The Miami Winners - Your Choice Awards 2023

Athena Dion. Photo via Facebook.

Interested in who won Your Choice Awards in the Miami category? Check them out below!

And winners the are...

The Best PrEP Clinic in Miami-Dade Goes to...

Best Fashion Designer in Miami-Dade Goes to...

The Best Kept Secret & Best Business Owner in Miami-Dade Goes to...

The Best Artist in Miami-Dade Goes to...

Meet Miami's Best Politician of 2023

Best New Restaurant-Queen Miami Beach

Queen Miami Beach

(786) 373-2930

550 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139

The historic former Paris Theatre is home to Queen, a visually stunning art deco space with souring twenty-six-foot ceilings that transports patrons to a glamorous bygone time of opulence and extravagance. The theater, with its dazzling Lobmeyr chandeliers in the arrival hall to the cutting-edge sound and lighting system, captivates patrons from the moment you enter and inspires the entire experience with an over-the-top menu that is a sensory immersion of flavor and texture created by Executive Chef Mitchell Hesse. Hesse has curated a menu that features an array of options from Kusshi Oysters and Sushi to an incredible Butchers Reserve of Wagyu and Dry Aged beef for the carnivore in your party. Craft cocktails are paired with top-notch service and a dress code worth getting dressed up for. This perfect date night is both Instagramable and one you will never forget.  

Runner-up: Paperfish Sushi Bar

-John Porter

Best Activist/Entertainer-Athena Dion
She stared down the governor’s henchmen and looked fabulous doing it.

Athena Dion was your choice for Best Activist and Entertainer in Miami-Dade County. Dion led the resistance against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attempts to criminalize drag shows. A federal court eventually ruled the law, dubbed Protection of Children Act, was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad and the Supreme Court declined to hear the state’s appeal.

“There’s no harm coming from my show or what I do,” Dion said.

Known as the “Greek Goddess” of the Miami drag circuit, Dion performs at R House in Wynwood, where she lip syncs to songs by Cher and Lady Gaga in dazzling dresses and high heels. When it comes to protecting children, Dion produces charity events for foster children and children rescued from abusive families.

“It’s not my job to be an activist,” Dion said. “It’s my job to be an entertainer. I think activism is something that you can choose to accept with your popularity in the community or you can just choose to continue being an entertainer and not having an opinion and not doing anything.”

Dion, whose real name is Stavros Stavrkis, grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida and was intrigued by the South Beach culture after watching the Robin Williams’ film, The Birdcage. At 22, she got her first big break when she was hired at a nightclub called Living Room in downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

“After that, I was the new girl on the scene and I just started working everywhere,” she said.

Nowadays, Dion spends her summers on the Greek Island of Mykonos, where she brings her powerful character to life at a club called Jackie O’s.

“Mykonos is great because it’s like a global meeting place in the summer,” Dion said. “Everyone from all over the world at some point goes there. I’ve met people from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai – places where you don’t know much about their LGBTQ culture, but they come to Mykonos to be free and express themselves and they are just the kindest people. It’s really beautiful.”

Runner-up for Activist: Michael Gongora 

Runner-up for Entertainer: Shelly Novak

-John McDonald

Best Restaurant-Santorini by Giorgios


Santorini by Georgios

(305) 672-6624

Bentley Hilton Hotel 101B Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, FL 33139

Located on the lobby level of the Bentley Hilton Hotel in the South of Fifth neighborhood of South Beach, Santorini by Georgios brings a taste of the family-style Greek Cuisine that restauranteur Georgios Vogiatzis grew up with on the small island of Thassos in Northern Greece. The menu combines Greek, Italian, and Latin American influences. Food, family, and business have always been one for the Vogiatzis family, and that tradition continues today at Santorini by Georgios. 

Runner-up: Drunken Dragon

-John Porter

Best LGBT Gift Shop-Beatnix


Beatnix Miami Beach Facebook

2640 NW 5th Avenue Miami, FL 33127 

Founded originally in Chicago, Beatnix was first opened in South Beach in 1997. Twenty-two years later, Beatnix has recently relocated to Wynwood. Serving the entertainment industry, this variety shop provides specialty items for drag queens, performers, and entertainers. You can find interesting and original costumes, clothing, wigs and more. The shop is a visual feast of color and sparkle. As an independent store, Beatnix has been a bedrock of support to entertainers in Miami for more than two decades.

-John Porter

Best Activity for Tourists-Miami Beach


There’s no doubt Florida politics has left a bad taste in the mouth for some LGBTQ travelers. 

Miami Beach seeks to remedy that situation.

“A travel advisory presents an opportunity and responsibility to learn more about a destination,” reads the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion page

The bureau’s site includes a page devoted to LGBTQ+ activities, hotels and events along with testimonials and links from social media influencers and local artists and leaders. 

“From marquee annual gay events to a vibrant family-friendly queer scene, Greater Miami & Miami Beach is a welcoming community for LGBTQ+ travelers,” the bureau declares.

The destination reaches optimal admiration in April for the annual Miami Beach Pride festivities. 

Runner-up: Palace Bar

-John McDonald


Best Pizza
Mister 01
Runner-up: Andiamo 

Best Burger
Kush by Lokal in Wynwood 
Runner-up: Burgers & Shakes

Best Bartender
Lucas @ Nathan's
Runner-up: Charlie D. @ Twist

Best Bar/Club
Runner-up: Hotel Gaythering

Best Nonprofit
Miami Beach Pride
Runner-up: Unity Coalition

Best Drag Performer
Tiffany Fantasia
Runner-up: Athena Dion

All photos are either from Facebook, Instagram, public domain, or courtesy.


Here Are the Winners of Your Choice Awards 2023


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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