Shopping & Services

  • Best Barber in Broward

    Fresh at Florida Master Barber

    No roody poo yakkety-yak at Florida Master Barber, where Fresh (Mark Bierre) wields his blades. Sit down. How do you want it? Short. Fade? Yeah, a little fade. Out come the black smock and the Father O'Brien white paper strip around the throat. Then the master does his thing. One length of clippers for the back of the head. Then… More >>
  • Best Barber in Palm Beach

    The Florida Barber Shop

    Though it may seem mostly a matter of semantics, there is a significant difference between a hairstylist and a barber. You go to a hairstylist to have your hair cut and styled in a particular fashion. But if you don't know what you're doing, that style gets lost as soon as you take a shower. With a barber, what you… More >>
  • Best Florist

    Hearts and Flowers Florist and Party Designs

    Some of the so-called florists you can call when you need a bouquet delivered to that special someone are nothing more than a bank of phones, a middleman sending orders out to others. Not so with Coral Springs' Hearts and Flowers Florist and Party Designs. Since the store opened 11 years ago, it has distinguished itself as the place to… More >>
  • Best Women's Clothing

    Lauderdale Lifestyle Too

    The mall served you well in high school, and Target definitely has its place. But you're a big girl now, and you deserve some grown-up clothes. At Lauderdale Lifestyle Too, the racks are jammed with upscale designer labels, independent brands, and one-of-a-kind handmade threads. Here you will find clothes that work for the boardroom, the bistros, and the beach --… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing Store in Broward

    Community Thrift Store

    Open even on Sundays (noon to 5 p.m.) and with lots of Discount Days and 50 percent-off sales, the two huge rooms of this place in the Riverland Shopping Center will thrill the most frugal of thrifters. CTS' rack-after-rack variety of items can at first seem daunting (e.g., 40 feet of hanging blue jeans), but after you roll up those… More >>
  • Best Vintage Clothing Store in Palm Beach

    The Vintage Shoppe

    Looking for a little extra attention around town? Here's a small secret: the Vintage Shoppe. Although it's run by Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, the shop offers fashions not seen in years -- and nothing you'll find in overpriced and aesthetically bland mall chain stores. For women, there's a sharp selection of dresses, blouses, coats, hats, and shoes in a variety of… More >>
  • Best Secondhand Store

    Jane Loves Cheap Furniture

    Give it up already. Martha Stewart might be goin' to the pokey, but you're not the new her. Despite the big bucks you've spent at the craft store and the hours you've logged at the Home Depot, you're not gonna become a master of faux finishes, and you'll never get around to reupholstering the couch. Especially when it's so much… More >>
  • Best Toy Store

    The Explore Store Museum of Discovery and Science

    This joint ain't large. But it's cheap, convenient, and fun, and the twerps might actually learn something while they spend your hard-earned cash. Opened in 1992, the Explore Store sells rubber sea turtles ($2.50), snakes ($3.50), frogs (75 cents), and iguanas ($2.25, and they squeak). A real hand-painted iguana to scare your sister goes for $27. Plastic whales, octopuses, sharks,… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Contact Lens in a Pinch

    Optical at the Swap Shop

    Lo, it may befall you, as it has many decent folk, that the morning after a champagne-fueled backyard midnight coed skinny-dipping session, you awake to find only one working eye in your head. Who to contact for a lens? If the morning in question happens to be New Year's Day and all acquaintance be sleeping off hangovers, you'll be resorting… More >>
  • Best Mall in Broward

    Riverland Shopping Center

    "We built this city! We built this city on rock 'n' roll!" OK, not only does that song totally suck but it's dead wrong as well. Anyone in South Florida knows damn well how our cities are built: one collection of shops at a time. Look at any Broward/Palm Beach burg from Margate to Wellington back to Pembroke Pines: It's… More >>
  • Best Mall in Palm Beach

    Mizner Park

    Malls bring out the must-have-everything attitude latent in all Americans. Yet indoor shopping centers just don't have everything. If commercialism's claws are deep into your wallet, get thee to Mizner Park, which has all the standard fare and then some. There's stuff for your home (electronics from Bang & Olufsen, utensils from Mamma Ro), stuff for your body (clothes from… More >>
  • Best Boobs

    Cinderella Wig and Breast Prosthetic Salon

    Janet Jackson has nothing on this place. The airy shop -- located not in the bowels of some stuffy medical complex but in a sassy, celebratory location on Lake Worth's main shopping drag -- is a virtual wonderland of prosthetic breasts, special swimsuits, and wigs. It used to be that breast cancer survivors would have to look for prosthetics in… More >>
  • Best Mechanic in Broward

    Sample Tire

    Sample Tire is run by John Hansen, a paragon of auto care in Broward County for the past two decades. Hansen, a tall, graying fellow who loves to fish, doesn't advertise -- he doesn't have to. Word of mouth keeps his garage full of cars and customers. Why? The guy -- and his team of mechanics -- is honest and… More >>
  • Best FireTruck Rental

    Fire Trucks for Fun

    There are not many things that'll make you feel more like a 5-year-old again than hanging off the backside of an antique fire truck in full firefighting gear. Andrea and Shawn Beckowitz, the husband-and-wife team that, with Shawn's parents, owns Fire Trucks for Fun, rent out a 1978 Mack fire truck for parties, carnivals, and other events, giving kids the… More >>
  • Best Place to Window-shop

    The New Auto Toy Store

    You won't actually drive that tongue-red Ferrari, not in this lifetime, not so long as you're loving thy neighbor and helping the small people of the world, fighting the good fight, taking only what you need, healing wounds, righting wrongs, giving for the sake of giving. Nor will you ever glide down Las Olas in that silver Bentley, not so… More >>
  • Best Record/CD Store

    Uncle Sam's Music

    For those days when downloading music off the Internet isn't an option, you'd rather slit your skinny wrists than darken the doorstep of a Barnes and Noble, and you don't want to wait for Amazon.com to deliver the latest disc from Kamikazee Wombat (or whatever it is you damn kids listen to these days) via your friendly mail carrier, Uncle… More >>
  • Best Place for Vinyl Junkies

    Kelly's Klassics

    While it's fashionable for hipsters to bemoan the lack of quality record stores in South Florida, such cultural curmudgeons would be wise to either (a) move somewhere that meets their hipness standards or (b) put their money where their collectively jaded mouths are and visit Kelly's Klassics. Granted, it's open only on Saturdays, and you gotta shell out some extra… More >>
  • Best Place to Prepare for Armageddon

    IPS 911 Store

    The shit's going down. Power's out. Government's fallen. Neighbor's fled. Fido's dead. The evil zombie's comin' down the road. What do you do? Well, if you were wise enough to shop at IPS 911 Store in Hollywood, you'd put on your riot gear helmet ($125), slide knives in your military boots ($79 to $199), and throw a fresh clip in… More >>
  • Best Masks

    Hollywood Costumes

    As presidential campaign 2004 heats up through the summer, you're gonna find yourself needing one thing above all: political masks. Whether you're for or against re-electing the Bushies, the gang's all here at this shop, which is visible from I-95 -- but a darn sight harder to get to via service roads. Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell,… More >>
  • Best Store for Musicians in Broward

    Music Arts Enterprises

    Music Arts Enterprises -- the huge music instruments store on Davie Boulevard -- is not a corporate chain. Really. Though it's got more guitars than you could shake a pick at (and loads of other instruments, music books, DJ equipment, lighting, etc.), the 41-year-old MAE is as mom-and-pop as they come. Guitars comprise roughly 30 percent of the store's inventory,… More >>
  • Best Store for Musicians in Palm Beach

    Marathon Music

    It's the grand opening of a new location for a national chain music store. Give it some type of cool, seemingly edgy name like "Axes of Evil" or "Drum Addicts Anonymous." Anyway, the store purports to have a special on guitars, which earns the enthusiastic attention of young Johnny Six String. Johnny, thinking he'll get a good deal, hurries over… More >>
  • Best Place to Play an Eight-Minute Guitar Solo

    God of Thunder

    The Metal Factory may have dropped the metal in its name. It may be difficult to find a white fringe jacket anymore. But if you find yourself longing for the touch of a B.C. Rich Warlock bass so you can finally perfect that Iron Maiden solo, God of Thunder is a haven for those of us stuck in the '80s.… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Bookwise

    One of the first things you'll notice upon entering Bookwise used bookstore is how neat and organized it is. Whereas lesser used bookstores are not much more than giant dustbins serving as the owners' storage closets, the books at Bookwise are all of like-new quality. And they're conveniently classified so you won't spend a whole afternoon trying to delineate which… More >>
  • Best Mechanic in Palm Beach

    Elder Automotive

    Everybody knows that the best way to find a mechanic is to ask someone for referrals. And who better to ask than other mechanics? After he had the timing belt in his Lexus fixed by the guys at Elder Automotive, a local airplane mechanic said, "They're good, and they're fair." What else do ya want in a mechanic?!? Bonus: If… More >>
  • Best Microbrew

    Number Seven (Thunderhead Red)

    Kids, pull up a chair and listen a spell. Paw wants to tell you a story about his favorite beer. 'Course, you can't find it nowadays. But back when your Grandpappy was alive, the finest beer you could drink was called Watney's Red Barrel. Damn if that wasn't just the swellest brew ever, a perfect balance of slightly sweet maltiness… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Starbucks

    Greenberry's Coffee & Tea

    You know that saying, "Everywhere you go, there you are"? Well, it should be updated thusly: "Everywhere you go, there's a Starbucks Coffee store." You can't avoid them -- the damn things are everywhere. Next to your home. Next to your work. And, unfortunately, next to other Starbucks stores. This, hopefully, explains Starbucks' immense popularity with the roaming caffeine hound.… More >>
  • Best Bellicose Game Store

    Dragon's Lair Games

    When you graduate from Dungeons & Dragons and Everquest and Heroclix and the other role-playing games favored by 30-year-old virgins, when it's time to put hair on your chest in place of pimples, then hit the old-school board games. Yes, lad, you may know your Stratego from your Axis & Allies, but when was the last time you busted out… More >>
  • Best Head Shop

    Grateful J's

    Local head shops have been hit pretty hard in recent months. The Department of Homeland Security has way too much free time on its hands and has been harassing stores that sell what they consider to be "drug paraphernalia." Unfortunately for the proprietors of these establishments, the department has not come out and said exactly what is illegal, making any… More >>
  • Best Gator Goods

    All American Gator Products

    This ain't no reptile tourist trap. No faux alligator baubles to be found here, friends. You'll know this is authentic gator land the moment you step into this shop, which is hidden away in a cluster of drab warehouse cubbyholes just off I-95 and Pembroke Road. The piquant aroma of gator hides in various states of processing fills the nostrils,… More >>
  • Best Newsstand

    Clematis Street News Stand

    Remember back in college when you had to choose a foreign language? And, being the young Einstein you were, you chose whatever seemed the coolest, regardless of whether you'd actually ever speak the language. Fortunately, you can make up for your youthful shortsightedness at Clematis Street News Stand. Short of actually traveling abroad, what better way to check out a… More >>
  • Best NewTour

    Lauderducks

    In Fort Lauderdale, you used to have either your bus tour or your boat tour. Now you can go amphibian on this city's ass. It's called Lauderducks, and it opened at BeachPlace this past December. The silly name comes from a very serious vehicle, called a DUKW. These babies are basically large trucks with watertight hulls that were built back… More >>
  • Best Doggy Daycare

    Camp Canine

    The full name of this club for curs is Camp Canine Country Club and Day Spa for Dogs and Cats. I'll let the owners describe the place from their website, which calls it "not just an ordinary kennel, but an elite resort for dogs and cats offering very unique Daycare, as well as Grooming, Boarding, Training and an exclusive Pet… More >>
  • Best Pet Store

    Benny's Tropical Fish

    Synodontis petricola is a dwarf catfish commonly found in Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. It rarely exceeds three and a half inches in length. But S. petricola, better-known as the pygmy catfish, has one hell of a Napoleon complex: Put this graceful creature in an aquarium with some of his larger, more aggressive catfish brethren and watch him quickly gain… More >>
  • Best Place to Save Fido from Damnation

    KosherPets

    It might sound frivolous to those whose pets don't pray on Saturdays, but the Fort Lauderdale company that's producing kosher dog and cat food hopes to report yearly sales in the seven figures by the end of 2004. Consider it bragging rights to say that your dog is a better Jew than the neighbor's flea-bitten mutt. KosherPets concocts its dog… More >>
  • Best Car Wash

    Woody's Wash & Wax

    Oh no! There's only half an hour left before your big date, and your car's a complete mess, inside and out. The carpet's littered with Doritos bits, and your once-shiny paint job is now decorated with bird droppings. Slime, dust, and dirt seems embedded in every part. A trip to the gas station seems like the best solution, but then… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Hipster Furniture

    Trend Furniture by Design

    Somewhere between college and meeting the woman of your dreams, you realize that plaid couch with worn armrests acts as a large neon sign, almost visible from the street below, blinking: Bachelor! Bachelor! Bachelor! It's time for a change, good man, and nowhere can a more drastic change be found than at Trend Furniture by Design in downtown Hollywood. Take… More >>
  • Best Dollar Store

    99 Cents Store

    "I found a Hello Kitty coin purse!" and other exhortations are guaranteed to spring to your lips after you're finally able to crawl out of this sinkhole of sale items, this quicksand of quirkiness. Or if the mouthless cat isn't your thing, just substitute another favorite only-a-buck goody: a bag o' confetti, perhaps? How about some glow-in-the-dark aquarium rocks? Don't… More >>
  • Best Evidence Christmas Is All Year

    A Christmas Place

    There's nothing but Christmas in this unassuming shop, yet it's open year-round. That it has survived for three decades is a Christmas miracle if ever there was one. (Heck, eggnog gets only one month a year, and that stuff is molten crack.) Inside, you'll wander past entire rooms of ornaments, stockings, tree skirts, Christmas lights. At least 35 styles of… More >>
  • Best Bicycle Shop in Broward

    Kevin's Bicycles

    Biking in Broward is dangerous business. Drivers refuse to give way to other cars, let alone some flesh-and-bone human propped up on a metal contraption with two one-inch-wide rubber tires. Without a bike that can hop street corners, absorb shocks, and then stop in seconds, you'll become just one more bicycling casualty in South Florida, turned into pavement by some… More >>
  • Best Bicycle Shop in Palm Beach

    Bicycle

    If what you want is a bicycle -- not an ass kissing, not a motivational speech, not a new best friend -- then go to Bicycle. Wayne -- the awesomely coifed (think '80s skater haircut on a tall, skinny, gray-haired dude) proprietor who runs the one-man show -- is serious about these machines. Whether you want a road bike, a… More >>
  • Best Nursery

    Tropical World Nursery

    Most of the plants at Tropical World Nursery didn't just pop up in some mass-produced South Florida farm. Many of the bromeliads, cacti, and orchids have traveled farther than you did on your last vacation. Tropical World grows most of its stuff a few thousand miles away, on the side of a dormant Mexican volcano. The nursery's South of the… More >>
  • Best Rusty Anchors

    Culpepper & Co.

    For those of you looking to furnish your pad like a seafood shack, this is the place to go. Culpepper & Co.'s crowded yard of goods has reams of nautical-themed antiques pulled from the hulls of boats and shipyards the world over. Owner David Culpepper spends two months a year combing shipyards and wrecking facilities in remote places, usually in… More >>
  • Best Place for a Test Drive

    Ragtops Museum and Special Events

    Ragtops has come a long way from its early days, when it began in 1980 as three classic cars for sale outside a West Palm Beach gas station. Now the two-block-long business in West Palm Beach is packed with antique autos as part of its permanent museum collection or waiting for a good home. Ragtops sells about a dozen cars… More >>
  • Best Sex Toys Shop

    Adult Video Boutique

    Lonely on a Friday night? Looking for some hand-held action? Well, the minute you walk into the brightly lit confines of the Adult Video Boutique, angels will sing on high. Oh wait, those aren't angels: That's Power 96 blasting over the speakers. That's right. Nelly is talking to you. He wants you to buy that shiny, double-headed dildo and… More >>
  • Best Adult Video Store

    Platinum Plus Video

    Location, location, location. It's what they say about real estate. But it's what they should say about adult video stores. Take, for example, Platinum Plus Video. Located on Federal Highway, between two of the area's most popular strip clubs -- Spearmint Rhino and Pure Platinum & Solid Gold -- this sinful store titillates with ceiling-to-floor windows displaying piece after piece… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Wilton Discount Beverage

    Do you want to get drunk but need a self-esteem boost? You gotta love it when you get encouragement from your friendly neighborhood liquor merchant. Nine times out of ten, you'll get a hearty greeting from the guys at Wilton Beverage as you walk in the door. They're always willing to help with beer selection, prices, gift ideas -- and… More >>
  • Best Place to Endure Excruciating Pain in the Name of Beauty

    European Wax Center

    OK, ladies, let's say you need some, uh, landscaping done downtown. Having someone pour hot wax on your nether regions and rip the hair out doesn't sound pleasant, but the aestheticians at the European Wax Center make it so. With their white coats and cheery smiles, they chat you up nonchalantly as you lie on the table in one of… More >>
  • Best Birdcage

    Bird Depot

    In 1630, Mumtaz Mahal died as she gave birth to her 14th child. So moved by the loss was her husband, Shah Jehan, a powerful emperor in the northern part of India, that he built for her the architectural tribute of the ages, the Taj Mahal. Does your cockatoo deserve anything less? Of course not, and thankfully, the Bird Depot… More >>
  • Best Pawn Shop

    National Pawn and Jewelry

    Welcome. Not what you were expecting, hmm? You didn't think you'd find wide, spacious aisles just waiting for you to dance up and down like an actor in a big-budget musical, did you? Well, that's because National Pawn and Jewelry is not your average pawn shop. In fact, it's not a flea-bitten "pawn shop" at all. It is a superduper… More >>
  • Best Traffic School

    Comedy Traffic School

    Traffic school sounds like a farcical way of avoiding points on your license. You speed a little, you maybe crumple someone's fender, you cut across three lanes of Federal Highway and smack your moving truck into a garbage truck -- whatever you did, it doesn't matter, because for a mere four hours on a Saturday (and the cost of your… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Balloons

    Balloons, Balloons, Balloons

    Well, no shit, right? Also Beanie Babies, jigsaw puzzles, Raggedy Ann dolls, Pokémon day planners, Mickey Mouse dolls in safari outfits, and stuffed plush purple hippos. A standard 18-inch Mylar balloon will run $3.50. Want to get some gigantic heart or teddy bear? You're looking at $25 and up.… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Mary Ptak

    Age: 54 Hometown: Gouverneur, New York Claim to fame: Owner and founder of Jezebel, a popular Fort Lauderdale vintage clothing and rental store. What she's done for us lately: Cheerleader jackets, '50s-look sunglasses, rhinestone shoes (like Joan Crawford used to wear), bakelite belt buckles, turquoise headbands, poodle skirts, dozens of items adorned with that shovel-mouthed monkey (the familiar Paul Frank… More >>
  • Best Beer, Bait, and Bullets

    The Corner Store

    It started out quirky and has gotten weirder since. Built in the '70s, the Corner Store was initially envisioned as a futuristic, octagonal-shaped market manned by robots. The original owner ringed the place with conveyor belts with the idea that customers could select items from computerized terminals that would then pass along the belts and into their cars. The Jetsons-like… More >>
  • Best Chiropractor

    Dr. Rick Bruns

    Like any other segment of the quasimedical world, chiropractic care has its share of detractors and swear-bys. If you believe the spinal-alignment and vertebral-subluxation pseudosciences are about as valid as the Raelians' views on cloning, read no further. But for those with back problems seeking a cure for pain, chiropractors can make the difference between living the good life and… More >>
  • Best Cheap Funeral

    Alternative Funeral & Cremation Care

    Why should it be that frugality equals guilt when it comes to picking out caskets and urns for the earthly remains of family? After all, look at how we live our lives: A few of us drive Mercedeses, some Saabs, and most of us, Chevys. Same thing with clothes; most of us buy our duds at Target and the like,… More >>
  • Best Cigars

    Mya Handmade Cigars Factory

    In the three years since Yohanny Lopez crossed the Florida Straights on an inner tube, his life has made quite a turnaround. Using his training from the Romeo Y Juliet factory in Havana, Lopez and his uncle George Rodriguez opened Mya Handmade Cigars Factory in an industrial strip near downtown West Palm Beach. Lopez still rolls close to 100 cigars… More >>
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