Best Liquor Store 2016 | Joy's Liquor | Shopping & Services | South Florida
Jess Swanson

It's easy to miss Joy's Liquors. It's located in a shopping center in Tamarac beside a quiet nail salon. Most shoppers en route to Publix quickly dart by, heads turned down as though focused on their weekly grocery lists, and miss it. But those of us paying attention will see the tiny window storefront — a collage of Heineken, Coors Light, and Sam Adams signs. At the door, a statue of a life-sized turkey with a medal hanging around its neck keeps watch. A friendly and knowledgeable attendant is typically pacing the store's three tall, narrow aisles that display the inventory of beer, wine, and spirits. Their supply of Caribbean rums and gins is a point of pride. Regulars are called out by name. In the back, a vending machine sells cigars. It's also acceptable to ditch your shopping cart full of groceries outside and stop in on your way back to your car from Publix.

At Cosmic Charlie's, it's business in the front, party in the back. By "business," we mean shelves packed with Bob Marley and Grateful Dead memorabilia, incense, and huge tie-dye tapestries like the one your first high school boyfriend had covering the window in his bedroom. And by "party," we mean a ROOR-ing good time (wink wink). Need some glassware for your 420-friendly party? Charlie's got you covered. Interested in vaporizing some of that, uh, tobacco? They've got a Volcano stocked that's ready to erupt. Best of all, it's right next to Mojo Donuts and North Perry Airport, so you can dish on some of Broward's best donuts while catching the red-eye flight in the parking lot.

Readers' choice: Peace Pipe

Photo by Angel Melendez

Sex sells... and so do rubber vaginas, penis pumps, anal beads (with the always-appreciated lube accompaniment), and various other sexual paraphernalia. From childhood to the grave, people love their toys. They also love the secret and not-so-secret perversions in which adult toys allow them to engage. Sensations Video in Hollywood offers a wide array of erotic knickknacks as well as a killer selection of porn DVDs and sexy outfits and a spirit that harkens back to the days of Boogie Nights and Debbie Does Dallas. Although the store is clean and crisp, there's an undeniable naughty underground feel that's equal parts gratifying and grimy. It's pre-Giuliani New York in the '80s, but cleaned up and sanitized. Come for the ball-gags and strap-on dildos, and stay for the video arcade section with private viewing booths and glory holes.

The perfect tattoo for a woman's lady parts should read "Handle With Care." (Or, if you're anything like a certain ex, "Insert Here.") Even if just for an annual exam, women all have to go into an office with pants off and legs spread once in a while. Of course, this may be a familiar pose for some (like the aforementioned ex) — but not for all of us. Fortunately, Dr. Lebow is the doctor that makes a trip to the gyno quick and painless. She takes her time to answer any questions ("Is that smell normal?" "Does this look infected?") but keeps visits to the point and doesn't try to banter about who just died on Game of Thrones or how good "Lemonade" was. And yes, thank goodness, that smell is normal. The same isn't true for that ex, though...

Leading psychologists and the entire staff of HGTV agree: Home decor is important for one's well-being. Fill a home with funky furniture, and life will be more fun. While it may be tempting to get lost in the wonderland/hell of IKEA, let us steer you instead to a better option: Preview Mod. Located in Fort Lauderdale's North Beach Arts District, this shop specializes in midcentury modern goodness that any collector would swoon over, including art and lighting as well as chairs and credenzas. The prices may be a little north of that Fjalkinge shelf you saw next to the Swedish meatballs, but the shop's rare designer finds — many authenticated and certified — will make you want to drop some coin. Just call it an investment in your mental health. You won't go loony putting a goddamn bookshelf together.

Angel Melendez

Making your way through the narrow, twisting hallways of Bethesda Bargain Box, the environment seems a little dated, and hardly anything on offer is from the modern era. That means there are surprises around each winding corner: discounted appliances, board games, books, clothes, furniture, records, shoes, and more. Now when we say "discounted," that sounds like an occasional sale. At BBB, they seem to have forgotten that sales have end dates. Things are perpetually cheap. A stack of books, let's say seven, might run you fewer than five bucks. Also, the employees are so unsettlingly kind and helpful, it seems too good to be true. As if burdening your shopping bag while barely opening your wallet isn't enough of a reason to visit, bargain hunting at BBB is good for the soul as well. Unlike at Goodwill, all the proceeds from Bethesda Bargain Box do actually go to a good cause as the funds are used to buy equipment for Bethesda Hospital and to fund medical scholarships for local students. It's a win all around — for both the area and people's homemade Halloween costumes.

Readers' choice: Out of the Closet

Kristin Bjornsen

We'll admit that hearing the words "cash-only ceviche" and "Swap Shop" in the same sentence may sound like the formula for a rip-roarin' case of vibrio. But head to the west side of the Swap, beyond the God Is Good Shoe Store (where the motto is "Nothing Comes Before the Time"), past the produce stands and aisles of coco frío, and stop at El Tiburon for some of the best mixed ceviche $12 can buy. If the Swap is open, so are they. Walking in from the parking lot, the first thing you'll hear is the music: Spanish guitar humming over a PA and live acts on the weekend. Next, the smell of crisp, deep-fried shrimp draws you closer. Minutes later, you're up to your neck in longneck Coronas and baskets of jalea. El Tiburon is far enough from the vendors with whom you regret making eye contact that you don't feel awkward taking your wallet out. It's also partitioned by large potted palms and cooled with large overhead fans, like its own little oasis in the Swap swamp. How will you have the energy to fuel your trek through the endless isles of car stereos and train horns, socks on socks on socks, oversized Sunshine State towels, white old lady porn, knives, and assless outfits only a prostitute would wear, without a belly full of raw fish and a Michelada (or three)? Lord knows you can't be sober and at the Swap Shop on a weekend.

Courtesy of Yellow Green Farmers Market

What's the mark of a great market? A variety of veg, a cadre of crafters, and someone selling chilled coconuts. At the Yellow Green Farmers Market, you've got all that under one helluva sturdy metal roof that keeps you shaded and rain free in the summer. From sunflower seed sprouts and local honey to fresh fish and cow femurs for Fido, the vendors at this market have something for every palate. And if you're looking for some culinary inspiration, stop at Chillbar for a mimosa and an Original Chill Salad before shopping for ingredients for your at-home, grass-fed, free-range, organic, local creation.

Do you find it therapeutic to pace shiny, waxed floors? Are you getting a Michael Kors for Summer '16 on mamma's debit card? Then look no further than this glittering ode to capitalism on Sunrise Boulevard. From Neiman Marcus to the Capital Grille, it's the perfect place to go when you have money to blow (or want to pretend you do). There's a newly opened Free People — where the clothes are cute and anything but free — and a wig stand that sells something called "Cruise Hair." This mall is consistently clean and quiet(-ish) and has a Bank of America conveniently located in its parking lot for that extra line of credit you'll need after a few too many minutes inside of Mayor's Jewelers. And yes, there's an Apple Store.

Readers' choice: Town Center at Boca Raton

Sure, regular exercise and a nutrient-rich diet are essential for good health, but if you ask a scuba diver, it's vitamin "sea" that matters most. Odd as it sounds on paper, breathing air through a tube with a tank strapped on your back several meters underwater is relaxing. The world within the big ocean blue is mesmerizing, and diving it is always wondrous if done safely. Since the human body wasn't built to thrive at 20 psi for extended periods of time, it's important to have good gear. Force-E Pompano Beach is the best place to find new and used equipment for your next underwater outing. The knowledgeable staff are friendly and attentive from the moment you walk through the door, which is especially helpful for beginners trying to navigate, and they almost always have rental gear in good condition available for your last minute needs.

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