The latest edition of our annual Best of Broward-Palm Beach issue is up and live, and it is chock-full o' awesomeness. From the best dive bars to the best places to meet single men and ladies to the best local restaurants in town and even your readers' choice votes, it's all here -- and more!
Psyched yet? To whet your appetite, here are a few of the best places to shop that we've honored in this issue, from where to find the best flea-market deals, to why we have the best mall in the world, to where to get your hands on some fantastic smut.
You can pick up the Best of Broward-Palm Beach issue at newsstands starting today.
See also: Best of Broward-Palm Beach 2014
Best Mall: Sawgrass Mills Mall This mall is branded "the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States." And it's right, judging by the fact that it takes 30 minutes to buy one pair of shorts at the Calvin Klein outlet on a Monday at 8 p.m., even with five cashiers hustling faster than a Chipotle assembly line. Here, a chorus of languages carries into every corner of more than 2.3 million square feet of retail space. After all, it is an international destination, where tourists fresh off a Port Everglades cruise will spend nine hours filling the luggage they just bought at the mall to the brim with top-of-the-line duds from brands like Armani, Jimmy Choo, David Yurman, and Versace, all at outlet prices. There are even shopping carts, kiosks where you can exchange currency, and a U.S. Postal Service office near the SuperTarget for those who exceed their airline's checked-bag weight limit. It's so labyrinthine that even we locals have to use a map to navigate to the nearest Cinnabon (there are two, by the way). And God knows we're going to need our energy as we carry our dozen bags of everything-was-half-off-we-couldn't-resist back to the car we parked on the third level of the Burlington garage. But lucky for us, if we can't make it through the entire mall, there?s always next weekend.
Best Sale: The Dania Beach Marine Flea Market So you bought a boat. Good for you. Did you hear the one about the two best days of a boat owner's life? How about what "boat" actually stands for? Or the hole-in-the-water line? If you did, then you'll soon learn that the annual Dania Beach Marine Flea Market is your new Christmas. It's so good that grown men with carts will be running down the aisles bright and early on the first day of the sale (usually held one weekend only in early March each year) lugging off new Furuno radars before you even get a foot inside, because the line is already halfway down the Mardi Gras Casino parking lot, and you underestimated its popularity by showing up a half-hour late on opening day. Here you can buy everything from bilges and bumpers to complete motors and props for your new baby. But it's not just a by-boaters, for-boaters type of sale. There are endless booths with snorkeling gear, fishing tackle, d'cor, apparel, food, and artwork celebrating the salt life. Every March, hobbyists from around the state come to hawk all things marine for what amounts to the world?s greatest garage sale, complete with the haggling and walk backs and panicked telephone calls to your uncle telling you: DO IT! Deals like this don't come around that often. And they don't, so you should listen to him.
Best Market: Festival Flea Market Mall Once an ordinary outlet mall, Festival Flea Market Mall changed its name and reason for being in 1991 and has become a one-stop shop for buying things you would never expect to take home with you. The indoor air-conditioned space boasts more than 500 merchants offering to peddle you furniture, clothing, jewelry, rugs, toys, contraptions, knickknacks, and paddywacks. While the chaotic format of the market will make it a challenge if you enter with something specific you wish to buy, if you are a shopper who vales the thrill of an unexpected discovery, there is no place better. If you get hungry during your search, there is a fruit and vegetable market as well as a diverse food court offering everything from bialys to gyros. Open every day of the year but Thanksgiving, weekday business hours are from 9:30 to 5, with weekends granting you an extra hour of treasure-hunting, with the mall staying open until 6.
Best Swap Shop Vendor: The Man Cave In our world of Kmarts and Targets, big business has sucked the fun out of shopping. Little Timmy is no longer excited for a Sunday trip to Walmart, where he'll shuffle through fluorescent aisles, surrounded by dozens of bland, marked-down products and giant butts squeezed into electric scooters. And can you blame him? Poor Timmy. Gone are the days of eager anticipation, of wondering what gems he'll discover hidden in a secret corner of the store. These days, the most exciting thing he'll find is an unconscious old man leaning against the ramen noodles. Timmy needs to go to the Swap Shop. And when he gets to the big yellow Lauderdale landmark, he needs to go to the second floor, make a left at the arcade, and walk until he finds the Swap Shop's greatest stand -- until he finds -- the Man Cave. There, Timmy will find rows of samurai swords, axes, specialty knives, manly posters, and ninja stars. The Man Cave sells some of the coolest things you'll never use. Is it unnecessary? Sure. But so was going to the moon. And we did that for the same reason the Man Cave exists. Because it's fucking awesome.
Best Adult Video Store: Booby Trap Love Stuff 2075 S. Federal Highway Fort Lauderdale 33316 954-524-2888 Could porn videos be the new vinyl record? They're something tangible. There's artwork, liner notes, an ability to play it back as many times as you want. Even better, they come with a pause button. Too bad there aren?t as many places where you can go browse the shelves for you and your mate's date night (YouPorn be damned). But Booby Trap Love Stuff dedicates an entire upstairs to digital smut. Ignore the wood-paneled walls and burnt-orange shag carpeting and delve into cl-ASS-ic titles like Bi-Bi Love #11, There Will Be Cum, and Tonsil Train. Plan on having a family movie night before the real fun starts. There's a remarkably large selection of standard fare films -- all on VHS -- that little Dick and Jane will enjoy. But for something a little more hardcore than The Preacher's Wife or Regis Philbin's My Personal Workout, stick to the front of the room.
Best Liquor Store: Total Wine & More 1906 Cordova Road Fort Lauderdale 33316 954-828-9463 Why do kids love Disney World? They love it because when they step through the turnstile and the sea of people parts, they don't see just an amusement park. They see a world -- an endless land of fun, stretching as far as the eye can see. They won't get to do it all. There will no doubt be rides that go unridden or candy uneaten. But the possibilities are endless. And that's exciting. In 15 years, that kid will step into Total Wine & More, and the same feeling will wash over them. They will look over the rows and rows of beers, surely some they've never even heard of. Then they'll get to the wine, gallons of reds, whites, all eager to find a home in a stomach. And just when they think they can't take anymore, when their knees start to shake from joy, they'll stumble into the liquor section. From beer and winetastings to educational classes, Mickey Mouse ain't got shit on Total Wine & More.
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