Edge presents: Best of Miami 2011

Illustration by Carlos Mella

You voted for your favorite hot spots, dive bars, eateries and even the best place to get laid. From Mr. Moes to Yogen Fruz, from Nikki Beach to Key Largo, we have the results. Turn to page 17 to see which locations 1,800 voters considered best from all the rest.

Dessert: Yogen Früz
Natasha Tomchin, Contributing Edge Writer

Thanks to the latest health craze sweeping the nation, ice cream lovers have quenched their fix with frozen yogurt. It’s healthier, tastier and has just as many options as ice cream. With multiple locations all around Miami, Yogen Früz is a paradise of froyo bliss. If you like your classics and need a little guidance, stick with its original flavors. But if you want to live a little wilder, make any flavor out of their topping options, like kiwi-strawberry. Then, go crazy with the toppings bar, which includes exotic fruit, berries, sweets, salty goods and all the like. You are not satisfying yourself until you come here.

Yogen Früz is located at 209 SW 59th Avenue, South Miami.

Burgers: Five Guys
Margaux Herrera, Staff Edge Writer

For anyone who likes loaded burgers, Five Guys is like a little corner of heaven: There are over 250,000 ways to order a burger at Five Guys and all toppings are free. Fries are cooked using 100 percent peanut oil and even come Cajun style for those who are feeling adventurous. Peanuts are free from the barrel for anyone looking for a snack while they wait in line, but be careful not to spoil your appetite- there is a reason this place was voted Miami’s best burgers.

Five Guys is located at 540 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables.

Delivery: Taco Rico
Cassie Glenn, Contributing Edge Writer

Forget the pizza man, students are choosing Taco Rico for their delivery desires. From quesadillas to fajitas, you can call in or order online and, within minutes, have a hot and delicious Mexican meal right at your doorstep. With daily specials, including $1 tacos on Monday, it is hard to get tired of the menu. So next time you are looking to order out, ditch the large pepperoni pie and opt for something with a little more spice.

Taco Rico is located at 473 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables.

Mexican: Chipotle
Cassie Glenn, Contributing Edge Writer

Huge burritos, crunchy tacos and hearty bowls. Juicy meat, black beans, cilantro rice and cheese. The combinations at Chipotle are virtually endless. Despite the variety, there is no denying that you cannot go wrong with whatever you pick. This national chain is fast but fresh and quieting hunger pangs any time of day. For those craving a Mexican kick, Chipotle is a go-to destination that is sure to stuff.

Chipotle is located at 6290 South Dixie Highway, South Miami.

Pizza: The Big Cheese
Cassie Glenn, Contributing Edge Writer

Walking into The Big Cheese, there is no denying this restaurant lives and breathes University of Miami. With UM memorabilia crowding the walls, there is no better atmosphere to sit down and indulge on pizza, pasta and their ever-famous garlic rolls. Order up a whole pie or customize your own personal slice. With toppings ranging from meatballs to mussels, there are plenty of options to satisfy any pizza lover.

The Big Cheese is located at 8080 SW 67th Avenue, Miami.

Weekday spot: Smoke’t
Rebecca Lattanzio, Contributing Edge Writer

Ever been in one of those college moods where you just want to forget exams and live it up in the middle of the week? Then head to Smoke’t across from campus to get your mid-week party fix. Wednesday is ladies night at this “neighborhood barbecue joint” so that means half-off mason jar drinks and bar grub all night plus free champagne from 4-7 p.m. The best part about this weekday hangout? It’s walking distance from the dorms. Hump day just got a little better.

Smoke’t is located at 450 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables.

Happy Hour/Asian: RA Sushi
Rebecca Lattanzio, Contributing Edge Writer

RA offers $2-$7 rolls from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. That’s a sushi deal that can’t be beat! RA is that funky bar/restaurant by Sunset Place that always seems to be a buzz, and if you’ve tried out its happy hour food and drink specials, you know why. This Tokyo-inspired hot spot is the perfect place to start the night off right with a date or with the girls. True to the words on their chopsticks, “it’s better in the RA.”

RA Sushi is located at 5829 SW 73rd St, South Miami.

Liquor store: Gulf Liquors
Rebecca Lattanzio, Contributing Edge Writer

Need to stock your bar? Gulf Liquors is the perfect one-stop place for all of your alcohol needs. With one of the best selections in town paired with one of the some of the best prices, this local shop is close and convenient for all of us broke college students. Not to mention the awesome tiny bottles of Kahlua and Bacardi that they throw in at the register as a courtesy gift.

Gulf Liquors is located at 1535 Madruga Avenue, South Miami.

Mall: Dadeland Mall
Danielle Kaslow, Senior Edge Writer

Just when you think you can’t stand your roommate for another second, the Zipcar by your dorm magically becomes available and Dadeland Mall beckons. A shopping paradise, the mall is anchored by Macy’s, JCPenny, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and the country’s largest The Limited/Express store. And Dadeland offers more than 185 other specialty stores to boot. Dadeland Mall is the perfect escape from your crazy roommate.

Dadeland Mall is located at 7535 SW 88th St., Miami.

Beach: Nikki Beach
Danielle Kaslow, Senior Edge Writer

With swaying palm trees and warm breezes, Nikki Beach is a world away from the bustle of South Beach. Located at 1st street and Ocean Drive, Nikki Beach features a large outdoor beach club and restaurant, with luxurious cabanas and beds for your lounging pleasure. Soak up the sun at Nikki Beach Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nikki Beach is located at 1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach.

After hours: Flanigan’s
Danielle Kaslow, Senior Edge Writer

A popular chain, Flanigan’s has more than 20 locations in Florida. But the UM student’s  Flanigan’s in Coconut Grove is open until 5 a.m. This late-night favorite offers a wide variety of drink options and a classic, reasonably-priced menu. In the mood for a little midnight snack? Try some of Flanigan’s appetizer garlic rolls, chicken stickers or rockin’ rib rolls.

Flanigan’s in Coconut Grove is located at 2721 Bird Ave., Coconut Grove.

Place to go stoned: The planetarium at the Miami Museum of Science
Danielle Kaslow, Senior Edge Writer

After hot boxing in the parking lot, head to the ultimate place to experience a “natural” high: the planetarium. On the first Friday of each month, the planetarium hosts 3-D laser light shows featuring the music of famous bands. Past shows have showcased the beats of Bob Marley, The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

The Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium is located at 3280 South Miami Ave., Miami.

Late-night munchies: Casola’s
Danielle Kaslow, Senior Edge Writer

A slice of pizza from Casola’s is disturbingly large, yet it is impossible not to devour it and savor every last bite. Maybe it’s the gooey cheese, thin crust or perfect amount of sauce, but nothing can beat Casola’s after a late study session or a long night of partying.

Casola’s is located at 2437 SW 17th Ave., Miami.

Place to get laid: The arboretum
Danielle Kaslow, Senior Edge Writer

Technically the Gifford Arboretum is an educational resource with its collection of tropical and subtropical tress maintained by the Department of Biology. But for most UM students, the arboretum is the best place on campus to get down and (do the) dirty… while appreciating the rare tropical trees, of course.

The arboretum is located behind the Cox Science Center.

Kept secret: Fritz and Franz Bierhaus
Carey Goldenberg, Senior Edge Writer

If you are on the hunt for good beer, authentic Austrian food and a lively atmosphere, check out Fritz and Franz Bierhaus off of Miracle Mile. Served by waiters and waitresses clad in Austrian lederhosen and dirndls, this other-worldly bierhaus will feel no different than a beer garden in Austria or Germany. Live bands play on Friday and Saturday nights, two for one Schnitzel is served on Tuesdays from 5-10 p.m., and happy hour is daily (two for one drinks, half-price appetizers) from 5-7 p.m.. Ja, ist sehr gut!

Fritz and Franz Bierhaus is located at 60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables.

Place for live music: Churchill’s
Carey Goldenberg, Senior Edge Writer

Churchill’s Pub houses some of the best local bands in Miami every night of the week. Every Monday night, the “Miami Jazz Jam & Theatre de Underground” is one of Miami’s finest jazz jams and open mic nights, especially for night owls who like to snap their fingers to original poetry and songs into the wee hours of the evening. Churchill’s also does charity events, including “Jam for Japan” on Monday. Proceeds from the concert will go directly to Japanese families who are suffering from the recent events. If the Grove doesn’t fill your needs on Thursday nights, check out Churchill’s Earth Day music festival on April 21st, in collaboration with the Urban Paradise Guild (UPG), a non-profit organization working to expand and preserve our natural habitat. Check out their calendar at churchillspub.com to keep up with their recent events. Churchill’s is located at fnsdkjfndskjfnds in Little Haiti.

Churchill’s is located at 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami.

Beer selection: Yard House
Carey Goldenberg, Senior Edge Writer

To taste your favorite brews within a wide variety of Fruit Lambics, Stouts, Bavarian Hefeweizens, IPAs and many more, head to Yard House in Merrick Park. If you know your preferred taste, the two-page beer will accommodate anyone, whether you are looking for an ice-cream beer float or a heavy flavorful stout. If you are a newcomer to the beer world, the knowledgeable staff will either match you up with your dream beer or let you sample a few until you find your perfect fit. Be sure to check out their happy hour, every Monday-Friday from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and every Sunday-Wednesday from 10 p.m. until close. Including everything from half-off appetizers to discounted beers and well drinks, Yard House is the perfect place to watch the game, hang out with friends or have a tasty meal with a good drink.

Yard House is located in Merrick Park at 320 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables.

Cuban: Versailles
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

One of the many joys of a UM student’s first parents weekend is eating at one of Miami’s most famous restaurants, Versailles. Its landmark status is attributed to its location in Little Havana on the legendary Calle Ocho, and it is a verifiable smorgasbord of traditional Cuban cuisine and lackluster service. There are even a few vegetarian options on the menu, though vegans are wholly out of luck. And the small bakery next door has the world’s best pastelitos.

Versailles is located at 3555 SW Eighth St., Miami.

Newcomer: Miller’s Ale House in Coral Gables
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

Who among college students doesn’t enjoy traditional bar fare? No one, that’s who. Miller’s Ale House, located on Miracle Mile and part of a chain of South Florida restaurants, is a dream come true for carnivores and beer aficionados. Its daily specials include prime rib, Maine lobster and baby back ribs, and as one might expect, vegetarians are a bit screwed. Even those on a gluten-free diet can partake in the all-American joys of Miller’s.

Miller’s Ale House is located at 101 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables.

Day trip: Key Largo
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

Why attend school in Miami if you don’t partake in the area’s natural awesomeness? About an hour away from campus is one of Florida’s most incredible retreats, an upper key that has become world-renowned for its offshore coral reef, kayaking and sunsets. Nature-phobes need not apply.

Key Largo is approximately 45 minutes away. It is the first of the Florida Keys.

Festival: Kiss Country Chili Cookoff
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

The “Ultra of country music” has its own legion of devoted fans. An annual event in Broward County’s majestic city of Pembroke Pines, Chili Cookoff is a time for all cowboys- real and poser- to break out their boots, beers and belly shirts for a day of drinking, tusslin’ and twang. Does this description not do it for you? Ask your friends who have attended in the past. From the little they remember of the day, I’m sure they guarantee a good time. (Fun fact: Chili Cookoff was the location of Jessica Simpson’s infamous “mom jeans” incident.)

The Kiss Country Chili Cookoff is an annual event at C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines.

Tanning salon: Stanford Beach (IM Fields)
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

Who among your out-of-state friends wants to go home for vacations looking as pale as Tilda Swinton? The UC pool is often overcrowded, loud and mildly intimidating, so deal with your nostalgia for freshman year by returning to the IM Fields by the towers. While you may have to be on guard for a stray soccer ball or ant pile, Stanford Beach is a low-key oasis in which everyone mostly keeps to themselves. Return home for the summer with your heads held high and your bodies bronzed, New Yorkers.

The intramural fields are located in front of Stanford Residential College.

Place to nurse a hangover: Denny’s
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

While trips to Denny’s were once reserved just for stops on road trips, it is the only 24-hour restaurant within walking distance of our fair campus. If you make it across U.S. 1 intact, a world of greasy food and surly service awaits you. It serves breakfast all day and all night, features such culinary delights as the fried cheese sandwich (a grilled cheese stuffed with fried mozzarella- a heart attack on a plate for just $4!) and is even celebrating the sacred festival of Baconalia with its BBBLT sandwich (use your imaginations) and a maple bacon sundae. Make sure your health insurance is still good before eating at Denny’s because you’re going to need it afterward.

Denny’s is located at 1150 S. Dixie Highway across from campus.

Club: LIV
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

For those whose four years at Miami are incomplete without regular jaunts on South Beach, look no further than LIV, one of the classiest clubs in the area. Located in the Fontainebleau Hotel, LIV is the best place on the beach for regular celebrity sightings, impromptu concerts and nights of debauchery you’ll never remember.

Club LIV is located at 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.

Bar: Mr. Moe’s
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

Mr. Moe’s Restaurant and Bar, located in Coconut Grove, is one of the area’s most sacred of watering holes. It has 35 beers, more than 90 menu items and the legendary “moose juice,” and I’m still not sure what’s in it. Western Wednesdays feature a mechanical bull and there is karaoke on Tuesdays. What more can one want out of life?

Mr. Moe’s is located at 3131 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove.

Place for a date: The Cheesecake Factory
Sarah B. Pilchick, Senior Edge Writer

Pick a nearby location- either Dadeland Mall or at Cocowalk in the Grove- for a menu that is both enormous in options and calories. The Cheesecake Factory, while mildly overpriced and a bit conceited, has great ambiance for both date nights and meals with friends. Its menu has a million and one salads, appetizers and options, though it’s certainly not for anyone watching their figure. While it’s been called the unhealthiest restaurant in America- and that’s saying a lot- try to put that knowledge out of your head while partaking in the amazing free bread and decadent desserts. Luckily, while prices are high, portion sizes are enormous, so you can get a meal or three out of one entree.

The Cheesecake Factory in Dadeland Mall is located at 7497 North Kendall Dr., Miami. The Coconut Grove location is 3015 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove.