Shopping & Services

  • Best Cobbler

    Shoe Repair Pro

    Yuriy Elimelakh is a craftsman. He learned the skill of cutting, stitching, stretching, and forming the hides of animals into leather shoes, purses, wallets, and upholstery back in his homeland of the Ukraine. For 43 years, he has practiced this art. Five and a half years ago, Elimelakh fled to the United States, and in November 1997, he and his… More >>
  • Best Used-Video Store

    Movies 4 Sale

    OK, so you have to brave the maze of stop signs and curvy streets known as Oakwood Square to get to Movies 4 Sale. And yes, you must navigate Oakwood's seemingly endless array of strip malls until you find the one that houses this little hole-in-the-wall store. (Tip: Enter the complex from Stirling Road instead of Sheridan Street.) That's a… More >>
  • Best Pool Store

    Pool Depot

    Cary Hoffman and his wife, Robin, started this family-owned biz back in 1992. Robin went back to teaching physical education at West Hollywood Elementary, but Cary just kept on swimmin' and sellin'. They took on one partner in 2001, another early this year, and they now run Tony's Pools in Cooper City, as well as Downtown Pools in Fort Lauderdale.… More >>
  • Best Pet Store

    Paws on the Avenue

    Living in Florida, you've probably got a neighbor or an aunt or just some old retiree you see all the time with a dog hanging out of her purse. Trust me, she didn't like those leather pants you bought her last birthday. What she wants is her little pooch in a mini fleece cowboy hat, with a matching corduroy jacket… More >>
  • Best Used-Video Game Store


    If you like video games, if you're a serious user, you're looking at serious bucks going to that addiction. It's never good enough, and the marketers are geniuses at creating the "next best thing." It's done in a laboratory in some secret location. The day you buy the next best thing, the next next best thing is three days from… More >>
  • Best Florist

    The Posie Patch

    Remember those old Impulse commercials? "When a man you've never met before suddenly gives you flowers..." Recall that scene for a moment: Busy street, neighborhood florist, woman with great legs, a kicky skirt, and a convenient gust of wind, blushing as she receives an unexpected bouquet. Now remember the inside of that flower shop. A smiling florist behind a cash… More >>
  • Best Hardware Store

    George's Paint and Hardware

    There are only so many places a man can talk about a 5/8-inch male pipe going into a 1/2-inch female fitting with a straight face. "We just need to find an adapter for the female end," concluded the conversation recently at George's, a hardware store whose employees thrive on such dilemmas. Here, you won't find any employees wearing orange smocks… More >>
  • Best Funky Home Furnishings

    Art Attack

    True to its name, this furniture and accessories store is an assault on the senses. Walk into this massive space and you're bombarded with the sounds of fountains, the scents of potpourri, and all sorts of tactile temptations. And the sights? Well, let's just say the store, which spans 6,000 square feet, carries about an item per foot. This space,… More >>
  • Best Fix-it Cheap Store

    Habitat Re-Store

    In a nondescript building on Broward Boulevard, Habitat for Humanity of Broward County opened a nifty thrift store of home repair, building supplies, and interior furnishings about two-and-a-half years ago. Boxes of bathroom tile, ceiling fans, interior and exterior doors, some as cheap as $10, are lined up along one wall; sinks, tubs, and patio furniture fill an outdoor area;… More >>
  • Best Dog Walker

    Shirley Mitchell's Pet-sitting Service

    Every dog owner at some point has faced the following dilemma: Leave the party early or let Spike poop on the Pergo. Ergo, not only is pet-sitter extraordinaire Shirley Mitchell your pet's best friend -- she's yours too. Mitchell, who daily wakes at 5 a.m. and sometimes works until midnight, began creature-sitting in 1987, after throat cancer took her beloved… More >>
  • Best Head Shop

    Peace Pipe

    In times like these, we could all use a big honkin' hit of peace. In fact, one has to imagine that if a few of our fearless leaders were content to curl up on the couch in front of the tube (preferably a nice handmade double-blown color-changing glass tube!), there might be a lot less trouble in this world. So… More >>
  • Best Sex Toys Shop

    Spice of Life Novelties

    Ironically (conveniently?) located alongside I-95 in a strip of stores that includes three bridal shops and Scarlett's strip club, from the outside, Spice of Life Novelties is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of place. But inside, it's an emporium of sexual delights worthy of late-night Amsterdam. The front section of the store holds an array of Spencer Gifts-style trinkets -- dirty greeting… More >>
  • Best Mall in Palm Beach

    The Mall at Wellington Green

    From the pull-up driveway area outside the Patio Verde food court, covered for rainy days, to the emergency call boxes throughout the sprawling parking lot and the children's play area, these are some of the conveniences that are hard to come by at local malls. The newest full-size mall in Palm Beach County greets you with its Mediterranean-style grand lobby… More >>
  • Best Source of Gardening Advice

    Master Gardener

    Broward or Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service

    Just moved to Florida from Alaska and fallen in love with that cloud-like purple flowering tree you see everywhere? Got spots on the orchids? Worms in the tomatoes? Scared of repotting? Need some advice on salt-tolerant landscaping? Or on native plants? Volunteers at the state's county extension service to the rescue. Master Gardeners have completed an intensive course of study… More >>
  • Best Place for Posters

    Art and Beyond

    OK, we're all just a little sick of Van Gogh, Klimt, that French poster with the black cat on it, and the black-and-white photograph of workers high above New York City while building Rockefeller Center. Don't get us wrong -- these are all wonderful little pieces of art and history, but they're spent like the latest radio track from Coldplay.… More >>
  • Best Newsstand

    Bob's News and Books

    Bob's is crammed with books for which the public is not clamoring (witness the large section on survivalism and weaponry), laden with kinky sex material that some customers might find off-putting (see whips for sale on display above the cash register), and its shelves are fraught with arcane literary magazines and poetry quarterlies whose readership comprises a paper-thin segment of… More >>
  • Best Women's Clothing Store


    We're warning you now: Loehmann's is not a place to go if you've got 20 minutes to kill. Or if you plan on "just looking." But, girlfriend, if you've got a few hours (minimum) to spare and cash to burn, well, you're in for a shopping experience bordering on orgasmic. We're talking prices slashed up to 65 percent on Valentino,… More >>
  • Best Supermarket


    Think every Publix is the same? Well, think again. All Publixes (or is it Publii?) may have the standard supermarket fare -- a produce section, dairy, butcher, breads -- basically a section for all of the food groups, with various household goods and junk food filling the gaps. A few stores have a good deli section. But how many boast… More >>
  • Best Place to See Strippers with Their Clothes On

    Daniel Rose Shoes

    There's not really anything practical about an eight-inch platform heel. It's clunky, hard to walk in, even dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. But tack that baby onto a pair of lucite slides or some go-go boots and you've got the only uniform you need to work in any of South Florida's strip clubs. Daniel Rose realizes this.… More >>
  • Best Trendy Tropical Chachkas

    Jezebel Past and Present

    If one lives in Florida long enough, he eventually crosses a line in his insufferable Northeastern or Midwestern aesthetic elitism. One marker is when you start to appreciate the cheesy excesses of tourist chic, deeply appreciate it. Have touches of Florida begun creeping into your life? Do palm Christmas ornaments seem right somehow? Seashell figurines suddenly appear cute instead of… More >>
  • Best Used-CD Store

    CD Warehouse

    Yes, the folks behind the counter at CD Warehouse are well-aware that their shop smells like donuts (blame the thin wall separating them from next-door Dunkin). No, you can't use the bathroom, so please don't ask. However, feel free to hit these music fiends with any and all questions -- if they don't know the answer, they'll find someone who… More >>
  • Best Garage


    Guy pulls into a garage with his flat left-rear tire in his trunk and his "donut" spare nearly flat barely keeping his car rolling. A shaven-headed, goateed mechanic beckons him to an open bay, then jumps out with the flat-repair kit and the pneumatic thingy that removes lugnuts. (Hey, if the guy in question knew what that thingy was really… More >>
  • Best Antiques/Secondhand Store

    Bobby V's Antiques

    While most antiques stores are satisfied to offer the customer all manner of metal lunch boxes, dated political buttons, incomplete sets of china, and old movie and music posters, Bobby V's means business. Sure, there's a few of those outdated doodads here and there, but most of the store is given over to antiquated furnishings. Here you'll find dressers, armoires,… More >>
  • Best Bicycle Shop

    Easy Rider

    Easy Rider has know-how, not attitude. And it wants to share. For the mechanically impaired novice cyclist, that's critical. The shop will sell you a bike rack and take the time to show you how to fit your bike into it -- several times, if necessary. Or explain how to make sure the wheel of your ten-speed is clamped into… More >>
  • Best Adult-Video Store

    Adult Video Warehouse

    What makes the Adult Video Warehouse stand out from the puerile pack of porn purveyors? It's an adult playground stocked with all the nifty little toys that the inventive minds in Hong Kong and Germany could dream up. A huge section is devoted to videos and DVDs, exploring every sexual subgenre imaginable, including amateur, antique, big boobs, interracial, fetish, foreign,… More >>
  • Best Used-Book Store

    All Books and Records

    Although its record section has been a bit stingy lately, what with all of the "no store credit for this CD" stickers on all the good stuff, the book section of this shop remains a bastion of hard-to-find literature. One recent foray revealed a 1950s edition of Machiavelli's The Prince, with a forward that compared Machiavellian politics to the spread… More >>
  • Best Beads

    Bead Need Imports

    If you haven't met a bead fanatic yet, you likely soon will, because beading is a pastime/avocation/addiction that's sweeping America like t'ai chi did in the 1990s. These aficionados eschew the jewelry and handbags offered by chain outlets and now fashion their own originals. Many of the young women who've taken up beading -- and Best Beads offers an array… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Murder on the Beach

    Here's a mystery for you: What is it about South Florida that seems to sprout mystery writers? Do they come here as poets and experimental novelists and turn to the mystery-and-murder genre after hearing of bodies wrenched from the muck of the Everglades or loads of cocaine or human cargo found in the belly of cargo ships? Or is it… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Lumber Like Your Daddy Did

    Lauderdale Lumber Co.

    Nestled in a most unlikely place a couple blocks north of downtown, Lauderdale Lumber is a time warp back to the days before cavernous megastores. The store is notable for what it doesn't have: dozens of aisles of patio furniture, lawn equipment, houseplants, commodes, appliances, and a glut of other items that have nothing to do with a modest building… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Blown

    Crystal Visions Glass Studio & Gallery

    All right, kids, get your minds out of the gutter! Crystal Visions creates handmade glasswares, not low-budget porn. Their 2,000-degree oven, known as the Glory Hole (hey, that's enough outta you!), heats and reheats all the prospective pieces. As one of South Florida's only glass-blowing studios, it caters to an array of customers. From stylish ashtrays and elegant dishes to… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    The Explorer Store at the Museum of Discovery & Science

    Need toys? Why visit a colossal chain store that practically requires a map to navigate (we're talking three aisles just for Barbie's shoes) when there's a cool little place like the Explorer Store? The shop, located in the Museum of Discovery & Science, sells all sorts of creative games, toys, and gadgets designed to provide challenging fun. The Build Your… More >>
  • Best Store You'll (Probably) Need Only Once in Your Life

    Bridal Headpiece Collection

    The name pretty much says it all. This store sells one thing and one thing only: bridal headpieces. Whether you favor a comb, tiara, or headband and want it beaded, jeweled or filigreed, you'll find it here. Think your mind is spinning with wedding details already? Just wait until the ridiculously patient salespeople painstakingly assess your head shape, hair style,… More >>
  • Best Ornamental Salvage

    Eastside Antique Market & Architectural Depot

    When Ray Oktavec was in the rag biz, he boasted $6 million sales. If Wal-Mart wanted embroidery on that sleeveless shirt, he'd get it done. But this v.p. changed shirts just after the economy tanked. Then on September 11, 2001, he was on his way to New York City to do business for Beverly Hills Polo Club clothing company. His… More >>
  • Best Strange Stuff

    Natural Selections Exotics

    Natural Selections sells strange plants. There are plants here with blossoms so luxurious they should come with parental advisories. The voodoo lily is pornography, though, plain and simple, with its thick fecund and penile-like stamen emerging from a delicately curled and vulvate flower. Other plants don't so much sex you as scare you. Natural Selections sells lurid monster versions of… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Lake Worth High School Flea Market

    How many places give you the chance to shop for bargains and help some kid get a college scholarship? While philanthropy probably isn't what drives the hundreds who flock to the Lake Worth High School Flea Market each weekend, it is the driving force behind the oddly placed open-air shopping court that offers everything from fresh tomatoes to foreign flags… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing Store

    Lucille's Consignment

    We're not about to say that it's impossible to find some chic retro threads at your local thrift store. The problem with the armies of salvation is that looking for that one choice shirt often turns into a hunt for the proverbial needle in a haystack. One must pore over piles upon piles of leisure suits just to find that… More >>
  • Best Day Spa

    The Spa at the Breakers

    Ocean breezes ruffle the yoga mats of a group of women who are kneeling and stretching, and a trainer in the bustling gym with an ocean view guides a spa guest as she does crunches on an ab ball. The immaculate 140-acre oceanfront resort seems fitting for a spa that offers 13 different massage therapies, 12 facial and eye treatments,… More >>
  • Best Tattoo

    Stevie Moon Tattoo

    Stevie Moon comes by his tattoo talent genetically. He learned the art from his mother, Juli Moon, who runs a tattoo parlor in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Son Moon is a master of the technical needlework of tattooing, but he also understands it as a graphic art. He wants the image to pop. He accomplishes that through structure of the image,… More >>
  • Best Record/CD Store

    Border's Books Music & Café

    Ow -- this hurts. A nefarious chain selected as the area's finest representative of a retail establishment where independence is a virtue? Yes, 'tis true. Since mom-and-pop record stores haven't been able to mount stiffer competition in these parts, Border's Books, Music & Café wins because: (1) it sports the most comprehensive and complete new compact disc selection in Broward;… More >>
  • Best Mall in Broward

    12801 W. Sunrise Blvd.

    Sunrise 33323

    How can you say "Broward" and "mall" without saying "Sawgrass Mills"? Sure, it's a tourist trap. It's the second-largest tourist attraction in the state, and more than 25 million shoppers will trudge through Sawgrass' stores this year alone. The parking lot holds 11,000 cars, for chrissakes. Sure, you'll get lost. The mall is more than a mile long, covers 170… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Crown Wine and Spirits

    You have minutes to get to that dinner party, and the old lady has sent you out for a bottle of vino. The only catch is that your knowledge of wine stops at Boone's Farm. This is where the guys at Crown come in oh-so handy. The South Florida liquor store chain prides itself on a staff that can not… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store

    Think Thrift

    Situated in a strip mall that is a veritable poor man's wonderland (the mall also includes a Salvation Army store, a large pawn shop, and a dollar store), Think Thrift may be the best thing going in deliciously cheap duds. Designer labels await even the casual shopper, and a discriminating eye can often pick out items that would go for… More >>
  • Daniel Rose

    is owner of Daniel Rose Shoes, purveyor of Fort Lauderdale's showiest platforms and spikes

    Q: Do you watch reality-TV shows? A: I do watch a little bit. I've seen Survivor and The Bachelor. Q: What do you think? A: They're not bad shows. But these people are living in fantasyland. Every time the bachelor picks a female, haven't they broken up later on? Every one of them breaks up, including that… More >>