The Scoop On Miami Food Halls

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Making pizza at La Centrale

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Brickell City Center

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Aventura Mall

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By: Angela Caraway-Carlton

Gone are the days of traditional food courts. These days it’s all about food halls and Miami is exploding with them. From exclusively Italian to all-Asian halls, to some of the area’s best chefs under one roof, diners can indulge in any type of cuisine their stomach desires. Here, we break down the food hall craze by neighborhood — so come hungry.

South Beach

With counters decked out in pink-and-white speckled terrazzo, this sprawling culinary market is so Miami. Swallowing up the entire block between bustling Lincoln Road and Drexel Avenue in South Beach, Time Out Market Miami is the first U.S. outpost of popular Time Out Market Lisbon. With 17 food stalls lining both sides of the market, guests are treated to culinary creations by Miami’s top-notch chefs like Top Chef alum Jeremy Ford of Stubborn Seed, Scott Linquist of Coyo Taco, Suzy Batlle of Azucar Ice Cream and Cesar Zapata of Phuc Yea. “We have James Beard-award winners to smaller operators, it’s the who’s who in the culinary world under one roof,” says Time Out Market CEO Didier Souillat. Stroll the stalls for Chef Ford’s Southern take on Korean dishes like a spicy chicken sandwich; Zapata’s comforting Vietnamese pho or bao buns; Batlle’s Cuban-inspired ice cream with flavors like café con leche; and plant-based foods that even meat eaters will love from Love Life Café. Extra bonus: Instead of food court disposables, diners are treated to proper china and silverware.

For another taste of South Beach’s best, continue just one block north of Lincoln Road and Meridian Avenue for The Lincoln Eatery, another expansive food hall with 16 concepts that already have a big following in Miami and those that are new to the food scene. Nosh on Patagonia’s authentic empanadas filled with different types of meat; sip one of the impressive coffee presentations of XO Espresso Bar; or let the kids enjoy the smoke-show of ChillN Nitrogen Ice Cream. New to Miami, there are artisanal made-to-order sandwiches at Necessary Purveyor; frozen treats made of Mexican fruits from Manhattan Paletas; and traditional Kosher bites from New York-style deli, Marble & Rye. And, it’s not all about stuffing your face — there’s programming from live performances to yoga, and later in 2019, a rooftop bar will offer craft cocktails and amazing views.

Wynwood

At 1-800-Lucky, it’s all-Asian, all the time. This boisterous indoor-outdoor spot offers hungry patrons the chance to tackle seven food vendors. We suggest heading straight to the back of the hall for Les Banh Amis, a Vietnamese deli serving up must-haves like an untraditional banh mi sandwich loaded with juicy pork belly, Vietnamese pickles, cucumbers, jalapenos and mint. True dim sum lovers should make a beeline for Yip known for their plump, steamed dumplings. For the freshest handrolls outside Cali, stop by NYC’s Myumi for rolls generously stuffed with fresh amberjack or crispy shrimp; and then move over to its neighbor, Poke OG, to choose from Hawaiian-style poke bowls. A perfect pairing with the Peking duck or crispy chicken wings from Lotus + Cleaver is a frozen beer from the bar — they put Kirin Light in a slushy machine and then pour the frozen froth over a cold one. End your day outdoors at the most Instragrammed spot, Taiyaki, for ice cream served in a fish-shaped cone. After dark, the vibe accelerates, as a party crowd takes over the bar and outdoor patio.

As a gastronomic incubator, where many entrepreneurs come together to test our their ideas, you’ll find Charcoal, a full-serve restaurant made out of shipping containers that churns out charcoal-grilled food like a grass-fed burger and steak, octopus, and Italian-style sausages. Health nuts will want to try the plant-based bowls of Della Bowls; while others will want to splurge on ultimate comfort food like fried chicken and waffles and several different mac and cheese dishes from House of Mac, and drool-worthy churros that top decadent cups of ice cream from Santo Dulce.

Brickell

For a true taste of Italy, roam the expansive three floors of La Centrale located inside the bustling Brickell City Centre. There are several Italian-inspired restaurants, bars and markets for grabbing the ingredients to make your own Italian meal, a wine shop and even a cooking studio. Where you venture first will depend on how much time you have — and how hungry you are. On the first level, you’ll find six grab-and-go counters with everything from a $2 espresso to gourmet sandwiches, meats and cheeses and freshly-made cannoli. Don’t miss the casual Pizza E Pasta restaurant for homemade pastas like bolognese topped with pecorino, or the authentic tricolore pizza with a to-die-for ricotta-stuffed crust. Move to the second floor, which feels like a piazza in Italy, for three sit-down restaurants and its centerpiece, Aperitivo Bar, perfect for sipping a classic Negroni. Be adventurous with the vegan carbonara or chickpea gnocchi at the plant-based restaurant Stagionale; indulge in the grilled branzino imported from the coastal town of Orbetello at seafood-driven Pesce; and end at Venchi for gelato. Vino lovers will find heaven on the third floor with a Tuscan-inspired wine bar and a huge wine shop.

Miami Design District

Tucked away on the second floor of Palm Court, St. Roch Market is the second location of the buzzy Southern food hall from New Orleans and offers 11 unique food options from some of Miami’s most talented chefs. Locals line up at this place for lunch and on weekends hungry groups pack tables to share a variety of food from each kiosk. For a taste of the South, stop by Coop to nosh on made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits with candy bacon butter and a 25-hour brined fried chicken sandwich. Another crowd favorite is Itamae, a mash-up of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine focusing on inventive rolls, ceviche and bowls. At Jaffa, sample deconstructed baba ganoush, turmeric roasted cauliflower, falafel and other Israeli staples; and an Italian couple who hail from Milan will “wow” you with their homemade pastas at Dal Plin. Don’t walk out without trying the colorful sprinkled cake from Chef Chloe and the Vegan Café — you’ll need the sugar for all the power shopping within the Design District.

Little River District

Miami’s historic Little River District now boasts one of the newest food halls, The Citadel, and this place is a hub of creativity and offers a taste of Miami’s diverse culture. In this sprawling hall housed in a MiMo building from the 1950s, you’ll find 15 culinary concepts which include two spots from pastry king, Antonio Bachour, where every dessert is a piece of art and his gourmet chocolates are a must. You can’t miss the authentic tacos made of blue masa from Taquiza; dim sum, fried rice and modern Chinese dishes at Palmar; and wood-fired Neapolitan pizza at Ash! Pizza Parlor, from the owners of another popular Miami staple, Stanzione 87. Soon to come, a rooftop bar for creative cocktails. But this isn’t just a food hall — it’s also a makerspace, where you can browse a variety of retail shops, artisanal vendors and expect live music, weekend workshops and pop-up makerspaces featuring local artists and creators.

Aventura

Located on the third floor of Aventura Mall’s newest wing, Treats Food Hall majorly elevates the mall’s food game with a collection of local and national food favorites, beautiful mosaic tiles and an open-air feel meant for communal dining. Locals-in-the-know seek out South Beach transports like GoGo Fresh, whose popular empanadas are life-changing; and the fresh, citrusy wild caught seafood ceviche of My Ceviche. Health-conscious diners flock to Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen; true pizza lovers dig Figs + Mozzarella, a new concept by restaurateur Todd English; and the always-busy Shake Shack where the ShackBurger and their special sauce reigns supreme. Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss Luke's Lobster, where you’ll start with a bowl of award-winning chowder and then move on to the star attraction, the lobster roll — a petite buttery bun topped with huge chunks of chilled lobster. There’s plenty of communal seating in the food hall, but the best spot is the outdoor terrace. When you’re done, torch some calories by catapulting yourself down the mall’s 93-foot slide.

Still to Come:

The food hall trend shows no sign of stopping in South Florida. Doral, which is already bursting at the seams with new developments, will soon have its first food hall, The Doral Yard; and Wynwood will gain another delicious venue, The Wynwood Food Hall. Stay tuned!

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