Shopping & Services

  • Best Place to Buy Books by the Pound

    Notjustbooks

    Proprietor Rich Sandler closed his used-book warehouse in Miami-Dade last year and moved north to a tiny building in Davie, bringing with him an idea the time for which is long overdue: reading material sold by the pound. There's precious little method to his madness. He divides titles only into fiction and nonfiction. Beyond that you simply wander around, find… More >>
  • Best Cheap Beer Selection

    Super Saver Supermarket

    While South Florida isn't exactly awash in interesting microbrews or exotic quaffables from around the world (thank our state's boneheaded beverage lobby for that), we're strategically positioned to enjoy a plethora of light beers from the Caribbean and the Americas. In our summertime, subtropical torpor, a pale lager hits the spot much better than a malty, yeasty ale. At Super… More >>
  • Best Men's Clothing

    R.S. Lords

    You have to admire the salesmen at R.S. Lords. Surrounded by thousands of suits and sport jackets, they gracefully put up with a sweltering climate that makes wearing a suit and tie tantamount to death by smothering. That's not to mention casual Fridays and beachfolks' aversion to anything that ain't shorts cum flip-flops. But persevere they do, with all the… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    67 Wine & Spirits

    Let's say you need an impertinent little Cretan wine to entertain some visiting Greeks -- say, a 1998 bottle of Kretikos white. You can find it for just $10.99 at 67 Wine & Spirits, along with vino from such places as Israel, Hungary, Transylvania, and Georgia (the former Soviet republic, not the state). Did we mention that 67 also carries… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Liberties Fine Books, Music & Café

    Liberties, with its eclectic book selections and vast array of caffeine concoctions, presents a haven for book-lovers who disdain mammoth national chains. But unlike fledgling independent places, Liberties plays with the big dogs. Both stores boast a healthy variety of genres, and if they don't carry the book you want, they'll gladly order it. Walking the aisles at Liberties is… More >>
  • Best Wine Shop

    Wine Depot

    This tiny white building across the street from a Rolls-Royce dealership appears an unlikely place to stop for fine wine. But drop in anyway and you'll find one of Fort Lauderdale's smallest wine shops may also be its most authentic. Owner Patrick Mevel was born in France to a family of wine connoisseurs and moved to South Florida five years… More >>
  • Best Tequila Selection

    Margarita Cafe

    First off let's get one thing straight: This is about TEQUILA. And if you think Cuervo is tequila, stop reading right now -- you probably believe Budweiser is beer and Domino's is pizza, too. For the rest of us with -- ahem -- more-educated palates, true tequila is only the 100 percent blue agave variety, not the stuff that José… More >>
  • Best Head Shop

    Grateful J's Dead Head Shop

    There was a time when head shops were pretty much about one thing: drug paraphernalia. Then came the war on drugs. Some head shops folded; others diversified. When Jay Work, owner of Grateful J's Dead Head Shop, opened his store, he took the latter approach. His five-year-old business offers body piercing at its Margate location and glass-blowing lessons at the… More >>
  • Best Kids' Clothing

    Think Thrift

    You could take your hard-earned cash to Sawgrass Mills or any other mall for that matter and spend it outfitting the tykes. You could also wad it up and throw it in the crapper. As far as we're concerned, it's about the same thing. The fact is that kids outgrow clothes so fast that buying brand-new, name-brand stuff for them… More >>
  • Best Counterculture Enterprise

    Sound Splash

    Matt Reynolds's all-ages, punk-rock, green-anarchist exchange of all things musical is going on its tenth year, having migrated slowly south from its original North Palm Beach location to Okeechobee Boulevard, and thence to its present locale in the industrial neighborhood along Georgia Avenue. A bare-bones operation of roughly cut shelves and record bins, Sound Splash is home to the area's… More >>
  • Best Health Food Store

    Whole Foods Market

    Yeah, it's a chain. But at least it's a chain of health food stores, as oxymoronic as that notion might seem. Indeed the quirky nature of South Florida capitalism has dictated that the store with the best selection of health food, prepared meals, and offbeat products (soy Bisquick, for example) is a virtual monopoly. Whole Foods stores -- despite their… More >>
  • Best Cigar Shop

    Cigarros Del Mundo

    Like Scotch whisky, good cigars need about seven years aging to get really fine. The strong and rich Padron Anniversary Series, a product of Nicaragua, gives you that quality. The 1994 Padron commemorates the company's 30th anniversary for $14.99. Who pays $15 for a damn cigar? Not the guys who pick up the Fuente Opus-X, a long and very strong… More >>
  • Best Pet Paraphernalia

    The Bone Appétit Bakery

    Ever wander into the pet aisle of your local grocer and want to eat the treats? Well, you might get the urge to do so at Bone Appétit, which smells like cookies rather than decomposing pig ears. Mouthwatering, home-baked goodies for dogs fill silver trays in a glass display case; kitty-cat treats boast real salmon and come in flavors such… More >>
  • Best Boutique

    Scrubbing Bubbles

    Painted a cheery yellow and stocked with the bath-and-body products that are at once trendy and deluxe, Scrubbing Bubbles is the perfect place for a pick-me-up. Owner Dana Davidoff rides her bike to work each day with her poodle, Ebony, in the handlebar basket, and her store exudes the same laid-back whimsy. All manner of gift-worthy items are offered at… More >>
  • Best Store for Fishing Gear

    The Corner Store

    Perfectly round, the building's shape reflects its origins; it was designed as a computer-operated, drive-thru convenience store. On the same spot for 30 years, this local landmark now carries everything you need for great fishing -- a smorgasbord of tackle and gear that covers half the store's shopping area --and everything you need for lousy fishing, too, such as 500… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent Anime and Pick Up Some Edamame

    Kyoya Japanese Market

    Kyoya Japanese Market is like a 7-Eleven with subtitles. Earnest if syntactically challenged English on the wrappers and ingenious packaging of its mini-mart merchandise elevate it from banal to exotic. Gum is somehow more appealing when flavored with lychee nut or green tea; mayonnaise becomes mysterious when it squirts from a bottle shaped like a Kewpie doll. For three years… More >>
  • Best Butcher

    Guido's Prime Meats & Delicatessen

    When we say Guido's is a family business, we're not talking about the kind of family of which pop culture has conditioned you to think. We're talking family business as in a 30-year-old operation run by the same family, with "Father Guido" and his gregarious sons greeting customers, dishing up homemade items behind the deli counter, and cutting fresh meats… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Tires

    Tire Hut

    Like their signature blimps, the prices at tire megastores can be inflated. So roll those baldies (carefully!) over South Florida's gauntlet of road debris, past a row of dodgy-looking used-tire shops along Sunrise Boulevard, to Tire Hut. The name evokes a primitive, thatched-roof building with a rubber tree out back, but don't be misled. Trucks from local exotic car dealers… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Pool Supplies

    Pools 'N More Factory Outlet

    Nobody really wants to buy pool supplies. It's one of those things you have to do, like mowing the lawn or having your wisdom teeth pulled. So when you find a pool store that will do all that fancy-pants chemical analysis and sell you only what you need, you go back. That's why we like Pools 'N More. It's not… More >>
  • Best Garage

    Davie Garage

    Is there such a thing as an honest mechanic? Yes, yes, yes! For the last 35 years, Davie Garage has been driving home the point that honesty is the best way to keep customers. If you go more than twice the employees will likely remember your name when you walk in the door. Stop in for an oil change and… More >>
  • Best Pet Store

    Pet Paradise

    Ever walk into a pet peddler, wander into the back room, and feel you've entered the cantina scene from the original Star Wars movie? That's what you'll get at this joint -- enough bizarre fauna to transform a Kitty Litter run into a scintillating journey. Take the red tegu, a two-foot-long rusty-red lizardish creature; its limbs are in constant swimming… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Support

    Relax the Back

    Your back twinges. It aches. Sometimes it completely lays you out for days on end. Well, here's a store made just for you. Everything that Relax the Back sells is designed to lessen pressure and reduce the pull of gravity on your throbbing spine. The stores sell beds, mattresses, pillows, wedge cushions, car seat supports, office equipment, recliners, and couches.… More >>
  • Best Animal Hospital

    Academy Animal Hospital

    If your pet could speak, it would probably say that going to the vet is for the birds. And it would be right in a way. Dr. Karen Zielezienski (that's Dr. Z to her patients) has been practicing avian medicine and surgery for more than 12 years, and she's one of a handful of AAV (Association of Avian Veterinarians) members… More >>
  • Best Used Bookstore

    Archives Bookcafe

    As newlyweds four years ago, Tatiana and Marty Zidtowecki started Archives, a used bookstore and café. Now the cozy shop around the corner still feels like a labor of love. With worn, antique-style furnishings and wrought iron tables out front, Archives could be the sitting room of your well-read aunt. Pick up a used copy of the latest Helen Fielding… More >>
  • Best Adult Video and Sex Toy Store

    Megasex Adult Emporium

    Sometimes tracking down the right vibrating butt plug can be a wild goose chase. You search hither and yon only to be disappointed -- again. That's why the connoisseur of battery-operated sex toys knows that biggest is always best -- and in this case, that describes Megasex Adult Emporium. The video/toy store looks as if it's taken over an abandoned… More >>
  • Best Pawn Shop

    National Pawn & Jewelry

    Other people's misfortune is your felicity at National Pawn & Jewelry. And judging by the inventory at this vast warehouse of all things pawned, a lot of people are in need of quick cash around here. On a recent visit, this shop had everything from chop saws to scuba tanks, bicycles to go-karts, vacuum cleaners to fax machines. It had… More >>
  • Best Barber Shop

    Pharo's Hair Oasis

    All right, Pharo's isn't, technically speaking, a barber shop. Barber shops are generally cheap and devoutly heterosexual in nature. Men are men, and when one walks into a barber shop, even his hair gets nervous. Or at least it should be nervous. We've found that barber shops are a dicey proposition at best. It's probably not so much that the… More >>
  • Best Chiropractor

    Jesse Rogers, D.C.

    Jesse Rogers's office used to be a swimsuit shop. Now it's a one-room clubhouse of sorts for a one-man show punctuated by -- what else? -- one-liners. Often as not his storefront practice in the Gateway Shopping Center is full of people waiting their turns and chatting merrily. A former standup comedian and long-time yoga devotee, Rogers is a different… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Rich People's Castoffs

    The Church Mouse

    The rich are not like you and me. They have better junk. And the Church Mouse makes this difference extremely clear. Don't be put off by the silver-haired matrons. These ladies know good stuff at great prices when they see it. The Church Mouse is a "resale shop, dear, not consignment" owned by the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea. Designer clothes… More >>
  • Best Plant Nursery

    NU-turf Garden Center

    Whether you live in an efficiency apartment or on an expansive estate, nothing livens up a home like a few -- or a few hundred -- nice plants. And you're not likely to find a better selection than that at NU-turf, where the claim to be "South Florida's largest garden center" seems indisputable. You could easily spend hours strolling around… More >>
  • Best Business to Deliver on Its Name

    Oh! What a Basket

    Owner Dale Madison wanted a catchy name when he opened his gift-basket specialty store in Wilton Manors -- "something with a little innuendo that wouldn't be offensive," he says. Hence Oh! What a Basket, which alludes to gay slang for a man's, um, package. It was perfect for gay-intensive Wilton Drive. Four years later Madison's operation is in its third… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Whipped

    International Dominant Divas

    Beyond the nondescript white walls and through the heavily tinted French doors is a room that looks a bit like a hotel lobby. It offers a comfy leather couch, a nice mirror, and a cherry-wood table, upon which sit several pictures of attractive women as well as two vases, 14 roses in one and 16 in the other. Three other… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop

    Sure, we've named this place Best Tourist Trap and Best Cheap Thrill in past years but, hey, it's a phenomenon. In this age of Disneyfied, mega-indoor shopping outlets à la Sawgrass Mills, it's good to know there's still a freak in the family. The Swap has been attracting tourists and an ever-diversifying mix of locals since 1966. Just driving through… More >>
  • Best Pedicure

    Serenity Aveda Day Spa

    Busy Sunrise Boulevard might seem an unlikely place to find Serenity, but that's part of the charm of this cozy day spa. Open in the evenings, the spa makes it easy to find time for a little peace. It even issues an order for bliss: "No cell phones," declares a sign at the door. The walls are the color of… More >>
  • Best Automated Teller Machine

    Regent Bank

    Your bank account is down to its very last $9.66. You have nothing in your pocket, and that pack of smokes you crave is so near, yet so far away. What to do? You could take the bus over to the check-cashing store for a payday loan. But you haven't seen a payday since you threw the wrapper away. You,… More >>
  • Best Airport Shop

    Coastal News/PGA Tour Shop/Heritage Booksellers

    Oh no! Spilled overpriced coffee on myself. Look at the pretty dresses and separates -- I'll put together a new ensemble, complete with cute straw bag and iridescent bracelets. That ostentatious old man over there also mussed up his clothes; he'll probably grab some snazzy designer golf threads to go with the balls he's fondling. My whiny niece wants my… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Coffin

    Community Monument & Casket Company

    Before the good lord calls you home, make sure you go see Ricky Williams at Community Monument & Casket Company. Williams can save you some big bucks from his small store. Not that you'll care, you'll be dead. But think about your loved ones. With the money they don't spend on your casket -- Williams can lay you out in… More >>
  • Best Record/CD Store

    Uncle Sam's Music

    Uncle Sam's store in Lauderhill is not merely a record store. Oh, sure it has CDs. Lots of them. But this place specializes in the stuff you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else: a vast line of punk, industrial, and dance-oriented music, as well as a selection of CDs by local bands, all in a store that is bigger and… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    FAO Schwarz

    Picking FAO Schwarz in this category is a bit like choosing the Atlantic Ocean as the finest place for a saltwater swim. There's simply no toy store in South Florida that measures up to those operated by the 139-year-old New York City-based retailer. And while there are now six locations in South Florida, none is better than the one that… More >>
  • Best Used-CD Store

    CD Trader

    Taking your unwanted CDs to a store to pawn them off can be a discouraging procedure. Some humorless retailers subject your platters to severe scrutiny, holding them up to the light to look for scuff marks, soliciting a second opinion from the stock boy, or even using an electron microscope to scan for irregularities. The harder they look, the less… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Field of Flowers

    You'll have no excuse to live without fragrance and beauty once you've discovered Field of Flowers, the floral supermarket with locations in Davie and Coral Springs. Owner Donn F. Flipse is a third-generation florist: Granddad Jimmy migrated to Miami from Scotland at the outset of the last century and opened a landscaping and flower business, dad Fred joined after World… More >>
  • Best Newsstand

    Borders Books & Music - CLOSED

    When we think newsstand, we conjure up the image of a dingy, cramped place where the closest thing to a scenic view is the girlie magazines stacked by the cash register. Not so the newspapers and periodicals sections at Borders. They're included in the big, bright Fort Lauderdale bookstore perched on the banks of the New River, with six sections… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing Store

    Jezebel

    Upon entering Jezebel, look up and note the hats. They are only the beginning. Need an outfit for that ABBA retrospective? How about a '20s Dupont car coat? Maybe a little something authentic for Mardi Gras? No problem. It's all here -- wigs, gloves, dresses, hats, shoes, suits, ties, jewelry, Hawaiian shirts, even nighties -- for as little as $5… More >>
  • Best Specialty Market

    Doris Italian Market & Bakery

    Grocery stores around South Florida are pretty boring. You have your Winn-Dixie, your Publix, the occasional Albertson's, and a handful of independents. And that's about it. Seems as if there should be more competition in a region with five million hungry souls. Thank God for Doris's places. These stores, which are located in Hollywood, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, and Boca… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Stuffed

    Gray Taxidermy

    If you've ever wondered what happens to the ones that didn't get away (and that weren't eaten), check out the big, blue glass building on I-95 with the dancing swordfish in front. It's Gray Taxidermy, probably the world's largest marine taxidermist. Like Apple computer, Gray's was started in a garage 35 years ago. Today founder William Gray has retired to… More >>
  • Best Mall

    The Galleria

    When it comes to shopping meccas, scale is everything -- upscale and small-scale. Ever since they put a roof over the Sunrise Shopping Center in 1980 and renamed it the Galleria, the managers have done their darnedest to maintain the place's status as "Fort Lauderdale's most fashionable address." Despite the fact that the mall's drab linoleum floors and dull architectural… More >>

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