    International Bicycle Shops

    Watch out, it could happen to you. One day you may be thinking how this would be a nice day for a ride along the beach, and the next you'll be laying down the price of a used car for a zippy little two-wheeler featuring 24 gears, front-wheel suspension, disc brakes, click shifters, a speedometer, a tachometer, a rear-view mirror,… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Cigarettes

    Gator Tobacco Outlet

    Ever been to a drive-thru cigarette store? Well, on the Seminole reservation in Hollywood you'll find the Gator Tobacco Outlet, a trailer on a concrete lot a block or two north of Sheridan Street. All a patron has to do is pull up to the window and, in a flash, favorite brand is in hand. Even better, the Seminoles don't… More >>
  • Best Place to Plot Your Course

    Bluewater Books & Charts

    In business for 13 years, Bluewater Books & Charts is the largest nautical bookstore and chart dealer in North America, shipping 50 to 100 packages a day to ports around the globe. A sampling of its wares includes the paperback Voyaging on a Small Income, the coffee-table tome The Superyachts, waterproof logbooks, navigation software, Florida Keys guidebooks, and charts of… More >>
  • Best Newsstand/Broward

    Clark's Out of Town News

    Two exceptional newsstands exist in Broward County: Bob's News & Book Store and Clark's Out of Town News. Bob's is the more interesting of the two, a combination head shop, newsstand, and sex-toy emporium. Bob's has bongs, edible panties, the latest edition of the Death Investigator's Handbook, and a Wal-Mart-size selection of pornography. But when we're looking for serious news,… More >>
  • Best Newsstand/Palm Beach

    Main Street News

    Palm Beach Life. Palm Beach Society. Ocean Drive's Palm Beach. Palm Beach Times. Apparently the other half's appetite for glossy, navel-gazing magazines is not easily satiated. If those four titles available at Main Street News don't provide your fill of gala fundraisers and wrinkled, third-generation socialites, there's also the Manhattan society magazine Quest, which in one recent issue promised a… More >>
  • Best Surf Shop

    Island Water Sports

    Since surfer Kirk Cottrell founded the Island chain (five other shops are located along Florida's east coast) 20 years ago, local surfers have made the Deerfield Beach store their supply headquarters. Name-brand boards by Rusty, Local Motion, Natural Art, and other manufacturers line the walls and railing of the upstairs loft. And those are just the short boards; seven or… More >>
  • Best Pet Store

    Pet World

    At first glance Pet World looks like your everyday pet store, and indeed it has all you need for little Fluffy or Cujo: brand-name cat and dog foods, as well as organic "pet-safe" treats and toys. But once inside you'll notice that the store resembles a petting zoo. If you feel the need to cuddle something cute and furry, ferrets… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Liberties Fine Books, Music & Cafe

    Sure it's great that you can visit one store or Website and pretty much be assured that the book you want -- say, Jimmy Buffett's A Pirate Looks at Fifty or Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter -- is available. But atmosphere counts too. We'd rather not spend all our book-shopping time in a crowded, noisy, book-lined version of Wal-Mart; and… More >>

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